Most karate schools only have one or a handful of locations. Typically, all in the same metropolitan area. This means that you only want to market to a smaller local area as that is where 99% of your student base is going to come from.
This is important to remember because you don’t want to waste your efforts on people that aren’t either in your town or close enough to become potential students.
A good way tap into your local audience online is to make sure you’re listed on all the top online local directories and should be a big part of your local search engine marketing efforts.
Most of my students came from my website followed by referrals. Surprisingly, my studio isn’t listed in the yellow pages (more on this later) and my classes are full. I even have a long waiting list.
My existing students, and those on the waiting list, found me when they performed a search online in either Google, Yahoo or MSN. If they didn’t find my website directly, they found me on a directory that pointed them to my website.
Obviously, the most important website I worry about is my own. In online marketing, it’s all about how many clicks a prospect is away from your website to close the sale. The fewer the clicks, the better chance you have to get them to choose you instead of your competition.
I spend a lot of time trying to rise up to the top of the search engines with my site on important keywords. However, it’s nice to have these other sites high in the search results as well. That said, the trick then becomes making sure you outrank them.
If you can get visitors to your site first, because you come up in the top of the search results, all the better. However, as a marketing strategy, it’s also good to be in as many listings as possible in case they click into another listing, missed it by accident or if they recognize that site and want to go to it first.
In addition, if you don’t have a website yet, these directories will help still get you some additional online exposure until you do.
There are a few other major online local listings you should make sure you’re listed. If you aren’t yet in the yellow pages or are in the process of developing your website, this is a must to ensure you’re getting your karate schools contact information is getting out to the broadest audience possible.
The good news is that all of the online directory listings I’m going to share all 100% free!
Online Local Directories
- Google Maps
- Yahoo Local
Do a search on these and see if you’re already listed. If you have a yellow pages ad, typically you get included in these directories automatically. However, it’s not always the case so be sure to double check you’re listed.
I know in my area, four of the seven listed above are in the top ten search results. What’s great about this is that not only do I have my listing for my site, I’m also listed on these other top ranking directories as well.
Do a search for “martial arts” in your city and see if you come up. If not, click the link that allows you to add your karate school. You will likely have to verify that you own that business; typically with a phone call or email to the business contact information you provided.
Do you use local online directories? Share your experience in the form of a comment below!