How do you know it’s time to overhaul your website? For some boot camp owners, they have no choice: they hired some cheap college student from India who took their money and ran before the design was finished. Other fitness trainers may find their sites aren’t converting leads into sales or that the outdated FLASH presentation is scaring away more prospects than it’s attracting. Moving to a new Content Management System and rebranding are other reasons why fitness pros may want a change. To keep yourself on track during this process, follow these 10 steps to a kick-ass fitness site:
1. Benchmark Your Metrics For Comparison
Before you move on with life, be sure to analyze your current site and make note of the following:
- Number of unique visitors
- Bounce rate
- Time spent on your site
- SEO rankings for top keywords
- Domain authority
- New Leads
Take this time to reassess how your marketing dollars are spent. Are you getting more paid customers from organic search or paid search? Know which channels bring you the most qualified leads, so you can improve your overall marketing campaign. (Do you absolutely hate tracking numbers? Ask me about the systems I use to automate most of this work because, honestly, I’d rather spend my time pumping iron and training clients just like you!)
2. Do A Little Soul-Searching.
Goals are a good thing, especially when you’re redesigning your fitness website. You won’t be able to communicate your clear vision to the design team if you have no idea why you really want a change. Do you want more visitors? Do you want a lower bounce rate? Do you want people to spend more time reading content on your site? Do you want better search engine visibility? Once you decide on the general direction, make sure you choose more specific goals, such as “increasing site traffic by 50 percent in 6 months.”
3. Keep What’s Working In Tact.
Many fitness professionals screw up royally by scrapping everything they’ve worked hard to achieve in favor of something totally new and innovative. Yet, why fix what ain’t broke? Before you lose your mind, take an inventory of the “most shared” content, the “most viewed” content, your most heavily trafficked pages, the top performing keywords, and the pages with a high number of inbound links. Getting rid of some SEO-friendly work might actually hurt your search engine ranking, so put the brakes on, Speed Demon.
4. Spy On Your Competition.
Now is also a good time to take a peek at what your competition has been up to. A great tool is Marketing Grader, which will quickly analyze a website’s strengths and weaknesses. You can run your website and your competition’s websites through this program. While you don’t want to be accused of being a copy cat, you do want to see what your website might be lacking. But hey, don’t stop there. Here are 14 more tools for conducting reconnaissance missions on your competition.
5. Know The Answer To This Question: What’s My USP?
A Unique Selling Proposition is what makes you special and better than your competitors. You need this branding message to be consistent across your whole website. You want to answer a prospect who asks, “Why should I train with you? What’s in it for me?” When you’re writing up this copy, for the love of God, make sure you don’t sound like C3PO. You don’t want to say, “We are a professional boot camp established in 2008 to help meet the physical fitness needs of our clients who come from multiple walks of life with a multitude of goals.” Hell, I almost fell asleep in the middle of writing that sentence, let alone reading it! Keep it real. For instance, you’ll notice my USP is “No B.S., No Hype, Take No Prisoners Fitness Business and Lifestyle.” That’s fun and oozing with character, right?
6. Visualize Your Target Markets.
Imagine stereotypical personas when you’re thinking of your target market. Who are you catering to? Imagine your buyer niches: the bride-to-be who wants to lose weight before the big day, the active senior who is here to socialize and adhere to a healthy lifestyle, the Biggest Loser fan who wants to drop 50-100 pounds this year, the athlete who wants a fun way to cross-train, or the mom who wants to focus on herself for once and whip that body back into shape. Research the people you’re working with now and create detailed descriptions about each type of client you service. What are their problems? What do they need? What information are they looking for? What helps them be successful in their goals? What online channels do they use? This will help you, not just in creating pages for your site, but also in crafting targeted emails, blogs, and marketing campaigns.
7. Optimize Your Site For Google.
What good is it to have the best darn fitness website on this side of the Mississippi if no one knows about it? If you don’t want to be buried in virtual obscurity on page 10+ of Google, then you need a strategy to improve your site’s metrics. Replicate some of the success from your previous successes (as mentioned in step 3). Keep an eye on the 301 redirects for the new site to see where people are going after they leave your site. Conduct keyword research and pick one or two keywords that your page will focus on. Optimize your headers, your photos and your tags – and don’t forget to do a little internal link building. (P.S. I’m not one to leave you high and dry, so if you need help researching the best keywords for your market, researching the competition and developing an all-around solid market domination strategy, don’t hesitate to contact me about the Personal Trainer Market Domination program I offer.)
8. Add Calls-To-Action To Your Page.
Information is all well and good, but ultimately you’ve created a website because you want clients. You want your existing clients to love you. You want old clients to be so inspired they sign up again. You want to “wow” referrals. You want new people to inquire about your services and sign up to your mailing list. To do this, you need to provide visitors with direction. The beauty of a website (versus a print brochure) is that you can make acting effortless by embedding: links, interactive forms, e-commerce stores, PayPal functionality, email forms, email subscription forms, downloadable content, contest forms, surveys, and click-to-call features. (Need help developing a good call-to-action and redesigning your entire marketing effort to be more effective? Consider one of my fitness marketing mentorships!)
9. Create A Content Strategy.
You’ll hear this so much you’ll want to bang your head against the wall, but the old adage still rings true: “Content is King.” If your website has 10 pages and your competitor’s has 100, guess who will win? We are building tons and tons of content every single day, without fail. You’ll need to have a blog, write a few press releases, publish some articles, and create new web pages to build up your site index. I know what you’re thinking… “But I don’t have time for content! And all that content will be expensive!” Well, do not fear, my friend. You can find all the fitness marketing content resources you could ever possibly need here. (If we become buddy-buddy, I’ll even share some of my most lucrative secret weapons with you.)
10. Add Bells & Whistles.
Prospects come to expect the homepage, contact page, about us page, and a service page. But why not make your website stand out with awesomeness? Don’t forget a blog, niche landing pages, RSS subscription to your newsletter, social media buttons, forums and videos. Remember that testimonials can really make or break your credibility, so take the time to get some of your best clients on camera expressing their love for you.
The Bottom Line:
As you can see, a lot goes into a website redesign. Yet, the fitness trainer / boot camp owner who spends a week researching, plotting and planning their market domination will be the most successful. Few things are worse than throwing all this money at a poorly conceived idea. The beauty of online marketing is that you can track and measure how your dollars perform in real-time. Think of your website as a dynamic piece of content that needs to be integrated with your other marketing materials – your email marketing, your social media, and your sales funnels. It’s easy to feel overwhelmed during this process and I totally understand that. So… give a brother a shout. There’s nothing I love more than grooming future fitness industry MILLIONAIRES! If you have the drive to be the best, I’d love to chat about your business.
Text “7FIGURES” to 77453 for a FREE 15-minute phone consultation with me, Sam Bakhtiar!