When you first started out as a martial arts school owner nobody told you that not only have to be a great instructor, but also an accountant, social media guru, janitor, bill collector, purchasing agent, insurance expert, and you guessed it – a copywriter!
If you can afford one, hiring a good copywriter, especially one who has extensive knowledge of SEO (Search Engine Optimization) copywriting, can pay huge dividends. But we realize not everyone is in a position to hire a professional. And writing effective website copy is a daunting task. After all, while the “look and feel” of your website is important, it is the copy that is going to get results.
Fear not, Kicksite has put together a list of tips to help you write copy that will not only help search engines understand your site (after all, what good is an awesome website if no one is going to it), but also engage your website’s visitors and convert them from “visitors” to students!
1.) SEO, SEO, SEO
Welcome to the 21st century, every successful business needs a significant online presence. That’s where SEO copywriting comes into play, helping you rank higher in search results. SEO sounds intimidating, but we’ll let you in on 2 secrets, it is as simple as typing in a few key words into Google and instantly seeing millions of search results. Still not sure that writing for SEO is worth your time? Well, studies show that businesses ranking on the first page of search results receive over 90% of web traffic! So, SEO-optimized copywriting is a must!
Some people mistakenly think that SEO-optimized copywriting is as simple as inserting a few key phrases in order to get a high ranking (aka “key phrase stuffing”). Not true! Your content needs to not only be engaging to your visitors, but also be written in a way that helps Google understand what your page is about.
Here’s where things go sticky – Many websites have copy that reads well and sounds good to their visitors but doesn’t help them rank high in search engine results. Others have copy that is jam-packed with keywords – which is all too obvious and often comes across as too “salesy” and unprofessional. The key is finding a happy medium. Good copy will strike a balance and meet both objectives.
2.) Use Your Geographic Location Along With Your Keywords
Your location is one of the most important keywords, yet so many business owners forget about it. This is especially important for small schools serving a specific community. For example, you might want to consider phrases such as “providing martial arts training to the northeast Chicago area for over 20 years.”
3.) Make Your Copy Skimmable
People read books. They skim website copy, so get to the point! Everybody is busy these days and they want information and answers fast. No one wants to (or will) ready long, bulky copy, so be concise.
Follow the 4 U’s formula of writing – useful, urgent, unique, and ultra-specific. Avoid unnecessary words and information if your information doesn’t fit into one of these four categories, cut it out.
When it comes to paragraph length, books and copy are, again, super different. While paragraphs in a book can be almost an entire page, paragraphs should be no more than two or three sentences on your website. If you have long lists of information to communicate, take advantage of bullet points to break your copy up into something more appealing to the eye.
4.) Avoid Industry-Specific Lingo
As tempting as it can be, avoid terms such as Kumite, Rei, Dan, Kata, and Dojo. While these terms are commonly used and understood in the martial arts world, they are likely to confuse many visitors to your website. Instead use words your visitors can more easily relate to – like sparring, bow, rank, forms, and school.
5.) Write For Your Audience, Not Yourself
Good web copy will tell your audience about your qualifications, your background, your school’s culture, and its values… but most people don’t care to hear your entire life-story. People come to your website to solve a problem (they want to get fit, to learn how to defend themselves, to instill life skills in their children, etc.). To maximize your conversion rate, talk more about how you can meet their needs and less about yourself.
6.) Include A Clear Call-To-Action
A call-to-action (CTA) is one of the most important elements of your website copy. While you may have captured the attention of your visitors, without a clear call-to-action, they may move on to the next search result. Examples of common CTA’s include:
- Get Started Today
- Sign Up Now For A FREE Trial
- Learn More by Filling Out This Form
- Check Us Out On Facebook
Unlike short-term marketing campaigns, your website copy is there for the long-term (although it should be updated regularly). It will do more to shape your school’s image perhaps than anything else you do on the marketing front. For many, it will be the first impression of your business. You’d be surprised how often punctuation, spelling, and grammar mistakes are seen – unforgivable in today’s world of spell and grammar check! How can someone expect quality instruction from someone whose website is a mess? Give your website copy the time and attention it deserves – your lead and conversion rates will soar and you’ll be glad you did!