Some martial arts school owners have said there is little reason anymore to have a website with free services available like Google Places and Facebook Fan Pages.
And, I couldn’t disagree more.
Every single professional martial arts school should have its own website. Yes. Absolutely. With out a doubt. Period.
Some would argue that because those tools are free, there is no reason to pay to have a website.
There are many things wrong with that line of thinking.
Primarily, social media sites aren’t for selling.
They are about creating, maintaining and nurturing relationships.
(Read that again… one more time…)
They aren’t for selling!
That’s where you website comes in.
Its purpose is to sell.
Its not an after thought…
It doesn’t support your social media efforts…
It drives your online marketing and should be your online destination of choice.
Your website is the hub and the free sites like Facebook are the spokes. It’s not the other way around.
(Read that again… one more time…)
Here’s are 9 reasons why it’s important to have your own dedicated martial arts website:
- You own the site. Your martial arts schools website is an asset. Treat it as something valuable as it is your flagship property in the digital world.
- You can sell. A website is the place to sell, not on social media. Social media is about relationships, not selling.
- Email capture. Remember: Having your email listed on a page isn’t the same as a form that captures their email. While possible to add onto Facebook Fan Pages, it’s not something you can do on most social media websites.
- It projects professionalism. With a professionally designed website, your small karate dojo can project the image and professionalism of a much larger martial arts chain. Beware: The inverse is also true. With most free social media sites, you don’t have a choice on what it looks like.
- Makes you easier to compare. Your prospects expect a website. If you don’t have one, it makes you hard to find and compare.
- You have a branded domain. I get hit up by “SEO experts” spam all the time (funny, I know) and they use a free email account like hotmail, yahoo or gmail. I don’t trust them because without a domain name at the end of their email, they aren’t a real business. Having your own branded domain name (www.yourmartialartsschool.com) and email (firstname.lastname@example.org) not only helps brand your business it also helps establish your credibility as a business. When it reads “yourmartialartschool.freesite.com” it’s not very easy to share and it makes you look cheap. Not only that, it’s harder to remember.
- Better Analytics. With your own website, you gain deeper insight into your traffic with tools like Google Analytics. Most social media websites provide little-to-no analytics. Even when they do, they are pretty shallow in comparison.
- Search Engine Optimization options. Back links are cold hard digital cash when it comes to ranking higher. Having your website that sells at the top of the search engine results is paramount to your businesses success. When you own your own site, you have full control over how the site is set up for search engine optimization. You don’t on a free site.
- Distraction free landing pages. When something’s free, there is always some kind of interference. Whether it’s a pop up ad, banner ads, text link ads, Adsense or whatever there is always a cost and it always gets in the way of getting a lead.
Sure, those free online tools are great but they shouldn’t replace your own branded website.
Do you agree that you should have your own website? Share you thoughts in the form of a comment!