Start with Twitter: Monitoring #SchoolStories

The thing I really like about Twitter is the speed with which information reaches me. You find out things from Twitter long before theyโ€™re on the news.

That, I think, is valuable.
— Salman Rushdie, author

Twitter is an incredible asset for schools using social media. It offers users a quick and intuitively simple way to share #SchoolStories as they happen.

Having a sound strategy in place, and a willingness from all teaching staff to use the platform, Twitter can be the place parents go to to see all the amazing things that happen at your school each and every day ๐Ÿ‘

School Wide #SchoolStories

Most schools have a presence on Twitter. Most of the time this will take shape in 2/3 different accounts:

  1. main school
  2. sport / PE
  3. head / principal 

This is great - it gives your school three different outlets to share #SchoolStories from.

But what if we began to extend this? What if parents wanted to see more of what is happening in the drama department, or were interested in all the trips your school goes on each year? So we create a drama account - maintained by your drama teacher(s) - and a school trips account. Now let's take this further - why should any subject be exempt? (TOP TIP: they shouldn't!!!)

ย 

Imagine this...

It's the middle of the school-day. Lessons are happening all across your school. Now freeze that moment!

If you were to walk around and look at everything you'd be seeing 20, 30, 40 different #SchoolStories. It might be a pupil sinking a sweet 3-pointer in sports; your chemistry teacher burning different elements to produce a rainbow of flames; a pupil nailing a guitar solo in band practice; your head / principal delivering an incredible speech. It could be many, many things!

These are all #SchoolStories that your community will want to see and share. But how do you share all of these stories - you can't possibly be everywhere at once?!!

The answer is simple: TWITTER ๐Ÿ˜

In having Twitter set up in this way you are facilitating the sharing element. For an investment of just 30 seconds your staff...and your school...can share awesome #SchoolStories as they happen throughout the day.

ย 

It's a marketing goldmine - it just needs to be well implemented!

Learn more about social media strategy from your friendly, neighbourhood prospectors - we will come to you and train your staff ๐Ÿ˜Ž.

What do I share?

Composing a Tweet is not - and never should be - a time-consuming act. This is the guiding principle behind Twitter and explains why characters are limited to just 140. 

It is also why Twitter is such a good platform for sharing stories and news on. In fact, with regards to news, it is often the first place most people go to see breaking stories! Traditional news outlets (i.e. news channels) just cannot keep pace with the world of social media and, particularly, Twitter. 

Here is a simple #SchoolStory template, to help boost your Tweet game:

  • WRITE WORDS (always a good place to start!): What is the subject / point of the Tweet? 
  • CONDENSE THOSE WORDS: No time for essays: how can you condense it down?
  • ADD MEDIA: Social is more and more about the visual game! If you are Tweeting about the awesome nativity play your school has just put on then show the awesome nativity play your school has just put on! Add media such as photos or short videos
  • TAG YOUR TWEET: This is where we often see schools fall down. Using tags (#hashtags in Twitter's case) is a perfect way to categorise and archive what you share. For example: click this hashtag to see how the school uses it across their different subjects and year groups ๐Ÿ‘‰ #BSAKinnovation.

THE GOOD TWEET GALLERY: Note the content & hashtags used ๐Ÿ‘

All hashtags are followable - clicking on any of them will direct you to a wall filled with Tweets that contain that particular hashtag. Use school name / acronym / nickname as a prefix to keep them "branded" to your school.

With a good hashtag strategy in place, you are able to accurately categorise your content more effectively. These categories can include:

  • year groups - #intSchoolsYear6 | #intSchoolsNursery
  • departments#intSchoolsHistory | #intSchoolsDrama
  • types of sport / activity - #intSchoolsBasketball | #intSchoolsBookClub
  • school principles / strap-line#intSchoolsWebsite | #intSchoolsCreative | #intSchoolsSocial

How to monitor #SchoolStories

As your school's marketer, knowing how to monitor these Tweets is essential. Yes, when it comes to Twitter, you are handing the reigns over to your teaching colleagues - but you need to keep them on track, and on-brand! 

There are plenty of tools to help you with this - understandably having to watch over 30+ Twitter accounts can be something of a task! That is why you want something to make this as simple as possible.

Enter TweetDeck - hands down our favourite tool for Twitter monitoring. With a small amount of investment and knowledge, you can have TweetDeck set up to monitor and actually control all those accounts at your school. It is invaluable!

Click to enlarge

Read our comprehensive guide on managing your Twitter accounts using TweetDeck.

ย 

There we have it - how to share (and monitor) top #SchoolStories with Twitter. We are huge fans of what Twitter can offer schools and believe that with the right knowledge and strategy in place, it will be a platform to really promote your school.

Schools - don't miss out or get left behind!

WE CAN HELP WITH THIS (and more)!!! 

If you are interested in Twitter and how it can help market your school get in touch to talk to us about social media training or marketing strategy. Through understanding and effective use, Twitter and social media in general allows you to really โœจSTAND OUTโœจ from your competitors. 

As always - we love to keep the conversation flowing. Please do leave comments about what you have read or thoughts on the Twitter game below. โœŒ๏ธ

ย 

Google Analytics: Getting started

The goal is to turn data into information, and information into insight.
— Carly Fiorina, Business Leader

Do you ever sit at your desk and think:

  • How many people are visiting our school site?
  • Where do these people live? How old are they? What interests do they have?
  • Do they view our school site on mobile devices?
  • How do they find our school website? Is it Google? Or Mumsnet? Or social media?
  • What pages on our school site are the most popular? What pages are the least popular?
  • Is there a way to quickly see how many enquiries we had this week, month or year?

If you can say yes to any of the above then the answer is simple: Google Analytics.

What is Google Analytics?

Google Analytics is a free service offered by Google to help track and report on website traffic. Any school website can have Google Analytics tracking their site - and should!

Why Google Analytics?

Google Analytics allows you to see who is visiting your site, what pages are viewed the most, how many people send enquiries and how visitors find you. This is all essential data to help define your marketing strategy. 

In all likelihood your school website will have Google Analytics - it has become part and parcel of website building. However, we find that many schools are either unaware of this or simply don't know how to use it.

INTERESTED IN LEARNING MORE ABOUT GOOGLE & SOCIAL ANALYTICS? JOIN OUR FREE MASTERCLASSES ACROSS THE UK THIS JUNE & JULY.

BOOK YOUR #intSchoolsLIVE TICKET NOW!

Setting up Google Analytics

If you're unsure whether or not you have Google Analytics account linked to your school website you should first approach your website agency.

They should give you access (you will need a Google account - i.e Gmail). Liaise between your website provider and your school's IT team to ensure that everything is set up as it should be ๐Ÿ‘

Google Analytics should always be owned / administered by the school - do not let your agency take your analytics data away with them, should you part ways!

Data! Data! Data! I canโ€™t make bricks without clay.
— Sherlock Holmes

Google Analytics: Glossary

There is a lot you can do on Google Analytics (far too much to put into a single blog post).

However, we find that a lot of newcomers to the analytics game get stuck on the terminologies. We have compiled a glossary of typical terms to help you better understand the platform.

  • Account: the "top-level" where everything sits. If you have two school websites (i.e. individual sites for the junior and senior schools) you will likely have one account that administers both websites (aka Properties)
  • Average Session Duration: the average amount of time visitors spend on your site. This does not count time spent on the last page viewed during a Session
  • Bounce: when a visitor to your site exits on the same page they visit (i.e. they have not "explored" your site)
    • TOP TIP: these are often considered as negative but consider why someone has come to your site
    • For example: someone might want to know your school term dates. They Google term dates at [your school] - click the top results (your term dates page) - get the info they need and leave. This is a Bounce but the user has taken exactly what they need from you site
  • Bounce Rate: the percentage of Sessions with a single-page view
  • Conversion: when a Goal or purchase is made during a visit to your site. You are able to set your own Goals (i.e. you might want to analyse how many people fill out an enquiry form)
  • Direct: traffic that comes to your site by directly typing your school site's URL into their browser
  • Entrance: the first page that a visitor to your site sees. This is useful to assess the main pages users want to see; that are generally searched for on a search engine
  • Event: a custom interaction from your website that can be tracked (i.e. how many times an embedded video is played)
  • Filter: filters can be applied to help define your reports - so you can start to really nail down what you want to see in your data
  • Goal: used to assess a desired action / conversion on your site. Typical Goals for schools include:
    • email newsletter sign ups
    • Contact Us form filled out
    • Enquiry / Admissions form filled out
  • Hit: any action is known as a Hit on Google Analytics (i.e. each visit to your Homepage is a Hit / each play of a video is a Hit)
  • Keyword: shows the keywords people use when searching for your site
    • For example: you are a Prep school in Windsor. Keywords may include Prep / Windsor / Junior / school / Berkshire and so on
  • Landing Page: the first page viewed during a Session (i.e. the Entrance page)
  • Lookback Window: allows you to determine specific dates when looking back at data (this is defaulted to 30 days)
  • Metric: one of two types of data analysed. A Metric is typically a number (i.e. a count or percentage)
    • New User: a new visitor to your site (i.e. they have never been on your site before).
      • Note: Google Analytics tracks by ID and cookies, so generally a New User is noted per device
    • Organic: is when someone visits your site from a free link (i.e. not from paid advertising / PPC)
    • Page: the part of your URL that follows your Domain. 
    • Pages Per Session: the average of how many Pages are viewed during a Session
    • Pageview: reported when a Page is viewed by a visitor to your website
    • Previous Page Path: allows you to determine the Page (on your website) that was viewed immediately before another Page during a Session
    • Property: "second-level" on Google Analytics. A Property will generally be a website but can include other things such as Apps. See Account for more details
    • Referral: when someone is directed to your site from another third-party website. Under the Referral area you can see all the domains that are directing traffic to your site - a very handy tool to determine how people are finding you
    • Search Query: the actual term somebody used in a search engine before clicking through to your website
    • Search Term: if your website has a search function you can configure these reports to show what terms people are using on your website
    • Segment: when viewing / compiling reports you can create Segments to filter data that is (or is not) included in your reports
    • Session: a single visit to your site that is made up of two or more Pageviews (remember if a visitor enters one Page and leaves on the same Page it is counted as a Bounce)
    • Tracking ID: in order to send Hits to the appropriate Property, a Tracking ID is included in the tracking code.
      • They always start UA, followed by a set of numbers (i.e. UA-1234567-1)
    • Unique Pageview: counts a page once, even if it was viewed multiple times within a single session.
      • For example: if someone lands on your Homepage, then views About Us, before navigating back to your Homepage, the homepage would have 1 unique Pageview (even though the page was viewed twice during the session)
    • User: an individual person browsing your website (aka Visitor)
    • User Explorer: allows you to view the cookie IDs that have been created in peopleโ€™s browsers
    • User Flow: this report is a visual representation of how users navigate and interact with your website (i.e. the paths they take when exploring your site) 
    • User ID: a unique identifier used to combine Sessions from a known person on your website (i.e. so you can see how many times a User visits your site over a period of time)

    We can help!!!

    Google Analytics is a big undertaking. It is easy to get lost among the numbers - but we are here to offer a guiding route to data Nirvana ๐Ÿ˜‚ . Get in touch to discuss our digital marketing packages.

    ย 

    Phew! There we have it. You now have the tools to start you on your analysing ways. We'd love to hear your thoughts or questions on this article. Please add comments below ๐Ÿ—ฃ

    The language of teens: A glossary

    Wagwan Piff Ting ๐Ÿ˜ (Donโ€™t worry, we havenโ€™t just insulted you!!) Thanks for taking the time to read our sick blog post about teen language. We think itโ€™s totally on fleek and we hope you do too!

    If there are a few words or phrases in the paragraph above that you donโ€™t understand - DONโ€™T WORRY! ๐Ÿ˜Š  In all honesty, some of this post might as well be written in another language (some might say that it actually isโ€ฆ๐Ÿ˜’) so we here at Interactive Schools thought it might be a good idea ๐Ÿ’ก to put together a glossary of words and terms that teens today are using.

    Much in the same way any language evolves, so too can this glossary. We will continue adding to it and if you happen to come across some words or terms yourself - then tell us! We want to know and so too will your contemporaries and parents ๐Ÿ’ช 

    Just think - you need never walk down your school corridors again and wonder what Sophie in year 8 just said to Tom! ๐Ÿค”

    Changes and additions to the English language are nothing new (after all, none of us are still talking like Chaucer), but teens have always been at the forefront of these linguistic shifts. There are some who consider themselves Prescriptivists ๐Ÿ‘Ž and think that the constant shifts in language are detrimental to the core of linguistics, meanwhile Descriptivists ๐Ÿ‘ observe the change in language and see the constant shift as exciting ๐Ÿ˜ฌ

    The English language is like London: proudly barbaric yet deeply civilised, too, common yet royal, vulgar yet processional, sacred yet profane.
    — Stephen Fry

    At @intSchools we are definitely more in line with the latter way of thinking. Whether you are for or against the evolution of our language it is something that will continue to happen. It is up to us to ensure that we keep up with these changes. As a teacher and/or parent, it will always pay to stay abreast of the way in which the younger generations are communicating and which platforms they are adopting in order to stay in touch with each other ๐Ÿ‘ซ

    Adults trying to keep up with teen trends be like...

    Adults trying to keep up with teen trends be like...

    So take some time to have a look at the list we have compiled. You never know, you might find some language here that you are happy to incorporate into you third period maths lesson. Go on! You know your students will โค๏ธ it!


    Acc

    Abbreviated form of the word 'actually'
    (Adverb)

    "I acc canโ€™t believe we have so much Geoggers homework. Why did he have to set soooo much? Mr Jones is sooooo grim"

    ย 

    Aired

    When someone ignores you, they are said to have 'aired you'
    (Verb)

    "Can you believe Sophie? She totally aired me back there. I swear i'm done with her peakness ๐Ÿ˜ท ๐Ÿ‘Ž ๐Ÿ’ฉ "

    ย 

    Bรฆ

    Your best friend or person you are in in a relationship with. The person or people you put Before. Anyone. Else.
    (Noun)

    "Abbie, youโ€™re totally my Bรฆ for life ๐Ÿ˜˜ ๐Ÿ” ๐ŸŒ "

    ย 

    Bare Jokes

    Very funny
    (Adjective)

    "Oml Connor, you're bare funny. You got me proper creasing ๐Ÿ˜‚ ๐Ÿ˜‚ ๐Ÿ˜‚ "

    ย 

    ย 

    Bait

    A person or behaviour that is patently obvious to anyone around them
    (Adjective)

    "Oml Matt! Stop copying from me. You're being proper bait - I'm not getting in trouble because of you ๐Ÿ˜ก โœ‹ "

    ย 

    Bezzo

    Someone you would consider to be one of your best friends
    (Noun)

    "Robyn is my bezzo. She was there when I tripped up the Science Block stairs and she didn't tell anyone! Bezzo for life ๐Ÿ˜˜ ๐Ÿ” ๐ŸŒโ€™"

    ย 

    ย 

    Bruddah

    The name given to someone you consider a close friend, almost like a brother
    (Noun)

    "I know George. We play for the same football team. Heโ€™s alright, he's my Bruddah"

    ย 

    Bruh

    Something you say when you are really fed up of something

    "Bruh, I'm so done with my mum and dad always telling me what to do ๐Ÿ‘ฉ ๐Ÿ‘ฑ ๐Ÿšซ ๐Ÿ˜ด "

    ย 

    ย 

    Cba

    Acronym for 'Can't Be Arsed'. Something you would reply with when asked to do something you do not want to do

    "Iโ€™m meant to be cleaning my room today but I really cba ๐Ÿ˜ด ๐Ÿ‘Ž โœ‹"

    ย 

    Chatting Breeze

    When someone is lying or talking rubbish, they are considered to be chatting breeze

    "Ava needs to stop chatting so much breeze already. Gonna change her name to Pinocchio pretty soon ๐Ÿคฅ โœ‹ ๐Ÿ˜ด "

    ย 

    ย 

    Chirps

    Chatting someone up. Contextually more relevant to chatting up a female. i.e Chirpsing the birds from the trees
    (Verb)

    "Gwarn Ethan, chirpsing the girls ๐Ÿ˜˜ ๐Ÿฅ "

    ย 

    ...chose

    Normally found in the comment section under an Instagram post. Someone shares a number of pictures of themselves  to their friends. The friends then reach a consensus and advise the original sender of the selfie that they should post to their Instagram feed

    [Posts photo to Instagram with comment]
    "Faves chose ๐Ÿ‘ฏ ๐Ÿ˜˜ ๐Ÿ” ๐ŸŒ "

    ย 

    Creasing

    Laughing very hard. Finding something really funny
    (Verb)

    "Oml! That video you sent me in History got me creasing so bad ๐Ÿ˜‚ ๐Ÿ˜‚ ๐Ÿ˜‚ "

    ย 

    ย 

    Dank

    A word used to describe something that is considered โ€˜sexyโ€™ or good. Similar in meaning to the word โ€˜Pengโ€™
    (Adjective)

    "Oml I need those trainers. Theyโ€™re proper dank. I'm gonna get my Mum to get them for me ๐Ÿ˜ โค๏ธ ๐Ÿ‘Œ "

    ย 

    Donny

    See: G
    (Noun)

    ย 

    Faves

    Your favourite group of people. The people that are closest to you and in your Squad. The people you roll with
    (Noun)

    "Hanging with my Faves down the park today ๐Ÿ” ๐ŸŒ ๐Ÿ˜˜ โ˜€๏ธ "

    ย 

    Filter

    Related to Instagram and Snapchat. Photographic lenses. On Instagram, filters can make your pictures look vintage or black and white for example. On Snapchat, filters can be overlaid in app to make you look a certain way, for instance, like a cute rabbit or a giraffe with glasses
    (Noun)

    "Iโ€™m so glad they brought back the crown filter. It makes me look proper peng๐Ÿ‘Œ ๐Ÿ‘‘"

    ย 

    Gwarn

    Literally means 'go on'. Normally used as a positive response to a friend or someone you find attractive
    (Verb)

    "Gwarn Sadie, with your peng self ๐Ÿ‘Œ ๐Ÿ˜"

    ย 

    Grim

    Something that is considered nasty, bad or not good
    (Adjective)

    "Ewwwww I hate my school uniform. Why is it so bare grim? ๐Ÿ˜ซ ๐Ÿ˜ท "

    ย 

    G

    A term used for someone you consider a close friend.
    See: Bruddah
    (Noun)

    "Yeah James is a really good friend of mine. Heโ€™s a proper G ๐Ÿ’ช"

    ย 

    ILYSM

    Acronym for โ€˜I love you so muchโ€™

    [Posts picture to Instagram]
    Friend: "Oml Ella youโ€™re acc so gorge ๐Ÿ˜ "
    You: "Awwww Phoebe ๐Ÿ˜Œ ILYSM ๐Ÿ˜˜ "

    ย 

    Insta

    Short for Instagram
    (Noun)

    "Heโ€™s liked so many photos on my Insta. I wonder if he likes me? ๐Ÿค” ๐Ÿ™Š "

    ย 

    Linking

    When you repeatedly talk and flirt with someone specific with a view to them becoming your boyfriend or girlfriend
    (Verb)

    "Itโ€™s pretty obvious that youโ€™re gonna go out...youโ€™re proper linking ๐Ÿ™Š ๐Ÿ˜ฌ "

    ย 

    Licked

    Someone who is very drunk
    (Verb)

    "Oml, she's proper licked. Someone needs to take her home ๐Ÿ™„ ๐Ÿ™ˆ ๐Ÿ˜ฎ "

    ย 

    Lit

    Normally in relation to a party or event that is really good or something that is popping
    (Adjective)

    "This party is lit fam. I never want it to end ๐Ÿ’ก ๐Ÿ™Œ  ๐Ÿ˜ "

    ย 

    Locked

    See: Padlock emoji ๐Ÿ”

    ย 

    Nrs

    Abbreviation of the term 'No Replies'. Generally used on Snapchat. Can be added to a Snap when someone's data has run out but they are not able to access WiFi and can therefore not send Snaps back and forth between people

    [Posts snap to Snapchat]
    "Nrs. No data ๐Ÿ˜ ๐Ÿšซ "

    ย 

    On Fleek

    Something that looks really good. Something that has turned out exactly the way you wanted
    (Adjective)

    "Chloe your eyebrows are totally on fleek. How do you get them like that? Iโ€™m so jealous ๐Ÿ˜ฎ โค๏ธ "

    ย 

    Oml

    Acronym for Oh my life. Would be used interchangeably with phrases like, โ€˜Oh my daysโ€™ or โ€˜Oh my godโ€™

    "Oml, I cannot deal with my Mum today โœ‹  She wonโ€™t stop having a go at me about doing my homework ๐Ÿ˜ด ๐Ÿ˜ซ "

    ย 

    Padlock (emoji) ๐Ÿ”

    Someone in your life you consider locked down and loyal to you. Can be used for both friendships and relationships. See: Locked
    (Adjective)

    "ILYSM Abbie, youโ€™re my Bรฆ for life ๐Ÿ” ๐ŸŒ "

    ย 

    Peak

    Something that is considered bad, not good. See: Grim
    (Adjective)

    "Ahhh man this weather is peak. I wanted to go out with my Faves but the rain will ruin my hair ๐Ÿ˜ซ ๐Ÿ˜ก "

    ย 

    Peng

    Something that is considered sexy or good. See: Dank
    (Adjective)

    "Oi oi! Youโ€™re well peng ๐Ÿ˜ ๐Ÿ˜˜"

    ย 

    Piff Ting

    Someone who is considered an attractive person
    Adjective/Noun

    "Wagwan piff ting ๐Ÿ˜ You is looking peng! ๐Ÿ‘Œ"

    ย 

    Popping

    See: Lit ๐Ÿ”ฅ

    ย 

    Roll

    Means to go somewhere, normally with your Squad or your Faves
    (Verb)

    "Me and my Faves are gonna roll down town later today ๐Ÿ‘ฏ ๐Ÿ‘ฏโ€โ™‚๏ธ. Who's gonna be there too? ๐Ÿค” ๐Ÿ˜œ ๐Ÿ˜ฌ "

    ย 

    Sick

    Something that is considered good
    (Adjective)

    "Had such a sick weekend round my Bezzo's house. Same time next week, yeah ๐Ÿ˜‚ ๐Ÿ˜‚ ๐Ÿ˜‚ ?"

    ย 

    Slay

    To slay at something is to do it well
    (Adverb)

    "Oml, I watched you in your dance show the other week. Slaying for days Bรฆ ๐Ÿ‘‘ ๐Ÿ’ƒ ๐Ÿ™Œ "

    ย 

    Snap

    A photo taken on your phone using Snapchat that involves using filters and other effects before sharing with a friend (Streak), or posting to your Story for everyone to see for 24 hours
    (Noun)

    "I swear I've sent soooooo many snaps today, my Faves must think I'm Kim K ๐Ÿ™„ ๐Ÿ˜‚ "

    ย 

    Squad

    Your friendship circle or those you consider closest and most loyal to you
    (Noun)

    "Me and my squad are rolling down the dip today. Whoโ€™s coming too? ๐Ÿ™‹ ๐Ÿ™‹๐Ÿปโ€โ™‚๏ธ ๐Ÿ•ถ "

    ย 

    Streaks

    Streaks refer to Snapchat and represent the snap streak someone has with a friend. To produce a streak someone will have had to sent snaps back and forth with someone at least once every 24 hours.

    Streaks are produced after snaps are sent between two people for three or more days and are represented by the Fire emoji and the number your streak has currently reached
    (Noun)

    "I'm not coming out tonight or I'll lose my phone privileges again - I'm not losing my streaks again! ๐Ÿ‘Ž โœ‹ ๐Ÿ™ˆ "

    ย 

    That's long

    See: Cba

    ย 

    ...told me too

    See: ...chose

    ย 

    Wagwan

    Literally means โ€˜What is going on?โ€™, โ€˜Whatโ€™s up?โ€™, or โ€˜Helloโ€™

    "Wagwan G ๐Ÿ’ช You coming down the park today? ๐Ÿ˜Ž "

    ย 

    World (emoji) ๐ŸŒ

    Someone who means the world to you. Those closest in your life and who you believe to be most loyal. See: Padlock (emoji)
    (Adjective)

    [Posts picture to Instagram]
    โ€˜Me and my Bรฆsโ€™ ๐ŸŒ ๐Ÿ”

    ย 

    Yanno

    Basically means โ€˜you knowโ€™

    โ€˜Yanno ๐Ÿ™‹ I want to be able to go to that party at the weekend. So got to get on Mum and Dadโ€™s good side ๐Ÿ˜ต ๐Ÿ˜‘ โ€™


    There you have it, the beginning of @intSchools Teen Glossary. As the language of your pupils continues to evolve, we will endeavour to add to this ever expanding list.

    Hmm...๐Ÿค” maybe there's a term you have heard that is not represented here, or maybe youโ€™re under the impression that the meaning of a word or phrase included here is different to your understanding? If so, then great - we want to hear from you ๐Ÿ“ฃ

    We hope that by producing this post, weโ€™ve gone some way to making the pupils in your school a little easier to understand...

    SEO: Why is it important for your school website?

    SEO is not something you do anymore. Itโ€™s what happens when you do everything else right.
    — Chad Pollitt, author, international speaker & marketing professor

    What is SEO?

    SEO stands for Search Engine Optimisation. In a nutshell, it is the name given to an activity that looks to improve ranking on a search engine.

    We live in the world where search engines are close to infallible! For most, Google is the first, and sometimes only, place we go to find companies, products and information. The first few results are often the only results people will react to. 

    This means if your school website does not rank highly on a search engine you are losing business. 

    We find the average school website receives 65-70% of traffic from search. 95% of that traffic coming from Google. Thatโ€™s a LOT of traffic from one single source.

    This makes it all the more more essential to understand and implement SEO in your content marketing.

    How does SEO work?

    Search engines, such as Google, are all about providing users with the most relevant and authoritative pages. To be ranked higher on search engines you need to optimise your content. 

    Rules that previously applied to optimising your website are no longer the case. The largest shift has been moving away from keywords and a focus on quality content. This works in your favour as producing quality content should be a priority in your marketing!

    In terms of SEO this translates this ideology:

    • produce quality content on your site
    • share quality content (i.e. on social media, in newsletters, in blogs)
    • get people to share this content which links back to your site.

    It's all cyclical! The more your content gets shared > the more authority your site gets > the higher it ranks!

    HOWEVER!

    It is not quite as simple as this! Sorry ๐Ÿ˜ฃ The way content is built, coded and labelled on your website also has a large part to play.

    Here are a few technical considerations to ask yourself about your website:

    • Does it have a fast load time? Search engines likes delivering speed - so if your site has lots of imagery that isn't compressed and affects loading speed this will be flagged as a negative.
    • Is your site secure? The simplest way to check this is to see if your site is https (you can see this at the start of your URL).
    • Is your site mobile friendly? Google has already declared that the not so far future of their search engine will be tailored for mobile. How does your site look on a mobile? Is it responsive (does the window adapt to the screen size)?
    • Are you tracking behaviour on your website? How can you possibly understand and assess how your website is working if you are not using tracking tools (i.e. Google Analytics)?

    Visitors (to your site)

    We categorise visitors into three types of people:

    • Those who want to find your school specifically (they know who you are) - "British School in the Netherlands"
    • Those who are looking for a school like yours, but are not aware of you - "British schools in The Hague"
    • Those who are looking for something on your website โ€“ โ€œterm dates for British School in the Netherlandsโ€

    SEO to find your school name

    Most search traffic is from โ€˜branded searchesโ€™ - searches containing your specific brand name. These visitors may be existing parents/pupils, or they may be prospects searching for more about your school.

    SEO to find a school

    These visitors are high value traffic, as they will most likely be prospect parents looking for a school but have not made a decision. By being high up on searches you will not only receive a high amount of traffic but you will also build reputation. Searchers innately trust a search engines results and being #1 acts as an endorsement by Google.

    SEO to find specific pages in a website

    Parents, pupils and prospects want the easiest route to information. To find out information about your school they will almost always use Google to instantly seek that out. If they want your address or telephone number Google will tell them within a second.

    SEO best practice

    The future of SEO will involve more about machine learning (i.e. artificial intelligence). In other words, good SEO will be content that Google and other search engines can understand and deliver to the end-user. 

    This can already be seen on Google as "rich snippets" - see the image below.

    The "Rich Snippet" can be seen at the top - information delivered based on your search term withoutย needing to click any link.ย 

    The "Rich Snippet" can be seen at the top - information delivered based on your search term without needing to click any link. 

    In much the same way, Google and search engines are now influenced by the patterns and trends coming from voice searching.

    Siri, Cortana, Google Assistant and Alexa are all changing how people search for content online. People will not search by voice the same way they would by keyboard - natural speech will influence search terms.

    On top of this location services and mobile are making searches more and more relevant to users based on where they are searching from (regardless of whether it is on keyboard or by voice).

    Having a concise strategy for structuring your content effectively is important. 

    Structuring content effectively

    Make sure your website adheres to the technical considerations above and be mindful how content is tagged on your website. You want to ensure that the machines can digest it easily. A few basic tips include:

    Quality, engaging content on your site

    Use blogs, newsletters and, of course, your social media channels as mediums for quality content. Work with your marketing team and staff to produce exciting blogs posts, share awesome #SchoolStories and inform parents/prospects/pupils on what is happening in your school.

    Social media

    Notice the information being displayed on the right - this is called the "Knowledge Panel". With effective SEO this will populate with useful information for the end user!

    Social will prove an invaluable tool for promoting your website and building brand awareness. Through social media you are:

    • building an audience, who will engage with you and link back to your site (thus improving your ranking)
    • opening other avenues to share your quality content

    For effective SEO you must have effective social media. With British School in the Netherlands (BSN), note how their social channels follow a naming convention (i.e. /BSNetherlands).

    As well as this, the channels run by BSN will all link back to their site! It is these little details that can help with SEO and marketing! 

    The bottom line with social media and SEO is that you control the message that goes out on these channels, you control (over time) what people will see on Google and search engines and you control your school's ranking as a search term.

    Take control of what potential prospects will see. Push Mumsnet conversations about your school down to second page results. Push Daily Mail articles about your school down to second page results. Stop those old reviews from 5 years ago being read!

    Control it - keep it authoritative - keep it relevant. ๐Ÿ’ช 

    WE CAN DO THIS FOR YOU!

    Mastering SEO requires practice - and we are here to help! Request our Social/SEO & Parent Comms Proposal. (< that is good SEO ๐Ÿ˜‚)

    ย 

    We hope that this article helps clear up some of the questions you may have had about SEO, and opens your eyes to the importance of it, for your school website! The bottom line is this...you want people to be able to find you with minimal effort - good SEO will facilitate this!

    As always, please do leave comments below about anything explored in this #SchoolBytes article. Thanks ๐Ÿ˜Ž

    Social Media: A key focus for school marketing

    Social media is not just a spoke on the wheel of marketing. Itโ€™s becoming the way entire bicycles are built.
    — Ryan Lilly, author

    Social media today is big, huge, mammoth, GARGANTUAN.

    It is how the vast majority of businesses in the world market and is readily available to a global audience, thanks to mobile devices. If your school is not using social media as part of your marketing you are falling behind

    We have picked several channels to highlight as TOP social media channels to build a content strategy around.

    Twitter: real-time storytelling

    Twitter has evolved to be the home of breaking news stories. It's mobile-first approach and ability to upload or link lots of types of media makes it a top channel for schools. It's real strength lies in the #SchoolStories that can be shared, as they happen! 

    If you are interested in Twitter and how it can help market your school get in touch to talk to us about social media training or marketing strategy.

    The school community at Great Ballardย - a co-ed prep school

    The school community at Great Ballard - a co-ed prep school

    What can Twitter do?

    • create a community of dedicated followers - this can be internal to your school (i.e. your teachers, heads, marketers and other staff members) AND external (i.e. parents, prospectives and other education professionals)
    • become the home of your #SchoolStories - show off all those great elements that make your school unique, and all the amazing activities your pupils get to do
    • share all sorts of media, for example: pictures, videos, LIVE-streams, audio, GIFs, resources
    • share content from other social media channels. If you have great content on YouTube - share it on Twitter! If you have just uploaded a school music concert as an album on SoundCloud - share it on Twitter! 

    Facebook: today we..

    Facebook is unmistakably the most popular social network in the world right now. We can guarantee that the majority of your community will be on Facebook. This makes it another essential channel to be on.

    As Facebook is incredibly popular, here are a few helpful tips to make your school's Facebook Page stand out.

    Click to enlarge - Hazlegrove Prep expertly reflect life at their school

    What can Facebook do?

    • extend your social reach to over 1.8 billion (and rising!) users across the world
    • share more long-form content
    • like Twitter, you can share links from other social media channels on Facebook
    • plan and create events for your Followers
    • offer a more reflective view of your school's day

    ย 

    TOP TIP:

    For many Facebook users, the channel is most used in the evenings to wind-down with (whatever happened to watching Eastenders?). Plan your posts to coincide with this - one or two great posts to reflect on a day in your school - and watch your engagement rate go up.

    YouTube: the 21st century TV

    YouTube is for video - simple as! It is the second largest search engine in the world (second to Google...who own it). 

    Schools should use YouTube to host longer videos - as a general rule of thumb, 2 minutes and over. For shorter videos, upload to your social networks (Twitter, Facebook or LinkedIn) natively.

    Create playlists to sort your videos into categories, like The British School in the Netherlands

    Create playlists to sort your videos into categories, like The British School in the Netherlands

    What can YouTube do?

    • host long-form videos (recommended: 2 mins and over)
    • show off your school through video - the most engaging way to share #SchoolStories
    • interested in blogging? YouTube is the perfect place to do vlogs (video blogs)
    • become a channel to curate great resources for schools / parents - add videos from YouTube to a playlist

    ย 

    TOP TIP:

    Create Playlists to cover the different aspects of your school life - i.e. sports, drama, modern languages, trips and so on - and use channels such as Twitter or Facebook to share out to your community.

    Instagram: authentic life at your school

    Instagram's considerable popularity with its core demographic (16 - 24 year olds) makes it an invaluable channel for the younger generation...your school's future prospectives. 

    The charm of Instagram comes from its purely visual content - and offers your school an opportunity to promote all the amazing, authentic things that happen daily. This is a channel you should be using to share the best of from your school.

    Click to enlarge - authentic #SchoolStories from St George's Ascot

    Flickr: an online gallery

    Flickr is similar to Instagram in as far as it is for photos and videos. However, the sheer storage space available with a free Flickr account (1TB!) makes it the best place for your school to host all its photography.

    Kings Bruton have nicely organised albums into school events

    Kings Bruton have nicely organised albums into school events

    Create albums to divide your pics into events and share out on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn. You are unlikely to get lots of followers in Flickr itself - however you will get better engagement when you share your galleries to your community. 

    SoundCloud: listen to this

    Purely for audio and a must for your music department! Record performances and upload the audio to SoundCloud to give your community an alternative media source to engage with.

    Click to enlarge - Alleyn Court Prep School use SoundCloud for performances and their pupil-run radio ๐Ÿ‘

    TOP TIP: Your school is putting on a music concert! To reach more parents you decide to LIVE-stream the evening (Facebook LIVE or Periscope on Twitter). Once the evening is done you save the concert and upload the video to YouTube - to be shared again on your social networks or even shared out in your newsletter. You also take the audio and upload to SoundCloud as an album. Nice! From one recording you have created two different media types, and so given it greater reach across your community.

    LinkedIn: professional networking & alumni relations

    LinkedIn is primarily for professional networking but should not be overlooked - particularly if you are a senior school. It offers a great opportunity to stay in touch with your alumni for one!

    LinkedIn is also a brilliant place for sharing blog articles - they get good engagement on LinkedIn - and sharing resources pertaining to your industry or facilitating discussion.

    Click to enlarge - maintain alumni relations like Surbiton High School

    ย 

    Tools for monitoring

    No content strategy for social media would be complete without the facility to actually monitor your content, and analyse its impact.

    Thankfully there are plenty of tools out there to help you manage this more efficiently. Here are some of our recommendations.

    ย 

    Social media offers so much for schools. We hope that this article has helped inspire some new uses for schools to share their unique #SchoolStories. Please do leave comments below - let's get social about social ๐Ÿ˜