Your studio’s website speaks on your behalf and creates impressions that will either lure newbies in or turn people away. It’s therefore understandable if you want a website that gives an amazing first impression, makes an impact, and is visually exciting. That’s the type of studio website I would want, and I’m pleased to report that’s the type of website we create at our website design company ( www.studioofdance.com ) 😊.
Although visuals and impact ARE very important, your website is more than just a showcase for photos & videos of your dancers in action. It’s a place for readers to find info about the studio and its programs, in order to determine whether it’s a good fit for their family. It’s an integral part of your overall business and marketing plan and therefore needs to include the following important pieces as well.
Here are the 6 most important things potential dance parents will want to know (and should be able to find easily on your site):
1) The WHAT
What makes your dance studio special? What are your offerings? What types of classes do you specialize in, and are there any complimentary services, such as birthday parties, wedding choreography, etc?
Including your studio’s mission or vision along with its history gives visitors a good sense of your studio and whether it aligns with their needs. If your studio is new, ‘beef up’ the mission/vision part and then include things that refer to dance history in general – say… a short explanation of the Cecchetti method or a biography (with embedded YouTube video) of Gregory Hines. This can give your brand new studio a gravity it otherwise might not have.
2) The WHO
People want to know who their children will be learning dance from. This can give them a sense of comfort and confidence with the studio and its instructors.
For this reason, Faculty Bios are important to feature on a studio website. Some people love to see that an instructor has schooling in childhood education as well as a solid background in dance. For others performing experience is a real plus – an instructor who has danced with a professional company or on Broadway will go a long way when deciding which studio to choose for their family. Still others want to make sure their child will have fun in a recreational program, learning from instructors who are clearly supportive and caring.
3) The WHY
Why should parents in the community choose your dance studio and not the one three streets over? Why are you different?
If you don’t stand out, there is no reason for a prospect to choose you over your competitors. You can set your studio apart from the rest in one of a number of ways. For example, it’s common for studios to have a “Top 5 (or 8, or…) Reasons to Choose Our Studio” page on their website, listing why they are different from others in the area.
Even better is to differentiate your studio by having one strong, pervasive reason that is reflected throughout both your studio and its website. For example, positioning your studio as “best environment for young dancers to grow confidently” can be demonstrated not only through an appealing, professional website, but through your choice of music & costumes and your staff’s kind attention to students. Putting it all together with a slogan such as ‘Figtree Dance Studio – Top Notch Instruction in a Supportive Environment’ is a fabulous way to connect the dots and cement the idea in the minds of your prospects.
4) The WHERE
We recommend providing your studio’s location and contact info on each webpage (usually in the footer), in addition to the information being on a dedicated webpage with a Google map. This assures that people can easily check your studio location, phone number, and email without having to search for them.
Pro Tip: If your studio’s information is shown as a graphic on your webpages, the search engines will not be able to see and index this information. Conversely, providing your studio’s address as text on each page can help your site to rank higher in the search engines for local search terms.
5) The HOW
Now is a good time to consider how user-friendly your website is, because after all, the end goal isn’t to have people visit your website. The goal is to have them register!
To that end, place a prominent “Register Now” button in the header of each of your webpages. Do this in addition to having a “Register” tab in your navigation bar. You can also include a extra button along with a stronger Call-to-Action on your Schedule page, the page from which many prospects will be ready to make their move.
If you haven’t done so recently, go fully through the registration process yourself to experience whether the process is easy and intuitive. If it’s not easy, consider revamping your registration process or signing up with a studio software service for online scheduling and registration. It may go without saying, but make enrollment incredibly easy, and you’ll have more people enroll!
6) The WHEN
Sweeten the deal! You can hope that a dance parent is impressed enough that they initiate contact and sign their children up for classes, or you can give them incentive by providing a coupon or otherwise enticing them to make their move. If a free studio tote bag is offered to each new student who registers by Aug 1st, for example, those who just need a little nudge will be more likely to make their move. Come September, you’ll have that many more new students happily taking classes (and advertising your studio by carrying their studio totes!).
Having a flashy, fun studio website is perfectly fine, but make sure to also provide the What, Who, Why, When, Where, and How. This information will go a long way with
prospects deciding upon a studio in your area!
Best wishes to you & your studio,
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