More people are using school websites to find information and keep up to date with the school’s activity. Producing content that satisfies this demand can be hard for those not used to writing for websites, so here are some simple tips to help you master online content for your school website.
Write for your audience
The most important thing to keep in mind when writing content for your school website is the people you want to read it, consider what their expectations will be and what will be relevant to them. If something is in a style that they do not expect or enjoy they may be put off from engaging with it.
A school website contains all kinds of content, from fun news items to official policy updates and it is essential to find the right tone and message with each. Lighthearted pieces will tend to use emotive language and deliver a personal feel, while more serious policy items may focus on straight forward, factual information.
Use clear paragraphs
It is also crucial that the experience of reading your content is as smooth and informative as possible. We recommend making sure the essential information you want to communicate is placed in the first paragraph, while each subsequent section delivers further information.
You will want to avoid adding paragraphs that are not useful for the reader; instead, every section should have a clear purpose. Ensuring this is the case will help keep readers engaged until the end.
Write in short sentences
In a similar vein, to keep a reader’s attention, it is recommended that you use short sentences. Short sentences are easy to read, and anything that can make a reader’s life easier is a good idea. Long, complicated sentences can often make the central point less clear and more unfocused.
Some people may type longer sentences to pad out word count, but quality content is always going to achieve better engagement.
Avoid using jargon
It may seem obvious, but you should always use language that your audience will understand. There are a lot of specialised terms that people within schools will follow, but parents and other website visitors may not know what they mean.
A good rule of thumb is if you need to explain what a word means to your audience, find a different word. If you are required to use a particular term that may be confusing to some, take the time to elaborate on its definition.
Keep content fresh and up to date
People are going to engage less in content they regard as being outdated, so if you are writing a news piece ensure it is relevant to what is happening in your school right now. Avoid adding content that feels out of date, for example adding a story from a previous term. Have a look at our other article on keeping your website content fresh
In the busy day-to-day life of a school, there are very few quiet moments, so it can be challenging to produce relevant information quickly. Thankfully, the other pieces of advice in this article can help with this, especially keeping content short and to the point.