Whether you offer physical classes in a specific location or you operate entirely online, your website is a crucial tool for attracting new students to your language school.
It’s one of the only platforms that requires little work once it’s up, and it can generate incredible results at an incredibly low cost. But reaching the point where you can trust your website to attract and convert new students around the clock takes a lot of research, preparation and careful planning.
Here are 7 steps you should take to write effective copy for your language school website.
Step 1: Conduct market research
Writing high-converting website copy starts with a solid understanding of your target audience and your competition.
There are MILLIONS of language school websites out there claiming they can help students speak ‘confidently’ or ‘fluently’ or ‘reach the next level’. The key is to figure out what makes YOU different.
Think: What does your school have that others don’t? What makes you the perfect choice for your ideal students?
If you can’t answer these questions right now, that’s okay. Read this guide to finding your unique selling proposition as a language business.
Understanding your ideal students
Before you even think about writing, you must make sure you know exactly who you’re writing for, what they want, what they’re struggling with and what makes your courses the perfect solution for them. This is the only way to ensure your words are met with the right response.
Fortunately, this doesn’t require psychic powers or educated guesses. You’ve just gotta ask.
Any copywriter worth their weight in words will start by speaking to the people they’re writing for to hear, in their words, the challenges they’re facing and the solutions they’re seeking. You can (and should) do this, too.
Yes, it’s time consuming. But trust me when I say it makes writing your language school’s website a WHOLE LOT easier — and more effective.
We can split the information you need into two categories: demographics and psychographics.
This is the basic information about who they are. It includes their age, location, average income, relationship status, mother tongue (if relevant), language level, and learning style.
All useful and necessary stuff, but not the information that’s going to help you sell to them. For that, you need to delve a little deeper into their…
THIS is the information you need to become the obvious choice for your ideal students. It’s what tells you how your ideal students think, which helps you understand which psychological triggers will inspire them to take action.
But here’s the catch: gathering psychographic information isn’t as simple as sending out a survey. You’ll want to actually speak to your people to find out:
- What they’re struggling with
- What their big goal is
- Why they’re learning the language
- What’s stopping them from achieving their goal
- What solutions they’ve tried before
All this information helps you align your message with your ideal students and speak directly to their needs and desires.
Want some ready-made questions? My Market Research Toolkit tells you exactly what to do to gather insights from your people. And it’s only £9!
Investigating your competitors
I know it feels crappy to discover other schools or teachers doing the same thing as you, but the hard truth is you’ve got to stalk your competitors if you want to find your unique selling point.
Because in order to get fully clear on what makes you different, you NEED to see what everyone else is up to.
You’ll want to complete a full competitor analysis (if you haven’t already) of the main people offering similar solutions to you. Make sure to include their:
- Unique selling point
Not only will this show what else is on the market, but it will also help you shape a message that’s completely unique to you or your school.
Step 2: Keyword research
If you ask me, there’s no point in writing and building a website for your language school if you’re not also going to optimise it for Google. Thousands of people are likely searching for courses like yours everyday, and you want your website to show up when they do.
Ranking on Google takes a bit of work and patience, but it’s so worth it — not only because it works around the clock, but also because it’s incredibly budget-friendly. Once you’ve optimised your site, ranking doesn’t cost a penny.
So, how can you make sure your language school ranks on Google?
The first and most important step towards writing first-page worthy website copy is to check what people are actually searching for. Again, not a guessing game. Research.
Note down the different search terms in a Google Sheet, paying attention to metrics like:
- Search volume: the average number of people searching for this term each month
- Competition: how hard it’s expected to be to rank for the search term
Then, decide which keywords to target on which page of your website, making sure to choose ONE core phrase per page along with a handful of related terms to support it.
Step 3: Compiling your research
By the time you reach this stage, you’ll likely have a whole overwhelming mess of information in front of you. Don’t panic, this is a perfectly normal part of the process, even for those of us who do it day in, day out.
Before you start writing, you’ll want to tidy this research up into something clear and easy to follow. I like to Google Sheets (or Excel) for this. I organise my research into different cells on different tabs so I can clearly see:
- The problems my readers are facing and how this makes them feel
- The goals they have and what it means to them to achieve them
- The methods they’ve tried before and why they didn’t work
- The features of the service I’m writing about and their benefits
- The objections they have to purchasing the service I’m writing about
- The relevant social proof I’ve gathered from the research phase
Although this step starts out as a scary heap of information, dare I say it’s enjoyable once you start realising you have allllll the answers to all the questions and a whole lot of inspiring quotes and angles to form the foundation of your website copy.
Step 4: Create your sitemap
A sitemap is a fancy way of saying the structure of your website. It tells Google “which pages and files are important” and therefore should be indexed on their site.
If you’re using a website building platform like WordPress, Wix or Squarespace, you don’t need to worry about the technical side of this. They take care of it for you. But before you start writing, you should figure out which pages you’ll include and how you’ll connect them with logically placed internal links that guide the reader on a seamless journey from landing on your site to getting in touch.
How many pages should you include on your language school website?
This really depends on how many services you offer, but the simpler your website, the better — for your ideal students AND your conversion rate.
Every language school website should include a:
- About page
- Services page
- Contact page
And, if relevant, some of these additional pages:
- Course sales pages
- Lead magnet
- Work with us/careers
But for the love of effective website copy, your website should NOT include:
- Why us/what makes us different
- Our values
- About the founder
- Our locations
- Our teachers
- Our philosophy
Why? Because a standalone page detailing the ins and outs of your beliefs won’t move your ideal students any closer to signing up. Plus, all this information can be included on your home, about, or services pages.
Step 5: Draft your copy
FINALLY — the fun part! As you can probably tell by now, writing is only part of the whole writing copy for your language school website process.
And the good news is that once you’ve gone through the steps above, the writing part actually becomes relatively quick and easy.
So easy, in fact, that I don’t have anything else to say about it other than the fact you’ll want to write your course sales page before your services page, and your services page before your about page and your about page before your homepage.
That way, you can reverse engineer the whole user experience and make super sure you’re not missing a thing.
Step 6: Proofread your copy
Research might make the writing process quicker and easier, but that doesn’t mean you can skip the editing stage. All the very best copywriters know that THIS is where the magic happens.
If you’re writing for a language school with multiple team members, it’s worth asking someone else to cast an eye over your copy to make sure you’ve captured the essence of the school.
But if you’re an independent teacher writing your own website, close the documents for a few days and come back to them with fresh eyes. You’ll almost certainly spot some areas for improvement.
Step 7: Send it to a designer
Contrary to what many business owners believe, copy comes first, design comes second. Because words convert; designs don’t. At least, not without the copy to go with them.
Trying to squeeze your copy into a pre-made design is a recipe for a low-converting website because it restricts what you can say. And given that you NEED to include certain things on your language school website to ensure your readers have all they need to pick you, it’s likely that information is important. So, only once you’ve finished your copy should you create your website design.
Writing copy for your language school website takes time, but it’s time well spent.
So many language business owners will fling their services up on a website and wait for the enquiries to come rolling in… only to wind up disappointed when they don’t get much traction at all.
If that sounds familiar, it’s probably not because your services need refining. It’s more likely because you haven’t spent enough time figuring out what makes you the ideal choice for your ideal students.
This work might sound (and sometimes be) boring, but it’s essential for writing a high-converting website that works FOR your business — not against.
Want a helping hand in writing your language school website?
Say no more. Here are two ways I can help you make sure your words are working: