Are you looking at your website metrics and can’t understand why the numbers are going down? That’s because a set-and-forget attitude to your gym’s website can impact your ability to find and keep members. Whether you run a dojo, gym, dance studio or yoga studio, we’ve put together a list of 9 things your website needs to stay competitive.
As management of any fitness business – from gyms through to yoga studios – heads online, there is more personal data that you may be responsible for. This is especially true if you have online membership portals where your members store personal information. Having secure cloud-based software for the management of your data is key to ensuring you don’t fall susceptible to hackers.
According to Statista, approximately half the world’s web browsing is now done on mobile phones. That’s an approximate 20% increase just since 2015! Your members will be looking to book their classes with you on their morning commute or while having a rest on the couch, so why not make it easier?
Spend the time with your web developer to make sure your website is a smooth experience on mobile and you’ll see your numbers grow.
Is your gym’s website accessible? 1 in 4 people in the US live with a disability and they might be looking for a gym. Your website needs to be able to be read by a screen reader, something that is used often by people with mobility issues or vision impairment. This means having the backend (the code) of your website written correctly and also making sure the design and words on your website are inclusive. For instance, is your text easily readable against its background? This can be an easy one to forget but impacts so many with vision impairments.
Most website platforms provide information on your website’s accessibility. Failing to have an accessible website can severely impact your ability to be found on search engines.
Reviews are a powerful tool for any fitness business. When people don’t know anyone who goes to your gym or studio, they may rely on reviews/testimonials. A Nielsen study found that 70% of people will trust a recommendation from someone they don’t even know, which is why you can’t break that trust.
The key to successfully using testimonials is to make them easily discoverable and transparent. Live testimonials are an honest reflection of your business and are more trustworthy than a curated list of good reviews. Consider embedding a live testimonial feed so you show off your gym, warts and all. This transparency will pay off if your customer service is at its best. If not, you’ll get a good idea of where to focus your attention.
Potential members have plenty of choice, so remove the work for them. Provide a clear list of exactly what equipment is available in your gym. If you have a member’s portal, you could provide easy-to-follow video tutorials of every piece of equipment and make sure potential members know this is available upon sign up.
Listing out your equipment helps remove hesitation for potential members. They might be interested in whether or not you have functional strength equipment, such as sleds. Being able to identify this before signup can help get them over the line.
This topic be broken down into two areas: potential members and current members.
For potential members, educate and entice them about your various classes. Work with a copywriter to learn how to communicate the benefits of classes and use language and media (imagery, videos) to really engage people. If you want to go it alone, just remember to avoid listing a class without any context. Get potential members excited about each discipline you offer. For example, if you run boxing classes as part of your gym, videos and imagery as well as a clear run down of the benefits of this discipline can help get people excited.
For current members, your membership software should have everything a member wants in the one place. That includes the ability to manage and book into classes each week.
A simple one, but it’s amazing how few studios or gyms will make the most of this opportunity. Set yourself apart by telling your story as a business and really selling your philosophy. For instance, if you have a specific focus as a gym or practice a certain discipline in your studio, dedicate a clear section of your website to telling this story. As people are browsing online, you can set your gym’s website apart by having people leave with a clear understanding of what sort of environment they’re walking into at your business.
Consider hiring a 3D camera or simply get a camera and film a walk-through of your gym. With a friendly host, potential members can be shown through each section of your business and talked through what’s available to them. Couple this with professional photography and you’re setting your gym’s website apart from the rest.
Newsletters can be an incredibly powerful way to build a sense of community for your fitness business. If you dedicate the time to producing engaging and unique content, a newsletter is the perfect way to deliver this to your community. This might just be a monthly breakdown of the best videos, articles or podcasts you’ve found that relate to your gym or studio, or it might link to content you’ve created yourself.
By looking at your gym’s website as an eternally unfinished project, you can continue to find new ways to add value for members and attract new people into your doors. How you communicate your value, ensuring the safety of your data and making things easy for existing members is an ongoing process – just like going to the gym!