As a fitness professional or personal trainer or boot camp owner or fat loss guru or whatever it is you do in the fitness industry I'm sure you have all made the mistake of getting a website built and then waiting on a flood of eager clients to come and take up your services.
A bit like in the Kevin Costner movie Field of Dreams. You remember the catchphrase from that movie “If you build it they will come”. The thing is though that could bot be further from the truth when it comes to getting your personal trainer website to rank higher on google especially in 2012 afetr the panda and penguin updates that had a lot of websites that employed dodgy techniques and questionable back linking practies plummet into the casm that is page 2 or page 3 of Googles index.
The thing is though that this year ad definitely in 2013, Google is putting alot more emphasise on local business as well as social signals. Most of you will be running local fitness businesses so this is a great opportunity to tae advantage of the fact that it has never been easier to get a high legitimate ranking on google.
My personal training business in Manchester has been ranking at number 1 on google for “personal trainer Manchester” for the last 12 months and this provides me with a steady stream of clients for 1-1 training as well as to my boot camp, which incidentally also ranks at number 1 for “boot camp Manchester”
So what am I doing differently to all my competitors?
Well as well as all the normal on site stuff that you would expect as well as getting some good quality back links, the main focus of what I do and highly recommend that you do is to work on your Google Local Business Listing.
You may know this as Google Places, or Google Local, but this year they have changed this to Google+ Local. One of the reasons for this is that they re trying to move people away from Facebook and onto Google Plus, however that’s a blog for another day.
Setting up an Optimised Google local account is the 1st step in getting on page one. Once you have done that and added enough pictures, you tube videos and additional information you then need to get reviews from your clients.
Getting reviews from your client is the equivalent of getting a vote of approval and will really stick a rocket up your rankings. At the time of writing the big G is currently showing local listings above organic listings for searches which contain a town name where there ae relevant businesses.
How to get your clients to leave reviews
Just ask your clients to leave a reviews by sending them the review link. Now if you were to offer them an incentive to do this you would be in violation og Googles policy for reviews here but i'm sure many people do this.
What not to do
Do not put your keyword in your business name unless that is what your business is called. Google doesn't like this and this may get you banned. Use your actual business name.
Do not set up a workstation in your gym or give them your tablet to review on. All the reviews will come from the same IP address and will look like spam, As your clients to do this either at their homes or places of work.
At the time of writing you cannot leave reviews if you are using an iphone or ipad for some reason. I'm not sure why this is but they will need to be on a desktop or a laptop.
Additional things you can do
Register your business with other review and citation sites such as Yelp and Bing Local and ask clients who do not have Google accounts to leave you reviews there. The more citations Google finds mentioning your business the higher you will rank.
Most of your competitors WILL NOT be doing this stuff and this is the perfect chance to get ahead of the game.
I would love to hear you comments and hear how you are getting on with this.
Liam – “The Internet Fit Pro”