Your martial arts website is often the first impression online visitors have of your company. This statement is so critical I'll repeat it, in fact, change it a bit - Your website might be the ONLY impression online visitors will EVER have of your company. Don't blow it! If they don't like what they see, they'll leave just as fast as they came. Make sure you have a professional looking martial arts website, with good functionality, that showcases your business in the best possible light.
We're all aware of how much it costs to run a successful business. Sometimes, it seems like it gets more expensive every year. So it's necessary to spend a little bit extra on the most important areas of your business. If you want to cut corners, don't do it where you're most exposed.
Most businesses today rely on the internet to bring in new customers and interact with existing ones. Your website is the outward face of your company, so it's imperative to make a first, and lasting impression with the people that will be seeing it.
There's certainly no shortage of newbie web designers looking to build their portfolio, or "do it yourself" solutions that come with a very cheap price tag. You may save money now, but you'll pay for it laterbecause you won't be getting the full package which will cost you leads. You wouldn't buy the greatest looking car in the world if it didn't have an engine. And your website visitors probably won't become your customers if your website fails to deliver. They won’t even find your website if search engines like Google cannot understand what your site is about. Search engines rely on numerous indicators built into your site design and content that a newbie wouldn’t know about.
Professional web designers will almost always charge more than you may want to pay, but they'll also deliver in areas that you'd probably never think about. The significant things that you don't always see - like the error-free code they write, or the way the navigation works, or keeping things clean and uncluttered so your visitors can quickly and easily find what they're looking for.
The first thing visitors to your website will see is the design. It should be professional looking but not overloaded with graphical content, Twitter feeds, Facebook Feeds or inconsistencies from one page to the next. The menus and navigation should be the same on all pages. Not everybody will enter your site on the Home page. If they land on an internal page from a search engine or email link from a friend, they should have a clear idea of who you are, what you're about, and an easy way to move around the site to find more information from all pages.
Proper contact information should be visible on every page, or at least easily accessible from every page. This includes address, phone numbers, and email information. Don't forget to include hours of operation, especially if you have a difficult time answering emails and voicemails during non-business hours.
If you will be collecting payment information on your website, having a professional design will elevate your credibility, an essential point for new customers that don't know you or haven't used your services before. Very few people will trust their credit card to a homemade looking website.
The content you post is every bit as important as the design. It should be well-written, without typos and grammatical errors. If you struggle with writing, professional web designers can either formulate your thoughts and ideas into clear and concise language or they have access to writers who can. Don't cheat on your content.
Some say the content is more important than the design. After all, potential customers are expecting to be informed about who you are and what you do. Don't bury the content behind too much design. Put it front and center. The design should point them directly to your message. Be proud of your business and shout it to the world. At least, to the people who visit your site. Remember, they came to you. This gives you permission, for a very short time, to sell them on your business.
When thinking about the content of your website, consider not just what YOU want your visitors to know about you, but what THEY want to learn about you. Sometimes these are very different things, but important ones. This is where a professional website designer with years of experience will outshine the newbie web designer that promised you that great price. Trust their experience and work with them to provide as much information as you can about you and your business. Cultivating good content will pay off when prospects read your site and when search engines crawl your site.
One question that comes up often is, how do you know if a web designer has the right stuff for your business? Simply ask to see their work. Professional web designers will have a good body of work that offers multiple choices of designs and styles. You'll know just by looking at their work if they can put a professional face on your martial arts business website.