A martial arts website serves many purposes, but one in particular stands out: a good martial arts website should generate leads on a regular basis. Through search engine optimization, great visuals, and solid lead-generating techniques, a website can be one of your best sources of prospective martial arts students.
Wordpress is the most popular website content management system (CMS) used by beginner and advanced web developers alike. Creating and maintaining a Wordpress website does not require any special software or programming skills. Although easy to use for non-programmers, it still offers extensive flexibility and customization for web developers.
Wordpress websites are also easy to scale; there's built-in blog functionality and you have a large selection of plugins available to customize and extend your website. In addition to these universal strengths of Wordpress, there are a few others that can be exploited to develop a lead-generating machine.
A Solid Foundation
To start, you'll want to get familiarized with the platform, its advantages and disadvantages, and what you need to build a solid website. Next, you'll want to organize your website build out. Determine all the resources and manpower required to build one to your liking. This could mean sourcing photographers, writers, and visual designers. Pro-tip: trading instruction time with students who have these skills can be a win-win for all. You can also find many free resources online to help you build a great website for your martial arts school.
Your landing page may serve as one of your first impressions for a potential student. There are a few things you need, to build a great landing page that consistently drives leads to your school. First, you'll want someone with a good eye for design to help select fonts and create your general layout. Your page headlines and ad copy should be clear, concise, and the two should complement each other. Grammar, spelling, capitalization and punctuation must be top-notch so you may want to consider hiring someone with professional copywriting skills.
Including trust indicators such as testimonials, reviews and press mentions can dramatically increase conversion rates but make sure they don't take away from the visual appeal of your page. A strong call-to-action and any buttons or copy associated with it - should stand out from the rest of the page to further strengthen conversion rates.
Three Letters: SEO
There is no point developing a great website if no one is going to see it. Learning the principles of optimizing your martial arts website for search engines is key to making sure local prospects can find your school. When configured correctly, Wordpress is a search engine-friendly platform providing many options that are unavailable in site building platforms like Wix and GoDaddy. There are countless plug-ins that simplify and direct your SEO efforts and the built-in blog functionality allows you to expand your brand reach and drive more prospects to your marketing pages. Check out Yoast's Wordpress SEO guide to learn more.
Keep it Visual
Visual cues can play a large part in the perceived professionalism and credibility of your school. If your website looks like it was created by a first-grader, site visitors may incorrectly assume your school similarly lacks the desired level of professionalism. Avoid this common pitfall by making sure your pictures are original and high-quality and that your website itself is easy on the eyes. Sometimes less is more. You don't need to throw every youtube video and school photo up on your website. Clean, minimalist websites with focused content can perform better than those with much more content. Regardless, you'll want to incorporate rich media that is targeted, attention-grabbing and compelling to prospects.
We may have hinted at it earlier this year or you may have been part of our focus group, but we have an exciting announcement to make. The ChampionsWay/PerfectMind team will be introducing our own Wordpress martial arts websites in a soft launch this summer. These lead-generating sites will provide all the great benefits of Wordpress while integrating with your PerfectMind CRM. Stay tuned for updates and bookmark our martial arts websites page.
What are the biggest issues you currently have with your school's website? Let us know on our Facebook page and follow us on Twitter and Google+, to stay up to date with all of your ChampionsWay news.