How to create a profitable martial arts gym website
Your website is the main part of your brand. It is where people will look to get more information about your gym and you.
After seeing your advertising or driving past your gym, prospective students will always want to check you out on your website. You need to ensure it looks good, is useful, that the information is up to date and looks good on mobile.
Many websites are like a sports car with no engine. They might look good but they are not going anywhere. All the information talks about the gym owner and what they have achieved – not about how they can help the prospective customer
If you have ever dealt with web designers and developers before, you know what I mean. They are good at coding and design but they miss the key marketing areas that a good converting site needs. You can get a nice WordPress site set up pretty cheap and make it awesome with these tips in this post.
All the market and message information you’ve been refining in the tasks so far tends to be missing from a poorly performing MMA facility. Even worse, there is no call to action or a way for customers to contact the gym easily.
As well as being easy to use and engaging, your website needs to be easy to search for by being optimized and indexed. Once there, you need to move them along from discovering you exist to building some rapport with you and to contacting you. This is called a sales funnel or customer journey. The trick is to have them take small steps, rather than rushing the process and scaring them off.
What happens if a guy walks up to a girl in a bar and asks her to marry him? He crashes and burns, right? The girl wants nothing to do with him. That’s what a lot of websites do. They are asking the person to sign up to a program straight out of the gate! Just like any relationship, you have to woo your customers step by step with the helpful information you share on your website.
TIP: Repurpose the helpful information you put on your website and use it on social media. The more eyeballs that see your content the better.
WHAT A GOOD WEBSITE SHOULD DO
If the responses you gave to questions 5 to 10 have revealed your site is a disaster zone, you’ll want to fix it. And since you’ve worked on your marketing and message, it’s a relatively painless process.
Capture attention quickly and easily
You need to capture your avatar’s attention and guide them to take the next step – and that’s it. You do this by including headlines that clearly explain the benefits of training with you and how it will meet their why. It’s also a good idea to include images that relate to them too.
People seldom read all the text on a web page; they skim. That’s why eye-catching, prominent and relevant headlines and images work so well. You can instantly grab your prospect’s attention.
Your website should not be all about you and what you want to see on there. That’s like being the crashing bore at the party, talking about yourself all night. If you’ve ever been around one of those “me, me, me” people, you can’t wait to drain your glass and run away for a refill, right?
Also, don’t waste your website’s core real estate on your existing students. They have already taken that first step and you therefore have other ways to reach them than your website homepage. You can add “members” pages for your current students to find out information that appeals specifically to them.
You need to have an easy way to capture leads, which are the contact details submitted by people interested in joining your gym. I prefer a site to have two to three calls to action so hopefully one appeals to your prospect. This needs to be an easy process for them.
– Click here and enter your information and you will get XYZ.
– Click here and enter your information and we will contact you.
– Click here and enter your information to get a free consultation.
Prominently display your contact details
Ask a friend to go to your website and find your contact details – like your phone number, email address and physical address. Can they find the contact info in five seconds? If not, it’s time to optimize. Can they find your phone number in three seconds? This should be one of the first things they see. Even in an online world a lot of people will choose to call rather than fill anything out on a website.
Think about how frustrating that is when you’re on another company’s website and they have buried the contact information somewhere obscure. People tend not to bother searching and will go to competitor that has the telephone number and email address in the top right-hand corner of their site.
Is your gym’s address easy to find with information about travel and parking in there? Make sure this is clearly listed.
Put a Google map with their location so prospects can easily get directions to your gym. You want to make this as easy as possible for them to get the information they want.
You always want a company email address in your contact information. And make sure someone is checking the inbox and replying every day – just displaying it is not enough!
Avoid using a “Gmail” type email address. Instead, use one based on your domain name. It boosts your credibility in the eyes of your prospects. You can still set your contact email to forward to your Gmail so it’s easy to check on your phone when you’re on the go.
Use powerful wording that
instantly hooks prospects
Here is where you finally get the payoff from all of the market and message work that you did. Read through your site as it stands. Does it talk to your avatar? Can they relate?
Review what your site says. Does it explain what’s in it for them? List the benefits that they will receive from training with you. Does that match your customer’s “why” or is there a disconnect?
Just like an advertisement consists of a heading, some body text, a call to action and some relevant imagery – your home page should use the same approach.
Review the ads you created in Chapter 3, which will closely match the tone of the information you need on your homepage.
Follow the same basic structure for all your sales and landing pages. A sales page will lead to a sale if the visitor completes the action, for example signing up for a paid trial. A landing page gets them to take the next step in your customer journey. For example, fill in an inquiry form and request a call-back
Share your credentials
You can finally flaunt those credentials you have worked so hard for. Your message has got the prospect to research you instead of you cramming how brilliant you are down their throat.
In your About Us or instructor page, go into detail about who you are and what you have done. Time to brag a little bit because you earned it; this sport is not easy.
This will boost your authority and credibility, and help you earn people’s trust.
TIP: If you’re just getting going or are a lower rank with no credentials that’s OK. You just need to massively boost the benefits the prospect will get from training with you. What are you exceptional at when it comes to your ideal customers why? For example, if you help people get in shape, share the before and after pictures of your students. That needs to be your focus as you build up your credentials.
Display high-quality photos
You need high-quality images on your website rather than low-res ones you took on an old camera. This is your brand 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Spend the extra money to get good pictures. You can also buy high-quality stock images to use on your website that cost as little as $1 each.
Pictures and videos of your gym on your website need to look amazing. The human eye picks up on bad quality like torn mats, peeling up mat tape, dirty walls, worn out equipment etc. Make sure the facility looks in top condition in your images.
Double-check and make sure that pictures and videos of the outside of your gym look good too. Take pictures on a nice sunny day. Pictures of the exterior of your facility will appear on your Google Business Page. (More on this later).
Photos of your staff need to have them smiling and happy. This is no time for tough guy pictures. You don’t want to run people off. They are scared enough about coming in as it is and looking for every reason not to. Look friendly and welcoming.
Student success stories and testimonials need accompanying photos. This is super important to developing social proof. No matter how good you say you are, it won’t influence prospects as powerfully as social proof.
Your ideal customers want to see other people who have done what they want to do. It shows them that they can do it and you are the person to help them. Load your site with testimonials, including a photo or video of the person who gave it to you.
Ask your students to leave positive reviews on third-party websites like Google, Facebook too. This helps to get more eyeballs to see how good you are. Here are some questions and things to get them to say:
“Before working with [your name] my life was……….”
“How I felt before was………….”
“Since working with [your name] my life now is………..”
“How I feel now is………….”
“The ONE big difference for me now is………….”
“What I’m really looking forward to is……………”
What tangible results have you achieved so far?
What would you say to someone looking to work with [your name] as a coach and why?
Get them to talk freely about the whole experience for just one or two minutes. Pop a Post-it note by the lens so they can refresh their minds as they talk, or print out the testimonials sheet I have provided in the resource section.
You can use photos to tell a story about your business and brand. People love to see success. Maybe there are pictures of you competing or holding a trophy you won. How about images of your old gym and the new one with all the upgrades or the picture of the group of students you took to Brazil? Those photos are compelling.
Work well on mobile phones
This is BIG. Your website has to be mobile responsive. It has to look good as good on a phone as on a desktop computer. It has to be easy to use and not fiddly and awkward.
People don’t want to be zooming in to make the tiny text from your desktop-optimized site readable.
What’s more, these days Google penalizes sites that are not mobile-friendly and shows them lower down in the search results – exactly what you don’t want to happen.
If your site sucks on a cell phone you need to get this fixed asap.
Check out Part 4 of this series Here.