George S. Ledyard
06-02-2009, 04:00 PM
Since the economy has tanked, keeping a dojo going is even more challenging. It seems that the demographics have changed with interest in traditional arts like Aikido being down as compared to the Mixed Martial Arts which appear nightly on prime time cable TV.
An Aikido school needs to do two things to capture those new students. First, any student already looking for an Aikido school needs to see your website when he or she searches on-line. That's a given. Their decision as to where to train will mostly be based on location. 95% of your students, especially the kids, will come from within a 20 minute travel time at rush hour.
The real prize is the potential students who don't know anything about martial arts and are just checking things out. It is imperative that your dojo's website appear when anyone searches for either Aikido, Martial arts, or Self Defense. These are the big three key words.
Since the organic listings are very competitive, meaning its not easy to optimize your website so that it appears on the first page of a search (if the search isn't locally targeted) a search engine marketing program can place your ads up front, even when the website itself is several pages down in the listings. This can drive potential students to your site.
We have programs with Google and Yahoo. They are Pay per click programs. For something like martial arts, these are relatively cheap as there simply aren't tons of folks who are searching for dojos.(the demographics say that only 1% of the population has any interest in doing martial arts at all). Just make sure that you target all of your searches locally. The search marketing programs all let you specify exactly where you want your ads displayed. You don't actually care of someone outside your local area sees your ads, in fact you'd prefer they don't so that you aren't paying for clicks that can't turn into students.http://www.aikiweb.com//blogger.googleusercontent.com/tracker/8994761102223176865-8956689152417771259?l=aikieast.blogspot.com