Over the last decade, we have seen a boom in the number of tutoring businesses operating in the UK. While some of these are large companies with franchises across the country, the vast majority are small, local businesses – often teachers and lecturers who have left the education system or who are looking for additional income.
As parents and university students seeking a tutor will look online before anywhere else, having a website has become increasingly important if you want your tutoring business to be found. However, to be successful, it is important that your website has the features your customers are looking for. Here are some we think you should consider.
- Mobile-friendly website
Websites are built using themes or templates. Some of these are designed primarily for use on desktop and laptop computers while others, what are known as responsive themes, are designed to work on screens of all sizes. Responsive themes adjust the layout and resize images and forms so that they display and work properly on all computers, tablets and smartphones.
Today, most visitors will search for your tutoring business on a mobile phone, so if you want more students, a responsive theme is a must. Without one, you could be missing out on more than half of your new customers. Importantly, most of your students are likely to use a smartphone as their device of choice, too.
- Essential content
When people are looking for a tutor, there are specific things they will want to know before getting in touch, for example, the subjects you teach, the age groups or levels you cater for, the amount you charge, your qualifications and experience, where and when you do your tutoring and so forth.
Without this information, people are unlikely to book your services. Putting it online makes sure that regardless of what time of day someone visits your website, that vital information is there for them to see.
- Resources pages
As a tutor, you can help your students by providing them with resources that they can use even when you’re not actively tutoring them. These can include your video tutorials, downloadable worksheets, and links to other online resources or learning tools on other websites. You can create a special resources section of your site for these and if you have a lot of resources, you can even create separate categories for them, e.g., for KS3, GCSE and A Level.
- Online booking engine
Booking engines are useful for all kinds of businesses, not just venues, restaurants and hairdressers. They are important because they are accessible on your website 24/7, making it easy for customers to book a tutoring session even if you are not available. If the only option you give customers is to make a telephone booking, this can be very frustrating if they call while you are busy. A booking engine provides greater convenience and increases your chance of being fully booked.
Another important advantage of adding a booking engine to your website is that it can send automatic responses and notifications. Both you and your customer will get a notification when the booking is made, and the customer will get a reminder on the day of the session. Reminders are important because if the customer fails to show, you could lose out financially.
On the subject of finance, there is also the possibility to set up online payments for bookings. This means that customers can pay online when they make a booking, which again is more convenient for them and means you get paid in advance. If you tutor online, this can be particularly useful.
- Social proof
It is not uncommon for students to stay with a tutor for long periods, in some circumstances for the entirety of a GCSE, A Level or degree course. Before they make that commitment and spend their money, they will want to know how good you are and what your outcomes have been in the past. While you can tell them this yourself, most people today will also want to get another opinion. And for this, they’ll want some kind of social proof.
You can get social proof by allowing ratings and reviews from your past and present customers. These can be got on Google, Facebook and sites like Trustpilot and can then be embedded onto your own site for visitors to see. You can also ask for testimonials and display these on your site or even take screenshots of good comments people have written on your social media pages and upload them (with permission from the commenter, of course.)
- Video chat
Online tutoring is incredibly popular for both teachers and students. For tutors, it means you don’t need a venue or to travel to students’ homes. This allows you to teach more students over the course of the week and reach those who live much further away. It’s more convenient for parents too: they don’t have to drive to get to you and they can carry on with whatever they were doing while you do the teaching.
You can now make online teaching even more convenient as you can install live video chat add-ons that enable you to deliver tutor sessions directly through your site. All your students need to do is visit your website to get started, rather than looking for a link in an email.
- Reliable hosting
Fast and reliable hosting is essential for tutoring websites, especially if you are delivering online lessons through the site. It wouldn’t look good on your part if the site crashed or performed poorly in the middle of a lesson.
The quality of your hosting is also important for other reasons: fast-loading sites perform better in search engine results, helping you get more visitors; and they have lower abandonment rates, meaning people won’t leave your site because it is too slow for them.
A good web host will also provide 24/7 technical support in case you have issues and keep your website secure by defending it against hacking and malware and providing free daily backups.
With more and more tutors now offering their services, A website has become a crucial part of their business. Not only is it important for attracting new customers and informing them about your services; it is also becoming a key tool for delivering those services and doing so in a convenient way.
For fast, reliable and secure hosting that’s ideal for modern tutoring websites, check out our Shared Hosting with cPanel plans.