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How your business can prepare for Google AI Updates

May 16, 2024

Phone showing SERP - Prep your business for Google AI Updates

At the Google I/O developer conference on Tuesday, the tech giant announced significant Google AI updates that was met with mixed reactions. Google shared that Generative AI will have a much stronger presence in search results via a new tool called AI Overview, and other AI-driven search functions. AI Overview is effectively a chatbot: users can enter prompts or questions (both simple and complex) and generative AI will pull information from relevant websites to produce answers directly within the search engine results page (SERP).

Many digital organizations and publishers, news outlets in particular, cried foul, worrying that this AI functionality would result in a massive drop in their website clicks. Google countered that this update can actually help sites, because AI Overviews include links that ultimately could get more clicks than if the page had appeared as a traditional web listing. 

So what does this mean for your martial arts school? Is the sky truly falling on Google search? Is it just a momentary panic and nothing to actually worry about? Like most things, the truth lies somewhere in the middle. Fortunately, for small businesses like yours, there are some easy things you can do to make sure you are still discoverable to potential new students, even with the rollout of AI Overviews. 


Keep Your Google Business and Maps Profile Updated

In one of the AI Overview examples that Google shared, someone enters the prompt find the best yoga or pilates studios in Boston and show me details on their intro offers, and walking time from Beacon Hill.”

AI Overview proceeds to present the user with a side-scrolling list of options, including an image, Reviews overview, distance, and intro offers for each studio. 


The importance of Google Business and Google Maps Profiles for local businesses cannot be understated. 

For your martial arts school, local search is a key method for gaining visibility and leads. Keeping your Business and Maps Profiles updated with pictures, current offers, accurate contact information and hours, etc. is absolutely necessary, even without the introduction of AI Overviews. Google is also introducing revamped business performance data for these Profiles, including recommendations for how you can improve.

Did you know you can also add posts to your Google Business Profile, just like on social media? This is a great, free way to promote your new programs, offers, and keep people updated on what’s happening at your school.


Not sure where to start? Here are some resources and guides:

Add or Claim Your Google Business Profile

Verify Your Google Business Profile

Edit Your Business Profile on Google

How to make a post & track its status for your Business Profile


Gather Google Reviews from your students

As mentioned in the above scenario, the total number of Reviews and average Review score are one of the key pieces of information shared in AI results that include business listings.

So here are the key questions: Do you know how many reviews you currently have? Are you actively encouraging your students to leave positive reviews for your school? 

If the answer to one or both of these is No, then it’s a great time to do a Review campaign with your students. Google makes it incredibly easy to drive customers to leave a review: when you’re signed into the Google account associated with your Business Profile, and are viewing your Reviews, you’ll see a ‘Get more reviews’ button at the top. Click this and a window will pop up with a custom link that you can share with students to take them directly to the review form.


If you’re a Kicksite user, our Communication tools make it incredibly easy to share this. Drop it into an email or text blast and let students know how much you’d appreciate their positive review so others can discover the school and join your community.

(While you’re here and we’re talking reviews, we sure would love it if you took a few minutes to leave Kicksite a review!)


Keep your website current and informative

While the introduction of AI Overviews may present a clickthrough obstacle for some websites, the websites still have to exist for AI Overview to develop answers! Now more than ever, you should be working to ensure that your martial arts school’s website is thorough, informative, and up-to-date. Why?


Well, in short, Google likes sites that are:

  • Relevant: Sites that include keywords that are part of the search
  • Quality: Sites that show expertise and trustworthiness
  • Usable: Sites that are mobile-friendly, load quickly, etc.


And luckily, you (yes, you!) are an expert about martial arts, and more importantly, your business! If you’re not already, you should be doing regular audits of your website to make sure all of your business information is up-to-date: offers, hours, events, program descriptions, etc. If you haven’t already been doing this, consider making it a regular, scheduled part of managing your business. On the 1st of every month, plan to look over your site and make sure everything is accurate and current.

Another aspect of maintaining your website that you should turn into a regular practice is blogging. As a martial artist and business owner, you have a wealth of knowledge to share. And by consistently writing relevant blog posts, you’ll be more likely to be ranked, selected, and highlighted for your expertise relevancy. 

Now you might be saying “I’m not a writer, I’m an instructor/grappler/athlete/(insert other thing)!” That’s okay! You don’t have to be a writing expert to craft effective blog posts. We’ve covered this topic extensively in our own blog recently, here are some resources to check out:

A beginner’s guide to writing SEO-friendly blogs for a martial arts website

3 Resources to help write blog posts


If you’re a Kicksite Website Services customer, you can reach out to our website team at any time to send in content changes, blog post updates, or request any other revisions to your site to make sure it’s in the best shape possible. 

The rapid growth of AI, and technology changes in general, can be scary! But at the end of the day, potential students will always be on the lookout for a school that is well-reviewed, displays martial arts expertise, and clearly communicates their benefits and offerings. By following the three recommendations above, you can consistently ensure all of these things!


* No AI was used in the writing of this blog post *