Five signs your gym or fitness studio needs a new website
Almost every gym or fitness studio has a website.
Some are great, ticking all the key boxes and performing well. Others are less impressive, often looking unloved and presenting the business in a poor light.
We are regularly asked by potential customers whether they need a new website. Indeed, it’s often the opening line when they contact us. There are times when the answer is obvious; the only viable option is a new website. On other occasions, the right decision is less clear.
The decision to develop a new website isn’t one to be taken lightly. It’s a significant cost (although divided over the lifespan of the average website, around four to five years, it becomes more palatable) and there’s the time commitment too.
Below are five signs that indicate you might need a new website.
1) When your current site isn’t mobile friendly
Our research shows that most of the traffic to fitness websites comes from desktop devices. However, the proportion visiting on mobile and tablet devices is still significant.
Google Analytics will tell you the split for your site. It’ll probably also show that engagement levels from users on mobile and tablet are below those using a desktop.
Ensuring your site is optimised for mobile and tablet devices will help increase engagement levels. It will also potentially improve your organic search traffic levels since Google uses mobile optimisation as a ranking factor.
2) When it’s cheaper than the alternative
It’s important to periodically review your gyms website. We recommend an evidenced-based approach. Using Google Analytics data, along with data you collect locally, will help you to understand what’s working and what could be improved.
Making changes or building a new site without analysing current visitor behaviour is dangerous and should be avoided. Without the detailed analysis, how do you know you aren’t changing something that’s working? You wouldn’t dream of recommending changes to a client’s existing diet plan without analysing it; the same should apply to your website.
At the end of the review, you will have a list of changes and new additions you want to make to the design, user experience and content. Costings for these can be sought and compared to that of a new website.
Experience tells us that the cost of a new website can often be lower than that of making significant changes to the existing site.
3) When you’re getting traffic, but engagement levels are low
Many people focus too heavily on traffic levels at the expense of engagement.
As a general guide, the longer someone stays on your site and the greater the number of pages they view, the more engaged they are and therefore more likely to visit your gym. A low bounce rate can also indicate high engagement. However, we need to be careful here as there can be pages/types of visitor where a high bounce rate is expected and can be excused.
Low engagement levels can be due to many factors. Only some of those are ‘on page’ i.e. down to your website. Therefore, if your engagement levels are low, you need to spend time researching the underlying causes. If you conclude it’s a problem on the site, go back to points two and three before making the decision.
4) When you’ve outgrown it
The resources eaten up by day to day running of your gym often mean insufficient time is spent on the website when the business is launched.
Over time, your business might head off in unexpected directions. New members will join the team. Whatever the reason, many fitness professionals quickly outgrow their website.
5) When you can’t make simple edits
There are times when the changes to a website should be made by a trained developer. In fact, there are occasions when it takes us longer to put right something a gym owner tried and failed to do than the change would’ve taken in the first place!
Nevertheless, it’s important that you can make basic changes to the site. Adding a new blog and simple text changes should all be things done in-house. You don’t need us for that (although if you want us to do it we are here for you!).
If you can’t make simple changes to the site yourself, either because you don’t have access to the back end or don’t know where to start, it’s probably time to take a fresh look at things. Training can help, but that won’t overcome a lack of access.
To find out more about how Revival Media Group could help your business, or to arrange an initial meeting, please do not hesitate to contact us and speak to one of our marketing experts on 0800 030 6924.
We look forward to hearing from you.