Designing your own website as an RTO owner or someone that is involved in training and education can be a rewarding project. Whether you want to just get something simple up there, you don’t have the budget yet for a more formally design website or whether you just want to get your hands dirty and give it a go yourself!
Whatever your reasons, we’ve put together some of the key points that we think you should consider when building your own website.
1) Know who your potential students are
Start at the beginning- if you don’t know who you need to be marketing to and who would be buying from you, then it can decrease the effectiveness of your new website. The design of the site and the content of the site should all aligned to your potential students and their goals.
HubSpot have a great tool to help you work out your Buyer Personas.
2) Make sure your website looks great on all devices
In the age of technology, making your site look great on a mobile is just as important as on a PC. Maybe even more so. More and more people are using a mobile device such a phone or tablet to browse the internet- if your site doesn’t look good or work well or is slow to load on a mobile device-people will go elsewhere.
Perhaps more importantly, search engines such as Google are now penalising websites that don’t display correctly on mobile devices meaning when people search for you, you won’t be displayed as highly in the listings- not so good.
3) Stand out from the crowd
Perhaps one of THE most important sites to consider when building a website. Make yourself look different to everyone else and stand out from the crowd. You have your own unique points, the things that make you different and special. SHOUT ABOUT THEM. You need to make sure that people visiting your site will remember you by what they see and what you are saying to them otherwise you will blend into the background.
Have a look at what makes you different and focus on it.
4) Focus on them, not you
One of the biggest mistakes that we see on websites and marketing again and again ( and again and again!) is that businesses focus on themselves and not on the students and how you can help them.
We’ve all met someone that all they do is talk about themselves, it can get a little boring after a while right? Well, the same goes for websites. Whilst you do need to let your site visitors know a bit about yourselves, your focus should be on what you can do for them. How you can help them, what they can expect and why you will be better for them than anywhere else. If you focus on these points, you have a pretty winning formulation.
5) Call To Actions
Find a way to give to the people visiting your site in exchange for something from them… their contact details. It could be as simple as giving away a course guide in exchange for an email address or giving something more valuable such as a career advice session in exchange for their name, number and email address. By capturing these details, it will allow you to build up a valuable database of potential students to allow you to continue to market to.
YOUR time. Don’t underestimate how much time and effort you need to build a website. I guarantee it will take longer than you think- it still catches me out and I’ve lost track of the number of websites I have built now!
You should start with a plan of how you want your website to look and an idea of the structure and layout, look at the platform that you want to use- such as WordPress or some other platform. You should create your content and the copy that you need to use. You need to look at integrations and you will be using them, such as Axcelerate and any LMS’s you will be using. Once you have all the strategy and content complete, you should move on to the build of the site- which can often take the longest amount of time!
It’s all well and good having a fancy new website that looks great and is talking to your potential students but don’t let all the hard work go down the drain by not having a traffic strategy.
You could have the greatest shop on the street but if there is no-one walking through your door then it is all going to waste.
Consider Google Ads, Facebook advertising and simple blogging as a starting point to get your name out there. Any or all of these are valuable ways to drive traffic to your website. From there you could look at more complex and integrated campaigns such as Inbound Marketing to have a complete solution to build up a library of useful information.
Whether you are a complete beginner or more experienced with website platforms and building your site, I hope these points help steer you in the right direction with your new website.
Ready to get going? Have a look at our e-book 30 Greatest Lead Tips, Tricks and Ideas