Back to Blog

The Cost of Having a Bad Website

Sam Perry

Your website is the portal between your fitness business and potential members.

If you aren’t optimizing your website and prioritizing user experience, you’re losing out on valuable business!

Here are just some of the costs of having a bad fitness business website:

  • Frustrated visitors
  • Poor branding
  • Loss of reputation
  • Fewer leads

3 Website Mistakes That Are Costing You Business

Man in white tank top using laptop

Before we delve into the specific consequences of having a bad website, let’s cover what makes a website “bad” in the first place.

Mistake 1: Unclear Messaging

Your website should tell visitors exactly what you want them to do. No one should be coming to your site feeling confused about what you offer or unsure about what to do next.

For example, you may want potential members to:

  • Register for a free class
  • Book a consultation
  • Sign up for an event

So flat out ask them to do it!

Choose one main call to action depending on which action you most want site visitors to take. You’ve got limited screen space and very few seconds of attention, so any key information should be “above the fold” (visible without scrolling).

If your website is lacking direction, create a user flow diagram to outline the types of decisions you want or expect website visitors to make on each of your pages.

This diagram is essentially your map of the website experience. An organized chart like this will help you clarify the messaging on your website.

Mistake 2: Amateurish Website Design

Let’s face it — some websites are just plain ugly.

You could own the best fitness business in the world, but if your website looks like it was thrown together in an hour, potential members are going to turn away from your business.

So, what makes a website design amateurish?

  • Clashing color palette
  • Lack of visual coherence
  • Excessive use of stock imagery
  • Low-quality pictures (like fuzzy JPEG files)
  • Distracting fonts

Unfortunately, it doesn’t matter how strong your business vision or messaging is if you don’t have a beautiful design to go with it. We recommend investing some time and money into the visual identity of your business, which you can do by hiring professionals like a website designer or photographer.

The good news? Due to lack of resources, many boutique fitness business websites lack a clear design direction. So, if you get it right, it’ll make all the difference!

Mistake 3: Poor Website Usability

Woman drawing a website wireframe

Your potential members have high expectations for websites.

Many of them have grown up with the internet in the palm of their hand. An enjoyable online experience isn’t a nice-to-have for them — it’s a must-have. The internet is a core part of how they investigate and navigate their world.

This means your website needs to pass the usability test with flying colors. Avoid these frustrating problems that’ll make visitors close out of your site:

  • Bad or nonexistent mobile formatting
  • Incomprehensible site navigation
  • Slow load times
  • 404 errors & broken links

How Website Mistakes Cost You Business

Woman sitting using laptop

Maybe your website includes some of the mistakes we mentioned above. So, what are the business costs of leaving your website as-is?

Cost 1: Frustrating your website visitors

We’ve all clicked on a cruddy website before. The experience is less than pleasant — and definitely not one you want to give your potential members.

  • Best-case scenario, they spend 10 more minutes than they wanted looking for information that should’ve been easily accessible. Even if they make it through the rigmarole, they’ll probably be too irritated to provide their email or phone number.
  • More commonly, after about a minute of searching around, they’ll throw their hands up and click out of your site to find another business who can do the job better. Google Maps makes it all too easy to back out of your website to a list of other local businesses.
  • Worst-case scenario, your website is so bad that the visitor worries it’ll give their device a virus, and they never trust your business again!

As you can see, even in the best-case-scenario, the likelihood of getting the contact info you want and making a good first impression is pretty low. Your website sets the tone for the rest of the fitness experience, so you want to do everything in your power to avoid getting off on the wrong foot.

Cost 2: Confusing visitors with poor branding

Even if your website is passable enough to keep people on the page, you can still lose out on sales due to inconsistent branding and confusion around your mission.

Each of the three mistakes we mentioned has an impact on how site visitors perceive your business. And perception is everything when it comes to attracting new members.

What visitors think when there’s…

Unclear messaging:
  • This website feels like it was written by three different people. I don’t understand — is their approach to fitness more casual or regimented? Will I be able to handle the workouts?
  • They want me to sign up for yoga, HIIT, and nutrition sessions? Which should I do first? What is their main area of expertise?
Amateurish website design:
  • I don’t see anyone who looks like me in these photos. Am I welcome to work out here?
  • Everything on this website is in black and red. Seems kind of intense. Will I be able to keep up with their workouts?
Poor website usability:
  • They say they’ll guide me to better fitness, but they can’t even guide me through the website. Are they making empty promises? What do the owners and coaches actually believe in?

Cost 3: Losing your reputation

A positive reputation makes all the difference for a small fitness business.

Compared to the CEO of a large corporation, you need to work much harder to keep customers happy because each individual impacts your bottom line.

The better your reputation, the more members you’ll attract through word of mouth. You definitely want to maintain a good reputation to keep that steady flow of referrals coming into your business.

But guess what — a phenomenal in-person experience isn’t enough. Your reputation actually starts online!

Website mistakes worsen your reputation, preventing new members from making it to the in-person phase.

What visitors think when there’s…

Unclear messaging:
  • This business doesn’t know what they’re trying to communicate. They don’t seem interested in respecting my time or trying to help me.
  • A lot of this language is super technical. These coaches don’t feel very approachable. I don’t feel comfortable joining their classes.
Amateurish website design:
  • Oof, this site looks like it was made by a middle schooler. Do they not have the funds to improve their website? Why not … are they having trouble staying afloat?
  • Ow, my eyes! These colors are clashing and the font is way too small. This business doesn’t seem to care about accessibility or older athletes. I don’t think I’ll work out here after all.
Poor website usability:
  • I have no idea how to sign up. What kind of business doesn’t show you how to register? New members must not be a priority for them.
  • Ok, I gave them my info, but I never got a follow-up. Do they value my business? Will they be bad at communicating with me in the future?

Cost 4: Capturing fewer leads

Sitting man in baseball cap using smartphone

All three of these costs also contribute to loss of leads.

Someone who was initially interested in your boutique fitness business can easily be dissuaded due to a frustrating website experience, confusion about your brand, or a negative first impression that tarnishes the reputation of your business.

If any of these elements are off-putting enough, they won’t provide their contact information or sign up for a class or consultation.

(Yes, it’s really that easy to lose out on potential members. Think of how many other fitness options are available in your area!)

And of course, fewer website leads means you’re missing out on opportunities to communicate with and market to the athletes in your local community. Which causes your business to lose money!

Is It Time To Redo Your Website?

Now that you understand why websites matter, it’s time to reflect on your current online presence and improve upon what you’ve got.

Hey — it may be scrapping the whole thing and starting from scratch. Or building your very first website. It’s all part of the process!

Don’t know where to start, or don’t have the technical know-how?

Chat with our UpLaunch Websites team. Their website services specifically address the needs of small fitness business owners.


Improve Your Online Presence With UpLaunch Websites

Ok, so maybe websites are more important than you thought. What can you do to fix your site?

Sure, there are generic drag-and-drop solutions out there. Or you could try your hand at figuring out WordPress (*shudder*).

But we have a more tailored and less time-consuming solution: UpLaunch Websites.

Our website team is laser-focused on boutique fitness business websites, which means we know what will work for you when it comes to site navigation, lead capture forms, layout, branding, and more.

Ready to capture more lead contact info? Hop on a call with us — we’ll be happy to guide you through the services we provide.

Refresh your website
Share on social media: 

More from the Blog

Build a Fitness Business Website with UpLaunch ASAP

Ready to build a website for your gym, school, or studio? UpLaunch ASAP makes it easy to connect with new and existing members & grow your fitness business.

Read Story

Are Your Members up for the Challenge?

Kickstart members' nutrition journeys with a 30-Day Nutrition Challenge to engage members and sell your nutrition coaching program.

Read Story

A Case for Allowing Drop-Ins

Take the headache out of drop-ins at your gym and create a seamless experience.

Read Story

Get started today.
Your gym won't grow itself.

Book A Consultation
Cartoon graphic of hand clicking UpLaunch on smartphone and a rocket coming out