Social media channels like Facebook, Twitter, Google + and others take time and energy to manage effectively. In the past couple of years, we’ve seen fitness business owners flock to these channels to better engage and interact with their current and future gym members or students. As great as this is, if it comes at the expense of paying attention to your website, I’d argue that you’re making a mistake.
Think about it. While having a solid Facebook business page is still very important, if you’re spending time engaging on social media and piquing the interest of your target audience, the very first place these folks will go is your website. That’s why it is so important to make sure that you maximize your website’s effectiveness.
Before I get into what you absolutely must have on your fitness website, I’m going to answer a question we hear a lot. “Isn’t a Facebook business page enough?” In short, the answer is no, but let me tell you why.
60% of all Internet users do not have a Facebook account. That’s a heck of a lot of potential members or students that you’ve just cut off from any promotions. In addition, if you only have a Facebook page, your fitness business has limited search visibility from the all-important Google search engines. You are also limited by the policies of Facebook. If Facebook decides it doesn’t like something you’ve posted, a Facebook administrator can easily take it down and you can’t really do anything about it. Finally, you have to wonder if your business will be perceived as unprofessional if you don’t have a website.
Now that I have (hopefully) convinced you that as a fitness business, you need a website, let’s walk through a few ways that you can optimize your site.
As I mentioned above, you’re likely spending a ton of time, energy and money to get prospective members or students to your website. Once they are there, you need to make sure they can contact you for additional information. Have an inquiry form on every page of your site. Even better? Add eye-catching, action-oriented words around the form to encourage a potential member to fill it out such as, “Get started now.”
Information on your coaches or instructors:
A potential gym member wants to know who they’ll be working with when they enter your facility, what kinds of certifications that person may have and if we are completely honest here, what that person looks like (meaning they likely want to see someone that looks healthy and happy). Make sure you have all this information in your staff profiles on your website. And make sure the photos are clear (not blurry ones you stole from their Facebook profile). [clearfix]
Even if you’re just starting out and your schedule is in flux, make sure you put something up there about your schedule. I’m an early bird and like to work out before 7am. If you only offer a few am classes during the week, but many in the evening, I’d rather know that upfront.
Place for members to log-in:
You can simplify your life a ton if you enable your members or students to self-serve. Provide a way that a member can register for an upcoming class, check their payments or update their personal information. It may seem like small things to update when you are just starting out, but these updates take longer and longer as your gym grows. Enable self-service now and save yourself a ton of time on administrative tasks.
Anything that members ask you consistently on the phone or via a contact form should go on your website. Pricing, directions, whether or not a new student needs to do an introductory class and class descriptions are all things that should be included in your site. The more FAQ’s you can put up on your site, the less time you can spend answering basic questions. That means you can devote that time to having meaningful conversations with prospective members about their goals, fitness background and other more important topics.
As Forbes contributor Mike Myatt noted when talking about the importance of website (and website design), “Being found is nice, but it’s the experience and engagement that occurs (or not) that really matters. There are many ways to get eyeballs to your content, but what really matters is what happens when you get there.” Keep this in mind as you tweak and change certain portions of your website. It is also important to note that your website is never “done.” There are always items or things you can add to make it even more engaging.
If you could use a hand with your website, consider letting us build one for you. Our integrated websites have all the features you need to attract and convert your visitors. In addition to a homepage, our responsive website templates include key pages such as about us, coach bios, programs, schedule, contact us, blog, testimonials, an area for members to login and forms to drive leads. They also fully integrate with our software. If you’re interested learning more about our websites and how they can transform your online presence, schedule your demo with one of our Software Specialists. We’ll walk you through the highlights of our services and answer any questions you might have.