Why Your Martial Arts Website Was Designed To Bleed Business (And What To Do About It)

Does it seem that no matter what form of online marketing campaigns you run to drive traffic to your martial arts website simply doesn’t work?

Martial Arts Website Design

You keep spending the dollars, but your return on investment (ROI) simply doesn’t justify the cost.

More than likely, your problem is NOT marketing. Your problem is a martial arts website design that doesn’t convert. Thus, it’s bleeding business.

The biggest misconception about Martial Arts websites, or any other website for that matter, is that they are all created equally.

‘A website is a website’ seems to be a common mantra.

Yet one website could be the powerhouse behind multiple schools, getting a steady stream of online enquiries with the phone ringing consistently throughout the day.

But the other martial arts website is dead.


Maybe the odd email and phone enquiry being produced within the week or the month.

And what’s even more bizarre about this, these exact two businesses could be running on the exact same advertising budget. Sometimes, the better website is even generating more business with a fraction of the budget.

To top that off, what stings even more is if you forked out multiple four figures for your website and it's still not bringing in the business that you need.

martial arts websites question

So the question is, what’s going on here?

Is it cheap (or fancy) stock pictures?

The layout?

The design?

The words?

What makes one martial arts website design a prospect magnet and the other as busy as fitness training on New Year’s morning?

In this short crash course, my goal is to give you complete clarity on what your website needs to be a lead generation machine.

These are elements that we’ve tried and tested (and keep testing) on numerous websites through using traffic methods as described in our free Martial Arts Business Plan for online media.

And, we are going to dig deep into the one key element that is the maker or breaker of your martial arts website.

If you have not yet ventured into the world of promoting your website online and walking away with a bruised wallet, study this post before you do ANYTHING!

If you have been marketing your martial arts website online, this post will give you the guidance or maybe a few ‘tweaks’ to turn your website into a prospecting powerhouse.

But first steps first, we need to get clarity on…

Your benchmark numbers that determine your profit


If numbers aren’t your thing, please bear with me. I can guarantee you that doing this exercise will change the way you look at your business from here on out.

I might be preaching to the choir, and maybe you’ve done this exercise before. Either way, let’s tie them in with the success or lack thereof with your martial arts website.

The numbers are everything! (Yes, even more important than the fancy stock images.)

Here’s why.

EXAMPLE: Working with easy numbers, let’s say your student acquisition cost needs to be $100 for you to run a profitable business.

But, your cost per acquisition with running online ads is $150 stretching up to $180, even $200.

How long will your doors stay open for?

The scary part is, most martial arts business owners don’t keep track of these numbers and go out of business because of it.

You could be throwing thousands of dollars every month into Google Adwords, and if you don’t know and keep track of these numbers, you might find your business on rocky grounds when it’s already too late.

That brings us too…

Lifetime Customer Value (LCV)

This figure is key. The lifetime value of your student can be determined by multiplying your weekly or monthly student fee by the average time that a student remains a member.

Example (again keeping the maths simple), let’s say that a student pays $150 per month at your martial arts school and the average time a student stays is 12 months.

That brings the figures to:

$150 fee x 12 months = $1,800 LCV

And in reality, it will be much more than $1,800.

That member might bring in a few referrals, attend extra events or purchase merchandise or gear if you provide any of those.

But to keep things simple of the purpose of this guide, let’s stick to $1,800.

And not to go off topic here, but that begs the question:

Are you treating every online enquiry, walk in and phone call like a potential $1,800 student?

What if that student stays three years ($5,400) or even five years ($9,000).

SIDE NOTE: As a quick guideline, if you are spending 10% of your LCV as a student acquisition cost, you should be running a healthy business.

However, this can differ for each business, so best to run your own numbers.

And that’s exactly how seriously we take every visit to your website, which brings us to that one key element…



Conversions are the cash cow, the make or break, the new student that you get or lose to Bob and Mary Martial Arts next door.

Consider this:

Every time someone clicks on your website, that’s a potential $1,800.

Every time they click away, it’s $1,800 spent elsewhere. One life that you didn’t have the opportunity to improve.

A pretty serious way to look at a simple mouse click isn’t it?

But truth be told, one of your best students right now more than likely joined up that way.

They found your website at the right time in their life, was intrigued enough to pick up the phone or email you and now they are your biggest advocate.

Maybe they were a referral, but doing their own research they found on social media or your website pushed them over the line.

There are so many variables that can affect whether a potential member gets in touch with you or not.

That’s why we need to take these variables super seriously because every one of them could be valued at $1,800.

I know I’m harping on about the numbers and dollars rather than , but that’s the business side that simply can’t be avoided.

And yes, of course, your members aren’t objects walking around with dollar signs on their heads; these are valuable people whose lives you will transform and the only way that will happen is when you do all you can to make sure they start their martial arts journey. I can vouch for that. 🙂

The difference a 2% conversion makes

Let’s say your website right now is converting at 2%. That means that for every 100 visitors you get to your website, two people either pick up the phone or complete an online enquiry.

Doesn’t sound like much, but that is about the average conversion of average websites.

Get 1,000 visits to your website; you get 20 new prospects.

Now, using the conversions elements we will discuss below, you improve your website conversions by 2%, bringing it up to 4%.

“What’s 2%?”, most people might snicker. But that’ 2% moving from 2% to 4%, is actually a 100% improvement!

4% means four leads for every 100 visitors, making it double to 40 new prospects, lifting your stakes to 40 new prospects from a 1,000 website visitors.

And let’s be conservative and that 4 of the 20 prospects signed up, that means that you gained an extra four students for the same amount of visitors to your martial arts website.

You didn’t fork out extra dollars on marketing; you simply optimised a martial arts website design that converts!

And going back to our numbers, that’s 4 x $1,800 lifetime customer value, which is an additional $7,200 added to your bottom line.

That’s an additional $86,400 in one year!

Again, might be stating the obvious, but until you see the numbers in front of you and the benefits or repercussions of not doing things right, it’s hard to see the real monetary value.

How to ‘tweak' your martial arts website design to boost conversions

Martial arts growth

OK, let’s get down to it, how do you increase your website conversions? And if I come to the realisation that my website is no good, do I revamp the whole thing or build a new one from scratch?

That will depend on many variables. The state of your website, the code it was written in, and of course, budget.

Does that mean you need to fork out multiple four figures and get a new website?

No. At least, not yet.

What’s the point in spending thousands of dollars on a brand new website, when you have no idea whether it will generate leads or not?

Here at Martial Arts Media, we like to:

  1. Create one landing page first
    2. Drive traffic to it
  2. A/B Split test it (Split testing is creating two versions on the same web page with slight variations and see which one delivers the better conversion percentage)
    4. Test it some more
    5. Build a new website based on the landing page that works (if desired)

This means that Martial Arts Gym owners can trust that the websites that they are building are going to serve their business for years to come.

Getting back to the conversions.

Let's say you have the resources to take this on yourself or have a trusted web developer that values marketing and conversions more than the tech itself, here’s what needs to happen.

The most important thing you need to know about your website visitors:

They are impatient, generally lazy and love to play dumb!

That doesn’t mean your potential new students have any of those attributes, and this is no judgement towards anyone, it’s simply the common behaviour of an internet browser.

If they don’t get what they want, they’re out of there. If they need to click through hoops, they’re leaving. If you don’t tell them what to do, they’re back to Google and looking up your competitor. (The inevitable $1,800 sting!)

Key factors to optimise your martial arts website design

Sleek chrome & blue website buttons.

  • Mobile web viewing now exceeds desktop viewing! More of your prospects will be viewing your website on a mobile device than on a desktop computer or laptop. Does your website deliver a user-friendly experience for mobile? Having a mobile responsive website is essential
  • You have 0-8 seconds to grab your visitors’ After 8 seconds, the majority of the visitors leave
  • Approximately 96% of visitors that come to your website are not ready to take action (call, join or make an online enquiry) Are you capturing their data? What are you doing to follow up on these visitors? We will discuss this in  future posts when we get to Email Marketing and Remarketing campaigns
  • The more landing pages (pages with specific information that your visitors are looking for) you have, the more leads you are likely to get
  • Product videos can increase your enquiries by 144%
  • 1 second, yes, 1 SECOND delay in your site speed can result in a 7% reduction in conversions
  • Ideally, you should be testing with a method that’s called A/B split testing to determine what works on your website. This topic stretches beyond what we will be covering in this guide

That can be a lot to take in.

This is why it's important to have a team behind you that understands these metrics and can manage them for you.

What you can do right now to improve your website

  1. Make your unique value proposition clear

    Visitors should be able to see clearly on your homepage or landing page why they should be training at your Martial Arts School. No guessing. State the biggest benefit of training at your school clearly in one headline.

  2. Have your phone number visible at the top

    I’ve been to so many martial arts websites where you have to jump through hoops to make contact. Have your phone number visible AND clickable. Many people will be searching from their mobile phones.

    If your phone number can be clicked to make a call when viewed on a mobile, your phone enquiries will increase.

  3. Have your online enquiry form visible above the fold

    Your online enquiry form needs to be short and visible above the fold of the webpage. That means that they don’t have to scroll down to see your enquiry form.

    The more information you ask, the less likely they will fill this in, especially if they’re on mobile (again, notoriously lazy!)

  4. Make sure your website is fast

    If your website is on slow hosting and takes longer than 2-3 seconds to load, your visitors are going to get frustrated and leave.

This is why I'm not a fan of website providers who offer package deals with hosting included.

More often than not their technical experience or team do not know how to optimise and scale their hosts for maximum speed.

Or they sell too many websites, and the whole network starts to slow down, and they don’t upgrade their systems fast enough.

It saves them and you money in the short term, but you pay for it in loss of customers.

You should also question ownership if you own a website like this, who owns the actual website? Can it be transferred to a different provider if you are not happy?

If you think your website might be slow, you can contact us for a free website check.

If your website is taking more than 2/3 seconds to load, this is something you need to be concerned with.

Although the above tests are proven strategies that will improve your website, the only real way to know what is going to work for your audience demographic is to test.



And the only way you can run tests on your website, is to track your analytical data.

What you think people want on your website and what they do are two very different things. And it’s what they do what really matters, as those are the actions that they take.

How and what to test conversions on your website

Google Analytics is the standard tracking software (and free) that you must use on your martial arts website.

There are other tools that can also be used that create heat maps of your website visitors’ activity.

These give you invaluable insights.

The things you want on your website might not be what your customers want.

REMEMBER: Your visitors will only stay on your website for a while. It’s important that every single click intrigues them to take the desired action, like getting in touch with you.

The two conversion elements you need to test from your website is phone calls and online enquiries.

The easiest way to do this is to set up a different phone number for your website only.

For online enquiries, you can set up a thank you page, a page that they land on only if they complete an online enquiry.

From there it's relatively easy to create this as a goal (conversion element) in Google Analytics.

Even if the above list is exhausting and you don’t have the time or resources to take all these on right now, you have a comprehensive list of items you can test to improve your conversions month to month as you move forward.

In our free Martial Arts Business plan for online media which you can download here, we discuss 4 key elements of an high converting website that can help improve your conversions faster.

If you need help or have any questions about optimising your martial arts website, get in touch with us for a free strategy session.

Yes, I want George to show me new ways to Attract students, Increase signups and Retain more members.

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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.