Your Martial Art School Website Marketing Plan…
As promised, in this article I’ll be covering how to drive traffic to your martial arts school website. I know a lot of you struggle with getting site visitors, and it’s a really common problem among small business owners. This article will give you a leg up on the task of getting traffic to your website. (And in case you missed them, here are links to Parts 1, 2, and 3 of this article series…)
Before I begin, let me give you fair warning regarding the information I’m about to share with you – unless you have deep pockets, this is going to take a lot of work on your part.
So, if you’re looking for a magic traffic button that you can just press and get all the traffic you want, you’re going to be sorely disappointed.
But for those martial arts school owners who are willing to do what it takes to get eyeballs on their martial arts school marketing sites, there will be a big payoff for you if you’ll read this article and take action on my recommendations.
Driving Traffic In About A Dozen Easy Steps
Since there are many different ways to drive traffic to a website, this article is going to read more like a greatest hits list than the typical tutorial-style article I usually write. Also, there’s just not enough room (and I don’t have enough time) to write detailed instructions for everything I’m going to list here.
That means you’re going to have to do some additional reading to figure out the best ways of using each of these methods if you’re unfamiliar with them. To help you with this, I’ve included links to recommended books and resources whenever possible.
Paid Traffic Methods
Paid traffic methods include any paid online or offline advertisement for your site. Online paid traffic methods include (in order of importance):
- Google AdWords
- Facebook Ads
- Bing/Yahoo Ads
- Paid Yelp Ad Placement
- Paid ad placement on your local news sites
- Paid inclusion in your local online yellow pages
You’re better off starting with Google AdWords and then branching out to other paid traffic venues. And if you’re a total noob when it comes to PPC advertising, I suggest you start by reading Google AdWords For Dummies and The Definitive Guide to Google Adwords.
If you don’t have deep pockets, just start with a $10 a day Google AdWords campaign and go from there. Just be sure to set a daily spending limit and set your ads to only display in your local area when you set up your campaigns. Otherwise, you might end up with a huge AdWords bill at the end of the month.
Now, let’s talk about offline paid traffic methods. Basically, this simply consists of using business cards, print ads, fliers, door hangers, and direct mail pieces to drive people to your online offer.
Once you have an effective direct response lead capture website (for more info on this, see my last two articles here and here) this is a no-brainer. Repeat after me: “Every ad and marketing piece I distribute will have my website address on it.” Tattoo that on your forehead in reverse so you see it every time you brush your teeth.
Free Traffic Methods
Free traffic methods are designed either to increase your organic (free) search engine exposure, or to drive traffic directly to your online offer on your website. I’m going to list several methods, and you can feel free to pick and choose from among them.
Google Maps – You must have a Google Maps business listing, and it must be optimized for a high ranking in the Google search results for your area. If you need help with this, contact me using the contact form on this page. I can help you get your Google Maps business listing set up and optimized so it ranks on the first page of local search results.
Social media marketing – Posting links to your site on social media sites. For example, posting your current specials regularly on your Facebook business page. For an excellent tutorial on this, read Likeable Social Media.
Video marketing – Create short videos and post them to video sites, linking to your site in the description. This mostly refers to YouTube, but can include other sites like Vimeo, DailyMotion, and Metacafe to a lesser extent. Since YouTube is owned by Google now, if you’re short on time I suggest you just post a new video on YouTube every week.
And while Mac people don’t seem to have a problem with making online videos, Windows users tend to struggle with video production (mostly because Windows Movie Maker sucks). However, with all the after-market tech and tools available today making great-looking videos in Windows is actually easier than you might think.
Next week, I’ll be posting a tutorial on how to do video marketing for your martial arts school, including a list of video production tools I’ve used and recommendations on which tools I like best. Keep your eyes peeled for it.
Content Marketing – Write interesting and unique articles based around popular keywords so your content gets ranked in Google and Bing/Yahoo, thus garnering you free traffic. Increasingly, this is becoming the preferred online marketing method for small businesses operating on a limited marketing budget. Content Rules is still the bible for content marketing – read it if you want to learn how to excel at this online marketing method.
Email Marketing – You are doing email marketing now by capturing leads on your site, aren’t you? If not, click here to sign up for this handy web-based email marketing software that will allow you to easily capture leads on your site, and then follow up with them via email.
You might be asking yourself, “Self, if I already have their contact information, why would I want to email these people to get them to visit my website?” Simple – not everyone joins right away, and sending new offers and specials to your warm lead list is a great way to get the ones who didn’t sign up right away to join.
Online Classifieds – No, they’re not just for hiring a date for your class reunion – you can use them to generate traffic, too. Many of my business coaching clients who are martial arts school owners use sites like Craigslist to generate traffic to their marketing sites and leads for their business. An easy way to generate great-looking ads for these sites is using the AdLiked ad generator. Just make sure you don’t spam Craigslist with tons of the same ads – they get sort of hacked about that kind of thing and will ban you if you do.
How Often Should You Use These Traffic Generation Methods?
The answer is, as often as is practical. For example, you should be posting links to your website on social media sites every day, adding new content to your website each week, and sending an email newsletter out to your list monthly with news and specials. Get in the habit of using these methods regularly, and make them a part of your overall marketing plan.
– Mike Massie
P.S. – One last thing… if you need a website for your martial art school, I can help with that. For more information click here.