Marketing guide for Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu

Marketing guide for Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu

Recently I executed a quite successful marketing campaign for my Brazilian Jiu Jitsu gym. Because the results were so good, I decided to share my method here on my blog. There is some nitty gritty technical stuff involved, but you can easily find people to do these tasks from various places.

How to market Brazilian Jiu Jitsu for beginners

I focused my marketing efforts mainly on Facebook advertising. There were two reasons for this:

  1. The search volume for Brazilian Jiu Jitsu (or related terms) in google.com.mt is so low, that I don’t believe I would have been able to drive the same amount of traffic to my website using Adwords.
  2. I’ve never done paid ads on Facebook, but there seems to be a buzz around it, so I decided to give it a go.

The reason for the beginner’s course was the fact that we’re starting to have skill gap. The guys who started training with us in the last 4 months are not beginners anymore, they are grasping the basics quite well.

In order to cater all the skill levels, the idea of the beginner’s course is just to bring new Jiu Jitsukas on a level where they can execute basic techniques.

In other words, I don’t want to scare new members by throwing them into the deep end of the pool right away.

Getting started with Facebook ads

First things first,
I installed the facebook pixel on my site. I wanted to start to gather a custom audience for my site. Since the site has been built with WordPress, I found a quite a handy plugin to install the pixel to my site.

The plugin is called: Facebook Pixel by PixelYourSite

The pixel, of course, gathers audience data constantly, so I can use the audience in the future campaigns as well.

ripl-featured-arete-ad.

I’ve been using an app called Ripl to create graphics for the advertising campaign. One of my creations got featured in Ripl’s Facebook page.

What does the pixel do?

Facebook-pixel-statistics

How many times Facebook pixel has been “fired” on my site in the past 2 weeks.

Facebook pixel is a cookie, which tags your visitors. This leaves the guessing out on who you should be advertising. Because you have a custom audience, it makes A/B -testing of ads so much more effective. You can also create custom conversions.

Read more about the pixel

The beginners guide to the new Facebook pixel by Shopify

Here’s how I marketed the course:

  • My target was to get 15 sign up’s for the course.
  • The price for the course was originally 50€, but I ended up dropping the price to 40€.
    • Looking at it now, it might have been a mistake to drop the price, as the majority of the sign-ups came in the last week of the campaign. But hey, you try and you learn 🙂
  • I published a blog post on our website. Post explained in depth what the course is about.
    • The purpose of this post was to push people to go the actual sign-up -page.
      • I used 2 different versions of the landing page, and the latter one ended up bringing majority of the results
      • Let’s just say that, the first version of the landing page was maybe bit too “complex”
  • I shared the facebook post in about 10 different local facebook groups.
  • I re-posted the course advertising on the Facebook page and in Instagram 3 times/week.
    • Based on the analytics in Bitly, facebook was the clear winner when it comes to clicks on organic postings.
    • However, Instagram posts got lot more engagement, but this is due to excessive use of hashtags 😉
      • I started the gyms Instagram account 2,5 weeks ago and we already have 200 (non-paid) followers.

Challenge of using PayPal as payment method

I think the fact, that I had to use PayPal as accepted payment method decreased the conversions quite a lot. I already contacted Stripe to get a quote from them for the future. I want to have the checkout happening on my site. When the payment has to be done somewhere else then in your site, it will always have a negative affect on conversions.

Enter the email marketing and automation

email-marketing-for-bjj

There was another reason why I wanted to people to sign up via Website – I wanted their email address.

I used Zapier to create an automation on this. When a person pays the course fee via PayPal, their email address is automatically imported to a specific mailing list. They will receive a weekly mail. The mail has 3 purposes

  1. To collect feedback from people. Ensure that they are happy about the content of the course.
  2. Get more affiliate sales – People will need specific gear BJJ, and I can recommend them products that I found good.
  3. Get people to renew their membership on the last week of the course – I will make them an offer that they can’t refuse 😀

MailChimp – Email marketing made easy

mailchimp-is-perfect-tool-for-email-marketing-in-bjj

For a number of subscribers I generated, I bought prepaid credits from MailChimp. With these credits, I can create automated marketing emails. I really like Mailchimp, user interface is very clear and you they have very good knowledge base

Mailchimp offers ready-made templates for your emails,  but it might be a good idea to make your emails look like your brand does. You can custom email templates from Fiverr around 50€. This includes setting up the template in your MailChimp account. The only thing you have to do is to start writing the emails. Trust me, 50€ for email template is not a lot, especially considering the time you save by not learning how to create mobile friendly email templates…It’s hard.

IFTTT – Automation made easy and fun

IFTTT-automation-made-easy

I also set up another automation. I wanted to get all the names of the people who signed up for the course in a Google Spreadsheet. For this purpose, I used a recipe from IFTTT.com (If This Then That, it is absolutely brilliant and requires zero programming knowledge and it is FREEEEE).

Here’s direct link to that particular Applet

Don’t overlook email marketing, The ROI in email marketing is extremely high, you can reach your followers directly without spending any money on advertising. Give people something for free (maybe a trial class?), so they have reason to sign up on your mailing list.

Return on Investment – the hard numbers

It is important to crunch the numbers to see was the campaign profitable.

I was very pleased with the results and the fact that demographic targeting in this campaign was spot on! Not only we got the desired result, but we got people signing up, whom I believe will stick around longer than just the beginner’s course. Below you can see the breakdown of expenses and the results.

Investment

  • Paid advertising: 25€
  • Flyers 5€ (made with Canva)
  • Prepaid credits for Mail 20€

Total investment: 50€

And that’s it! Of course, there was tons of time spent on researching, brainstorming and creating content. At the moment, I don’t have the luxury of outsourcing all tiny tasks. But that day is coming sooner than later 😉

Profits

I ended up getting a total number of 17 people signing up for the course.
Each sign up is worth 40€

Gross profit: 680€ – 50€ = 630€

Return on Investment: 1260%

One might say, that this campaign was quite successful. I’m definitely going to use Facebook Ads later on in other projects, as it seems to be a very robust way of driving traffic to a website. The challenge of Facebook ads is the targeting, you need to know your customer personas.

Conclusion

All and over I am very happy with the results that campaign produced. There was so much work involved in this campaign, so many things to learn that It is better not to think about the hours I’ve spent working on this. Also, I designed the whole program for the beginner’s course by myself.

17 people may not sound a lot, but it is worth mentioning that Malta is very small country and jiu-jitsu is practically non-existent here. Rather than marketing Brazilian Jiu Jitsu for people, I have to educate people on what Brazilian Jiu Jitsu actually is.

If you have a Brazilian Jiu Jitsu gym and you’re looking into getting new customers, I highly recommend using Facebook ads and trying to maximize the profits with email marketing.

The gym is starting to get to a point, where I have to start looking for a bigger space. In other words, we are soon going to outgrow our current venue. I have a very clear image in my head, how the gym would look like and if I have to move out, I want to make the place look nice from the beginning.

Ps:

I also won the gold medal last weekend in Torino. It was first ever medal in NoGi 🙂

 

Antti-Alatalo-wins-gold-in-Torino-bjj-challenge
Basic SEO audit checklist

Basic SEO audit checklist

For many people even within the web development industry, SEO is a new concept. While they may be able to perform many other tasks without thinking twice, they occasionally balk – intentionally or unintentionally – at the challenge of learning

As a result, many web developers feel far from natural about the tasks required for it. These tasks, such as auditing existing or sites, are vital for those who work within this field.

What does an audit consist of?

For effective SEO, your website needs to already be solid. In order to put together a great SEO strategy for already existing site, it’s often necessary to perform an SEO site audit. This should include auditing every version of your website, include mobile, to test its SEO capabilities. The following sections describe what site audits should include.

 

Page load time

If page loading is disproportionately long for your site, it may impair crawling and indexing. This is bad news for your site, as it can essentially remove it from searches in mobile.

Test your site speed:

 

Mobile-friendliness

With much internet traffic on mobile, you should make sure your site has a mobile version that is quick and easy to use.

Test Mobile Friendliness

Usability

Some people don’t see usability as directly related to SEO, but it’s an important issue with wide influence, affecting conversion rates and whether people are willing to connect links to your website. High bounce rate might have negative impact on your rankings.

Accessibility

It’s important to ensure that your site is search-engine friendly.

Checking effectiveness of search engines

There are a number of easy health checks you can perform:

Search site: in various search engines to see what number of your website pages come up in results, then contrast this with how many individual website pages you have. Cross-reference with Bing Webmaster Tools and Google Search Console accounts.
Using Google, check to ensure that your cached site pages are identical to your live ones and that there are no discrepancies between the two versions.

perform site search by typing: site:yourdomain.com in google search

Make sure that Search Console and search accounts for the biggest search engines are set up and confirmed for your site domain and subdomains. On Bing and Google, you can access site owner authorization and catch a glimpse of how search engines look at your website.
Use a search engine for phrases that your brand uses in order to ensure that you rank for those phrases. If you don’t rank well, it may be an indicator that you’ve been penalized, in which case you should double-check your Search Console and Webmaster Tools.

Checking keyword health

Make sure proper, related keywords are being used, and the site moves fluidly from a keyword search to a related page. Also, double-check to see if a particular keyword directs to multiple pages on the site.

  • Firefox extension
    Search Status, shows a number of keywords used in the page
  • WordPress users
    Yoast plugin shows keyword density on page
site search firefox extensions shows you keyword density

Site Search shows how many times and where the desired keyword has been used.

Yoast Plugin Keyword Density

Yoast shows the keyword density and gives suggestions on how to improve keyword density. 

Looking for duplicate content

It’s vitally important to ensure that versions of the site pages which don’t use www. Redirect to those that do; this should also be true of the inverse. This means, for example, that if you have a page version entitled http://yourdomain.com, it should redirect to www.yourdomain.com. Also keep an eye out for https: pages which are copies of HTTP: versions. Essentially, compare all site versions to ensure that they match up.

What’s an efficient way to take care of this? One way is to copy text from your site’s main pages and perform a Google search for the unique string of text. If you’re noticing multiple links appearing, take a look at the URLs to figure out why.

Some sites are too big to do this text-by-text comparison, so if you have a particularly large site, focus on the main pages. In the meantime, implement a process to double-check all newly-generated content before it goes up.

If you want to make sure you have no duplicate site content, one option is to use search operators like inurl: and intitile:. Inurl: is one particular option for URLs with unusual elements such as numerals and other characteristics.

Firefox users

 

In addition to making sure there are no page duplicates, it is also important to make sure there is only one URL for any one page of content. For larger sites, this is a frequent problem, since this means that it is up to search engines to decide, as it were, which URL version is the “one” and which to consider less important. When site pages end up in competition, it’s not beneficial for anybody in particular. To avoid conflicting results and diminishing SEO effectiveness, use cookies if it becomes necessary to deliver a page of content in a variety of ways.

URL checks

Your URLs should be neat, succinct, and descriptive, meaning that they should have plenty of keywords without going so far as to become excessive or bewildering. This means that site.com/dresses/mens/shirts is a good URL, but site.com/dresses/mens/shirts-shirts-shirts-for-men is too much keyword stuffed. URLs should be crafted in such a way that they’re easily understandable for both users and search engines and avoided appending parameters as much as possible.

Reviewing the Content

In this part, you should make sure that the site’s main pages are filled with text content that’s significant enough to interest and hook page viewers, and that all pages use header tags and that the content follows prober heading hierarchy. In addition to this, make sure to compare the less significant pages of the site to the total in order to weigh content and make sure there’s a significant balance – not too many smaller pages in comparison to the rest of the site.

Meta Description’s and titles

Every page of site content should have a meta description that’s distinctive and descriptive; if your company’s brand name is included, make sure it comes at the end rather than the beginning. The reason being, that you want to highlight the content of the page, but at the same time connect

Index / no index Tags

A meta robots tag on any one of your site pages may indicate a problem for you and your site, providing an unwanted value of no index or no follow; this will sabotage your SEO effectiveness.
In addition to this, a distinctive meta description should be present for each page of content; better to have none at all than to have a poor one. These descriptions are significant for search engine duplicate content algorithms and play a large part in serving as site descriptions in the SERPs. Because of this, it’s important to make sure that they are totally distinctive, since they play a part in your rate of click-through, even though they may not play a direct one in the way your site is ranked in a search engine.

Sitemaps and robots.txt files

Look over your robots.txt link by using the command “Robots.txt fetch” within Google Search Console. Make sure that all website pages are accurately named in your Sitemap.

Redirects

Take a look at your redirects to ensure the correct ones are set up and indicating the proper destination URL, and canonical redirects are accurately set up. In order to do this, you can utilize the server header checking like Redirect Check or, if you’re using Firefox, Redirect Check Client.

URL redirects aren’t all the same, and they require understanding in order for proper implementation so that they’re beneficial – not detrimental – for your SEO effectiveness. In this case, less is better than more, so try to cut back on redirect amounts as much as possible. This requires proper updates of your website’s navigation and internal links.

Internal links

As stated above, use links with caution. Keep an eye out for web pages containing too many internal links. Rather than using a large number of links, have only a few that contain significant site text for optimal effectiveness. Take this chance to tell site visitors as well as search engines about each page of content, but don’t go overboard. Use simple site terms rather than complex keywords, which can become obnoxious for users and is sometimes interpreted by search engines as a spam method.

Avoiding unnecessary subdomains

Search engines look differently at domains and subdomains; in fact, they view them as separate entities which need to be vetted in a process that’s distinct from their domain. This is because they may not necessarily be maintained or developed by the same user. Because of all this, domains may have different levels of reputation and link authority from subdomains. Usually, would-be subdomain content can be redirected to a subfolder – site.com/content, for example, rather than a subdomain such as content.sie.com.

Geolocation

Pay attention to any country geo-targeting rules if your site is directed for one country in particular. If your business is located in Helsinki and you are attempting to reach out to websites located in Finland – for example, “Helsinki kiropraktikko– keep every web page updated with your current address. In addition, claim and validate your business on Google in order to maintain consistency and optimize search results.

External linking

It’s also important to perform a backlink analysis – using a backlinking engine like Moz Open Site Explorer, Ahrefs, Majestic SEO– in order to check your website’s inbound links. Things to keep an eye out for here include poor text patterns, such as an overuse of the same keyword within links (unless this keyword is the name of your business). This can quickly get you into trouble, as it can indicate shady practices such as link purchasing, and may get you penalized by Google or cause your site to take a plunge in ranking.

Side note about outbound linking

Some people have expressed doubts about linking to other sites because they are afraid of losing “link juice”. Don’t be concerned about this. Make sure your website contains links to other solid sites, when it makes sense. If your links are content-relevant, you will both be helping page visitors and build your own ranking by increasing trust. Don’t overthink processes; simply focus on the content and links your site visitors want to access and deliver accordingly. This will end up being a great benefit to you as you provide more value to your users.

Conclusion

There are plenty of checks to be done for a website when you are performing an SEO audit. If you understand them, however, you can ensure that your site is optimally SEO effective, which only brings benefits for you, such as increased online trust, higher search engine rankings, and a better traffic flow to your site. Though SEO is still often uncharted territory for developers, don’t be afraid of it, even if it seems complex. Learn all that you can and continue to advocate for SEO to those who remain reluctant

SEO and traffic generation

SEO and traffic generation

Purpose of SEO (search engine optimization) is to drive traffic to a website. What are you looking to gain from your visitor? Maybe you want visitors to consume your content. it is financial transaction or maybe it is  getting your brand message out there. I listed 4 different scenarios when you could benefit from SEO, what kind of keywords you should consider and how to optimize your site.

SEO for Raw traffic

 

seo-for-raw-traffic

As the name signals, raw traffic is not tied to specific demographic or interest. The goal here is to
optimize website for search engines and crafting highly targeted content to gain more visibility in the most valuable search queries. This typically leads to direct traffic, social sharing, referral traffic and traffic from naturally earned links.

Typical way of monetizing raw traffic is through advertising. Actions or financial transactions are not the ideal way to monetize raw traffic.

Typically news outlets are looking to benefit from raw traffic.

Keyword optimization

Keyword targeting is very broad. The goal is not to target specific keywords, but rather create high-quality content which naturally targets high volume and long-tail search terms.

Page and content

It all comes down to on-page optimization and good information architecture.

  • Concentrate on great content
  • Create outstanding category and subcategory structures
  • Optimize headlines, internal links and meta descriptions
  • Make your articles easy to share for viral spreading – twitter cards, featured Facebook images etc,

SEO for Ecommerce Sales

 

This is straight forward – you have an online store and you want to boost your sales by driving relevant traffic to increase sales. Search traffic is highly valuable for boosting sales, as people are expressing interest to products / services by searching them with matching queries.

Keyword optimization

Testing the potential of your target keywords is crucial here. Find those ‘golden eggs’ that have reasonable amount of traffic and convert well, run a test PPC advertising campaign. This way you can determine if you’re going after right keywords.

Page and content

Unique, interesting and accessible content for crawlers and your potential customers. Potential links and social sharing will increase overall site traffic and of course, organic rankings.

Putting together interesting, compelling and link-worthy content should be primary focus of any website. Manual link building is always an option, but you have to think about scalability – what if you 10x / 100x / 1000x your sales? Can you still handle manual link building?

Creating community around interesting content, can be as equally or even more powerful than channeling resources to link building efforts.

SEO for branding purposes

SEO-for-branding

SEO can be powerful choice for branding purposes. Big brands,
Using SEO for branding purposes works much like traditional advertising – using ad repetition to enter buyer’s consideration.

Internet marketers generally believe, that top position in SERP’s adds more trust and value for brands
Use SEO for branding purposes when communicating your brand message is your primary goal.

Keyword optimization

This is critical for branding purposes. It is crucial to do in-depth keyword research to find the right keywords, which are going to bring you visitors who are likely to be interested in your brand.

It is tempting to go after generic keywords that receive the high search volume, but this comes down to money and resources. If money and resources are tight, you’re better off going after long tail keywords.

Page and content

Smart linking structure, clear navigation and best SEO practices.

SEO for lead generation

 

seo-for-lead-generation

Online lead generation is less direct approach compared to e-commerce sales.
There are millions of search queries that have buying intensions, that are fulfilled directly. This kind of searches can relate to almost everything ranging from webhosting providers to legal services.

This is useful when you are promoting a non-ecommerce product / service / goal that you want users to complete on your site.

Keyword optimization

You can test the potential of your target keywords by running PPC campaigns. Generally you can apply same strategy as e commerce SEO.

Page and content

Find the pain points of your target audience, then educate and persuade your audience via content. Avoid technical vocabulary / industry jargon. Make it easy for regular folks to understand why your solution will fix their problem.

Conclusion

SEO can used in many different ways and it doesn’t always mean that there is financial interest behind it, SEO can be used for reputation management or even ideological influence. I truly believe, that we haven’t figured out all the possible ways how individuals or businesses can benefit from SEO.

Remember: The longer you can keep the visitors on page is a signal of quality and will increase the value of the traffic.

Interested learning more?

If you want to get really in depth on SEO I highly recommended checking out book called “The Art of SEO”. It is not a light-ready, but it has some interesting details about SEO and search engines.

The Art of SEO -book