martial arts and martial arts marketing | YakaJirri Web Design

Martial Arts Marketing

Marketing your martial arts school is tough. If you are like most school owners, this is the most challenging part. You are a master on the mat but your marketing options are almost unlimited. We will give you things to consider when putting together your marketing plan and discuss our marketing services.

Since almost every business has a limited marketing budget, the first question we recommend you ask yourself is what method will get me the most new students for the money I have in my marketing budget. Online marketing is by far the most cost effective marketing method. There is a reason Google's profit is in the billions of dollars and newspapers are going out of business. One of the most beautiful things about online marketing is that for a small amount of money you can test your great marketing idea that will leave you scrambling to handle all new students. And if it doesn't work, you haven't lost a lot of money. You get almost instant feedback about your ad and can adjust it on the fly.

So far we have established that online marketing is the most cost effective and therefore where we recommend putting the majority of your marketing budget. You can further break down online marketing into natural and ads.

The natural online marketing is putting your gym in places on the internet that are free. One of the strategies is Search Engine Optimization(SEO). SEO is the process of positioning your website so that when someone searches for martial arts related words, then your website would show up high in the results (called rankings).  This ranking is called the organic ranking.  Since search engines (i.e. Google) closely guard how they rank websites, SEO is a trial and error process. Things like changes to the ranking algorithm and what other martial arts schools are doing will effect your rankings therefore SEO is like trying to hit a moving target. Search engines are trying to find the most relevant content for their users. This keeps the user coming back and allows search engines to sell more ads. The best long term strategy is to provide great content that will satisfy web browsers. Beware of any strategy that isn't focused on the long term goals. There are short term tricks that could get you banned where you don't show up in the search engines at all.

SEO has two aspects. First is how the site is constructed and second is what other websites refer to your website. Most gym owners are bombarded with offers for SEO. SEO starts with identify which words (known as keywords) you want your site to show up for when someone searches. The first question we recommend you ask is if the keyword will get me new students. Every SEO company will have tools to estimate the amount of traffic a keyword will get. Finding the keywords that get martial arts students in your door isn't as simple as looking at the words that have the most traffic. Another critical question to ask a SEO company is how they will get your website ranked. Search engines have guidelines that must be followed. If you try to trick the search engines, your website could never show up in the top of that search again. The industry lingo for acceptable SEO practice is called white hat and trying to trick the search engines is called black hat. Be very cautious about how a company plans on doing SEO. Some companies will do anything to get the rank they promised.

There are other ways to get free places on the internet like Facebook, Twitter, local directories (yelp,,, etc) and social bookmarking(Reddit, StumbleUpon, Delicious, etc). One of the general shortcomings of a generic internet marketing plan is that they miss martial arts related directories.

The second type of internet marketing is paid ads. This is where you pay to have your message displayed to prospective students. These could be ads that show up when someone searches in Google (called AdWords) or Facebook ads. The advantage of this approach is that you get to display the exact message you want. With the non-paid listings in search engines (called organic results), you can't select the message to be shown. With ads you can test different messages without effecting your existing website traffic.

To recap, there are two aspects to online marketing. First is the natural/free/organic flavor. Second is paid ads. We recommend taking the time to understand the pros and cons of each approach and striking the balance that best fits your gym. One important factor is how competitive your market is.

Martial Arts Marketing at YakaJirri

We would love to talk with you to help you understand your options. We are martial artists helping other martial artists. All of YakaJirri's websites come with a do-it-yourself marketing plan that has been proven in martial arts schools. We also offer you the option of us doing the marketing for you. You can select which parts of the marketing we do and you can choose every month how much you want us to do.

Fill out the form to your left to learn more about our martial arts marketing system. Once we understand you and your market we can give you specific advise for your school. Also if you are interested in things like the second most cost effective way to get students, member retention, and our sales process, send us a message.