Marketing: Why Your Website is the Most Reliable Employee You Have
We all know the health club industry is a competitive industry. With tons of options out there for someone looking to join a health club, it’s important your club has a strong digital presence that differentiates you from your competitors by providing the prospective customer with quality, valuable information — and what better place to put that information than a cohesive website?
The internet has more or less become a commodity for anyone who wants to find out information on, well, anything — from their next travel destination, to the restaurant their friend recommend they try, to what health club near them best suits their needs.
People tend to seek out information online rather than via phone or face-to-face interactions. Do you blame them? It’s admittedly easier to be able to have all of the information you could possibly need at your fingertips whenever you need it; websites can be the most reliable employees you have — working for your business 24 hours a day, every day.
So, you have a website … but do you have a good website? I’m not saying you need to go to a top advertising agency and spend $5,000 for a website (which, is a very average cost, on the low end, for a good, well-functioning site). But, it is important to ensure your website contains the fundamental basics, so you don’t leave potential customers with unanswered questions. Once they visit your site, they should know everything they want to know (and more) about who you are as a business.
So, what are these fundamental basics?
An “about” section.
This is often the first page people see when they click on the link to a webpage. It should be simple and clean and explain your club along with its mission statement, vision and anything else that is important to your brand and most importantly — what you have to offer the customer.
This page gives you the perfect opportunity to sell yourself and differentiate from your competitors. Are you a health club that focuses on energy-conversion efforts? Say that, and you may convert a lead who is passionate about the environment. Do you have hundreds of clubs worldwide that are accessible to patrons? Say that, because maybe the visitor on your page travels for work and needs something available to them wherever they are in the country. Anything that differentiates you from the other clubs will remain memorable to the person looking at your site, and that factor alone may be the reason they choose your club instead of your competition.
Consider including the following components in your “about” section:
- Company logo
- Who you are
- What you do
- What you want to do
- Who you do it for
- What you can do for the visitor
- Highlight amenities
- What makes you different
- Location, phone number, email
Quality, customer-centric content.
A lot of people find themselves becoming hesitant to spending a lot of money on a website due to worries of lack of content and a potential low return on a high investment. The key to coming up with great content and to getting your website to work for your brand is to get creative and showcase the things that highlight your club.
Consider using these examples of content on your webpage:
- Personal trainer/staff bios
- Member success stories
- Photo galleries
- Frequently asked questions
- Embedded social media feed
- Membership rates
- A schedule of group classes
- Links to media sites that have covered your gym
Having these components on your website humanizes your business — they give the potential lead something to relate to and something to excite them. It also builds your credibility by showing that not only is your club existing — it’s thriving. It also gives you an opportunity to advertise all of the beautiful amenities of your gym so people know what exactly they’re getting before even stepping foot inside.
A relevant offer.
A webpage is one of the most fool-proof ways of converting a lead. Once you get a visitor to your site, you want to capture their information to further nurture them as a lead until you convert them into a member.
Unfortunately, you cannot fully nurture a lead throughout one short webpage visit. But, what you can do, is give them a relevant offer for an exchange of their information, so your efforts can become more personalized and go beyond your website.
It’s as easy as embedding a form on your webpage asking for their name, email and phone number, and then having a call-to-action button that verbally states what they will receive in return for their information. It’s a win-win — the prospective member gets an offer they want, while you get their information, so you can both measure how effective your efforts were and pass the information to your sales team.
Consider trying one of these relevant offers:
- “Sign up for our newsletter for a free three-day pass.”
- “Sign up for promotional emails for free body composition testing.”
- “Sign up for weekly updates and coupons and receive one free personal training session.”
- “Click here to get an email containing a personal meal-prep program created by CEO of the company.”
People get plenty of spam email, therefore there’s a good chance they won’t voluntarily want to give out their information to clutter their mailbox more. But when you give a good, valuable offer, how could anyone pass it up?
Remember: Always make sure you get their permission before sending emails, and always have an unsubscribe button to avoid possible legal repercussions.
There’s a good chance the person coming across your website will be doing so on their mobile device, and there’s nothing more frustrating than having to try to zoom out and flip your phone to click a link. This frustration from the person trying to access your site could lead in them going to another webpage that works for them mobily, hurting your business’ credibility.
Most professional web developers understand the importance of having a mobile-friendly site and should make sure that is done before launching your site, but if you do it yourself or with a template, it’s good to double check.
Consider checking your current website to see if any changes need to be made to optimize mobile useage.
There are two ways to check: You can either enter the address on a smartphone and see if it is user-friendly. Or, if you’re on a desktop, take your cursor and click on the right side of the window, drag it all the way in to the left to make it smaller. If it’s mobile-friendly, you’ll see the layout change to what it looks like mobily.
A contact page.
Having a contact page is a good idea because it gives the visitor an opportunity to ask any questions they may have and find out more information. A simple form where they can email asking a question works well, and it’s also nice to embed a map to your website so they can see exactly where you’re located and what you’re close to. It gives them the opportunity to reach out to you, encouraging two-way communication.
It’s important to include the basic information again — phone, email, address, etc. — as a reminder on the last page they see.
Consider: Using Google maps and embedding a location into your webpage.
Creating a website professionally can range greatly depending on what you want. According to Website Builder Expert, you’re looking from anywhere to $5,000 to $10,000 (or much, much more) for custom website design.
Not ready for that type of investment? Try to find a customizable template that is user-friendly that you and your team can work with and upkeep. Some examples of sites with customizable, affordable templates are WordPress, Wix and Squarespace.