Top 10 Search Engine Optimization Tips for Higher Search Engine Rankings in 2020

It’s a dog-eat-dog world in the competitive realm of search engine rankings Every business is trying to get to the top of the search engine results pages (SERPs) under those search terms that people type in that best reflect what they sell. It’s a neverending competition of refining numerous elements on your website and elsewhere to constantly jockey for a better position on a search giant like Google and smaller ones like Bing.

This fierce competition is not without good reason. The top three listings on the first page of search results get about 75 percent of all clicks. Also, most users won’t scroll past the fifth result. So, if you really want results from your search engine optimization efforts, you not only need to be on the first page of results but you have to be at or very near the top. Depending on your industry and the level of competition within it, this can be extremely challenging. It’s one reason any business should have a diversified marketing approach. That being said, there are tips and strategies that should increase your chances of getting high rankings.

Target Long-Tail Keywords

One primary way to get high rankings on the SERPs under keywords that bring you targeted prospects that are likely to buy is to be selective and specific about what keywords you focus on. For example, if you sell computer components, every other seller of components will be trying to get a high ranking under the keyword “hard drives” or “solid state drive.” You need to get more specific, and you accomplish this by using long-tail keywords.

If you know you have a page selling a “Seagate 3.5-inch internal hard drive” then try using that as the focus keyword for the page on your site for that product. You might at least have a chance of getting near the top of organic search results in this type of longer, more specific keyword, whereas it will be virtually impossible under something as generic as “hard drives.”

Mobile-Friendly

Having a website that is mobile-friendly has not been optional for years now if you want any hope of scoring good search engine rankings. Google has about 86 percent of the search engine market share with Bing coming in at around 6.5 percent. In April of 2015, Google came out with a major algorithm update that gave a boost to mobile-friendly webpages when it comes to search rankings. Currently, if you type “how to test website mobile-friendly” into Google, the first result is a box where you can paste the URL of your website and then click the “run test” button. The following page on this simple test will show you details on any page loading issues.

Technical SEO

This primarily refers to ensuring your website has its coding, framework and navigation optimized for the search engines to be able to quickly and efficiently crawl and index your site. The goal is to see to it that the infrastructure of your site offers no impediment to Google or Bing doing their job in getting your site evaluated for a search ranking.

Have a Secure Site

You need a secure website if you want a shot at a high search ranking. Many search engines will show a warning indicating a website is unsecured if it uses HTTP protocol instead of the secure HTTPS. You need to buy, activate and install an SSL certificate as part of the process to upgrade to HTTPS. Aside from search ranking considerations, potential e-commerce shoppers will have peace of mind knowing that data passing through your website’s server is encrypted.

Local Landing Pages and Listings

The importance of local SEO will depend on what type of business you are in. If you are an e-commerce retailer selling goods nationally, then it may not be too important to you. If, however, you are a service business in a given locality that depends on regular foot traffic from people in that locality for your survival, then it becomes critical.

To help with local search optimization, you can add geo-targeted keywords that give the locations you serve to those keywords that tell searchers what you are offering. For instance, a divorce attorney in the Atlanta area might be under keywords such as “divorce attorney Dunwoody” or “divorce attorney Sandy Springs.” It will be smart to have a separate landing page on your website that is focused on each of these geographic keywords. You also want to ensure you are listed in any local directories relevant to your type of business.

Optimize for Voice Search

When coming up with keywords to focus on, you should consider how people might speak a search as opposed to how they may type it. With smartphones so prevalent, voice search is here to stay and will only be growing in the foreseeable future. In addition, even people making a computer search from home might be speaking their search phrase into an Amazon Echo or a Google Home smart speaker.

For starters, someone on their phone will be out who knows where and will want to find a business near them. A popular part of any search phrase, therefore, would be the words “near me.” Because they are out, they’ll also be more interested in finding a place “open now.” Think about how you would change the wording of searches depending on whether you are typing one in at home on a laptop or desktop versus doing so when you’re out and about.

Backlinks

Many aspects of search engine optimization have to do with things you do on your website. The content, navigation, coding, overall design plus ensuring it has an XML sitemap and other things that help search engines find their way around on it. Google and other search engines also want to see how the rest of the internet is interacting with your website. This is where backlinks come into the picture.

When you place a listing in a local internet directory for your business, it will include a link back to your website. This is an example of a backlink. The more quality websites that have links back to your site, the more authoritative your website will look in the eyes of Google and Bing, which only enhances your search rank position.

Website Speed

It almost doesn’t matter how good your website is if it doesn’t load quickly. It has been found that 53 percent of sites visited from mobile devices are abandoned if they take longer than three seconds to load. There are enough ways to speed up your website that this could be a separate article unto itself. Fast-loading pages are important for search ranking as well as not losing sales to potential customers.

Don’t Neglect YouTube Optimization

Aside from Google, YouTube should be a focus of your SEO efforts. Beyond being the most popular video site on the internet, it’s also the second biggest search engine. Under innumerable topics that you type into Google, there will be video results, and most of these videos will be on YouTube. This is in addition to people searching on YouTube itself for videos about products or services that cover your company’s field or industry. Try to pick titles for your videos that are focused around a targeted keyword and that will make someone want to click it to watch the video. Video is great for engaging visitors, so you can put them on your website to enhance its search engine optimization as well as on your YouTube channel.

Provide a Positive User Experience

Many of the individual changes you can make to a website to enhance its position in search rankings all add up to providing a superior user experience. Fast-loading and mobile-friendly pages, a secure website and a technically optimized site with content that gives people the information they need to make a decision about your good or service. This all adds up to a website that people will consider valuable and want to hang around on, which also helps your search ranking position.

Search Engine Optimization for Martial Arts School Websites

Even though you may be just a humble karate dojo or other martial art school instructor you’ll still need to master search engine optimization (SEO) if you want your martial arts school website to compete against other schools in your area.

In this short guide we’ll cover the basics of what you’ll need to know to SEO your martial art school website.

Your martial art school must load as fast as your kicks, and be secure, too

SEO has changed substantially over the past decade, and especially within the last five years. Website security and page speed are now very important factors in how Google indexes and displays websites.

The faster your site loads, the better it will rank on Google. It also must pass Google’s mobile compatibility test, too.

Likewise your website will be penalized if it does not have an SSL security certificate. Google made this controversial update several years ago, likely in a desire to force everyone to use SSL certificates for their websites (which Google as a domain registrar and web hosting company sells). The vast majority of websites really don’t need SSL certificates for any key thing, and it is really something only e-commerce based sites should need to have, but Google’s update has made SSL something every website wishing to be competitive in the rankings must now possess. In many instances simply adding an SSL certificate to a website will cause it to shoot up in search engine rankings, especially if it already has legacy authority to it.

Backlinks are one of the most important aspects of SEO

While Google still uses a primarily citation based model where backlinks count as votes for a website’s popularity and importance, simply spamming the internet with backlinks to your site will not work anymore as it once did years ago, and can actually have a negative impact. The negative values of websites can transfer to your site if they link to it, which is why Google Search Console has disavow link tools for verified site owners.

“Backlink” spamming services such as seen on popular freelancer sites fiverr and such, will almost entirely be useless to you, as these “marketing experts” still do things that were designed to take advantage of old ways that Google operated but which were killed during the Panda update in 2011. This means for a decade these tactics have not worked and will actually harm your rankings. Even though these spammy services no longer are effective the freelancers will push them, because it is easy to spam the internet with backlinks on trash sites than it is to actually do professional SEO.

In the current digital landscape of how search engines like Google and Bing operate there is really only one way for a new website to earn its way to the front page of search engine results. You have to have articles regularly appearing that I call ‘search engine bait’ and these articles must be much better bait than any of your competitors have produced.

What is Search Engine Bait?

Search engine bait are articles that answer popular search engine queries, which are almost always a question. Search engines by design are built for people to ask a question and get an answer. That is the whole point. So if your title is not structured in the form of a question or an answer to a question you will almost never see that page rank on the first page of results when someone types that question into the search box.

For free means of discovering these queries you can just start typing a question into Google, and the related search queries will appear in a menu below the field — the auto suggestion options. All of these are popular search queries but they don’t show you how much search traffic can be obtained by ranking for these keywords, but still this is better than nothing.

There are several paid services which allow you to do more in-depth keyword research although their estimates of traffic are not accurate. There are many ways that traffic can be estimated, and sometimes it comes from Google APIs but other times it comes from a keyword services’ own browser spyware that has been injected into browser plugins and mobile apps, as well as featured in cookies. While these methods are not laser-focused accuracy on the precise amounts of traffic they do give a general range of what traffic can be had. In some cases traffic for specific keyword phrases can be ten times higher than what these services depict in their databases.

The biggest mistake in martial art school SEO is focusing exclusively on ranking for keywords specifically about martial arts. You do need to rank for those keywords, but this will only gain you the attention of people specifically seeking information about martial art schools. This is generally a very small amount of traffic. What is far more popular is for people to search for things like fitness classes and after school programs, which is what you should devote time to blogging about on your martial art school website. You should also consider what other kinds of interests apply to your martial art; for example if your martial art has appeared in popular media such as TV shows and movies, then you should write articles about that and how people can learn those fighting styles at your studio.

The best thing to do is make a list of every conceivable interest or activity that is related to martial arts and then produce dozens of 1,000+ word blog article about these topics to feature on your martial art studio website, and then make sure you make them relevant to the particular city that you are operating in. That will give you the best results for competing for local search engine traffic against your martial art school competitors.

Can you still lose rank positions to competitor sites with fewer backlinks?

Yes, absolutely. This frequently happens today because the competitor website has a better user experience (faster load times, less errors in code, has structured information to better solve user intention, etc) while also having far superior content on its articles that better answers questions within that field.

Simply put, search engines like Google know if your website has a poor layout and a bunch of issues that create a bad user experience and they also have algorithms to determine if your website is providing high quality information relevant to that niche (like, for example, Tae Kwon Do or Aikido). So if your website isn’t top-notch you won’t be able to compete against websites that are, even if you have far more domain authority than they do.

A lot of “SEO professional” work these days is just replacing someone’s severely outdated WordPress install with a better theme that is mobile compliant, or moving the site to a better server that allows it to load faster. Then the “pro” charges you hundreds of dollars per month as your site starts working up the rankings.

Look the reality is it can take 4-6 months to get high rankings for very competitive keywords but this is when we’re talking about international competition for keywords. Local competition is way, way easier. I can guarantee you that if I did SEO on a local karate club website I could get it to the first page of results within a couple of weeks for keywords like “learn karate [Your city]” and “karate school [Your city]”. Even in very large cities there often is only a handful of martial art academies that have the kind of SEO work done that is necessary to be competitive, and can be easily kicked down the charts by just writing a couple good articles, updating the website theme, add an SSL certificate and installing a few key plugins, such as for security and faster page loading.

It does not take a ton of money, or even a huge amount of hours, to do search engine optimization to improve a martial art school rankings in local search results. Anyone can do it if they just learn the basics, and that includes you.

How to Make a Living Teaching Martial Arts

Martial arts is an incredibly fulfilling sport and hobby, but martial artists have to be smart to make a living out of it. The best thing about martial arts is that there are various ways to become a professional instructor and get paid.

However, here is a dose of reality: Making a living teaching the martial arts is hard as hell. There is a lot you have to learn in order to be successful. Not only do you have to be a decent martial artists, you also have to be good at instructing, business, scheduling, marketing, finances, and more.

Are you up to it?

Here are the ways to make a living as a martial arts teacher.

Work at an Established School

You can work as a paid instructor at an existing martial art academy and manage several classes. Working in other academies will give you a footing and help you establish your own flair.


To find a job at one of these existing schools, you can visit martial art academies around your area to apply for a junior instructor position. Most schools will require potential instructors to have a black belt in their preferred style and prior experience.

During the interview, you’ll be required to showcase your skill and express your interest and desire to become a martial art sensei. You’ll have to give all your best to convince your employer why you should be hired. You can begin at low rank and progress into a higher rank (and often better paid) position. Ensure that your training can be used by your student to know how to become a teacher after graduations.

Your responsibilities will include preparing lessons, demonstrating techniques, assessing progress and ensuring students’ safety. As you gain more skills, you can be assigned specialty programs for highly-skilled students.

You can also look for daycare, or private and public schools and ask if you can teach martial arts to their kids. Ask the head of the school if they have any students that are interested in learning martial art as an activity that school offers and teach at that school as an instructor.

The working hours vary between academies, but you can expect morning, afternoon and evening sessions. Wages are typically billed on an hourly basis and the teacher’s amount of training.

In the USA the website Indeed estimates the average hourly pay for a martial art instructor at $17.53. The pay will also depend on where you are located. Cities like Brooklyn, San Jose, Baltimore and Indianapolis have hourly rates above $20.

While the pay is higher in larger cities like San Francisco, getting a job is tough, as is sustaining yourself on instructor salaries. The pay is lesser in smaller countries, but it is self-sustainable.

Run Your Own Martial Art School

If you would instead work for yourself, you can turn your passion for martial arts into a business. Keep in mind it is quite an expensive venture to startup, and the studio may not be profitable for the first few years if you struggle with the basics of opening a business.

You can begin by running your programs in a local fitness facility or community center. You can even approach a dance academy or gym to use their facilities for a fee, and later look for another location to move to once you build a sizable customer base.

You can even operate your martial art school at your home, such as out of your garage or backyard. You don’t always have to pay rent to start teaching martial arts; if you have a house with a garage or even a barn, and the space is not that much occupied, you can convert it to your school where you can teach martial arts. However, you’ll have to ensure that you’re complying with the local government rules that regulate business installed in residential homes, if there I any. That said generally speaking having a martial art school at your home will save you expenses you would have otherwise incurred if you had rented a structure owned by someone else.


Keep in mind that a martial art school is just like any other business. This means that you have to do the non-glamorous bits of running a company, like crafting business plans, marketing, accounting and bookkeeping.

In the quest to save money, some martial art entrepreneurs hire unqualified staff. Keep in mind that successful studios are built on a good reputation, and you should only employ trained and diligent instructors.
It would help if you also explored different niche programs to attract a wide range of customers. Studios will often have classes for kids, teenagers, adults and advanced students. You can run standard courses like Taekwondo as well as specialized programs like Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu.

Your school’s location will also influence the success of the venture. High-traffic areas are profitable, but a huge chunk of the profits will go to the rent. It is, however, easier to attract more students if you are in an accessible location.


Since a martial school is a business, you will have to fulfill the local and state regulations and get a license. The process is more straightforward with the services of a lawyer.

There are many other aspects involved in running your own martial art school, and we highly recommend you check out the business model described in the course Small Dojo, Big Profits. This book and coursework is a crash course in how to start a profitable martial art school.

Factors of Success in Starting Your Own Martial Art School

If you’re planning on making a living teaching martial arts in your own school, there are a few things you have to consider before quitting your day job and opening up for business. Here is some general advice we can offer.

You should try to open a martial art school in a favorable location. It is advisable to find a place with more foot-traffic traffic of people or in a growing area. Look for your target audience and specialize, for example, in something like teaching children or focus on offering defense classes to adults. By doing this you start growing roots, and with time you will become known for this niche you focus on.

You should also ensure that you have bought all pieces of equipment required for operating a martial art school. The school should also be in a decent building to enhance appearance and credibility. If you don’t have a great deal of money to invest into startup expenses then don’t be over-ambitious and rack up big debts. You can always start small and grow as time goes by.


To own a school, you’ll need to have some basics understanding of doing business such as; marketing, accounting, office procedure and how to get more clients. Also remember, the more clients will be channeling to your school, the more accountable and responsible you have to be to ensure that you don’t lose control of your martial art school.

Here are seven important factors to consider:

  1. Be damn good at marketing.
    This is one of the most important aspects if you truly want to make money teaching the martial arts. Read up on the subject. Look at all the articles on this site. Perhaps even consider joining some martial arts marketing associations, reading some books, networking, and more. Just get good at it, fast!
  2. Become a closer.
    If you have a ton of response from your marketing efforts and can’t close any of them, you’ve got BIG problems. Spend considerable time learning how to persuade people to sign up. Read books and blogs. Go to seminars. Listen to CD’s. Find someone to train you. Just get it done!
  3. Master money.
    You not only have to figure out what to charge but also how to track expenses, income, and profit. If you can’t balance your checkbook or save in your personal life, then you have no business starting a business. Get help if necessary and hire an accountant. Educate yourself to no end on this subject.
  4. Promote like no tomorrow.
    I don’t know of any martial arts school owners who opened their doors and had more people than they knew what to do with. Work towards becoming a local expert and building your credibility. Give back to your community and always be sure to let the press know about it.
  5. Make things simple.
    When you sign up new students or need to upgrade existing ones, make it so simple a child could do it. Take a look at your sign up process. Is it too complicated? Do you ask too much information? How can you simplify things and make it easier for people to sign up? Don’t get in your own way when it comes to this process. Cut more than Michael Jackson’s plastic surgeon until you have made it flawless.
  6. Be trustworthy.
    Treat people fairly and don’t be a schmuck. When you’re wrong, admit it. Always be willing to make a situation right when necessary. Don’t have hidden fees, say one thing and do another, or be dishonest. Without trust, you’ll have no business.
  7. Follow trends.
    It is important to always be offering classes that people are going to have an interest in. For example, the ninja fad is largely over but things like how to learn HEMA is on the rise. Keep tabs on trends in the martial arts and try to offer something that is relevant to the current market.

A lot of small businesses run in private residences to avoid the overhead costs of leasing shops. You can build a separate structure or transform your garage into a studio. You may, however, need to get permits and licenses, depending on where you live. This option seems to especially suit people who live in rural regions.

Teaching physical activities comes with potential injury risks for your students. You will need legal counsel to spare your personal assets in case you get sued. Even if you secure a location at a fitness center or YMCA, protect yourself with liability insurance.

Teach Private Lessons

This is another option if you don’t have enough resources to start your own martial art school. You can market your skills either on online platforms, doing demos of your talent on the streets, market your talent through posters, making referrals etc. until you get some manageable clients that are asking for private lessons.

You can charge depending on the client’s location and the amount of time you’ll spend training the client. Remember, the client is the king in these arrangements, and therefore you have to be flexible with your client’s time and make things convenient for them. People do private classes and seminars because they often cannot make the time in their daily lives for regular class schedules.

Many martial arts teachers can earn a lot of money teaching private lesson because most of the individual clients paying more, especially if they are happy with your services. As an instructor it is great deal more profitable when you get new private clients, but again you can’t forget the existing clients who think of you as an expert so don’t abandon daily classes if you have an existing school.

Running private lessons can be an excellent alternative to the overhead costs of having a studio. You can customize your package and rates, although it is best to survey your competitors’ offerings, too.


To start with private classes, much like with running a school you’ll need to buy all the necessary equipment although you wont’ need as much of it, and you’ll also need to have a vehicle to move from client to client locations. The major hurdle that private instructors face is advertisement. You want to reach as many customers as possible, and make some of them trust you enough to pay for your lessons.


One effective advertising strategy is volunteering your services to community centers or charging a low fee. Once clients start contacting you, understand their expectations and tailor your program to suit their needs.
Draft a course of instruction to give to your students so they know what they are going to learn. Clear communication is necessary if you don’t want to end up with dissatisfied trainees.


Keep the instruction evolving to ensure your students are engaged. A one-on-one situation is less-stimulating than a class, and you must introduce diversity to prevent boredom. You will also need to create a reward system to recognize a student’s progress.


A lot of schools have incorporated martial arts into their physical education programs. You can contact private and public schools near you, and bring your equipment to their gym facilities. Teaching in schools is an excellent way of ensuring you have gigs throughout the entire school year.

Lastly you can sign up for a sponsorship program in your location or country that you know does charity training programs. You can get hired by such a program to train the students covered by such plan. You can also volunteer for free content as a way of marketing yourself; you may not be paid, but you’ll be known for your services and your kind heart. You get to build contact with more people and also understand your niche. You can volunteer maybe 1-2 hours of your time, and this can land your black belt, master or sifu certification into one of the best paying martial art organization.

Teach Your Martial Art Classes Online

If you are wondering how to make a living teaching martial arts online, you will be glad to know that there are numerous platforms and applications you can use. Teaching martial arts without face-to-face contact may seem impossible, but online platforms and technologies have made it more than possible. To make this venture successful, however, you will need to be very creative.

There is a growing number of different sensei that teaches online to students all over the globe. So you too can use an online platform to teach martial art and be able to make money. You can do this by launching an online martial art course, giving private lessons, grading exams, video conferencing, etc.


Grading and recognizing progress is a significant hurdle here though, but one you need to address because it will ensure your student gets to graduate from one level to another, for example, from a student to a master or sifu. All you have to ensure is that your online content is satisfactory to the client. Ensure you have a user-friendly website that is easy for your clients to interact with. To generate more client traffic, you can give discounts and coupons as a way of promoting your martial art using platforms like Groupon or Airbnb Experiences.


To start, identify the platform of your choice you want to use to teach your classes through. YouTube is a popular avenue for trainers, thanks to its vast global audience. However, it will take a long time for you to attract the audience size needed to accrue advertising revenue from YouTube. You can sell your courses on platforms like Udemy, but you will only take home a chunk of your sales.


The best approach seems to be creating your own website, through which you can interact with your clients and provide useful information. Be active on social media sites as well to boost the popularity of your courses. The trick with online coaching is consistency. Posting regularly keeps your customers engaged, and provides them with a wealth of information that they can access. You can also create group challenges for your students to encourage healthy competition.

If you want to know how to become a teacher of martial art, then you have to go through martial art training and grasp all the technique of specific martial art skill.

Conclusion


If you want to sustain yourself as a martial artist in terms of it being your profession, the above options will guide you on how to make a living teaching martial arts. You can make decent money as an instructor, but keep in mind that the scene in large cities like New York is very competitive. You can establish your own school, or run programs in community centers, gyms and YMCAs. Other ventures include MMA fighting, stunt performance and online training.

In conclusion, as much as martial art is considered a hobby, one can reap great profits from it if the business is planned correctly. To be an expert instructor teaching martial art, you have to be a straight forward person to gain people’s respect. Being responsible is like building a brand reputation; you can take long to earn it but lose it with a fewer mistake. Martial art profession is like any other business which struggles to keep its doors open and also try to increase its profits. Therefore, you have to be very keen and cautious about it.

Again we recommend checking out the curriculum offered by the Small Dojo, Big Profits program. It is a very excellent program that has a time-tested and proven business model for how to start your own school and grow it.

Make Your Martial Arts School More Successful in 2020

Welcome Martial Arts School Owners!

If you are scratching your head about how to get more sign ups in the New Year so you can increase your martial arts school’s profitability, here are some solid marketing ideas to help you hit the ground running for 2020.

Here are twelve things you can start working on today to help make your martial arts school more successful in 2009:

  1. Buy a domain name, get some hosting, and start a blog as your website.
  2. Be sure you have the top 8 pages every martial arts school website should have.
  3. Work on search engine optimization to make your website more easily found.
  4. Start using Google analytics to track and measure the statistics on your website.
  5. Fix the top 10 common mistakes on your martial arts school’s website
  6. Develop a marketing calendar and get ahead of your marketing.
  7. Submit your martial arts school to local online directory websites.
  8. Try marketing your martial arts school on CraigList.
  9. Build a plan to get more referrals.
  10. Make it easy to compare your martial arts school against your competition.
  11. Possibly join a martial arts marketing association.
  12. Break through by doing what other karate schools aren’t doing.

Remember, marketing your martial arts school isn’t easy. Hopefully this list makes it a little easier to get started.

Another thing I recommend is checking out the Small Dojo, Big Profits program. It’s a great system that provides a business model for how to maximize revenue for your martial art school.

What are you going to do differently to make your 2020 better than 2019?

Are Your Color Choices Sending The Wrong Signals?

Choosing the right colors for your martial arts school is very important for your brand as they can say a lot about your business — good and bad.

Colors are a powerful way to communicate what your business is all about in a very visual manner.

Colors interact with each other both positively and negatively and so having a basic understanding of color and how they work is important as you select what colors you want to use for your martial arts schools’ brand.

Besides color relationships, each color has its own characteristics and meanings.

Types of Colors

Colors fall into various groups including primary colors, secondary colors, tertiary colors, warm colors and cool colors.

Primary Colors

There are three primary colors are those that when combined or removed make all other colors.

There are three primary colors:

  1. Red
  2. Yellow
  3. Blue

Secondary Colors

Secondary colors made when combining two primary colors. An example would be purple which is when red and blue are mixed.

Tertiary Colors

Tertiary colors are when a primary color is mixed with a secondary color.

Warm Colors

Warm colors are those that have an stimulating effect.

  • Red – Red is a primary color that creates excitement and evokes strong, intense emotions. It is a stimulating color associated with such traits as activity, life, love, passion and strength.  Red can raise blood pressure and respiratory rates. It’s also believed to enhance one’s metabolism, too
  • Orange – Orange is a secondary color that is vibrant, stimulating and happy. It is a combination of red and yellow and is often associated with cheerfulness. Positive associations with this color include being lively, energetic, extroverted and social. Some see it as a color that represents change and movement.
  • Yellow – Also a primary color, yellow is a cheery, warm color. Because it is a bright color, it is the most fatiguing of all colors as it reflects the most light. Yellow can increase metabolism and is often used in signs as an attention getting color as it is highly noticeable.  it is often associated with hope however in nature is a sign of danger.

Cool Colors

Cool colors are those that having a calming effect.

  • Green – Green, a secondary color, is a tranquil, quiet and natural color that symbolizes new beginnings, growth, health and wealth. Because of it’s calming effect, green is often used as an accent color by interior designers. It also can be associated with jealously or envy.
  • Blue – Blue is a primary color and represents calmness, stability, security and comfort.  It can also be seen as a cold color and is generally preferred by men. Blue is not an energizing color and is often associated with sadness and depression.
  • Purple – Purple is a secondary color that projects wisdom, luxury and exclusivity. It has long been associated with being regal. It’s also associated with being creative and having imagination, too.

Neutral Colors

Neutral colors have a unifying effect and enhance bolder, more vibrant colors.

  • White – White signifies purity, hope and simplicity. However it can also signify loneliness and is associated with clinical environments.  It is on the opposite side of the color spectrum from black but also works with every color around it. Interestingly, most martial arts school’s I’ve seen have all white walls.
  • Black – Black projects power and mystery. It absorbs all light in the color spectrum and can be used in combination with all other colors. It is the strongest of all neutral colors. In the martial arts, black represents mastery. It is also associated with death in many cultures so use wisely.
  • Gray – Gray communicates being conservative, quiet and and calm. Like blue, it is a color associated with sadness. In business, it can communicate formality and professionalism and is considered a sophisticated color.
  • Brown – Brown is a natural color that can evoke a sense of strength and reliability. It is a warm neutral color that is associated with earth and wood. Lighter colors of brown include beige and tan and take on the characteristics of the colors around it; be they warm or cool.

If you’re teaching Tai Chi or Yoga, having bright, vibrant colors might be contrary to the message you’re trying to project You may want to use a more calming, soothing color pallet because it best matches what you teach. If you’re a high energy place with a ton of cardio or conditioning related programs, having a bright vibrant color pallet might be more suitable.

Walk into almost any fitness club and you’ll see they use bright and vibrant colors. Everything from their logo to the wall colors. That is 100% deliberate. There is a lot to learn from their use of color as it changes the mindset of those training there. Who wants to go workout in a dull, lifeless room? High impact colors bring a whole different energy to their facilities. And, they can work the same way for your martial arts school.

Understanding then choosing the right colors can help you project the right attributes for your martial arts school. Choosing the wrong colors can conversely send the wrong message. Whether it’s in your marketing materials or the colors on the wall of your martial arts training facility, choose them wisely.

How to Boost Your Search Engine Rankings with a Title Tag

Part of a good search engine optimization strategy for your martial arts school is targeting keywords and keyword phrases in your title tags. The title tag is one of the most important things you can do to help your search engine rankings. Learn how to optimize your title tags to help searchers find your martial arts school.

What is a Title Tag?

A title tag is a piece of code that describes the content on a given web page. It helps the search engines determine the content on a webpage and it’s relevancy to keyword searches.

The title tag is a “META tag” that can be found inbetween the “head” tag of your HTML code:

<title>Your Page Title Goes Here</title>

Here is what it looks like at the top of your browser:

title-tag-example1

In fact, the title tag is one of the most important weapons in your search engine optimization arsenal.

For existing sites, you can see a huge lift in your rankings just by altering your title tag. For new sites, having search engine friendly title tags in place is a good long term strategy that will help you climb the rankings over time.

What Should You Put In your Title Tag?

Every title tag should target one keyword phrase and each page should have its own unique title tag. I see a lot of martial arts schools with the same title tag on every single page.

What a waste!

Not only doesn’t this help visitors know what is on a page, it doesn’t help the search engines, either.

Most title tags I see are just the name of the martial arts school. If you include your school name, be sure to do it at the end of your title tag, not the beginning. You want your most important keywords up front.

Understand you are already going to rank for the name of your business but realize that not everyone is searching for the name of your business. Most will be searching using keywords that will help them solve their problem.

The fact is, people are looking for your service in a certain geographic location.

People in Columbus Ohio who are searching for karate lessons aren’t going to type in “karate” into Google to find a karate dojo. They are going to search based on a combination of city and state based terms along with a variety of generic as well as style specific terms such as “Karate Columbus Ohio.”

The more you can tap into your geo specific terms, the better.

How long can a title tag be?

You have a limit of 80 characters including spaces, dashes, commas, etc. Use them wisely. Otherwise, your title tag will get truncacted in the search results. Remember, you title tag becomes the main link in the search listings.

Choose your keyword phrases wisely.

  • Bad Title Tag: Jims Tae Kwon Do
  • Better Title Tag: Columbus Ohio Karate Lessons – Jims Tae Kwon Do

Realize that if you change your title tag, it could up to 90 days or more to see any changes in your rankings. This is because it takes the search engines a while to re-index things. They have millions of sites to update. Be patient.

Any other ideas? Share your ideas in the form of a comment below!

Address this Problem and Increase your Local Search Engine Rankings

Today’s post is short and sweet. But powerful.

Simply add your address and phone number to every page of your website.

If that’s enough for you, don’t read any further and it to your site right now.

If you need a little more convincing or information, keep reading.

I have my address in two places on every page of my website including the footer (see image above) as well as in the right sidebar.

When you’re trying to capitalize on local searches like “martial arts denver”, you need to first make sure you have the right keywords people are searching on your site. If they aren’t there, Google doesn’t know how to rank your site for those keywords.  Not only that, but local geo based keywords should also be in your title tags and also help Google identify your location.

Once Google sees keywords like “Martial Arts” and combines that with your location information “Denver Colorado” you create a potent combination that is like catnip for Google.

Google needs to see your address and phone number to help identify where you are located to help preset your website whenever people search for a martial arts school in your local market.

Having your address on one page of your website isn’t enough.

You should have your address and phone number on every page as each page is treated differently in the search engines. By placing it everywhere, you increase the chance of getting more searches to your site on local based keyword terms for more of your pages.

Google extracts your area code, prefix, zip code, city name and more to help them target your location. Do this and you won’t be sorry when it comes to local search engine optimization for your martial arts school.

Do this right now so you can begin capitalizing on this simple but powerful idea.

Seriously, stop reading and do it already!

Should You Post Your Martial Arts Class Schedule on Your Website?

Recently I received an email from a martial arts marketing association that claimed you will have a 34% drop in response by posting your martial arts school’s class schedule.

So, should you believe the hype or not?

In one of my posts Top 8 Pages Every Martial Arts School’s Website Should Have, I suggest you post your martial arts class schedule on your website and obviously think it’s a good idea. My take is that it can help prequalify prospects before they call you and is  a good customer service feature.

However, not every thinks so.

There seems to be two sides on the issue:

  1. Show Your Schedule
    Posting your schedule can be good customer service because people can pre-qualify themselves. Those that contact you will have one less thing getting in between getting them to sign up. It can also demonstrate the variety of classes you offer and how convenient your schedule is.
  2. Don’t Show Your Schedule
    By posting your martial arts class schedule, prospects might disqualify themselves even if they have the time and won’t come through the door. This approach gives prospects more reason to contact you to learn more about your program. One of our readers posted this comment:

I wouldn’t want someone to qualify a schedule on their own. I’ve had students who have adjust thier schedules to our academy because they understand how much our classes have done for them. If I put up the schedule online, they might have never come through the door. – T. Wong

I see both sides of the issue and think the best solution is to test both ideas and see for yourself it effects your response rate or not. This way,  it removes the subjective and provides you with the facts for your martial arts school.

In my own experience, I see fewer responses on my website when I bury my schedule and take it out of the main navigation. My facts don’t match the 34% fewer responses claim I mentioned above.  If I were to just take it as fact, it could actually hurt my business.

My advice? Test. Test. Test. As with anything, your results may vary.

What do you think? Post your schedule or not?

10 Types of Irresistible Offers You Can Make to Prospects

As a follow up to one of my most popular posts How to Create an Irresistible Offer Your Prospects Can’t Refuse, I wanted to expand on some different kinds of offers you can make.

An offer is something you’re willing to give your prospect for taking action and can range from free information to those that cost you money.

It’s not necessarily about how much actual dollar value your offer has, it’s about the perceived value of what you’re offering that matters most.

An offer with a high perceived value will work like gangbusters and can help drive even more people to your martial arts school.

The trick is to find the right offer that motivates your prospect to take action. In other words, all of these offers aren’t equal and one might work better than another. It’s best to test these different offers to see which type works best for your market.

10 Types of Irresistible Offers

1. Free trials
Free trials are a great no risk way for someone to come in and try out your classes. I used this for years and found it to be a great way to get people in the door.

Examples:

  • Get two lessons free
  • Get one week of martial arts lessons free
  • Free introductory lesson

2. Free information
This is even lower risk than doing a trial because people don’t have to physically come in to redeem this. This could be a free report or guide you email them or paper copy in the mail.

Examples:

  • A woman’s guide to self defense
  • A man’s guide to self defense
  • A child’s guide to self defense

3. Free tours
This sounds less involved than a trial and might be all you need to get someone in the door. I have heard of many martial arts schools who have have used this successfully to get new students.

Examples:

  • Free tour of your facility

4. Free giveaways
What can I say, people like free stuff. This is a great enticer to get people in the door.

Examples:

  • Free coupon voucher for a trial program
  • Free martial arts school T-shirt
  • Free DVD about your school
  • Free info pack or report

5. Contests
Enter to win contests are a great way to get a list of people who are interested in your program.

Examples:

  • Enter to win 3 free lessons with a black belt instructor
  • Enter to win a free week of martial arts lessons
  • Enter to win a free month of martial arts lessons

6. Two for one
This one is often overlooked but very powerful.

Examples:

  • Two people sign up for the price of one (trial program)
  • Get one month free when you pay for your first month

7. Discounts
I don’t anyone who wants to pay full price if they don’t have to so offering a discount is a great way to make people feel special.

Examples:

  • $0 sign up fee
  • 50% off your first month of lessons
  • Pay for 6 months in advance and get 20% off

8. Limited availability
If everyone and anyone can get this offer, what makes it so special that someone would take action? Offers are great when there is scarcity involved as it gets people to take action. People also like to feel they’re getting something no one else is.

Examples:

  • Limited to only the next 5 people who respond
  • Only 3 spots left so act now
  • Be one of the next 7 people to respond and receive XYZ

9. Free bonuses
This could be anything like a free private lesson upon sign up to merchandise…you name it.

Examples:

  • Free subscription to Black Belt Magazine
  • Free upgrade to higher quality uniform
  • Access to online instructional videos

10. Guarantees
If you’re not guaranteeing your services, I  guarantee you’re not getting as many inquiries you could be.

Examples:

  • 30-day money back guarantee
  • 110% money back guarantee
  • 60 day money back guarantee plus you keep all free bonuses

What types of offers do you make at your martial arts school?

Which ones work best in your experience?

Share your experiences in the form of a comment below!

Top 10 Martial Arts School Web Site Mistakes and How to Fix Them

Are You Guilty of these Common Mistakes on Your Martial Arts School Web site?Having a martial arts school Web site is one of the most important marketing tools at your disposal.

If you already have a Web site for your martial arts school, then this list of common mistakes will help give you some direction. If you don’t have a Web site yet or are in the process of building one, you can use this as a preventative guide.

Following these simple steps can help you to attract and get more students and make your martial arts school Web site work harder for you.

Top 10 Martial Arts School Web Site Mistakes

  1. Using a shared host with pop up ads.
    If you’re using a free host for your website, it could be costing you more than you might think. It makes you look unprofessional and may distract or irritate your visitors as the ads and pop ups are distractions. Free hosts typically make their money with pop up ads, are slow loading, and don’t provide a professional URL (www.yoursite.com). Hosting can cost as little as $35 a year. Stop being cheap.
  2. You don’t have a dot com.
    A domain name costs as little as $9.99 a year and is one of the best investments you can make. It signals you are professional and also allows you to have an email address from your domain instead of a free email provider like Hotmail, Gmail or Yahoo.
  3. You focus on features.
    People buy benefits, not features. Focus on communicating how you can serve their needs, not how cool your style is, how many trophies you have, and how many boards you can break. Speak to your target audience, not to your ego.
  4. Slow loading website.
    If you can count to 5 before everything loads on your page, you have a bloated site. Be sure to shrink your photos down so that they can be easily loaded and use them sparingly. You should rely more on content, rather than images, to tell your story.
  5. Confusing navigation.
    Your navigation should help people flow through your Web site. Use naming conventions that tell people what they’re going to find when they click. Examples include: Get Started, What You’ll Learn, Why Learn From Us, Free Trial, etc. Then keep it consistent on every page in both location and naming convention.
  6. No calls to action.
    Do you ask people to contact you? Start making calls to action on every page like “Ready to get started? Call us at 000-123-4567 today!” or “Click here now to schedule your free, no obligation trial program!” Try it. It works.
  7. Poor website structure.
    Try to keep the most important information at the top of the page like calls to action, logo, navigation, headlines, important links, photos, etc. Then keep that structure consistent across all pages so people know what to expect and can find their way around easier.
  8. You don’t capture emails.
    Having an email list of people interested in your martial arts dojo is one of the greatest assets you can have. Create a contact form asking for their name and email to receive more information. At the very minimum, have your email link on every page. Then you can email out promotions, offers, news, etc. to a targeted list of people who have already expressed interest.
  9. Lack of search engine optimization elements.
    To get high rankings in the search engines, you have to have well written, unique content formatted in HTML that is built around keywords like “Tae Kwon Do Atlanta Georgia.” Then you have to add the following search engine optimization (SEO) amplifiers:
    1. Title Tags: This is what is displayed at the top of your browser. An example of a title tag on a home page could be “Martial Arts lessons in Atlanta Georgia – Acme Tae Kwon Do.” Each page should have a unique title tag 64 characters or less. Remember that the title tag becomes the link in search results so write carefully.
    2. Meta Descriptions: This a brief description that will appear in the search engines, below the title tag link. It too should be unique for each page and describe the content for that page in 150 characters or less. While this doesn’t impact SEO directly, it can help provide context before someone clicks on the link. A good example for the home page could be “Acme Tae Kwon Do – Martial Arts Lessons for adults and children in downtown Atlanta Georgia. Learn about rates, schedules, and our free trial program.”
  10. Not submitting it to the search engines.
    You can’t build a Web site and expect the search engines to find it. You have to tell them about it. The good news is that you can submit your domain name for free to Google, Yahoo and MSN. Once you submit, they will send an automated “spider” that will crawl your Web site and determine what search results you should come up for based around the content and title tags (an extremely generalized explanation) found on your site.

Print this page out, pull up your Web site, and see if you’re making any of these mistakes. Correct the mistakes you’re making and help your Web site work harder for you.

So how did you do? How many Martial Arts School Web site mistakes are you making?