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
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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:
- 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.
- 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.”
- 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?