Effective web marketing

Time To Update Your Website? Let’s Do It Properly…

martial arts websites

Above: Example of a design my firm created for our Fighting Fit Kickboxing coaches (sans content).

There is simply no excuse for having a lackluster website in the information age.

Almost everyone uses the internet these days to research purchases before they buy.

That’s why it’s imperative that you keep your site updated and fresh, much like rotating the inventory in your school store.

Right now is the best time to update your website with new information on your business, especially to announce new hours, specials, and programs. So, rather than doing it halfway, look at your entire site and overhaul your content to maximize your martial arts website’s effectiveness.

And I’m going to tell you how…

Catering To Two Types Of Site Visitors

There are two types of people who will visit your site:

  1. People that want to find the information they are looking for as quickly as possible (for simplicity, we’ll call them “surfers”) –
  2. And people who want as much information as possible so they can make an informed decision (we’ll call them “researchers”) –

Remember, there’s a reason people research goods and services on the internet before they make a purchase (actually, two reasons).

  • They are generally time-strapped and need information fast,
  • And they want to get the most up-to-date information possible.

Your job is to provide them with exactly what they are looking for – no more, no less. So, you need to have something for both…

How To Make Sure They Contact You

For the site surfers, your contact info needs to be front and center at the top of your site. Also, you must have a lead capture form on every page possible, as well as an easily located “Contact Us” page.

Be aware that this type of website visitor will skim your information. So, use section headlines to summarize your most important information, and bullet points to provide short, concise benefits for your “surfing” prospects.

Your site also needs to load fast, so cut back on the flash and graphics and keep your site files down as much as possible.

Hint: Multiple videos embedded on the same page can cause a page to load slowly (unless they’re hosted on an external server, like YouTube). So, at most embed one or two videos to a page. But by all means – DO have video on your site! YouTube has made it easy for anyone to use video as an online marketing tool, and any school owner would be foolish not to take full advantage of it.

For people who are “researchers”, you should have plenty of information on each of your programs. And, it should be written in such a manner that it caters to the target audience.

And, no matter what the type of site visitor, you must have a call to action on every single page of your site.

Don’t over-complicate this – just tell them what to do and give them a darn good reason to do it. “Call today for more information on classes and to take advantage of our FREE registration special!”

You Need To Have A Clear And Unified Marketing Message

Finally, your website content needs to have a unified tone and theme. Tone is the attitude of the writer conveyed by their choice of vocabulary and sentence structure. Your tone can be light, friendly, serious, upbeat… but above all it must resonate with your target audience!

The mistake most school owners make in writing the content for their martial arts websites is too much variation in tone across the site. When you write one section of your site content in one tone or theme, and another on the opposite end of the spectrum, it can create confusion or skepticism in your prospect’s mind.

Your marketing message is the second half of this equation. This relates to the tone of your site, but it has more to do with what you’re saying than with how you’re saying it. Your overall marketing message should be summed up in 17 words or less, and it should convey your U.S.P. (unique selling proposition).

Once you can do this, your entire site’s content should revolve around your marketing message.

Why is this important? For starters, sending mixed signals to your prospects will create confusion, and a confused mind does not buy.

Second, it’s easiest to sell what you believe in. So, your marketing message should be in complete harmony with your own personality and values.

Wrapping Up Today’s Article On Martial Arts Websites

Look, I know this sounds like a lot to think about, but all you really have to remember are a few key points:

  • Update your site regularly. If your site doesn’t currently allow you to do this, get a new site that allows you to edit and update it at will.
  • Make it easy for people to contact you, and give them a good reason to do so.
  • Provide enough information to satisfy the researchers, and put your most important information in section headings and bullets for surfers.
  • Be consistent in your tone and marketing message across your entire site.
  • Make sure your marketing message is in line with your core values.

That’s it! All that’s left is to take action on what you’ve learned from this article. Doing so will leverage your martial art school website as a valuable tool to grow your school.

Need help with your web marketing? I’ve helped dozens of martial arts school owners to improve their Google rankings and to get more leads from their web marketing. If you’d like to find out more about how your school can get more leads and enrollments through better web marketing, click here to contact me.

6 Comments

  1. Kurt Schulenburg on January 6, 2010 at 9:40 am

    Excellent article – and it opens the doors for so many more questions! (Which is a good thing!)
    Nick Usborne wrote a nice article the other day (http://tinyurl.com/yz4k5td) about writing with a hook – and how to avoid it. The whole aspect of “tone” is one that really is important in projecting your (and your school’s) personality.
    I know I’ve got to re-do my website… again!



  2. Mike Massie on January 6, 2010 at 10:15 am

    Nick’s a good copywriter, and a nice guy, too. (He actually answers his emails!)

    Tone is something that is often overlooked when writing website content. Sometimes I’m so close to my content, I have to step away from it for a while so I can look at it with fresh eyes… and when I read it a second time I often end up changing it to adjust the tone and atmosphere of what I’ve written.



  3. Sensei J. Richard Kirkham B.Sc. on January 6, 2010 at 4:22 pm

    You’re right about tone. I’ve been in sales over 30 years. How you say something is even more important than what you say. When I did my video for my new book, people could tell by my voice over I was excited about it.

    On to my question. Are recommending to different pages for these two different visitors?

    Rick



  4. Chris Whamond on January 7, 2010 at 3:22 am

    Great tips. I think the most valuable part of this post is the emphasis on the “core marketing message”. It’s the most important part of your mix and something frequently overlooked.



  5. Mike Massie on January 7, 2010 at 5:41 am

    Chris, thanks for the kind comments.



  6. Mike Massie on January 7, 2010 at 5:12 pm

    Richard,

    It’s not typically necessary. Just make sure you use lots of descriptive subheads, section headings, and bullets for the site visitors who are skimming/surfing, and plenty of detailed info (benefits-focused!) for the “researcher” types. That should take care of both site visitor types.



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