Remember the internet back in the 90s? Not everyone used it and it often only served as a glorified digital directory for many small businesses. By 2015, 68% of Americans over the age of 18 and more than 80% of those ages from 18-49 had smartphones. Not only is the internet used by most, it’s readily available in the majority of people’s pockets.
Keeping that in mind, martial arts websites now serve a different function than 20 years ago. They’re a digital, visual representation of your brand, including the most important information, and (hopefully) search engine optimization, so your prospective students can find you on Google and other search options. Here are 10 things you’re going to need to incorporate into your martial arts websites.
A Clean Interface
The purpose of websites has evolved from being a business directory to being your business’ visual presence on the internet. With that being the case, you’ll want to make sure your martial arts websites present the best version of your school’s look. Stay away from clutter and information-packed websites that are too overwhelming. Being concise with your copy and your visuals will help you sell more. The more specific details of what you do can be talked about when prospects come into the school.
Another important thing about the look and feel of your martial arts websites is consistent branding. There should only be a couple of used fonts, as a maximum. From page to page, the look should stay the same, along with your style of writing. On top of that, your website’s branding should match the branding on your social media accounts, print collateral, email marketing, and (to some degree), the look of your martial arts school itself.
There’s going to be a running theme here: the accessibility of the internet and making your services accessible to someone with a smartphone, laptop or even a smart TV. Having your services readily available for purchase on customers' smartphones can only increase your conversion rates. Even if they don’t show up to class, they’ve already committed by paying online. This is also a great system to make sure you don’t overbook any classes.
Most martial arts schools can benefit from having a pro-shop. Online shops help add another layer of revenue to your pro-shop. This is extremely advantageous for those martial arts schools that are short on square footage and can’t afford to use up any dojo space for a physical pro-shop.
Links to Social
Social media is where the bulk of your inexpensive marketing will happen. You want to make sure you’re guiding your prospective students towards your social media accounts, to see a more personal view of your martial arts school than a website can provide. Make sure these links stay up to date and include all of your social media profiles.
Search Engine Optimization
One of martial arts websites’ biggest functions is to help prospective students find you. To do that, you’ll need to make sure your school is near the top of relevant search queries on Google. For example, if your Dallas-based martial arts school doesn’t show up near the top when searching for “martial arts Dallas” in Google, you’ve got a problem. Make sure you work on your website’s SEO, so you can be found easily on search engines. The closer you are to the top of the rankings, the more likely it is that you’ll be the school that lands that new student that is currently looking.
A responsive site is one of the most important things for your martial arts website. Tablet and smartphone adoption is projected to increase even more, this year, and you’ll want to your website to flow well from desktop to tablet and mobile phones. Regarding your SEO, Google ranks responsive websites higher than unresponsive ones. On top of all of these benefits, a responsive website greatly improves on the user experience as well.
Dynamic content is anything that is consistently updated and it’s very important. Many people will look up your website to check for store hours, special closures, and other pertinent information and you’ll want to make sure your shop’s info and special events/closures are communicated effectively. Other forms of dynamic content are news and blog posts. One opportunity, for example, is after a tournament; you could post congratulations to everyone who participated from your school.
Stock photos might look great but they’re not always the best choice to use. They have a very impersonal feel and they don’t always represent your school on martial arts websites. Spend the time and money to get a professional photographer to take beautiful pictures of your team for the images you need. Highlight your space, your community and other aspects of your school that you want to showcase. Don’t have the cash on hand? See if they’d be willing to trade their services for a membership, as an option. Just don’t ever ask someone to do it for only the exposure.
In 2016, the best martial arts websites are integrated with the school’s management software. This makes everything efficient, with one support team to work with for all of your martial arts management assets. With a Smart Dashboard feature, you’ll be able to see the performance of your website, along with the rest of your business in one go, boosting convenience and making sure you’re on top of everything.
Does your website need an update? Check out our martial arts website builder, to how it can help take your martial arts school to the next level.