Martial Arts Websites

89 – The 8 Key Factors Needed For High Performing Martial Arts Websites

Get your martial arts website attracting new students organically with these 8 key performance factors.

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IN THIS EPISODE, YOU WILL LEARN: 

  • Why George shifted from building martial arts websites
  • The 8 key performance areas that you need for a high converting martial arts website
  • Changes to mobile usability that you can’t ignore
  • What Google assesses on your martial arts website for a quality score
  • The one topic rarely considered with martial arts websites and ownership
  • And more

*Need help growing your martial arts school? Learn More Here.

Download the PDF transcription

TRANSCRIPTION

The key thing is that with all that marketing that you're talking about, all that lead generation, you spending money on ads. You don't want that to be going to a website where you're losing money because people are turned off by something on your website or they didn't get the message that needs to be there to get them to buy.

GEORGE: Hey, this is George and welcome to another episode of the Martial Arts Media business podcast. Today I have a different guest on board. I'm going to say why, but we're going to be talking about websites. Websites, optimization of websites, conversions and the importance of it. So just a quick introduction, Justin Meadows from TunedWp.

JUSTIN: Thank you for having me on the podcast.

GEORGE: Awesome, you're welcome. Just before we get into what we're going to talk about today. Just a bit of content, depending on how long you've followed my podcast or martialartsmedia.com. You know that a big component of what we've always provided for the industry is websites. Websites, and how to convert your websites. Justin and I have actually been in the same coaching group for only like a good last five, six.

JUSTIN: Yes, at least.

GEORGE: I'll give a good mention to James Schramko who is from superfastbusiness.com, which is a coaching community we've been a part of. And the reason I mentioned that is because we come from the same understanding of websites – the value of owning your own assets and owning your own online properties. The component when I started providing websites for the martial arts space was, at that part in time I couldn't find somebody to do it properly. We were running Google ads and our main focus was lead generation.

The hard part was really getting the mix right of wanting web developers that understand the importance of conversions and the sales copy side and really what goes into actually making a website work – understanding the technicalities of it and throwing a website up that actually works. That got me into the business and started providing websites for the industry. I reached the point in providing that, but I just thought that it was not a business that I was going to scale moving forward. It took me from the focus of just lead generation and lead generation to doing the websites and juggling. I had an old sales boss that always used to say to me, you can't steer two light bulbs at different sides of the room at the same time.

That your focus is going to go out. It's brought me to a point where I've stopped providing websites but I didn't just want to stop providing websites because the things that we're going to talk about here today I find simply important and it's a big missing component for the most part in the martial arts industry. And I want to make sure that if I'm not going to be providing websites anymore for the industry that I can refer anyone to someone that I trust as a provider. Somebody that knows exactly what goes into building websites the right way. There are only a handful of people that really understand doing it the right way. What goes into the conversions and so forth. And that person is Justin and his team, again welcome to the call.

JUSTIN: Cheers.

GEORGE: A bit of a background, just if you can give us a quick summary of who is Justin Meadows.

Martial Arts Websites

JUSTIN: Sure, yeah. So I started building the business that I've got now about 10 years ago. I live in a small country town in Victoria, near a ski resort. It's a lovely village up here. I talk to a lot of business clients and that sort of thing. So I built my business in a certain way. I've built it online and I started out building it in a wholesale set up so that we would provide services to marketing agencies. So we were the backend website development team for design agencies and that sort of thing. And that's how I've grown and now I've got up to a point now where we've released a new brand and we now work directly with business owners.

And I've got quite a large team behind me. We've run a 24/7 support desk and that sort of thing so we've grown over the 10 years to quite a decent-sized business. Over that time we've really had quite a broad range of experiences working with a lot of different business owners, lots of different industries, and working with a lot of different marketing agencies and that sort of thing. So we really do have quite a broad range of experience in building websites. And so I've really seen what works and what doesn't work. We've done a lot of testing with different types of websites, sort of options and things that people can have on their end.

Yeah, we've really refined out processes. We've distilled down eight key areas that you really need to get right on a website in order to get a good performing website that produces results for your business and helps you grow and that sort of thing. 

The key thing is that with all that marketing that you're talking about, all that lead generation, you're spending money on ads, you don't want that to be going to a website where you're losing money because people are turned off by something on your website. Or they didn't get the message that needs to be there to get them to buy. And so that's really been the core of my services because we've focused just on doing that development side of things.

Actually, when I very first started, we did a lot of SEO consulting and helping people with their SEO but then we needed to make sure the website was structured correctly and set up right so that when they did the SEO work, they were getting results on the actual website itself. So that's been the focus of our website, of our services.

GEORGE: Cool, most of the martial art industry I know, when somebody provides services that are not particularly practising in martial arts with the service, the question always comes up. So how can you help the industry if you're not actually part of the industry? What would you answer to that?

JUSTIN: Yeah, so that's a good one. But the main thing is that we have a very general understanding of what works across the range of different industries. So we know if the different types of businesses, different things are going to work, if you're a locally-based business then something is more important that are very different to if you're a software business or if you're serving information to an international audience or something like that.

So we really know what works for different types of industries and the main thing is that we're also going to work in tandem with you providing the guidance and instructions on what's the best practice for a martial arts business and that sort of thing. But our focus and our focus and our specialty is on the performance of a WordPress website. We don't work with other platforms anymore. We focus on WordPress and providing support and optimizing WordPress to be the best that it can be, to make sure that you're getting results out of your spend.

That's really what we are specialists in and I see my understanding that's exactly why you come and have a chat to me and saying if we could work together because martial arts is your area of expertise but there really is a lot. The more you dig into what works in WordPress and how you improve the performance and speeding up your website, there are rabbit holes that go on forever. You can't have it all basis so our specialty is just in the performance of the WordPress websites and yeah we know how to customize that to suit a martial arts business.

GEORGE: Perfect. I know that was a question just to throw the curveball at Justin but behind the scenes for the last three months or so we had been working one on one on just our clients. We've moved over some support over to Justin and making sure that the core essentials of what's important for martial school owners are taken care of. That's always from the work that we've done and through our web, well I guess through our learning pages that we still provide in our Partners program. We process close to, the last count was 4,535 paid trials in the system so that's paid trials, not leads.

So with that we've done a lot of assessment of what works, how to shape web pages that it converts. And then obviously the ongoing maintenance its always been really basic. There's always just been change of authors, change of timetables, and different things and so forth. But I want to jump on to you talking about the eight factors, was that correct?

JUSTIN: Yeah, yeah. We've coded our performance blueprint and its eight key areas of your website that you need to get right to make that performance really come through. And so the first one is making sure that you can be easily found. So that is looking at your SEO, how your website appears when it's shared in social media and making sure that Google understands that your website is a valuable resource for people that are searching for martial arts in your area. So that's one of the key things, so firstly just that you're found. You're not making most technical mistakes that are very common. I see them a lot on some websites and yeah, that can really hold back your results so that even searching for your own name you might struggle to come up in Google.

What we want especially for martial arts businesses is that your relevant to the suburb that your dojo is in or that your centre is in, wherever you're physically located. You want to make sure that Google is well aware that you are relevant to those surrounding suburbs and where those people are coming to you so that when they search, you're the first one that comes up.

GEORGE: Can you give us an example of how do you spot the mistake and how somebody would go about optimizing?

JUSTIN: With the mistakes, there's a podcast episode in itself. There are a lot of different things that you could be doing wrong, there is a lot to cover. I can't say there is one easy way to do that but there are a lot of ways that you can get your website assessed of the SEO value. Google will give you a rough guide if you go to web dot dev, they give you a very broad overview. However, it's more on the technical side of things. It doesn't give you guidance as to what your website is optimized for. So it'll just pick up if perhaps you're not using SSL, you're not secure or you're making some other mistakes like not using page title or stuff like that.

So yeah, there is a lot to cover there and it does get quite technical. In terms of what does work for a local business, having pages specifically for the location. So the talking not just about the types of martial art that you provide but also a bit about the suburbs and the area that you're in so that then Google knows that you're relevant to that. Couple that with optimizing local business listing through my business page and things like that reference your address and make sure that your name, address and phone number are exactly the same all over the internet and connecting you to social media. Doing that is definitely the most important thing for a local business.

GEORGE: Perfect, I'll ask a question on top of that. We were just in our Partners program we run a session called the Local SEO Advantage and the big focus was Google My Business. And it was interesting, one of our members pulled up his stats of more 7000 views of an actual page. But we were talking about page titles when it comes to location and you've been talking about different locations so you have several martial art locations at a different address. How important is that in the title section of that page. Is that what you really trying to optimize for with different pages, there are different locations etc.?

JUSTIN:  Yeah. If you have several locations, you should have a page for each location. It doesn't necessarily need to have the address especially if that's a bit longer. You want to make sure that you're talking about the types of martial arts words that people will be searching for. And so, especially when you get a bit into the less common martial art styles and that sort of thing. You might want to make it a bit more general, that page title so that it is the thing that people are going to be searching for, you don't want to get too specific. But you want to make sure that you have at least the suburb name in that page title I would say for each location.

GEORGE: Yeah, perfect. And for any followers listening, I mean the easiest way to do that is just go type martial arts in your area. And then a good trick with Google is always just to scroll to the bottom and you'll see Google bringing up all its related searches. And that will give you a good starting point. But at least jump back on key point number two.

JUSTIN: Yeah, yeah. So number two is loading fast. So after people have found you, you want to make sure that your website appears quickly, and this does actually work back into the ranking factor. Making sure that your website loads fast is becoming more and more important to Google but also to users. People expect your website to load fast if it is loading slow then people get impatient and they'll hit back especially on mobile devices and that sort of thing. People expect things faster and faster these days.

Yeah you want to make sure that it loads fast. If you have a fast loading website, Google will prefer you over other websites in your search results. It will also decrease the cost that you're spending on Google ads so in your Google ads, Google gives you a quality score. And if your website loads fast, you get a higher quality score and that means that you need to pay less per click for that ad so that it's well worth optimizing your website for speed.

If you find that and I imagine the martial arts you would have a fairly high. I would expect roughly about 60% of your traffic to your website would be from mobile devices. In that case, you want to make sure that your website loads really fast on mobile and a good thing that's very recent. It's only really become prominent this year, is I am paying. It's a mobile version of your website, which is designed specifically to load super-fast.

It’s hosted in Google's caching system. So Google will make sure that it loads fast. Google will give you a higher score again for your only score, and SEO, and your mobile speed score, which is connected to all that. Yeah, so it's a very limited code structure and the means creating it, essentially a copy of your homepage just for mobile but it is worth doing if you have a lot of mobile traffic because it serves at a very fast and gives a good mobile experience.

GEORGE: All right, excellent. Cool, the third factor.

JUSTIN: Number three. Number three is being mobile-friendly. So apart from just loading fast on mobile, you want to make sure that it is easy to use. You quite often the navigation menu might be a bit hard to navigate on mobile, you want to make sure that everything rearranges into a nice easy to read format, you can scroll through it and see everything nicely. Again this feeds into Google's quality score for ads and SEO. They want to serve up ads that are mobile-friendly, easy to use.

For example on your timetable, it should be easy to click through your timetable and see what sessions you have that sort of thing. It's because sometimes table formats can be really ugly when they're squished down in mobile hard to read, so you want to make sure that converts really well on mobile. And your form to get started, you should be able to click through that with your finger. So there are a few considerations that can make a big difference to how many people are going to sign up, if they're viewing your site from mobile. If it’s too hard to use and they get frustrated they'll give up.

Although they might not even do it intentionally, they might just go, “too hard” and put it down for a second and then they forget about it. So you want to make it as easy as possible, definitely.

GEORGE: 100%. Even if you're not doing Google ads, or SEO, which if you miss the term SEO search engine optimization, which is a free side of Google so you're not paying for ads but just appearing in the organic results. Even if you're running Facebook ads and I don't actually have this as a verified thing but I remember this coming up with Facebook was also doing something with a quality score. Which is a big reason why Facebook really prefers to keep you on Facebook and with all their tools. But if you are sending people from Facebook, it's also about user experience because they can track how quickly you click and how quickly you get back. And that also qualifies as a bounce rate right, because you're clicking and it's not loading and you're out there. That signals to Facebook that either your content is not relevant or your site is slow, which is more than likely what happens.

JUSTIN: Right, then now the people using Facebook, if they're they're clicking on ads, and they go to pages that don't load, then that's a bad user experience for the Facebook user and they don't want to be doing that so they penalize you by making that ad click more expensive.

GEORGE: Yeah, if I may. Cool, where are we at? Number?

JUSTIN: Five. No, four.

GEORGE: Four, better write that down.

JUSTIN: Four is the first impression. So you've clicked, you've loaded and on top of my bar, you want to make sure that you convey a message very quickly that says who you are and what you have to provide and who that is for. Sometimes, I see a lot of websites that are very airy-fairy and they look pretty in that but you're like, what do these guys actually do. It's not clear, the thorough process for people going to a website, goes like this. “Who are these guys?” “Is this right for me?” “And then how do I get started?” And you want to make sure that you're messaging and your design on your website clearly answers those three questions very quickly.

You want to show what is that you provide. What type of person that is for, and then how they get started in a very quick impression. Once again people on websites do have a shorter attention span, they'll get frustrated easily if it's not clear and so making it easy and spelling it out and making sure it's very clear and simple just lifts your conversion rate. So you will get more sales if you're doing that right.

GEORGE: What could be your preference, I see and am not a fan of it but I shouldn't say my opinion before I actually ask the question. But Let's say what would be the preference, would it be let's say if you looked at the desktop and there's just one of the videos that play in the background or like there is video. Or a structured headline with a call to action.

JUSTIN: Yeah, I think videos can be distracting. They'll also slow down your load speed, so that's another reason why having a background video isn't a great idea. It does look nice but functionally it doesn't actually help you get the sale. And same thing with sliders, it's very common on websites to have imagine sliders. But it's been a thing for a while but in the website development space we've known that it’s a bad idea for a long time. Because once again you're slowing down the loading, it takes more time to load up all these big images, the slide across and the animation script and that sort of thing.

So it's a lot better to just have one very good image that conveys the message of who you are and what you provide and the benefits that people can get, so happy people that are looking fit and training and that sort of thing. That's the impression you want to get. So you want to have a really good image of that and then a clear text message that's static, that gets that message across in button to get started, that sort of thing. That's really the best practice, having those image sliders, apart from slowing things down they also are a bit of a distraction and it's common to have several different messages on them but in reality, most people like probably 8% of people are only going to see the first message.

They'll look at that and they'll scroll down. They're not going to see the other things you've got in there. So it can dilute your message, so you really want to decide on what is your core message and make that stand out front and centre.

GEORGE: All right, perfect. Sounds good, number five.

Martial Arts Websites

JUSTIN: Yeah. So now we are onto building trust. And this is a very important thing on the internet, selling things from websites is that trust barrier. Everyone has an initial apprehension when they're handing over money on a website. So you really want to reassure people who are visiting your website that you are legit. That there are people who have got results from before, you've built some social proof and they are really good ways to do that are with testimonials. They work really effectively. Having some good testimonials with a photo of the person who made the testimonial adds more legitimacy to it and a good way to do that is, it might be a bit tricky and sometimes in the martial arts especially.

If someone does give you a testimonial, have a look if they've got a Linkedin profile or a public Facebook photo that you can just copy that photo and send it to them and say is it okay if I use this photo rather than asking them to go and take a photo of themselves that they're happy with because that might take weeks or never happen. You want to make it easy for them to provide a photo so you go and see if they have a public photo on the internet that you can use. A video is fantastic, if someone has really loved the results they've got from your coaching and your training then get your phone out and just 30 seconds video of them saying I started out and I was like this and then through this training, I've now got this result.

A sure click like that can speak volumes and it really does build trust and build rapport with the new visitors to your website. The other things that build trust, logos of associations and that thing that you're part of. If you're a part of any maybe school-related programs or health programs or those things, having logos of that on your website just builds that legitimacy and publishing helpful content. Publishing videos that help educate people or articles that sort of things. Trying to be as helpful as possible with the content that you're providing on your website helps to reassure people and let them get a feel for who you are and your style and they then know that you're a helpful person. You're not just trying to take their money and give them a bad experience. Those sorts of things help to build trust with website business.

GEORGE: Yeah, totally. It's always been a big focus of mine. I know it's the hardest thing for martial arts school owners to do but there is so much focus on Facebook and getting content out. And this is probably a topic for a whole another episode but the content that you typically put on Facebook is for the most part gone in 24 to 48 hours unless you have a strategy. Like we structured in our Video Ad Authority Builder, we make sure that you create a video that you can actually put some money behind and leverage and build authority online.

But a good thing to really think about and we won't go too much into detail but now is we are creating content. How can you put that on your website and really dig into the keyword research and understanding, what are the questions that people ask because I know for most martial art schools owners their biggest problem is not the conversion. Once people walk through the doors, its cool. Its how do we get the walking through the doors and think about that as in content. What can actually put in your website that's going to educate people to create the trust as Justin referring to that's going to give them the confidence to take the first step or even just put their hand up or get that inquiry button and get in touch.

JUSTIN: Yeah, absolutely. FAQs are great for that. Answering those questions, because especially for people who've not tried or been a part of any martial arts training in the past, they really don't know what to expect so if you can just map it out clearly how it's going to go, or what the process is going to be when they sign up and they come in and answering any questions that commonly come up when people do sign up. Making those very clear start on your website really does help with getting people to take the first step, yeah.

GEORGE: All right, awesome. So we're at number six?

JUSTIN: Six, yeah. Generating style. So this is where the rubber hits the road. So turning that interested person who's looking at your website into a paying customer. And I know that you've got a really good process there with the trials, having a paid trial, yeah.

GEORGE: Yeah, I guess there are two things. Well I mean this is more than we optimized for but if you look at the sale on the website, for the most part is going to be selling a paid trial – that's the top lead we go for. And the next sale is how do we get somebody to actually inquire and then of course picking up the phone, which is the alternative. Don't know in the big optimization if we're taking sales, sending an email and somebody getting in touch is not a big sale, that's an inquiry. So those are the two things in context that we got going.

JUSTIN: Yeah, and I think that is a good process for martial arts business and making sure that opportunity to opt-in for an inquiry and just say, yes I'm interested. How do I get started, that sort of thing. Making that as easy as possible is very important so having that on top of the home page where they can just fill in the form and get in touch with you. It is also important that you don't have too many things that are distracting from these primary goals. You want those call to action that try to join the page trial or to inquire about a booking or about classes or whatever that is. Having those things really standing out from everything else on your website, using contrasting buttons and very strong wording like get started now or that sort of thing is very important.

And then as well as having that in your design, having those call to action very easy to use and standing out very clearly. You then also want to make sure that you're tracking who's using your website so having the Google analytics in place you can add Google ads, re-tagging and Facebook pixels so that if people are coming to your website, you have the opportunity to remind them about you. If they don't become a paying customer, you can show ads to them in Facebook but it's a lot more valuable to show them to people who've already visited your website than to show them to other people who've never heard of you before. It's a lot easier to get people who already know about you to come back and check you out again.

As well as doing that you want to as much as possible when they are filling out that email thing, you want to be building an email database with people who have inquired and separating out whose paid and then you can target some very good email messaging to the people who have inquired but not paid or signed up. And yeah, really help to form a relationship with them, provide more value, and then turn them into a paying customer.

GEORGE: Yeah and so Justin, we're talking about a lot of things about all the website and optimization and things. And I guess it's important to mention, for a lot of people and this has been said to me so often, it's just a website. The value of a website, just like well, I mean so and so could do it for me for 500 bucks, so and so could do it for me for 1000 bucks. Well the reality is and I've done this mess at so many presentations, if you're a lifetime student value is an average. I think the last call I had was $2200 a year. That's $2200 per student.

If your conversion is 2%, which means two out of every 10 people inquire. Let's say two out of every 10 people that come to you, well that's actually a big. Sorry its two of 100. Two out of 100 people come to your website and actually sign up, that's $4400 in that case, if you're a lifetime student value was $4400. Well if your website sucks, which most people do and it's slow, it doesn't build trust, it's not loading properly and people don't know how to contact you.

They don't know how to do this; your conversion rate is going to be awful. Now what if you paid more website but the experience of building this not just in martial arts but in thousands of other industries, and you use this collective knowledge and you're able to buy a website for triple the price. And I’m not saying that's irrelevant but I just want to make sure in context that the value is accurate. That now you're going to website that converts at 4% and that sounds ridiculous right? Its small, 2% to 4%. Well that's double your value, which means now every 100 people that goes to your website is worth $8800 and not $4400.

In your first 100 visits, you've got money back in your pocket and then some. So it's so important to look at this as your virtual salesman and your asset because that's the first experience. I can tell you how many Facebook ad campaigns we've run and remember the Facebook ad campaigns? And all of a sudden we just the conversion cost drop on Google, all the time. Which is saying to me that your first interaction is, Facebook I saw the ad, people on their mobile phones in three minutes, which means I saw the ad and I was like, Oh yeah saw some George's martial arts, cool. Could happen to work, what was it George's martial arts, go onto Google, find you and make the purchase.

It's important to look at the whole thing of context and the value of knowing all this stuff. And this doesn't happen just from the school kid, all is factored in that are signing out and are able to drag and drop the website together for you. You're not going to get that value. You get that value from seeing people's accounts, Google analytics, knowing the stats and knowing hang on this is actually what drives sales. And a bit of rank but I just want to make sure that distinction because it comes up so much in conversations well I could just buy this 500 bucks.

Well you're robbing yourself off five grand, fifty grand down the line very, very quickly.

JUSTIN: Exactly, yeah. And this actually leads very smoothly into my next to the number seven argument, which is building assets. So it's important to look at your website not as an expense but as an asset for your business, and if further down the line, eventually you're going to get to a point where you're going to pass on your school to someone else. You might sell that or whatever happens.

The website that you're building and the assets that you build with your website are saleable assets. So it's not just something that you're spending money on and it's a cost that goes away. You're actually building something, which increases in value. When you sell that website, that's as important as the other parts of your business, your customer database and that sort of thing that you're selling. So it is an important consideration. You need to look at it from that point of view and it is something that is bringing more money to you. Like you're saying, you can save a lot of money on your ads and by having a website set up really well, that you get a great return on investment.

So the other thing is that your website should be doing is building assets. Apart from the website itself, so on the website itself, it's right to be publishing that helpful content which overtime helps with your good rankings and this in itself an asset that just attracts new students to you. But then also having that email database that you're building from that lead form and having those remarketing tags. So you have audiences on Facebook and on Google. If you're having a quieter period you can go out and spend more ads on marketing to those people or emailing to those people. That is a very valuable asset for you to have and to build up. And it takes time, it’s a long-term play. It's not something that gets you a short term result necessarily but, yeah. It is definitely worth investing in the long-term of your business.

GEORGE: Yes, I'm going to probably open a can of worms here. When you referred to that, you got the physical asset; you got your domain name. I mean your domain name you always own but then the actual website, what we refer to as content assets, every time you create content that's valuable to somebody taking the first step as we spoke about earlier. Then if that is done right, something that we cover in our Academy and Partners program. Like how do you create content that you can actually leverage. It's evergreen and it's an asset because it brings in people find that article or video online and then they access your website through that.

Now the can of worms is, and I'm saying this because out of the best intent and it’s not a dig at anyone in the industry as such. I know there are really good providers in our industry that provide martial arts websites under the SAS software model. So I've got all praise for these companies, I know I can see why they do it, it's great, it's easy you pay them a couple of 100 bucks a month. They take care of your website and you've got this martial arts website in it and it brings you leads and that's awesome. It is awesome until it's not awesome. And when it's not awesome, is when you realize that it's not an asset.

And if you realize that you're paying five grand a year, give or take, maybe more on something that you don't own. And if you stop paying, that means that all those assets that you've built up on this infrastructure are now gone and that is a really, really distinction. As I mentioned I see the value in doing that as a business and I know it's super easy for martial art school owners to have that but if I had to have a true gut check within myself and say, would I do that for my business? Never ever in my life would I do that because I know the value of the asset. And that's the only reason why I've never gone down their track and just don't provide that as a service.

JUSTIN: Absolutely.

GEORGE: And sorry to cut you off but it’s probably if you look at everything online, it's the one asset you've got because Facebook, Instagram, they can all be gone in a heartbeat.

JUSTIN: Yeah, absolutely. The social media platforms come and go and also they change their rules so you might have some really good ad campaigns going on Facebook and then all of a sudden they will change their rules and your ads stop working or they don't do those ads like that anymore and they're banned and you've got to work out something else. And all of a sudden if you're relying on that as the only way you get students, then you're stuck. So it is important to have an asset that you do own and control.

Absolutely, and then you use these other methods of finding leads and bring them into your asset, where you have control and then you can build that email database of those users and talk to them directly. And yeah, having full ownership and control over your website is one of the most important philosophies in the way that I've structured my business as well. That's why we focus on WordPress because WordPress is the most popular website platform out there on the internet. It is very easy. If you're not happy with our service like we build your website and that sort of thing.

It's very easy for you to then take that and move to a different provider and you're not locked in with us. You still own your own website. You can hire someone else to look after it but you still own it. It's still your website, and I think that's very important for all business owners to make sure that you do have that and then you can sell that website and you can hand it over to the new owners and they will take it and it will provide value to them because it's already getting people coming to it and new students being produced from it.

GEORGE: Awesome, yeah. Totally. Number eight I think.

JUSTIN: Number eight, yeah. This one is not so much about attracting new students but staying secure is very important for your website and for your online presence. It can be a bit of a brand disaster and can cause you a lot of strife if you do get into trouble by being unsecured. So if your websites' not secure, and you get hacked and there is malicious malware going out to people who visit your website. There are all sorts of things, unlike people who no longer trust your business.

If they go to your website and says that it got the unsecured thing up in the top of the website browser and Google has a big warning on there saying, warning this website is unsafe, that sort of thing people aren't going to trust you. So that immediately kills that trust barrier sort of thing. You can often have some really unsavoury things. There's malware that gets into your website and then puts on these random messages from unsavoury groups on your website and that sort of stuff that gives a really bad impression to your customers and to your students.

And it makes you look like you're not a very well organized and professional operator. And the other thing is that it causes a lot of cost and expense for years so if you have something like that come in then you've got to spend money to get someone to clean up that software from your website. Clean up the malware and get that infection sorted. And it usually also involves a lot of stress, and you spending a day just trying to fix this problem that's happened and so you've got to also think about the cost of that as well.

So it is very important to look after the security of your website for these reasons, and the other things are, apart from them, if your website is unsecured or does have malicious malware on there, Google will stop running ads to you. It can hold your SEO rankings, and it can have a lot of flaws and effect that will damage your profitability. So with WordPress, once again because it is the most popular platform, it is a target to this malware that will be built to access WordPress because then they can access heaps of websites.

So it's important to keep your website software up to date and that just means that when this malware finds a loophole that they can get into the WordPress software, very quickly the WordPress developers will create an update to the software that blocks that and patches up that loophole. So it's important to make sure that those patches, those software updates are installed on your website. Sometimes installing those software updates can cause issues with the way that your design works or that sort of thing if it's not structured correctly. So it's important to get a developer to do that. To make sure that if it does cause any design issues they can roll back to back up they've just taken and fix the problem and that sort of thing.

So yeah. It is worth getting someone to look after your website who knows what they're doing and that way you don't have to worry about yourself and you don't have to go through all that stress and the ordeal of having your website hacked. The other things are things like just having that SSL, so HTTPs in your address means that your website data is encrypted. That means it's safe. Google likes that and it shows that your website is secure and the website browser and that sort of thing.

Yeah, and making sure that you have regular backups is also very important. So that if something does happen, worst-case scenario may be the hosting dies and you can't get back on to your website or something like that. You have a backup that you can then restore on some other hosting providers’ website or like their service. So for controlling assets that's important as well.

GEORGE: Perfect so Justin, first thank you for jumping on. I mean if somebody needs with that, somebody needs help with their website, let's say they've got an existing website. Maybe it's one WordPress base hopefully and they need help with all these support stuff, the security, speeding things up, making sure it's secure, all that stuff and then the other component obviously is if somebody wants a new website, a new website that can provide all this. A website that you would own as its upright it would be yours, how can people reach out to you? How can people get in touch?

JUSTIN: For sure. So, my website TunedWp, that's Tuned with a d Wp dot com. And the best way to get in touch is via support at TunedWp dot com. We've got a 24-hour support desk and we'll get back to you within one hour so we have very rapid response time. So if anything is urgent, just shoot through an email to us and we can do that. We have a number of different levels of service that we can provide so we can just provide that hosting and security element or we can also provide another service where we will optimize the performance of your existing website and do ongoing changes for you.

So you never have to log in to the website yourself as a business owner, it's really not what you should be doing. You should be focusing on your students and growing your business and leaving all the website technical stuff to experts like us. So we provide that service for you and we can also rebuild a new website if you want a new design or if you don't have a website that's set up correctly, we can certainly build that for you. So yeah, feel free to get in touch with the support at TunedWp dot com.

GEORGE: Awesome. And thanks really for jumping in and you've taken great care of all our existing website customers and we're definitely recommending people to you. We've known each other for many years being in the same community and a lot of the things we spoke about today really come from that understanding of really, really knowing how this online world works and worked before Facebook came along. How do build the online assets, how to structure business that you are safe against things that fluctuate within the business, whether that's in Google or Facebook. That you've got some leverage and ways to get sign up students from multiple avenues and the biggest component of that is having a simpler, secure, awesome website that is the face of your brand. Thanks for that Justin.

JUSTIN: No worries at all. Thanks for having me on the podcast.

GEORGE: Cool. Awesome. Thanks for listening. If you want to connect with other top and smart martial arts school owners, and have a chat about marketing, lead generation, what's working now, or just have a gentle rant about things that are happening in the industry, then I want to invite you to join our Facebook group.

It's a private Facebook group and in there, I share a lot of extra videos and downloads and worksheets – the things that are working for us when we help school owners grow and share a couple of video interviews and a bunch of cool extra resources.

So it's called the Martial Arts Media Business Community and an easy way to access it is, if you just go to the domain named martialartsmedia.group, so martialaartsmedia.group, g-r-o-u-p, there's no .Com or anything, martialartsmedia.group. That will take you straight there. Request to join and I will accept your invitation.

Thanks – I'll speak to you on the next episode – cheers!

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George Fourie

Hi I'm George Fourie, the founder of MartialArtsMedia.com. When I'm not doing dad duties or training on the mats (which I manage to combine when my son is willing! :), I'm helping Martial Arts Gym owners grow their business through the power of online media.

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