By David Goodell
We promote our Seattle classes by word of mouth, through our Constant Contact list of those who are present or past students or were interested inquiries about classes in the past, and via our website, www.taichiseattle.com. By far most of our new students find us via our website. A few get to it from the link on the TCF website, but most come from searching the internet and connecting to us directly.
When we first launched our site, largely because of a fortunate choice of name, we consistently came up among the first three in almost any search for Tai Chi in Seattle. Over the past three years so many others have established similar sites with better search engine optimization that we are now way down the list, somewhere on the third page. Few would find us if not for our use of Google Ad Words, which temporarily places us at or near the top.
If your current website is consistently near the top of a search in your area, there is no need for using Ad Words. The only advice I can offer is: keep your site as simple as possible. Make your class schedule easy to find. When we greatly simplified our site, deleting nearly all the info about Tai Chi, Qi Gong, our school's history and roots, our complete curriculum, Patrick, Prof Cheng, Oscar, my teaching experience, and so on, many more people called to register. In our experience, less is generally more.
If your site, like ours, does not show up near the top of a search in your area, using Google Ad Words for a couple months before your new classes begin can be a great help. You specify what key words you want that will bring up your site on a search, set a price per click through to your site that will place you sufficiently high on the search, and set the daily limit you are willing to pay. It's pretty straightforward. Google Analytics, a free sign up, enables you to track not only your pay-per-click traffic, but also the traffic your site attracts on its own. Using it helps you refine your choice of words that people use to search for Tai Chi, such as, tai chi, taichi, taiji, tie chee, etc.
Of course, optimizing your site so it consistently shows among the top three on a search would be even better, but I am not sufficiently web savvy to help you with that. For very little effort and not much money, Add Words can temporarily help a lot. Give it a try and then let the TCF know if you felt it made a difference.
Good luck with your fall classes and don't forget to enjoy teaching!