Does Your School Website Make the Grade?

School and School District Websites need to Meet ADA Section 508 Standards

The ADA is the Americans with Disabilities Act, and there is a section of this act that deals with websites for publicly funded schools. Whether your school or school district has an old website or a freshly designed one, chances are you aren’t aware of standards that are supposed to be met by all school websites in the country. Having a fresh design may help with some of those standards but it’s likely that you have certain compliance items that you didn’t even know about. We can help. Here’s a short to do list of items you should definitely address regarding the ADA Section 508 and other standards.

School Websites Should be Accessible to People with Disabilities

School Website ComplianceBased on the Section 508, publicly funded school websites need to be easily accessible to people with disabilities. The laws for 508 can be found HERE. W3C or the World Wide Web Consortium has a great article to help you understand what this means. From this article you will see that the idea is to provide insight to people on the things that people run into on the web that give them problems and helps provide solutions for them at the same time. Do you know if your school or school district website is doing this? We can help you find out!

School Websites Should Display Their Anti-Bullying Documentation on Their Website

Each state’s laws regarding bullying are different. You can CLICK HERE to find out what the laws are in your state. You can add your policy to the header or footer of your website to it is easily accessible to everyone, on every page.

School Websites Should Display Their Non-Discrimination Policy on Their Website

Just like the Anti-Bullying documentation, Non-Discrimination Policies vary as well. School websites should display their policy on their website and again, it is wise to put it in the header or footer so that it can be found easily on each page of the website.

School Websites Should Display Their State Definition of a Homeless Student

Again, each state has a different definition of what a homeless student is. We work very frequently with Illinois and Iowa schools on their websites. Here are links to the laws for Illinois and Iowa:

This should also be displayed so that it can be easy to find on the school website.

Translation Services Are a Suggested Item for School Websites

A language translation option on your website is highly recommended. This should be placed somewhere on your website that people can see when they first come to your website and be on every page. We recommend placing this in the header of the website. When you add a translate feature to your school website it shows that you are inclusive of all of your users by making your website easy to understand by everyone.

To Sum it Up, School Website Should be for Everyone

school websites should be easy for everyone to useFor many, the school or school district website for their child is a first impression of that school or school district. It is also the first impression for people thinking of moving to a community if they have a student. You need it to follow laws such as the ADA Section 508, but you also want to make sure it is easy to use for all, easy to understand by all, and inclusive to everyone. While not required a great design and ease of use is much appreciated by visitors, and surely staff as well!

Websites to Impress can help you maneuver through these laws and help you make sure that your school website is meeting any laws that are required.

To learn more, call 309-489-0026.

Buyer Beware of SEO Promises

Be Skeptical of SEO’ers Making 1st Page Promises

By: Cindy Whiteman

As the SEO Manager at Websites to Impress, more and more frequently I have been having an email like this sent to me by my clients:

Have YOU gotten an email from "The Best SEO Guy Ever"?My name is “BEST SEO GUY EVER”, SEO expert of a Leading SEO service provider company. As per my analysis, your website is not performing well in the Google organic search as well as your traffic / visitor is poor from the last couple of months due to some of the reasons.

Some of the aspects are given below:

  • Your back links are not good enough, which affects link popularity.
  • Some of the competitive Keywords are not on the first page of Google, Yahoo and Bing, which affects visibility.
  • Errors and issues found in your website.
  • Good Blogs, Articles and Press Release are not found for your website.
  • Your website overall SEO score affected due to no online promotion.
  • Your website generates less traffic as compare to your competitor.
  • Presence of low quality inbound link.
  • Never utilizing your Google analytics and webmaster.

Areas of Improvement:

  • We will give you 1st page ranking on Google, Yahoo and Bing.
  • Improve your sales and brand value.
  • We will recover from the recent Google Penguin 4.0 updates.
  • We will provide you high quality Blogs, Articles and Press Release for your website.
  • Increase your traffic flow.
  • Target your local as well as global market to increase business.

We will be optimizing your website in the major search engines like: Google, Yahoo & Bing, which results in improvements in keyword ranking, traffic, link popularity, goal conversion, and ROI from the first month.
Kind Regards,
“BEST SEO GUY EVER”
SEO Consultant

I’m here to tell you that this is a LOT of promises and information with nothing to back it up. Let me explain.

The Proof is in the Facts and DetailsQuestions you should ask about SEO

First off, NO ONE can promise first page of Google, Bing, or Yahoo. Algorithms for search engines change constantly and there is no guarantee you will be on the the first page, especially when they don’t even mention for what keyword.  So how to do you handle an email like the one above?

First off, ask questions – What errors are occurring for my site? What keywords are they saying you should target and be on the first page for? How are they seeing a decline in traffic when the only way to tell that is through Bing Webmaster Tools or Google Analytics which they have no access to? What is the name of their company even? What tools do you use to improve brand awareness?

Secondly, take all of this with a grain of salt. These types of emails are mass emails they send out trying to get clients in the door. The proof is in data that they aren’t providing you in that email. Websites to Impress has a keyword ranking report based on the keywords we have determined as important for your business to show where you are ranking in the top three search engines for each month. We can track both forms that are filled out on your website and calls that come to your website through search engines so we can literally provide you with a cost per lead for your SEO dollars. You can even see a breakdown of what search engines are sending your callers, on what day of the weekend and what time of day. You can get an idea of what your cost per lead should be by industry to see where you fall. I can tell you that for our SEO clients you can’t beat the return on investment because the cost per lead is always lower than the industry standard, especially if you stick with SEO over time.

The fact of the matter is that with SEO, nothing is certain. But what we DO know is that by constantly researching the latest SEO methods and by monitoring algorithm changes we can make a difference for your website and your bottom line with search engine optimization. So ask questions, even of us. What keywords would we target? What are the current SEO methods? Do you use Google Analytics and Search Console? (called “Webmaster Tools” in the old days and oddly still mentioned in the email above! Oh, and by the way we are Google Analytics and Adwords CERTIFIED!)

Lastly, make sure that your SEO Team can provide return on investment in the form of solid numbers of leads. That means tracking form fills, calls, and other events to SHOW you return on the investment. Believe me, we are passionate about SEO here at Websites to Impress. We want to show you how it works! Call us today with your questions. We are ready for you!