martial arts and martial arts marketing | YakaJirri Web Design

9 Things to Prepare your Martial Arts Website and Marketing for the New Year Resolution Rush

This time of year people are focused on holidays, family, and friends. While students have so many distractions going on, it is the perfect time to prepare your martial arts website and martial arts marketing for the new years rush.

1. Install Website Analytics Program on your Martial Arts Website

This will tell you how people found your website and what they did while they are on your website. It's critical you get feedback on how someone found your website and how they interacted with it in order to improve it. Think of the difference in learning martial arts by watching a video and having a live instructor. We recommend installing Google Analytics  on your website.

2. Target your Visitors

Be sure to consider the 3 main types of visitors you will have:

Potential Members

Write your website in such a way that will get potential students excited about your school. For example, talking about how big your facility is or the lineage of your instructors isn't as exciting for the potential member as talking about how a child defeated a bully or a women stopped an attacker.

Include pictures and videos if you have them. Everyone knows the old saying "a picture is worth a thousand words". There is a new saying going around that "a video is worth a 1000" pictures. Some web visitors prefer to read and some rather watch.  Have content for every person. 

Potential members will have a reason for wanting to train martial arts. If you can connect with their wants and show how you can solve their problem(s), you have almost got them in the door

Include success stories on your website. Think of the exercise and weight loss infomercials. They all have people talking about how well the product works. Also notice how there is almost always someone that any potential customer can relate to. There is the athletic person, there is the out of shape person that changed their life, and the list goes on.


One mistake are websites that only focus on getting leads. Most sales people agree that the easiest person to sell something to is someone that has already bought something from you (assuming they were happy with what they bought). If your members don't find value in your website, they won't be visiting your website. Put info for them and let them know about extras like seminars and belt testing.

Search Engines

It's important that potential students find your website when they search for martial arts schools. The search engines don't tell how they rank websites. People look at rankings and perform tests in an attempt to reverse engineer the algorithm. What makes this even more challenging is that the search engines are continuously updating the algorithm to find the best results so people will use them more and they can sell more ads.

The search engine ranking depends on two main factors. First, is what happens on the website. People most often use the search term 'martial arts <city> '. Work this into your website by putting it in your heading, in the text toward the top of the page, and in the images alt tags. If you over do this, you will hurt yourself. Also making the important words bold helps. We focus on the human visitor and work in the search terms when they fit.

You can do other things like create a 'contact us' page with an embedded Google Map, add a privacy policy, and putting your address on each page.

The search engines like websites that are adding content. One thing you can try is adding a blog. You can add your trick move of the week/month, highlight a student, talk about how martial arts improves students lives, fitness tips, safety tips, nutrition tips, and so on.

Another thing to look at is a hidden element of your website called the Meta Description. When the search engines show the results, they show a preview of the website text called a Snippet. The search engines typically use the Meta Description for the Snippet. Check that yours entices someone to click to your website.

The second major ranking factor is what other websites are saying. This can be links and reviews from other websites. We will go into details about this later.

3. Ask the Website Visitor to do Something

A common mistake we see is not helping the potential member take the next step. Invite them to take the next step by visiting the gym, calling you, signing up for a class online, sign up for newsletter, or what ever you want the next step to be.

Asking the person to do something is often referred to as a "Call to Action". We put a call to action on every page and at the bottom of each class. Make it easy for them to take the next step. The next time you watch TV commercials pay attention to how often someone selling a product will say 'call now'.

The ideal case is to have a way for potential members to sign up for their first class online. This captures them while they are still focused on you and before they can get distracted. Also once they have an appointment, they are more likely to show up.

When creating the call to action, you need to put on your sales hat. To get ideas use Google to search for sales copy

Modern websites are created with the tools called Content Management Software (CMS). Most CMS will either have the ability to create a signup form or have an add-on/extension to do this. If yours doesn't check out wofoo.

4. Setup Google Business Places and Google+ for Business

Be sure to setup or claim your Google Business Places and Google+ for Business. When you set them up, be sure to fill out all the info and add pictures and videos.

After they are setup, ask your members to review you. Having positive reviews is becoming more and more important. Potential students are more frequently checking online reviews. And there is an increased emphasis on positive reviews in search engine rankings. The reviews needs to happen slowly over time. If you go too fast it will look fake and you won't reap the full reward.

5. Get more Local Directories Listing

There are other local directories like

Bing Places

Yahoo Local

Four Square

We recommend doing two things to find local directories to list your business. First, do a Google search for things like "martial arts <city>" and other services you offer like "kickboxing <city>". For the first 5 pages of the Google search results, be sure you are listed in each directory.

The second step is to put your business into Get Listed and add the directories you are not listed in.

It is very important that your business name, address, and phone number are the exact same in every directory. Notice the word "Exact".

6. Market to your Existing Members

One idea is to give your members gift certificates for free classes that they can give to their family and friends. Also put these in places were members will see them like the front desk and the waiting areas.

Another idea is have an bring a friend night.

You can also try to put your specials on a dry erase whiteboard. People are exposed to so many advertisements that they tune them out. Having information on a whiteboard in hand writing is less likely to get tuned out because it is different. Also our education system teaches us to look at the board when we walk into class which means people will most likely glance at it. Be sure you keep it changing or people will tune it out.

7. Post to Online Classified Sites

CraigsList is the most known online classified site. You can get ideas to market by performing the Google search how to market my business on craigslist.

There are other ones like ebay classifieds.

To find more Google search top ten online classified websites or alternatives to craigslist.

8. Daily Deal Sites

Look into running a special on Living Social and Groupon.

There are many other daily deal sites. To find more do a Google search for get list of daily deal websites.

Also you can do an web search to see if there are ones specific to your area.

9. Think about Social Media Sites other than Facebook and Twitter

At this point almost every business has a Facebook and Twitter account. Consider the other social media websites and their user base. For example Pinterest is mostly women so they are a great place for women's self defense. And LinkedIn is good for business-to-business in case you trying to build relationships with other businesses to cross refer people.