Since yours truly is busy with New Dad Life, we’ve got a guest email from my pal John Franklin of Gym Lead Machine.
Fun fact: John has been a pal of mine and Keeler’s for many years. Before his current business, John ran several highly successful Crossfit gyms in the NYC area. So this is a guy who not only knows his stuff through working with gyms all over the world, but has walked his walk in the hyper-competitive world of NYC fitness.
He’s one of the savviest business brains I’ve met in the entire industry. And in today’s guest email, he’s dropping the goods on effective websites for gyms.
The Elements of a Really, Really, Really Ridiculously Good Looking Gym Website
At Gym Lead Machine, we’ve built over 1,000 gym websites in the last two years. Here’s my quick and dirty guide for building a homepage that converts.
Let’s break the homepage into two sections: above the fold and below the fold.
Above the fold
The section above the fold is what a user sees before scrolling. It’s their first impression of your site, and first impressions are everything.
We spend thousands of dollars every year conducting user research to optimize this prime real estate.
We conduct thousands of “five-second tests.”
A five-second test is where we show users a site for 5 seconds and then ask them a series of questions.
If the site is good, a user should be able to answer:
- What the business does.
- Whom the business serves.
- Where the business is located.
- Is the business trustworthy?
- Is the business professional?
Let’s look at a few real-life examples. Spend five seconds looking at each of these headers.
Now ask yourself:
Which gym makes a better first impression?
- Which gym has better service?
- Which gym costs more?
- Where is each gym located?
- How do you get started?
We haven’t scrolled yet, but we’ve already made hundreds of little judgments about each business.
TLDR: If your header section isn’t clear, it’s costing you thousands of dollars in lost revenue.
Below the fold
This is the part of the site that’s visible after scrolling.
A good “below the fold” section includes:
Clear directions on how to start
- A brief description of your core services
- Social proof.
- A secondary call to action
Let’s break down each one.
Clear Directions on How to Start
Joining a gym is scary. The first section below the fold should address this common fear. Show prospects that you understand what they’re going through, and tell them how to get started.
Unclear instructions cause sales friction which lowers conversion rates.
Let’s compare two “getting started” sections:
Now think like a potential prospect.
- Which business explains how to start?
- Which business would you rather buy from?
- Which business will do a better job at helping you reach your goals?
Don’t shoot yourself in the foot. Make it easy for people to conduct business with you.
Brief Description of Your Core Services
Here is where you showcase what you do best. Don’t overdo it. Let’s compare two restaurants to illustrate the point.
Which restaurant would you rather eat at:
Restaurant 1: “The World’s Best Cheeseburgers”
Restaurant 2: “The World’s Best Cheeseburgers, Tacos, and Sushi”
If you’re from earth, the answer is number 1. Why is that?
You’re likely skeptical of any restaurant that claims to be the best at three different cuisines. The same is true in fitness. No one will believe you if you claim to be the best at personal training, group training, nutrition coaching, and kids trampoline classes.
Social proof is crucial for gyms. Convey that you’re the place that gets people results, and you’ll be able to charge premium prices.
No one does this better than Ultimate Performance; they have so much social proof on their site.
At an absolute minimum, showcase three client results on your homepage. If you don’t have before & after photos, use Google reviews, written testimonials, or Facebook posts.
Secondary Call to Action
Not everyone that visits your site will be ready to buy. A lead magnet lets you keep up with prospects that aren’t ready to book a consultation. You don’t need to get too fancy here; recipes, at-home workouts, and shopping guides work well.
Follow these simple steps, and you’ll be ahead of 90% of gym owners. If your site needs a touch up, feel free to use these examples as a guide (but don’t copy them word-for-word, our lawyers don’t like that.)
Sites are $19 a week & if you’re in the Unicorn Society you get 2 months free with a 1-year commitment.
Smart guy, eh? 🙂