Today, first impressions are made online. Typically, consumers who are interested in fitness services in your area will do a quick Google search and base their decision on how they feel about your website, rather than just stroll through your doors and try their luck.
Therefore, it’s imperative to ask whether your website — the digital storefront — is sleek and user-friendly for both new and current members.
“This is what the consumer expects,” shared Merikay Marzoni, the director of marketing and public relations at Fitness Formula Clubs (FFC). “If it isn’t easy to use and navigate, people will leave and go on to the next site — AKA your competitor.”
Over a year ago, after evaluating its online experience in the eyes of members, FFC determined its website needed some major changes in order to maximize its online appeal and create a more seamless experience.
“Our club’s website was fully redesigned in early 2018,” said Marzoni. “The website as it was designed pre-2018 sent a confusing message — some of it was member-facing, other parts were prospect-facing — there was just a lot of noise. And if we felt it, we knew members and prospects must have felt it, too.”
In addition to cleaning up the site’s design and making it more user-friendly, the most significant shift for the FFC website involved the audience it was primarily catering to, placing more of the homepage’s emphasis on welcoming prospective members.
“We made the decision to position the home page of the site toward prospects, rather than members,” said Marzoni. “Then we created a members’ page, which houses any member-facing communication — members can find club programming, log-in to their account, refer a friend, and much more.”
And according to Marzoni, the change was well worth it. “The transition was fairly seamless, and we have found a vast improvement with prospect lead generation through our web forms than with our former site,” she said.
In an increasingly competitive fitness landscape, optimizing the design and functionality of your website can be a difference-maker in your club’s ability to engage members.
“Think about your specific customer journey and the member experience,” advised Marzoni. “What do you want it to be like if you were the prospect? The member? What are website experiences you enjoy or motivate you to act? Think simple, clear, concise and easily digestible.”