your Business for the Martial Arts Industry
Ok, so you have a website. It’s live, it’s open for business but, now
what do you do? One of the hardest things about having a website, is always
getting it noticed and used. You will hear people talking about “search
engines” and “directories” and a ton of geeky jargon, but what can you
do to make your site more visible and get more visitors? Several things
in fact, that don’t require a PHD in computers to understand or do.
By Bob Hubbard
One of the fallacies is that a search engine listing is all you need.
Nothing could be further from the truth. According to GoDaddy (one of
the leading domain name registrars) over a million new web sites are registered
every day! Google, the leading Internet search site, currently indexes
billions of web pages. Billions! Obviously, you are going to need more
than just a search engine listing.
So, what do you do?
Simple. You do what has always worked. You tell everyone, and let word
of mouth be your best salesman.
1: People need to know your site exists in order to go there.
When was the last time you went someplace you didn’t know about? Almost
never, right? The web is the same way. People almost always go where they
plan to go. Making people aware that you exist is a main part of getting
noticed and visited.
So, how do you do this?
Put your website on everything going out of your business. Put it
on receipts, invoices, letterhead, business cards, boxes, class handouts,
flyers, etc. If it leaves your business at any time, make sure there
is a website address on it.
Place it prominently in your windows. Remember, your window works
24/7/365 for you. Make sure that you have 3 key pieces of information
on there: Your name, your phone number and your website.
a custom bumper sticker made for your vehicle that lists your website.
You can also have a local vinyl or sign company do some work for you
that advertises your business on your vehicle. Be certain to include
the web site! Your vehicle spends a lot of time in parking lots. Let
it be a mobile billboard for your business and work for you.
you sell or give away “branded” merchandise (sports bottles or towels
for example), have the website included.
All advertisements that you run must include your website address.
sure that all of your students, parents and instructors know about
the site. Remind them regularly about it.
People need a Reason to go there.
Knowing you have a site is not enough. People need to be told to go
there, and they need to know why.
talking to a prospect on the phone, don’t just tell them about the
classes. Tell them that “and information can be found on our website
xxx.com.” or “Our full class schedule is always available on our website,
xxx.com”. If you have a web coupon, be sure to mention it as well.
Everyone likes to save a buck, and pointing that out will almost guarantee
that they will take a look at the site, and hopefully, also pass the
address on to someone else.
talking to your students, parents and instructors, be sure to mention
that class schedules, upcoming events, school news, and whatever other
areas of interest you have there exist, and encourage them to check
regularly. Ask your students to link to the school site from their
web pages. When doing “Tell a Friend” promotions, be sure to suggest
that they also tell them about the website. Update your site regularly,
and announce the updates at every class for a week after the updates
are done. “Our class schedule on the website has been updated. You
can print a copy for your own use right from there.”
your site regularly, and let everyone know about it. Students, parents
and instructors all should be checking the site out regularly. Encourage
feedback on the site and ask your students and instructors for suggestions
on improvements. This involves them in the process more, and makes
them feel good. Updates are especially effective if done after an
event, and photos and reviews are included. Most people love seeing
themselves, and the “Hey everyone, I’m on my schools website working
with Master Z” can get you great word of mouth promotion for your
You need to do some promotion of the site as well.
When talking to a vendor, inquire if they do link exchanges. A link
exchange is where you put their banner (a small image) and a link to
them on their website, in exchange for them doing the same for you.
These are good ways to help boost your visibility and rankings on the
you go to other events or seminars, ask if you can bring flyers or
other handouts to help promote your school. Many will say yes. Even
if they say no, be sure to bring several business cards with the address
on them with you. This way, you can do some personal networking and
talking to key people in your art (your instructor, the guest instructor
of the seminar, etc), find out if they have a website, and would be
interested in a link exchange as well. Many people are very happy
to do so.
certain that all your newspaper, magazine, phonebook, radio and TV
advertisements mention your website.
you do trade shows, you want your website address visible and prominent.
Many people today will write a website down before they write the
you frequent web forums and mailing lists, most will allow you to
include a small block of text, often called a “signature” in your
postings. Do so, and make sure that, if allowed, you include your
email programs also allow you to include a signature. Add one to all
Having a successful website is a lot of work. Gone are the days where
you can just put it up, list it on a search engine, and watch traffic
role in. Each day, over a million new sites go up. That’s a big ocean
in which to shine, but, with the proper promotion, you can start a motion
that builds to a popular and successful web presence. All it takes is
some old fashioned promotion.
Hubbard is an administrator of the popular martial arts sites MartialTalk.com
He is president of SilverStar WebDesigns inc., a web site design and
hosting company specializing in affordable solutions for martial artists.
A student of all the arts, he is currently studying Modern Arnis. More
of Bob's articles can be found at rustaz.net.
Please contact Bob if you would like him to review your martial arts
Copyright ©2006 Bob Hubbard - Reprinted On KenpoTalk With Permission