The Benefits of a Professionally Made Website for a Martial Arts School
Your dojo’s appearance is important, from all angles and facets it should appear at it’s finest to attract students. With competition for the attention students being so fierce any and all edges on the competition will be required to make sure your school rises in popularity. A website is an absolute necessity in the modern age, many factors of a potential student’s decision whether or not to join your school rely on digital business aspects. Without any representation on the internet you will find that your martial arts business has already fallen behind.
A website serves the primary purpose of allowing a martial arts school to communicate with potential students far more easily. Speed and accessibility is key to students, comfort and convenience are expected and lacking in either field lowers interest considerably. A martial arts business needs to convey their identity, purpose, and qualifications quickly and effectively to its audience in order to succeed.
Access to information is the primary purpose of the internet. Instant access to anything a student needs to know has become the standard all websites are held to. Anything less than speedy, understandable access to information is frowned upon online and will potentially decrease traffic to any website. A martial arts school is in a business field that cannot afford to waste a single potential student.
Martial Arts Schools and their Website Designs
Martial Arts Website Analysis
Martial arts schools have a niche along with a specific audience to cater to. A school’s field of expertise works alongside other accompanying factors like dojo location and quality to create a unique image for said school. We here at On The Map Marketing takes stock of a dojos strengths and put them fully on display. By bringing attention to a schools finest facets, potential students will see the dojo at its best.
Martial Arts Key Performance Indicators and Measuring Them
A Key Performance Indicator, or KPI, is a value that will be measured in order to know how effectively a school is reaching its business goals. KPI’s allow for effective progress tracking and an understanding of where a school may stand in its long term goals. Different business aspects of a school are accurately monitored and measure to suit your needs. Depending on the area of your school you wish to focus on, KPI will give you the opportunity to see how they play into the full plan you may have for your school. Measurable metrics include:
- Digital Marketing
- Social Media
- Email Marketing
- Supply Chain
- Call Center
- Help Desk
- Human Resources
Analyzing Conversion Factors for a Martial Arts School
A conversion is when a website convinces a visitor to act in a certain way, conversion factors determine how many visitors will do so. The first type of conversion factors to consider is drivers, the factors that work to actually convert visitors. A driver factor benefits your site and its content, this group of factors include:
Factors that work against conversion are called inhibitors. Inhibitors loosen a website’s hold on visitor trust and attention, lowering conversion rates. Common inhibitor factors include:
- Messy formatting
Conversion factors must be balanced and administered correctly in order to create an environment that welcomes new visitors. Once a website begins to increase in traffic, conversion factors will begin to more heavily affect the amount of interest your school will receive as well.
A Martial Arts Call to Action
In order to bring focus to your website, measure success, and direct visitors, you will need a call to action. The way that a call to action works is that the words act as a beacon for interested visitors to more easily find whatever it is that interests them in regard to your website. A call to action is an answer to a need the visitor to your website has, specifically a need provided for by a martial arts school. By making sure that there are multiple calls to action throughout the website visitors will have an easier time making their way through it.
Our Martial Arts Website Design Approach
A website must be designed and built all the way through, with all aspects considered. This includes the onsite and offsite aspects that determine the nature and approachability of a martial arts website. Onsite design involves the website and web pages themselves, including their development and updates. Offsite design is the manipulation of a website’s connection to the internet, creating pathways that lead to and from the website. Together the two aspects come together to create a website easy to find, and captivating enough to stay on.
Conversion Focused Martial Arts Website Design
Our focus is to emphasize the driver conversion factors and enhance visitor experience. Keyword placement, content creation, and links are but some tools used to make sure that driver factors are optimal. By building up the factors that attract and interest visitors, a martial arts website has a far better more chance at gaining new students. Optimizing factors also create a sense of authority and relevance that speak to martial arts students and ensure that you have a valid sense of legitimacy for your website.
Martial Arts Branding
For any business branding is important, but a martial arts business benefit immensely from the practice. Martial arts schools business strength lies in reputation, and that reputation has multiple avenues of being spread. By having products and symbols spread the popularity and name of any dojo reputation is spread fairly easily. By partaking in branding, a sense of authenticity is established and a reputation formed behind a simple, unifying symbols.
Creating Martial Arts Website Mock-Ups
Designing a website is a large task, with a heavy workload, and we want to make sure that no mistakes occur in the process. A mock-up is made of the website beforehand and finalized with our clients. Power, elegance, serenity, discipline, whatever the theme a school desires it is considered and implemented. The website will display a schools primary focus before moving onto the smaller, more specific details.
Client input and approval is very important to us at On The Map Marketing. A website is an important part of business and if not made correctly harms more than helps. When creating a website the clients will be discussed with and guided through every step of the process. By the end the final product should accurately match client vision and be approved for launch.
Developing Code for a Martial Arts Website
HTML vs WordPress
The internet is host to many different code building programs, there are plenty to use right at your fingertips. In building a martial arts website the two code building programs to consider are HTML and WordPress. Most websites online use HTML, it is a code building program used to display web pages. HTML is cheap and easy to run, but cannot be updated or modified without further help from website developers.
WordPress is considered a CMS, or a Content Management System. A CMS allows for clients to manage content themselves. WordPress is a popular tool due to its accessible and flexible nature, but there are downsides. With such an open nature WordPress requires consistent maintenance to work properly.
Pros and Cons of a Content Management System
A CMS, like WordPress, is capable of being altered and changed the moment that it is launched. Content is separated from the technical aspects of the website, creating a more streamlined experience. Access is dictated easily, and the program is mobile friendly. CMS allows for ease of creation and the ability to more easily update a martial arts website.
A CMS is not perfect however, there are flaws with the program. Speed and security are issues that need to be handled properly in order to ensure a quick, safe experience for both clients and website visitors. If the correct precautions are not made then CMS using websites are vulnerable to viruses or cyber-attacks. A slow website frustrates visitors and promptly lowers conversion rates.
Mobile Responsive Design for Martial Arts Websites
Modern age technology has come with screens of every size to suit any martial arts student or instructors need. A responsive website needs the ability to adapt in order to keep up with the platform it is being viewed on. Such platforms include:
- Widescreen Desktop Monitors
- Small Desktop Monitors
- Mobile Phones
In order to appeal to different device users changes must be made to a website. The layout of the content provided needs to be able to adapt and emphasize importance of information versus aesthetics. When the screen is able to fit in someone’s palm it is important that the information provided is seen as much as possible. If looks take precedence over pragmatism then the visitors suffer for it and may be unable to find what they want from the website.
Martial Arts Website API Integration
API, or Application Program Interface, allows for the management of software applications throughout a website. While invisible to most users, these programs act as linchpins in a websites internal communications network. Businesses like Facebook and Twitter use API’s to smooth out their massive workload. Programs that help social media juggernauts daily are capable of doing wonders for martial arts websites.
Website security is critical to having any sort of authoritative stance online. No one wants to visit a website that may infect their computer with some sort of virus. There are ways to defend your website, and the computers of those visiting it, against malicious attacks. With the correct security implementation students will be able to use a schools website without fear.
HTTP vs HTTPS
The S difference between HTTP and HTTPS stands for secure, more accurately it refers to encryption. Hypertext Transfer Protocol Secure is a more guarded form of data transfer for a website. HTTPS is necessary for martial arts schools that make sales or schedule appointments online. Without the appropriate security measures a website is under constant danger from security risks and problems.
Implementation of SSL
SSL, otherwise known as Secure Sockets Layer, is a security technology standard for most websites. The program ensures that browser and web server communications remain private and secure. Online transactions are often guarded by SSL throughout the internet, numbering in millions of instances of protection. To establish an SSL connection an SSL certificate is required, only then will the program be effectively used.
Where this is security, a risk is present to guard against. The internet has no lack of attacking codes or malicious software. Understanding what is capable of hurting a website and its visitors is important. Once a threat is understood, it can more easily be defended against.
Cross Site Scripting (XSS)
Cross-site scripting is a client-side attack code that is designed to affect those who visit a website, it is also known as XSS. XSS is a dangerous, malicious code that preys on vulnerable websites. Any lapses in security are exploited by XSS and used to help deliver the code onto a targeted computer. The host website of XSS is not affected too much but the victim visitors browser very much is.
Cross Site Request Forgery (CSRF)
Cross-site Request Forgery (CSRF) uses website cookies to attack an authenticated web application. When infected by CSRF a victim’s browser is tricked into making different requests. CSRF infection may lead to further system compromise if the victim is a privileged user with access to more susceptible systems. The system will be unable to prevent further corruption due to the false requests to the server being indistinguishable from the legitimate ones.
Martial Arts Website Security Misconfiguration
A website will be put at risk from the simple act of incorrectly applying security programs. When a website’s security network is misaligned or made incorrectly the website suffers from security misconfiguration. Security misconfiguration is blatantly exploitable and capable of leaving the servers, database, framework and custom code of a website vulnerable. With no protection, security misconfiguration leads to stolen data that is extremely difficult to recover.
Martial Arts Website Quality Testing
By using a validator HTML is validated and checked for any syntax errors. HTML coding is a long, intricate process and the slightest mistake leads to ugly, unpolished webpages. A single syntax error affects much and includes mistakes such as open tags, extra spaces, or forgotten quotation marks. The little mistakes on a webpage pile up and will affect the conversion factors of your website.
All Images Require Appropriate Licenses.
A copyrighted image used liberally brings along with it a host of legal issues. A martial arts website cannot display commissioned or borrowed images that display multiple aspects for a school such as tournaments or classes if the licenses for the pictures are not handled first. The rightful owner of a photograph may easily, and quickly, file for a website to take down an image or even sue. Copyrighted images become even more expensive when taken, even accidentally, without permission.
All Martial Web Pages Should Have Content
An impression is among the most important aspect to any website, with the right impression prospective students have reason to return. But a static website has no engaging qualities to encourage revisits. The martial arts business however has plenty of different options to pick from relative to the field. Articles on different histories, descriptions of the craft, videos tutorials, and updates for dojo events all encourage repeat visitors to return for more information.
Search engines have become the key to increasing traffic. The higher a website is on a search engine results page, more trusted and engaging it appears. SEO is the process of raising a website’s ranking by making it more attractive and accessible to search engines. By starting an SEO campaign, a website begins the process to fulfilling its highest potential.
Success in the Modern Age for Martial Arts Websites
Only the most developed websites find success online, and martial arts schools require success to grow. Thriving in a market as competitive as martial arts means that it is required to ensure every aspect of marketing is explored. The internet has opened up avenues for every business and company to have near infinite possibilities in terms of marketing. A martial arts business that does not take advantage of the website design opportunities possible is a one that becomes left behind.