Posted on April 16, 2015
How To Setup A Website For Your Gym In 10 Steps
If you are a gym owner and you are in need of a website then the chances are that you probably aren’t very tech savvy. Fortunately, when it comes to building a website there are plenty of tools that can get the job done relatively easy and quickly. There are many parts needed to run a successful website. You are going to need to a hosting plan, possibly a content management system, the template, the actual content of the site, some helpful add-ons and plugins, and analytics to measure your progress. These are just a few of the essential things that you will need.
Choose Your Domain & Hosting Plan
To kick things off you will need to select a hosting plan. Godaddy has a good basic WordPress hosting plan that starts at just $3.99. Although this plan is very limited, it’s a good starting point and chances are you will not be needing anything more for your website. Once you have selected a hosting plan you will have the option of selecting a domain for your business. The general rules for selecting a domain are that the domain name be short and easy to read, contains keywords relevant to your business, does not contain hyphens or numbers, and preferably that the domain name be memorable.
The next thing you want to do is to install WordPress into your web directory. There are two ways to go about installing WordPress, manually and through the Godaddy control panel. If you bought the Godaddy WordPress hosting, you will not have to do anything more than follow the steps to get yourself all setup. If for any reason you go with any other hosting that isn’t the custom WordPress plan, you can follow Godaddys manual WordPress installation.
Choosing the Right Template
When selecting a template there are many options but it all comes down to what your needs are. For starters you need to figure out what type of theme your business demands. There are different templates and themes for every situation. There is eCommerce, blogging, landing pages, portfolio themes, and a long list of other themes. You can visit the WordPress Appearance > Themes and browse through a long list of templates. Another option is to buy a template from an outside source like theme forest or themify.
The Importance of Content
Content creation is the name of the game. If you want to keep your users coming back you have to be willing to consistently put out content. As gym owners, it is important to keep your class schedules up to date and fresh content flowing. Whether it is class images, videos, articles, or newsletters, you have to keep the content coming. Content is what will drive your traffic and keep people coming back for more. At Gym Autopilot we make sure that we capitalize on our clients schedules. Our client schedules play a large role in getting gym members to return to your website.
Installing the Right Plugins
Plugins are a great way to successfully run your WordPress website. Jetpack is a powerful plugin that connects your blog with a WordPress.com account and enables you to use powerful features that are only available to WordPress.com users. Another favorite is Akismet which protects you from unwarranted comments and spam bots. There are many plugins for just about everything that you can imagine. For example Contact Form 7 is a handy plugin to build a contact form that you can include anywhere with WordPresses ShortCode.
Setting up SEO Tools
SEO is an ever evolving beast and there are plenty of WordPress tools to help you with the process. Google Analytics and Web Master Tools are two free and useful tools that we will discuss. For now let us meet Yoast, a plugin that further helps to improve your WordPress SEO. Yoast forces you to select a keyword when you post an article. Yost ensures that you are inserting your keyword in the right places, that your article is easy enough to read, and various other measurement tools that improve your SEO. Another useful plugin is Google XML Sitemaps which will help search engines to better index your site. SEO Friendly Images will automatically add alt and title attributes to all of your images. This is an excellent way to improve traffic incoming from search engines.
Setting up Google Analytics
Tiny Google Analytics is a favored tool for adding Google Analytics tracking code to all pages. Simply signup for Google Analytics and enter the Google Analytics Property ID in the WordPress Settings > Tiny Google Analytics tab. To get your Google Analytics Property ID you’ll need to visit your Admin tab in Google Analytics. Under the admin tab there is a PROPERTY > Property Settings sub menu. Here you’ll find the Tracking ID, copy it and paste it into Tiny Google Analytics in your WordPress dashboard and you are good to go.
Setting up Web Master Tools
Webmaster Tools is much simple to setup. Simply login to your Gmail account and add your site to the account. Google Web Master Tools gives you a way to understand and improve your site in Google Search.
Collecting emails is very important for your business. It’s the way that you gather leads and potential members for your gym. WordPress has many plugins that enable you to connect your opt-in form with different email marketing platforms. Take MailChimp for example, you can download the MailChimp for WordPress plugin and link up your accounts. With a plugin like this you can directly get your contacts imported into a MailChimp list. Most of the major email marketing platforms have WordPress plugins that can directly sync up your opt-in form with a mailing list.
Social Media Presence
Establishing a social media presence is very important from the beginning. Truly, the methods that you can use to promote your webpage are endless. However, one of the most popular ways, as we are all aware, is social media. You have to know your business and select the correct social platform for it. Even if you wanted to, you would not be able to push your presence on every social media platform. The truth is that every day there is a new social platform popping up. Lately StumbleUpon is a personal favorite, and of course don’t overlook Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or Google+. There are plenty of social media plugins for WordPress that make sharing your pages straightforward. Jetpack allows you to share your posts to social media as they are being published.
This list consists of some of the more essential points when it comes running a successful website for your business, but by no means should this be the end. There are hundreds of books written on every single one of these sub topics and it is important to expand on them. This is a good starting point and we here at GymAutopilot wish you the best of luck!
Gym Autopilot is a multi-channel marketing automation agency devoted to easing the burden of a fast paced technological world. We automate gym owners' web operations to improve new member acquisition, member retention rates, and communication. Our mission is simple: "create, execute, and deliver the digital strategy."