Online search is one of the main ways people find businesses in the 21st century, and martial arts schools are no exception. Ranking high in search results in your area can increase your new sign-ups significantly.

SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization, and it’s the process of optimizing your online presence to help search engines such as Google recognize your brand and rank you higher in their search results.

In this article we’ll quickly cover 4 points that will help improve your search results rankings and drive more organic traffic to your website:

  1. User-Friendly Website Design: 
  2. Specify Location
  3. Geo-Targeted Keywords
  4. Unique Content Creation

User-Friendly Website Design 

Search engines such as Google check to see if users are clicking on your website in search results and immediately come back to search for something else. That action is called a “bounce”, which means that your website did not satisfy the user, and might be ranked lower in future results if you have bad bounce rate (the rate of people who bounce off your website when clicking on it in search results).

Search engines take the bounce rate and other factors on your website to determine how friendly it is to users to visit and read through. Some factors include – how fast does your website loads (especially on mobile devices), how easy it is to navigate and find content, are there many interruptions such as popups, banners and other distracting media, amongst others.

Now, I know what you’re thinking. You’re not a web designer and you may not have a ton of money to fork over for a web design. On top of that, how do you even know what to ask for? Your website might look good to you, but search engines might see many issues behind the scenes.

The website feature we provide as part of our gym management software tool provides a great user experience and is fully optimized for all the factors search engines are looking for. You can also check out our previous article on how to make sure your martial arts school website does not suck.

Specify Your Location 

Physical businesses with real life foot traffic also need to optimize for the location of the people searching for their services. We want search engines to rank our school for search in our city and area. This subsection of search engine optimization is called “Local SEO”.

For Google and Google maps search results, the first thing to do is to register your martial arts school on Google My Business. This sends a strong signal to Google that your business is available at your address, and allows you to control its appearance on Google maps and other local search results.

Google will actually verify your physical address by sending you a snail mail letter with a code you have to enter. Once you do, you will have access to managing your business information as it appears on Google search results.

In addition, make sure to include your location information – full address, or at least city and state – in all your online profiles, such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Youtube and so forth. If there are other online mentions of your business, on various business directories or publications, make sure your address is included. Search engines will find those references and it will increase your relevancy to search queries in your area.

Geo-Targeted Keywords 

Use keyword phrases that will engage mobile and local searchers looking for martial arts expertise near their location. When posting on social media or creating new content on your website, try to include your city / area if it makes sense. That can help your content rank for local search results in addition to your main website rankings.

Additional signals for search engines – Schema Markup: 

Search engines such as Google provide a way for website builders and developers to include more information about the website than is included in the content site visitors can see. This is called Schema Markup, a type of code that is added to the website with additional information about your business, services and so forth. 

This additional information can then appear in search results.  By adding schema markup to your martial arts school website, you are providing search engines with additional information they can use to classify your business and enhance search results where it appears. Our website feature mentioned above implements all the schema markup needed to enhance search results for your school.

Creating Unique Content

Creating unique content provides more opportunities for your site to rank in search results. Every page on your website that ranks on search engines contributes to the overall ranking of your website, as long as it seems to be of sufficient quality to search engines.

In order for search engines to notice your content, you have to create some awareness for it, and social media is the perfect place to do so. Post links to your website content on your social media profiles, to drive traffic there and send a signal to search engines that the content exists. If people share your content, or even better – post your links themselves, the signal amplifies and increases your chances of it ranking in search results.

Similarly, for your video content – make sure to include a link to your website in the video description and with video overlays.

Conclusion:

Search engine optimization is getting simpler – you used to need an expert to guide you through everything, but now a few simple actions are enough to make a big difference as search giants like Google are trying to optimize for the end user instead of machines.

One thing we haven’t mentioned in this article is the importance of backlinks – links to your website on other websites. It might be hard for a local martial arts school to get mentions on other website, but if you are able to get featured in a local news portal or community website, that can make a big difference.

For more in-depth look at SEO for martial arts schools, check out our full guide on the topic here.

Published by Patrick Skinner

Patrick Skinner is a Purple Belt in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, Level 3 Practitioner in Krav Maga, and Level 2 in the US Army Combatives system. Aside from martial arts, he’s a father of two and an award winning writer. When not on the mats or with is family, he he writes about anything from software to martial arts.

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