Finding Your Nursery Online
The List of Websites To Be On
Making sure parents can find you online.

It’s a noisy world out there.

Word of mouth marketing and referrals are the bread and butter for many nurseries across the UK. But it’s easy to forget that many prospective parents will be doing their research online.

Whether they’re specifically looking for you, or just looking for a nursery in the area, you want them to be able to find you easily.

So how do you make yourself heard above the noise? Well, you want to make sure you can be found anywhere that parents might look for you, and the more websites you’re on, the more likely you are to come up on those pesky Google searches too.

Luckily, we’ve done the work for you. We’ve analysed Google search results, and worked out exactly where you need to be to make sure you can be found by anyone, anytime.

1. DayNurseries.co.uk

This has to be one of your first ports of call. Not only does their website show up at the top of Google searches time and time again, but many parents use the site itself to find nurseries in their local area.

Why does it matter?

Setting up an account is super easy, and it’ll at least put you in the mix when parents are searching for options in their area. It’s so prominent on google searches that it’s an absolute must.

How much?

Free for a basic profile with reviews. They have monthly packages for enhanced listings.

Top Tip

If you are in a very competitive local area, it might be worth paying that bit extra to appear at the top of the listings. Just don’t forget to include as much information as you can in the profile to make sure people can get in touch with you.

2. Google My Business

This is where all the information that appears on Google maps and those cards on the right-hand side of a search comes from.

Why does it matter?
By setting up your business on Google My Business, you’re guaranteeing people will be able to find further information if they’re searching for you, and increasing your chances of appearing near the top of the listings when people search for ‘nurseries near me’.

How much?
Free!

Top Tip
Give as much information as you can, including opening hours, contact details and professional photographs of your setting. If you can encourage parent reviews too, you’ll stand a mile out from the other nurseries in your area.

The Google Business listing for Parson’s Green Nursery in London.

3. Facebook

I don’t think you need us to tell you what Facebook is…

Why does it matter?
We’re all spending more time on social media, and that means prospective parents are too. And Facebook is leading the way, with 62% of people saying it is the main social channel they use to find more out about a business.

Not only are you able to advertise to potential customers on there, but many parents will use your Facebook page as a starting off point to get an idea of what day to day life will be like for their children at your setting.

How much?
Free!

Top Tip
The same study as above suggests that 80% of people are more likely to show interest if they see positive reviews on a Facebook page. Make it happen! Oh, and take a look at our free guide on how to promote your nursery. Lots of Facebooky goodness in there.

4. Pinterest

The site for sharing ideas, inventions, and things you’ve created. With many parents on here searching for home inspiration and crafts for their kids, it’s the perfect place to show the things you’re making at the nursery.

Why does it matter?
Pinterest is the second most popular social channel for people to find local businesses. You’re already doing the hard work of making crafts and organising games with the children. So all you need to do is take a few pictures and share them on Pinterest and you’ll be helping to sell all the great activities that you do with children at your setting.

How much?
Free!

Top Tip
Don’t forget to tag your posts with relevant hashtags so that parents searching for inspiration might stumble across your ideas and your nursery!

5. Your Own Website

No longer is having your own website something that requires a degree (or a never-ending budget). Websites like Wix and Squarespace make the process easy and quick.

Why does it matter?
A website that has the domain name of your nursery, and has lots of information about your setting, is always going to be one of the top ranking results when people search for you. If people are searching for your nursery specifically, you want to make sure that you can direct them to a site that has the most complete information you can – a website is the best place to do that.

How much?
It varies. While many website builders do have free options, it’s worth spending the small amount each month (as little as £5) so that you can own the domain yourself.

Top Tip
If you want to go a little in depth, take some time to learn the basics of SEO, and you are more likely to appear at the top of search engine results that potential parents will be searching for. If it’s all a bit daunting, be aware that many of the sites will offer you this service as an add-on cost.

One of our favourite nursery websites is Beau Peep’s Nursery in Fulham. Source http://www.beaupeeps.co.uk/

6. Childcare.co.uk

Childcare.co.uk sets itself up as ‘the easiest way to find local childcare’. From private midwives and nannies to preschools and nurseries, they are a database of childcare options across the country, claiming to have over a million parents using their site every month.

Why does it matter?

Not only do they appear highly in many of the searches that parents might be making, but many parents go there specifically to check out options in their local area. You can add photos, availability, general information and ‘tags’ so that if parents are using the advanced search to find something specific, they’ll get to you first.

How much?

Free to register. Although you can upgrade to a gold membership which gives you access to a whole range of added extras, including being featured at the top of listings.

Top Tip

The site orders profiles by how many reviews you have, and often nurseries only have one or two. So if you can get only a few of parents to leave reviews, you can guarantee that you’ll appear at the top of the search below the featured nurseries.

7. Netmums

Netmums is a place for parents to find advice and information about a whole range of topics.

Why does it matter?
Netmums is another site that appears at the top of local searches, and they have fairly comprehensive listings of nurseries and daycare options, ordered by location. With a strong community on their site for parenting tips and advice, it’s likely that many parents will also be using them to find childcare options in their area.

How much?
Sign up first to start making your free listing. For £19 a month you can upgrade to a ‘gold listing’ which will stand out at the top of listings.

Top Tip
Most nurseries on the site seem to use many long paragraphs to describe themselves in the ‘Description’ section. Instead, consider using bullet points to highlight your features, and make the listing more scannable for busy parents.

The listings page for day nurseries in St. Albans on Netmums.

8. NDNA

NDNA are a national charity that support childcare providers to grow their business and provide the best childcare they can. They also campaign for the government to secure a positive future for the childcare sector.

Why does it matter?
NDNA’s find a nursery feature is another search that comes up very high in rankings throughout the country

How much?
They have a range of membership options, from £66 up to £214 per year. Of course, these online listings are just one of a huge range of guidance, support and discounts that you receive as part of your membership.

Top Tip
The information you can enter here is fairly limited to tick box answers, but you can direct people towards your website for more information. Again, this is why it really matters to have your own website so that people can find out more about you!

9. Good Care Guide

The Good Care Guide provides information on nurseries and care homes throughout the UK.

Why does it matter?
While every regulated nursery will already have a listing through Ofsted, this is another website that comes up high in many related searches. As a result, you want to make sure that all the information on there is up to date and presenting your nursery in the best possible light.

How much?
£120 a year to enhance your listing

Top Tip
This might seem a little expensive compared to most of the other options on here. But the enhanced listing comes with a whole lot of advanced options, including adding a website and social media links, adding reviews, and directing interested parents directly to your inbox.

10. Adwords

Everything we’ve covered so far is about helping you to appear near the top of the so-called ‘organic’ searches. However, for certain searches, the top 2 or 3 results are actually paid for using Google Adwords.

Why does it matter?
Using Google Ads can seem a little complex (although they do provide a brilliant guide to getting started). But in a competitive market, they can really make you stand out from the crowd. Better yet, you pay per click on the ad, and you can set a maximum budget. So they’re simple to test out and see if you get any results from.

How much?
It depends on how many other people are interested in that keyword, and how much you want to pay.

Top Tip
Adwords has a keyword planner guide so you can see how many people are searching for certain keywords per month. Things like ‘nurseries near me’ probably won’t work for you – you’ll want to be more targeted, using keywords relevant to your local area.

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