A combination of a multi-Olympic gold medallist and a revamped social media and website strategy has helped a taekwondo club to attract 8x more bookings.
Taekwon-Do Wales’ bookings have increased from 8 to 65 per month, and the company also boasts a 75% rise in website visitors, while enquiries via social media has grown from 0 to between 6 and 10 per month.
Visit from Olympic Champion Jade Jones
And Peter Marrast-Kent, who founded the martial arts organisation in 2001, is thankful he sought advice on his online presence ahead of the visit of two-time Olympic champion Jade Jones MBE.
He said: “I knew that the visit of Jade in September would result in a lot of interest in the club and I was determined to take advantage. I attended a Superfast Business Wales workshop, received a diagnostic report and website review, and had a one-to-one session with an adviser. One of the items discussed was analytics, which has been a game changer.
Website bookings have increased
“The website was not performing well but because I now know how to interpret the analytics, I can make alterations to boost results. For example, I made changes to guide people around the website to view more about the club, the classes, and to contact us. It’s made a massive difference with 40% of bookings coming through the website.
“It’s the same on social media. I review the analytics to see what content is working and what isn’t. In addition, I now link back to my website more from social media to drive traffic to the site to find out more about us.
“I’m also more focused on audiences and tailoring content. The majority of new starters are aged between four and nine, which means I create posts with parents in mind. I also work with 13 primary schools across South Wales so Twitter is very important to engage with current and prospective schools.
“50 per cent of my website’s traffic is from new visitors”
“The support was very varied and also helped me understand more about search engine optimisation (SEO). I have made lots of small tweaks that I didn’t even realise made a difference including renaming images and meta titles. I know it’s working because 50% of my website’s traffic is from new visitors.”
Taekwon-Do Wales, which runs classes in Gwent and Glamorgan, has grown from 200 students in 2012 to 600. Peter, who is a sixth-degree black belt and four years off being a master, constantly looks at how digital can make the Taekwondo School more efficient amid plans for further growth.
“I would like to increase the number of pupils to 1,000, but am keen to maintain a good work-life balance,” he added.
Online technology has increased engagement
“Online technology also allows me to talk to colleagues in South Korea regularly and we use Facebook messenger to communicate. It’s better than email because it’s instant and can have a real-time conversation. In addition, I use technology such as smart watches. This ensures I can be out and about teaching classes and if a student contacts me, I don’t miss anything.
“I’m also planning on introducing a member section on the website. This will result in less day-to-day enquiries as people will be able to access all their information by logging in.”