You want your dance studio’s website to stand out, compelling visitors to enroll for dance classes with you instead of the studio three streets over. A well-designed website is the best opportunity to showcase not only your dance programs but also your studio’s personality and mission.
However, even though you want to stand out, there are things that every dance studio website should have. Having these items on a website ensures that a site is more than just a pretty face. Including them will make your website sticky and turn casual website visitors into part of your dance family.
Below are some of the top things that will keep your website visitors on your site (and move them towards registration):
1. Provide Clear, Intuitive Navigation
If you want to keep your website visitors happy, label your navigation pages intuitively.
Let’s say you have different competition team levels, each with a snazzy name that’s specific to your studio. When it comes to your navigation bar, it’s wise stay away from using these types of branded terms so as not to confuse newbies.
Why? Once a student starts competing, their family will begin to understand the difference between your Twinkling Stars, Shining Stars, and Shooting Stars comp levels. Newbies, however, won’t be able to differentiate between the navigation page headings and may zone out in the process.
The solution? On your website’s navigation bar, use a top level heading such as “Competition Teams”, with “Junior Team”, “Intermediate Team”, and “Advanced Team” as your navigation dropdown tabs. Within the pages themselves you can clearly mention and feature your branded comp team names. This keeps the experience clear and intuitive as well as light and fun.
2. Offer a Near-Instant Explanation of What Makes Your Dance Studio Different
I’m assuming it’s immediately clear on your website that you offer dance classes. Is it also instantly clear what differentiates you from other dance schools in your area? If not, you open the door to comparisons that might not favor you. Don’t let another studio win new dancers over you simply because they’re better at stating what makes them special!
So, why should people choose you over your competitors? What makes your studio unique? If you’re not clear what sets your studio apart from the rest, check this blogpost out, as it may help.
Once you do have clarity, make sure you differentiate your studio on your website, through:
- Your visuals (through fantastic photos, video, etc),
- Your branding (for example, a color palette featuring primary colors may indicate that preschool age children are the studio’s main target market),
- Your tagline (don’t underestimate the power of a good dance studio slogan!),
- The introductory text in the “hero section” of your homepage
Differentiate your studio from others in the area and you’ll stand out in a positive way when it comes time to register.
3. Include Your Pricing on your Website
Your prospects don’t want to jump through hoops. Like all of us, they are busy and short on time. When searching for a dance studio, your website visitors need pertinent information at the moment they have time to do their research.
One of the important stages in your customers’ process is the Information Gathering phase, when they are researching possible solutions. As part of that phase, they’ll want to know what they’re going to pay for your dance programs (or at least have a ballpark figure). Your transparency in this area increases trust and also allows those who can’t afford your rates to weed themselves out.
Having no pricing on a website can be a major red flag for some people. If a dance studio (or any service company) requires you to contact them for pricing, you can expect to be “sold to”. And with that, the ick factor goes way up.
Help prospects get all the information they need from your website, including pricing and fees, and you’ll end up with registered families that are a perfect fit for your studio and offerings.
4. Show 'Social Proof' (Testimonials, Reviews, Media Mentions)
People want to make an educated, smart choice when choosing a dance studio for their family. To help them feel confident in their decision and ensure loyal, long-term dance families, include “social proof” on your website.
Social proof includes things such as testimonials, reviews, and articles featuring your studio – anything from a trusted source that speaks to your studio’s benefits and character.
- To begin with, pepper your website pages with reviews (it’s fine to pull them from your Google listing or Facebook page!), and/or have a dedicated Testimonials page on your site.
- Have you been featured on a website or periodical recently? Make sure to mention that fact, and include screenshots or a link to the full article.
- Have you recently won awards within your community or in the dance world? Showcase the award graphics on your homepage.
- When respected dancers or choreographers teach master classes at your studio, that too is a form of social proof. Don’t be shy about referencing those events and include headshots/bios of the guest instructors.
Social proof demonstrate that your studio is a worthy contender and that other families have had a great experience with your studio. These things make it so much easier for your website visitors to trust you!
Putting prospects minds at ease as soon as they land on your website is the best way to nip any concerns in the bud. Doing so will help newbies choose – confidently – to enroll in your dance programs.
5. Establish a Way to Stay Connected with Your Visitors
What if people land on your website and instantly love your dance studio and its offerings? Now what happens if it’s off-season? Or their child is 8 months too young to begin classes?
It’s fantastic to get eyeballs on your website, but you need to make it as easy as possible to grab that initial attention and keep them coming back!
What we’re talking about here is lead generation, which is the process of gaining the interest of potential customers who may not yet be qualified to buy. Collecting leads through the use of a pop-up or embedded signup form on your website is the best way to do this. And the email service called ConvertKit is my personal favorite for lead gen.
Once you’ve gathered information on potential customers, such as their name, email address, and age of their child, you can send them juicy details about your dance programs at a time that is best for both you and them. You can offer them a timely offer or incentive to compel them to take action, and then welcome them into your dance family!
For more information about this crucial part of the sales process for dance studios, check out this post on building your studio’s email list!
6. Give a Clear and Intuitive Process to Enroll in Classes
How many parents in your community have been on your studio’s website? How many of those website visitors happily went through the registration process and are now your customers? If only a small fraction of them register for classes, it might mean your registration process (or lack of one) is turning away interested prospects.
So how about it? Is your registration process easy, quick and intuitive? Do you offer the ease of registering online for your dance programs?
If your answer to either of the above questions is “no”, you are losing potential dancers. Your loyal dance parents might grin and bear a clunky registration process, but in this day & age, most people won’t.
We work solely with dance studio owners at Studio of Dance.com and can safely say that using online registration software makes it easier to bring in more dancers and keep existing dance parents happy.
Do you have to use a dance studio software service? No, you do not. If it’s best for your studio at this time, you can simply have a printable registration form and/or require parents to contact the studio by phone or in person to register. If this is your choice, make sure you are extremely careful to make the process as quick and straightforward as possible, as you are in danger of losing new dancers to studios who offer the ease of registering online.
Besides the convenience for your potential students and their families, studio registration software also provides you with an organized and paperless way to keep track of your clients. It can feel like a bold move for new or struggling studios, but the benefits make it the best option for most dance schools.
7. Include Multiple Options to Contact You
This is so important: just having one means of contact is not enough! Instead, provide numerous options to contact you. People have different preferences and comfort levels!
- Some people prefer contact forms, while others won’t use them, considering them too restrictive and impersonal.
- Some people like to make a quick call to have their questions answered, but others can’t stand phoning people.
- Some people know email to be the best choice for making connections, while other folks feel emails get buried too easily in the daily inbox influx.
To keep all types of people happy and barriers to a minimum, DO include a contact form, phone number, and email address front and center on your website. Remember also to include your social media links, because some people prefer to get in touch via Facebook or Twitter. Finally, consider a chat box, which is increasingly proving to be a valid means of communication for studio owners and their prospects.
Make it easy for people to make contact, and the result will be more follow through – aka: more dancers through your doors!
8. Guide Visitors Through the Next Steps
When a visitor finds and spends time on your dance studio’s website, you’ll likely want them to take a particular action, like learning about your dance programs, watching your introductory video, or contacting the studio for a free trial class. Even if it seems clear to you what they should do next, many prospects may struggle to see the route to learning more or enrolling in your dance programs.
The solution? Have a clear call to action on each of your webpages. Call to action links and buttons act as signposts telling visitors what they need to do next. Without clear calls to action (CTAs), you lose the chance to motivate your audience to take real steps toward becoming part of your dance family.
Click here for a FREE Calls-to-Action Guide + Workbook, featuring juicy tips and actionable steps that can lead more of your website’s visitors to and through registration!
When planning and creating a website, keep these 8 important things in mind to help visitors fall in love with both your website and studio!
Best wishes to you & your studio,