The personal training industry is growing. And FAST. The Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates that the industry is on track to grow 39% from 2020 to 2030, much faster than the average occupation.
What does that mean for you and your personal training business? Well, first of all, it means that you need to harness the power of fitness marketing to make sure you’re getting a piece of the pie. And the surefire way to help your business grow just as quickly is local SEO to get attention and draw traffic to your business.
SEO, or search engine optimization, fits into one of two categories: Local or Traditional. Both get different categories because of how their goals differ. Here’s a rundown of how the two look differently:
- Your goal is to get the top rank in search results for your local market
- Your business’ location is the main focus
- When people are searching locally, it’s usually for your specific type of business
- There are many different ways you can attract local attention
- Your goal is to get top rank based on keyword phrases with location paying no role
- Your core focus is ongoing content
- When people are searching, they are usually looking to solve a problem they have
- It’s much harder to find yourself on the top of the heap on a search results page
If you are wanting to master the fine art of SEO for personal trainers, local SEO is going to give you a lot more bang for your buck. And even better, you don’t have to be a professional personal trainer marketing master to see results. You only need my 6 easy steps to help you use this powerful strategy in order to move your gym marketing in the best direction.
But first, let me give you a really good reason. Local SEO is essential to the growth of your personal training business:
Roughly 97% of people who use online searches look for local businesses. (Source: 99Firms)
“Near me” searches have increased more than 500% in the past few years. (Source: WebFX)
And, according to a study by Chitika, 92% of searchers will pick businesses on the first page of local search results.
Bottom line: It pays to optimize your local SEO.
So where do you begin?
First, we begin with something to keep in mind through the whole process: Your final results will ultimately be affected by the level of competition in your area in your particular industry.
Once you’ve put that in your mind, follow these simple (and painless!) steps to land your personal training business at the top of the heap of those search results.
Step 1: Create and Optimize Your Google Business Profile
A Google Business Profile is Google’s free tool to help you boost your online presence when someone uses Google to search for a personal trainer in their area. All they need to do is search your gym’s name and a knowledge panel (a fancy way of saying “profile”) shows up. In this knowledge panel, they will see your address, phone number, and website URL.
Another reason to create a Google Business Profile is to be part of what’s known as the Google 3-Pack. If a person searches “personal trainer near me,” they are given three choices that match that description. A well-optimized profile means you have photos of your gym, positive reviews, and recent posts that you want the public to see. If your page is optimized properly, there’s no reason why your gym shouldn’t be part of the 3-Pack.
To sum up, creating a Google Business Profile is your first and most basic step in helping people find you.
Already have an old listing? Not to worry – Google will let you know that there is a duplicate. If you are an authorized user on that listing, you can request Google transfer ownership to you so you can easily manage the profile.
Need additional help? We have the perfect easy-to-use guide on creating your Google Business Profile. Simply visit our webpage, “Let’s Set Up Your Google Profile (A Guide for Small Business).”
So, good job! You’ve created a Google Business Profile. Good for you!
Now it’s time to optimize that profile with additional details about your business so that your ideal local client will have no issues finding you.
Google is always updating Google Business Profile, however, some of its features are super easy to optimize:
- Pictures of your business – They are, after all, worth a thousand words. Catch the attention of potential clients more quickly and easily with pictures of your business from the inside out, pictures of your employees, and products or services you may provide in action.
- Client reviews – It’s so important to protect your online reputation in the age of the online review. We’ll give you more information on how to take care of these in a bit.
- Posts – Do you have recent content you’d like to share? Google Business Profile has a function that allows you to showcase any posts, announcements, or promotions that you like.
It’s not difficult to create, but it can help you SO MUCH when it comes to helping potential clients find you and know more about what you have to offer.
Need help with optimizing your Google Business Profile? Just visit our webpage “How to Optimize Your Google Business Profile.”
Step 2: Build Local Citations
First, a definition: An online citation is any mention of your gym and its location information like address and phone number. The more local citations you can accomplish, the better your rankings will be on the search results page.
Places online where you can build your local citations include:
- Yahoo Local
- Yellow Pages
- Apple Maps
Even Google Business Profile can act as a citation site.
Also, check out your local chamber of commerce website. They often have pages listing local businesses, and including yours can help boost your local SEO.
They take some time to collect, but they are so worth the time and energy. Most research that is done by someone looking for just about any good or service is done online first. If they keep running across your gym’s name on the web, that’s more exposure for you. If your business appears with the same name, address, and phone number in every listing, your local rankings will get a leg up.
In other words, don’t skip this important piece of the full SEO puzzle. The more you’re seen online, the better.
How you can build citations for your personal trainer business
- Citations can be built by hand. You’ll need to find places online where your business can be listed and enter your information manually. It might be labor-intensive, but it can be done!
- Use professional services like BrightLocal or Whitespark. This is my favorite option to recommend. Professional services can quickly and efficiently build citations much quicker than you could on your own.
- Make sure they’re clean and consistent. Google’s objective is to point a searcher in the right direction the first time. That means they need an accurate picture of your business that’s consistent everywhere. Services like BrightLocal and Whitespark can not only create these citations, but they can clean up any that have already been created.
94% of consumers have used a business information site to find information about a local business in the last 12 months.
Still have questions about setting up your citations? Check out our webpage “How to Get Your Business Listed on Local Directories.”
Step 3: Take Control of Your Online Reviews
Word of mouth is a powerful thing. Today, you are more likely to find recommendations (or places not recommended!) online. Online reviews are so important. According to WhiteSpark, 66% of Americans trust an anonymous, online review more than they trust a recommendation from an ex-boyfriend or ex-girlfriend. Consumers also read an average of 10 online reviews before deciding that an organization is trustworthy enough to get their business.
This means that boosting your expectations for customer service and encouraging happy clients to leave reviews online will help immensely with your gym marketing strategy. And if the amount of people who read them isn’t enough incentive, positive and negative reviews are also used as a metric for your search engine results page ranking.
To name just a few, online reviews can help you:
- Build trust with clients. BrightLocal reports that when it comes to businesses that a client trusts, an online review is taken just as seriously as a personal recommendation from a friend.
- Boost sales. Your click-through rates will live and die by the average number of stars your business is given. That means a 4 and 5-star review gives you a better chance of a potential client clicking on your business link and one step closer to buying.
- Raise rankings. Online reviews are taken into consideration when it comes to where you rank on the search results page. This is particularly true for local searches.
The bottom line is that people trust reviews. Getting positive reviews can only help you attract people to your business. So create a procedure for current clients to follow and ask and remind them to review your business on Google, Facebook, and anywhere else you can think of.
Need more convincing? Check out WhiteSpark’s Review Statistics You Need to Know:
66% of consumers stated many online reviews make them trust a brand online.
49.7% of consumers need to see a 4-star rating or higher to consider a business.
88% of buyers are influenced in their buying decision by reviews.
We can help you set up your online review funnel. Check out this post for help on setting up your review system and getting it rolling.
Step 4: Create Content With a Local Focus
We get it. The idea of writing content can be intimidating for a personal training gym and really any type of industry. Where do you begin? And what could you possibly write about?
Good news: You have plenty to write about. And the more you find to write that has a local focus on your community, the more it will help you with your local SEO. Even better news: It’s not as hard to write local content as you may think.
Your first step is to create a plan for your content. Some things to consider in your planning:
- What problems will you help your potential clients solve?
- What information about your gym or about personal fitness in general will be useful to a reader?
- How can you weave in content that features your community?
If you’re looking for ideas on how to focus on local, how about:
- Address the importance of physical fitness with statistics pulled right from your city
- Feature personal trainers from your gym and what areas they specialize in for their clients.
- Upcoming community events that lend themselves to a focus on physical fitness like a charity 5K or a marathon.
Most importantly, write about what you know. Write about things your local clients would also like to know. Shine a spotlight on problems that are specific to your industry and how your services can help solve them.
When it comes to creating content, there are best practices and things to avoid. We’ll start with things to avoid:
- Don’t go in blindly. Plan your topics and give a brief summary of what you want to focus on.
- Don’t churn out local content just for the sake of churning out content. You want to make sure your content has a clear purpose otherwise it can appear too spammy.
When it comes to best practices:
- Always focus on what your customer needs and how your business will take care of those needs.
- Show clearly how their needs and your business’ solutions go hand in hand.
- Write to a specific audience – YOUR TARGET CLIENT!
5. Master On-Page Local SEO Basics
I’m sure your business’ website is a thing of beauty that took a lot of time (and money!) to get up and rolling. But always remember: No matter how pretty your website is, if it isn’t functional, it isn’t good. One of its many functions must be that it is SEO optimized. After all, if you don’t make it to the top of the search results page, no one will even have the chance to see your website, no matter how cool it is.
When it comes to optimizing your webpage, we are talking about:
- Website coding
- Website copy
- Website structure
Some simple SEO basics include:
a. Optimize Your Homepage
Your homepage is probably the most important page as it is the page where your client will get their first impression of your business. To keep the focus local, incorporate location-based keywords into your content. A key strategy for personal trainers to follow is incorporating location-based keywords in the copy. Local keywords help search engines locate a firm and serve it up to the local prospects looking for a trainer.
Include a few client reviews on your homepage. As we told you earlier, reviews are read and considered seriously when someone is looking to hire someone for a particular service. If all of your services are right on your front page, they will be hard to miss.
b. Optimize All Page Titles and Meta Descriptions
When talking about keywords and phrases that help with searches, titles are definitely part of that category. Your titles should contain where you are and what your firm does whenever possible so that people searching for either will find your site.
The same is true for meta descriptions. These are the brief descriptions of a webpage that appears on search result pages. When it comes to ranking, meta descriptions don’t have much influence. However, you are more likely to get a hit if your description contains words they are searching for. Try to include the area you serve and what services you offer in meta descriptions whenever possible.
c. Optimize the Footer
This small section of content can be found at the bottom of a webpage, and it can pack an SEO punch. Make sure your business’ name, address, and phone number are easy to find there as this is one way search engines identify your location and help local people find you.
Make sure this information is not just on the homepage but on every page, and make sure it is identical in each spot. This will help the search engine know you are one fitness gym and not multiple gyms.
d. Embed a Google Map on Your Webpage
Don’t just tell your potential clients where you’re located. Show them.
An embedded Google Map can give them the precise location so that your more directionally-impaired clients can physically see where to find your personal trainers.
To embed a Google Map, follow these simple steps:
- Go to Google Maps.
- Find the directions, map, or Street View image you’d like to embed.
- In the top left of your screen, click Menu.
- Click Share or embed map.
- Click Embed a map.
- To the left of the text box, select the size you want by clicking the Down arrow.
- Copy the text in the box and paste it into the HTML of your website or blog.
e. Add an Alt Tag to Your Images
The trick to good SEO is to get as many local keywords on the page as possible. One of the secrets, though, is that not all of those keywords need to be visible.
Alt attributes on your images can be your best friend. These are descriptions of the picture that is included in the code that helps viewers with visual impairments know what the picture depicts. It’s also a great way to include more local keywords. Give the images on your site descriptions that include your service area or location and what services your firm offers.
f. Each Service Needs a Unique Page
Your personal training business is multi-faceted, and your website should reflect that. A unique page for every service will give each of your services a spotlight and help with your local SEO efforts.
Devoting a unique page to every service gives you more opportunities to include location-based keywords that a potential customer may be searching for online. Make every page a minimum of 350 words, include keywords, and make sure you mention where you’re located and what areas you serve.
g. Create Unique Pages for Every Location
Just as each service you offer is unique, so are each of your locations. If you have multiple locations, your site needs a page for each one with specific keywords that pertain to that specific location.
Be careful, though: don’t get too spammy with your location. For example, if your trainers are in Colorado Springs, don’t write Colorado Springs in every sentence. Find ways to naturally integrate your location in a way that catches attention but doesn’t overdo it.
Ready to master the on-page local SEO basics? Check out our webpage “Master On-Page Local SEO Basics With These 7 Tips” to help you.
Step 6: Build Local Links
The more your website is linked online, the more likely someone is going to stumble across it, driving traffic to your site. To keep your potential customers local, you need to focus on building links on the local level by getting them out in local sources.
Some ways you can do that include:
a. Get Listed in Local Directories
Getting listed in a local directory is good for a couple of reasons. 1) It’s another way for your firm’s name, address, and phone number to be picked up by Google, and 2) the local directory you’re on will tie your business to the community you’re targeting.
b. Partner With Other Local Businesses
It’s a given that as much as you’re looking to be listed online, there are other businesses in your area doing the exact same thing. You can work together and build a network of local businesses that share one another’s links.
You want to choose businesses that don’t compete with your business but provide a complementary service. To simply do this, create a partner page on your website to feature these local businesses.
c. Sponsor Local Events
Communities tend to hold a lot of events that you can get involved with. By sponsoring one of these events, you will end up on the event’s sponsor page which is (you guessed it!) another link online.
Look for events that align with fitness and with your gym’s values so that your sponsorship makes sense to the audience.
d. Join a Professional Organization
Your local chamber of commerce can assist you in finding professional organizations that are relevant to your firm and the services it provides. When seeking these organizations out, inquire if membership includes being added to their directory, thus adding another link to your website.
e. Host a Fundraiser
Build a relationship with the community you serve by taking an active part in local fundraisers. This action is mutually beneficial as the fundraiser gets the word out about the cause you’re supporting while providing a link to your organization in multiple channels.
f. Write and Promote Local Content
Local content is vital when it comes to boosting your local rankings. Make sure you are creating content that includes local events, news, trends, and more. That will help Google associate your gym with your location.
The more backlinks you have pointing to your personal training website, search engines will reward you with higher rankings. This is one of the best strategies to improve your local rankings.
g. Look for Round-Up Pages
A “Round-Up Page” is probably something you’re already familiar with. They are local websites that share lists of “the best” places in your area for particular kinds of services. Getting onto a Round-Up doesn’t necessarily mean immediate results, but another link to your firm’s web page never hurts.
Talk to people who run local websites and news agencies who do these kinds of articles and see what it would take to be part of a round-up page. You can reciprocate by linking to their content in return to help boost their traffic.
h. Be a Guest on Blogs or Podcasts
Being a guest blogger or a guest on a podcast relating to your services is a pretty common practice. It benefits you because it draws traffic to your website, and it benefits the blog or podcast because you’re helping create content for them. They get free content and you get a bigger online presence. Win-win.
i. reate a Detailed Local Resource Page
Now that your beautiful website is ready to go with individual pages for all of the services you offer and locations you have, you need one more page: a local resource page.
This page should include helpful information and links that relate to the services your firm provides and that are unique to your service area. Like all other places where you are linking to other businesses, make sure to request that they link back to you in return.
Need a hand with link building? Our post “10 Tips to Build Your Business With Authentic Local Link Building” will point you in the right direction.
Get to the Top with Local SEO
Putting it all together: The more people who hear about your personal training business, the more clients will want to check you out in the long run. That’s the point of SEO: to get your name and what you do out in front of anyone you can. Local SEO is even more targeted and finds people who are most likely to walk into your gym and seek your assistance.
We know marketing can feel overwhelming if you’re not a professional. But these simple steps are yours to conquer. With a little time and effort, you’ll quickly see your physical training business rise to the top of the search results while being rewarded for your strategy with more business.
You’re hungry to be number 1 for your clients. Now it’s time to focus on being number one in a Google search. These SEO strategies are your key to making that happen.
Use McBreen Marketing to Conquer Your Local SEO
Improving your local SEO is easy if you have the right strategies and the right partners. McBreen Marketing will partner with you to help you outrank your competitors every time. Our SEO services will help your accounting firm get listed in the right directories, optimize your business for local SEO and enhance your site for search engines. With us as your partner, we can improve your ranking and help you grow your business.
Are you ready to let McBreen Marketing help you tackle your local SEO? Get started by contacting us for a free consultation today.