The 3 Questions Your Martial Arts School Web site Must Immediately Answer

Satisfy Your Visitors Goals so they Remain On Your Web Site and Away from Your Competitors

According to many Web site usability experts like Steve Krug, there are three simple questions every single page on your Web site must answer in order to remove any questions in their mind that they’re at the right Web site and that you can indeed help them satisfy their goals.

Usability, in a nutshell, is how well a Web site helps a visitor reach and satisfy their goals. It’s important because it helps them stick to your Web site and find what they’re looking for. And, if you’ve done your job right, you are one step closer to getting them as a student.

The 3 Questions of Web site Usability

  1. Where am I?
  2. What can I find here?
  3. Where can I go next?

1. Where Am I?

This is usually answered by the logo and USP in the header of each Web site. There should also be clues in the page name, file structure in the URL, navigation, and, if available, in the bread crumb navigation. You don’t want to confuse people when they land on your any given page on your martial arts school’s Web site.

Considering a person may find one of your sub pages in the search engines, rather than start at your home page, you need to make sure that people know where they are in relation to the rest of the site and how far away from the home page they are on each and every page.

2. What Can I Find Here?

The second question has to do with content. If someone searched for “mixed martial arts ann arbor michigan” in Google and lands on your page, are you relevant to what they are looking for? If not, or if it’s not readily apparent you are relevant, then they will like click the back button and go to another site that is.

3. Where Can I Go Next?

This has to do with the links on your page – primarily your navigation. Is your navigation intuitive or does your labeling confuse visitors? Does it give insight into what will be found on the other side of the click? Navigation needs to be inviting and intuitive. Anything less will decrease the user experience.

Like every store you enter, every Web site is different. You need to make it easy for people to know where they are, fulfill their need for information, and where they can go if they want to continue to snoop around.

Well, how did you do? Did your martial arts school Web site clearly answer these questions?

Top 5 Questions to Develop a Rock Solid Unique Selling Proposition for your Martial Art School

Ask These 5 Questions to Create a USP that Cuts Through the Clutter!

With so much competition out there, you need to have a targeted statement that helps you stand out and helps prospects understand who you are, what you do and what’s in it for them. It’s called a Unique Selling Proposition.

Here is a list of questions to ask yourself to help make sure you’re going the right direction.

  1. What are your biggest benefits? List out everything that can be a perceived benefit to your target.
  2. What do your competitors offer? List out everything that could be perceived a benefit. Then compare against your list.
  3. What do you offer that no one else is promoting? Is there gap you can fill?
  4. Is it unique? Does anyone else claim the same thing (or similar)?
  5. Does it solve your target markets problems?

You can also listen to your students and see what they tell you over and over as to why they chose you. If there is one thing that keeps coming up, start there first. If you don’t know why, just ask them (a topic of another post coming soon). Then step through questions 4 and 5 above to see if it’s a good candidate.

Follow that process and find the one thing that makes your stand out. Then put that key statement into your website, business card, sign, windows, brochure, or anywhere you market your martial arts school. Use it on everything.

Remember, a good USP makes all the difference in communicating the how you’re different and makes it easy for people to get an idea of who you are an what you do.

What additional questions would you add to this list? Can it be improved upon?

How to Get Testimonials that Influence Prospective New Martial Arts Students to Join

One the most common marketing recommendations you’ll read about is how you should add testimonials to everything you do to establish credibility. I couldn’t agree more. However, getting testimonials has always been a challenge for many martial arts school owners.

You can either wait for them to come to you or you can ask for them. That said, many people think they have to wait to for people to send them and that if they ask for them that it somehow cheapens things.

On this, I couldn’t disagree more.

Read on to learn about six questions you can ask to get higher quality testimonials.

If you don’t ask, the reality is that you will likely wait a long time before they come in. And, what’s more, is that you don’t always great testimonials that help influence prospective new students when you leave it up to your students to write them on their own accord.

Sure I appreciate and use testimonials I get from those who send them without me asking, but I don’t sit around and wait for them to come to me. I like to be a little more proactive.

Here is how I structure my request for testimonials. I simply ask them six very targeted open ended questions in the form of a questionnaire.

Six Questions To Get Better Testimonials

  1. What are your reasons for taking the martial art?
  2. What convinced you that this was the right place for you?
  3. In what ways has training in the martial arts affected your life?
  4. What do you like most about training here?
  5. How would you describe your training at our studio to your friends?
  6. Is there anything else you would like to add?

As you can see from my questions, I am asking questions that get them to open up about why why they joined, what they like about my martial arts school, how training with me has helped them in their every day life, and more. They are all open ended questions and get people to give you great insight into things you wouldn’t have likely gotten any other way.

Don’t be afraid to ask, oftentimes, you get a better testimonial because you guide things by asking the right questions. Ask for them. It works.

How do you go about getting testimonials for your martial arts school? Share your ideas in the form of a comment below!

Is Your Martial Arts Style Getting in the Way of Your Success?

I can’t tell you how often I drive by a martial arts school and all I see on their sign is “Insert Style Here.”

I’ve been in the martial arts nearly 20 years and I have no idea what some of the names mean or what kind of style it is.

If someone who reads Black Belt magazine basically every month, researches martial arts online every week, and has been in the arts for nearly 20 years doesn’t know what your style is or what it means, how confused do you think your prospects are?

Think about it this way…

If you drove by a sign that was written in Japanese, and assuming you didn’t know that language, would you be able to read it? That’s basically what you sign looks like if you’re placing too much emphasis on your style with your businesses identity.

Consider your audience before coming up with a name for your business. If your target audience doesn’t know how to pronounce it or what it means, it could mean it’s getting in the way of growing your studio.

Remember, just because your style means a lot to you, doesn’t mean it means anything to your prospective new student at the point they are evaluating what martial arts school to join. In time, that may change, but first, you have to get them in the door.

Are you guilty of letting your style get in the way of your success?

9 Reasons Why Your Martial Arts School Still Needs a Website

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.

My answer?

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:

  1. 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.
  2. You can sell. A website is the place to sell, not on social media. Social media is about relationships, not selling.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. Makes you easier to compare. Your prospects expect a website. If you don’t have one, it makes you hard to find and compare.
  6. 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 (yourname@yourmartialartschool.com) 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.
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. 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!

8 Essential Qualities of Growing Your Martial Arts School Quickly in a Crowded Town

Every martial arts school owner I know wants their martial arts business to succeed—myself included.

As more and more martial arts schools spring up, it becomes increasingly difficult to grow quickly and get ahead. Every day there seems to be a new martial arts option in town. Krav Maga, BJJ or MMA gyms seem to be popping up in strip malls all over the valley everywhere I look. Successful martial arts schools are expanding or opening new locations.

Competition is getting incredibly fierce.

What prompted me to write this post was that a martial arts training facility is expanding into my area from the next valley over. And, they are paying through the nose to enter into the market and get noticed in paid search ads on Google. They’re #1 right now on a lot of terms and have bumped my ads down because they are willing to spend the money. It caught my attention and made me think about next steps.

So, here are some tips to help you persevere and grow you martial arts school in a crowded town. I’ve used many of these ideas for years and has helped me grow each and every year since I started. And, I’ll be using these same ideas to help me grow when I have more competition than ever. Maybe they’ll help you, too.

1. Find Your Hustle

If you’re sitting back and waiting for business coming to you, you’re already doomed. Deep down you know you need to get up off your chair, stop watching reruns of Steven Seagal: Lawman and take action. Every single day you should doing at least one thing to move your martial arts school forward. Just do something. Plan events. Brainstorm promotions. Make your classes better. Raise your energy. Be relentless. I have some competitors that seem to be every where. They clearly have hustle. However, so do I. And then some.

2. Never Give Up

It’s easy to push marketing your business when you just got a crop of new students. Just as when you spar, don’t drop your guard. In fact, that’s one of the best times to double your efforts and leverage your momentum. You have to keep pushing to be successful and can’t stop just because times are good today. Tomorrow, you may have 5 people quit or move out of town. I know of so many martial arts school owners who have just stopped trying because it can be draining and difficult. They gave up and are on autopilot as their martial arts dream dies a slow and horrible death. Being a small business is hard. We all know this. There are no easy ways to make it. However, you didn’t give up on getting your black belt. You can’t give up on making your business grow. We all know it doesn’t happen overnight. It’s just easy to forget when the phones aren’t ringing. You must persevere.

3. Stretch Yourself

Stretching is something every martial artists is familiar with and an important part of our training. The same thing applies in business. Stretching what you know, who you know, and how to do things are three great ways to stretch yourself. Obviously, you want to avoid stretching yourself too thin (that’s where tip #4 comes in). I try and learn one new thing a day. Sometimes two. I try and meet a new business owner every week. I visit martial arts website’s all over the world. Same with Facebook fan pages. I get so many ideas from doing this. I visit related (and none related) businesses and pick up ideas all of the time. I am constantly learning. More importantly, I’m always trying to grow and actively seek it out. For example, I never thought of myself much of a salesmen. So, I started reading books. I started applying what I learned. I got better. So can you.

“You must do the things you think you cannot do.” -Eleanor Roosevelt

4. Get Some Help

Are you a control freak? You can get more done faster and easier with other people helping you. You know this. But how many of us really leverage OPT? Some use this to mean “other people’s talents” while other’s see this as leveraging “other people’s time.” Either way, it works. All you have to do is ask and you’d be amazed at how many people want to help you. Let them. I am so much farther ahead now than ever because I just asked for help. You can quickly get ahead, too. Just ask.

5. Be Bold

You can’t be boring in business and expect to stand out. I once saw a martial arts school in town teach outside near the sidewalk during rush hour. Believe me, they got noticed. What are you doing to stand out and get noticed?

6. Say Yes More

Saying no can be good for business. However, it can also hurt it. Once I started saying yes to things more often, I quickly realized I could help more people if I just loosened up a bit. And you know what, it worked. Years ago I had a student ask me if I could start doing automated payments. I was reluctant because it meant I had to research things, invest time in calling around, weighing options, learning a new system, etc. But you know what? I’m glad I did and it changed my business. Had I said no, I’d still be chasing down someone’s monthly payment and hating every second of it. What a drain! Are you saying no when you should be saying yes? If so, rent Jim Carey’s “Yes Man” this weekend. It will not only make you laugh but also put this into better perspective. Who knows, it might even inspire you?

7. Become Remarkable

This one is easier than it sounds. One of the best way to grow is be remarkable enough to get people excited to talk about what they learned in your classes. Getting started with this idea isn’t hard. Just look at a few key areas. For example, how are you teaching your classes? Are you energetic or dull? Are they fun or predictable? Do they push people or can everyone slide? Are you constantly introducing new ideas or are you having everyone do the same old? You’d be surprised at how much people love you challenging them, giving them new ideas and making them think.

Push your paying clients in new ways and they’ll in turn help push your business to new levels.

So, I’d really like to know how are you standing out in crowded market. How do you do it?

Should your Martial Arts School be using Social Media?

You’ve probably heard all the buzz about social media.

But should your martial arts school even use it?

For starters, lets look at what social media is so we’re all on the same page.

What is Social Media?

Social media is word of mouth on digital steroids.

Social media describes content that is posted by users on various online platforms. Examples of social media include forums, blogs, microblogs, wikis, podcasts, videos, photo sharing sites and more. Social media applications include Facebook, Twitter, Youtube and Flickr.

Social Media Statistics

Watch this video to get an idea of the importance of social media and why you should pay attention to it:

So, um….yeeeaah… you need to pay attention to it.

Thoughts on Social Media for Your Martial Arts Business

  • It’s public. You’re not the only one who can find the good, bad and the ugly about your business online. Potential students are looking for reviews and info on what’s being said about your martial arts school. I check my Google Analytics account regularly for what keywords are being used to find my site. Increasingly, people are adding “reviews” on the end of my schools name so I know people are doing this (at least to me).
  • Get ahead of it. Social media might not be your thing, but that doesn’t mean you should ignore it. Dip your toes in now and at least see what’s being said. By having an established and active presence, if something does hit the fan, you will have history for spectators to better compare against to make a more informed opinion. If you have a student or instructor who’s particularly savvy with it, have them train you on how to get involved.
  • Be responsive. At some point someone will say something online that may do damage to your businesses reputation. Hopefully you don’t experience what is happening to these martial arts schools on RipOffReport.com. Monitor your martial arts schools name by using tools like Google Alerts and respond as soon as it hits your radar. DO NOT WAIT. Whether it is positive or negative, it’s still good to respond.
  • Listen. Really listen. If people are making criticisms, are they valid? If they offer suggestions, can you incorporate them into your business? One way or the other, address these by responding to them wherever they may appear. I can’t tell you how many good suggestions have come my way since starting my Facebook Fan Page for my martial arts school.
  • It gets easier the more you do it. It takes time to get used to updating and monitoring social media. However, if you build it into your routine and schedule it you will be more on top of it as the days go on.
  • Everyone is a marketer. Using social networks, everyone at your school is a potential marketer. Your students and instructors might already be posting information and helping to you grow your martial arts school. This should be encouraged and even rewarded at times.

With social media you can publicly resolve unsolved issues… address bad customer experiences… thank people for praise and ideas… promote a special offer… run a contest… and more.

Taking your first step into social media will also help you to connect with existing students and potential students in a way your competitors might not be; which can help you build a competitive advantage.

How do you use social media at your martial arts school?

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.

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?