For a business of any size, not having a website means that you might as well not even exist. Having an online presence serves many different purposes, from the obvious the benefit of appearing in local search results in Google to providing a landing page destination for the leads you acquire through your digital marketing efforts.
A recent study has shown that 69% of people search for a local business online at least once a month. This stat alone should show you the importance of having an online home for your fitness business. However, there is no point throwing up something designed poorly just for the sake of it. In The Fitness Marketing Guide for The Modern Fitness Founder, we talked about the importance of having a professional website for your fitness business. First impressions mean everything, and in the hyper-competitive fitness industry, this is especially true.
Think about it. The last thing you want is for someone to search for gyms in the local area, take a look at your website and pass over you because the gym on the other side of town has a clean, professional website that makes a better first impression on the prospective member.
A good, well-designed website builds the credibility of your gym. For a business of any size, not having a website gives the impression that you are no longer in business. Also, make sure to optimize your website for mobile. Recent studies estimate that 52.2% of all global traffic generated in 2018 was on mobile. This figure will only increase as more and more people access the internet through mobile phone apps.
In this article, we will discuss the steps you need to take to create an effective gym website and list seven super examples of gym websites that will inspire you when building your own.
What do you Need to Create an Effective Gym Website?
When it comes to creating a website for your fitness business, there is a couple of features that you need to keep in mind. If your site lacks these features, this could make it less effective, which could hurt your fitness business overall.
Hosting and Domain Names
There are a large number of website platforms on which you can build your gym website. These include sites like WordPress.org, Squarespace, GoDaddy, and Wix, to name a few. Before you choose a suitable platform, you need to figure out if you want your website on a hosted platform or created and then hosted on a different platform(self-hosted). A host is simply a business that provides the technology and services required to have a website accessible over the internet. Let’s take a look at both options and the platforms that are best suited for each.
Hosted: A hosted platform is an all in one buy-in which provides simple drag and drop templates you can use to design your site. They also provide the hosting space where the site will leave. Some popular examples of this platform that you may have heard of include Squarespace, Wix, and Weebly. The advantage of using this type of platform is that you don’t need any coding or web development experience to start up. The result is usually a clean, professional looking website. However, these platforms limit customization, and your website can lack the unique feature you want to reflect your brand truly. These sites can also be restrictive in terms of functionality.
Self-hosted: In comparison, a self-hosted website gives you a lot more freedom in terms of design and functionality. However, you will likely need to hire a web developer to create your site. WordPress.org is one of the best website builders around and has over 50,000 free plugins to give you a range of functionality options for your site. Currently, WordPress powers 34% of all websites. It is free and open source which provides you with maximum control of your website. On the other hand, you will have to pay for a good web developer and then a hosting service to host your site.
Register a domain name: The term ‘domain name’ refers to the name of your website. Its the address which internet users can utilize to access your gym website.
Your website’s domain name will form part of your fitness brand. Therefore, you must register your domain name so that you can use it exclusively on your website. Moreover, registering your domain name will give you more credibility, and if you manage to have a domain name that matches with the name of your gym; then the number of your website’s visitors will increase.
Websites that provide domain registration include Domain.com, Bluehost, Hostgator, or GoDaddy. There is usually a fee for such services.
Create a clean, appealing design: Your website for your gym should have a clean, attractive layout. This way, you will be able to attract potential gym members to interact with your website.
Typically, a simple layout is deemed more professional than cluttered web design. If you have some photos, you can use them to determine the design of your website. However, these photos should be clear with sufficient lighting, and they must also depict the right state and condition of your gym’s facilities. Web designers nowadays develop websites around good quality imagery with minimal text overlay, so this may be the best direction to go with your site.
A comprehensive menu bar There are some specific sections which your website for your gym must have. Some of these sections include the blog, testimonials, class timetables, and amenities. These will usually in the menu bar on the home page of your website.
A blog section houses all your news, tips, and tricks and customer testimonials. We went into how you can start a blog for your fitness business in a recent article. Another relevant section is the timetable. On top of that, you should have a gallery section showcasing all your amenities, which could include high-quality pictures of your fitness facilities, group exercise classes, the locker room, and free weights area. A useful section to include also is a trainer section where you profile each of your staff with a headshot and short bio. A bio lets people get to know the team is before the step foot in your studio.
Finally, it is essential that you have links to your social media pages either on the menu or at the foot of the homepage. A popular trend now is to have your gyms Instagram feed appear on your homepage.
Other Important Features
Create clear CTAs: On the main page of your website, you should have clear Call To Actions (CTAs) to direct the visitor where to go. If you are running a low-cost free trial, special introductory offer, or a specific product or service you would like to promote.
Clear CTAs give a person somewhere to go. A person will lose interest if they have to go searching for what you are offering, so have it right in front of them when they visit.
Create landing pages that convert: A landing page is a webpage which is specifically designed to make your website’s visitors take one sole ‘next action.’ This next action is what will grow your gym business; for instance, it may be an action to sign up for your gym membership.
Use landing pages as the end destination for the leads generated through your digital advertising efforts. For example, if you are running a Facebook Ads Campaign; the traffic you generate should go to a landing page which should be optimized to convert into leads into memberships. In this case, you will need to create a simple and clear landing page that will convert. Unbounce, Mailchimp, and Leadpages are examples of software you can use to create landing pages.
Be listed on Google My Business: When you register your gym on Google My Business (GMB), you will be able to attract new customers. Being listed on GMB will enable your gym website to show up in search engines and optimized location searches. For example, someone new in the neighborhood may search for ‘gym near me,’ and if you’ve registered your gym on GMB; they will access your gym website, sign up for a membership plan and probably visit your gym the next day.
10 Examples of Great Gym Websites
A perfect gym website should have all the features discussed in part one of this article. Here are the top ten gym websites in the United States today;
Website Link: https://www.soul-cycle.com
Julie Rice and Elizabeth Cutler started soul Cycle, and it is categorized as one of the most luxurious boutique gyms in America today. Soul Cycle boasts of an inspiring work-out plan, and talented rockstar instructors. Soul Cycle’s website has a simple layout, which is quick and easy for its users to navigate. Its CTA ‘find/buy classes’ is well displayed and highlighted in yellow on the topmost right corner of its home page.
The Stronghold Climbing Gym
Website Link: https://www.strongholdclimb.com
This gym offers one of the best indoor climbing services in America. Moreover, it has the best strength training and cardio equipment, which help improve the climbing abilities of its clientele. Its website has a clear, chic design; with social media links prominently displayed on its home page. Moreover, they show full contact information on the home page; and this builds its credibility and enables new clients to inquire more about the services of the gym effectively.
Website Link: https://www.swervefitness.com
Swerve Fitness focuses on placing its attendees in different classes, and after a class you receive an email to find out how you performed. Swerve Fitness has excellent facilities such as a smoothie bar, superlative lockers, and a lounge. They have an attractive home page, with its CTAs clearly displayed on it. It’s home page also shows how it has been featured in publications such as Business Insider, Bloomberg, and Fox Business. The studio also displays its blog, an FAQ page, and social media links.
Website Link: https://f45training.com
F45 Training started in Australia in the year 2012, and it has grown its clientele base to the extent of opening new branches in other countries, including the United States. This gym has specialized and enthusiastic instructors who will take you through an intense, results-oriented workout session for just 45 minutes, and this is how its name ‘F45′ came into being.
Its website is creatively designed with unique templates that can quickly catch the attention of all its users. Its CTAs and social media sharing buttons are clearly displayed on all its web pages, and it also has an optimized video that showcases its facilities.
Orange Theory Fitness
Website Link: https://www.orangetheoryfitness.com
This gym brings in new ideas in the fitness business; its members can exercise and at the same time, view their heart rate levels. This way, its members can know how fit they are and work hard on achieving their fitness goals. This gym has a unique website design which reeks of the color orange. This orange website design color helps the gym to brand itself. Its website also has an informative blog and a clear CTA well displayed on the top of the homepage.
Website Link: https://www.tonehouse.com
Alonzo Wilson, who was a famous NFL player, established Tone House. They offer services that include bodyweight classes, plyometrics, and HIIT sessions. Its website is stocked up with exciting videos that showcase its facilities and training sessions. Its CTA comes in the form of a pop-up notification, which entices internet users to sign up for its classes. It also has an extensive FAQ and Contact Us pages.
Website Link: https://www.unbreakableperformance.com
Unbreakable Performance is an exclusive gym in which you will have to apply before you become one of its members. Former athletes; Jay Glazer and Brian Urlacher founded this Los Angeles based Studio. Its website has a chic black and white design, with its CTAs prominently displayed in blue. Its webpages load quickly, and its straightforward layout makes it quite easy for its users to navigate around its different sections.
SoHo Strength Lab
Website Link: https://sohostrengthlab.com
This gym enables its clients to exercise with sandbags, power sleds, and battle ropes. It also offers individual and personalized workout plans to its members. Its website has a simple black and white layout with a user-friendly design. Though its homepage has some downsides such as no clear CTAs, it has excellent, informative content which helps the visitor learn more about the studio.
Website Link: https://solidcore.co
Solid Core is present in multiple cities across America. It mainly focuses on pilates, and its gym membership is growing each passing day. Solid Core has a non-cluttered website design, which has elaborate pictures of its facilities and workout sessions. They display the CTA clearly on the top part of its homepage. Its website also has different sections, such as a contact us page, faqs, and social media links.
Tough Mudder Boot Camp
Website Link: https://tmbootcamp.com
Tough Mudder was established in 2010, and it offers 45-minute workout classes to its members. Tough Mudder Boot Camp boasts of values such as courage, fun, personal accomplishment, and teamwork among its members. This gym has branches in multiple cities across the United States. TMB took the step of creatively designing the site with a beautiful orange theme, and they also display the CTA clearly on the homepage. It also has an interesting blog and social media links.