Learn how to optimize your Google My Business profile, Google Maps listing, website, and more so your gym or personal training business ranks higher on Google for local searches.
In this day and age for a local business to have a decent ranking on Google is vitally important for all industries. This includes fitness businesses who want to attract more clients. If you haven’t heard of SEO or simply aren’t too familiar with what it means, don’t panic. We are here to explain everything to you and help you understand how your fitness business can reap the benefits of better SEO in 2020 and beyond.
What Is SEO?
SEO stands for search engine optimization. It provides your business with a ranking on search engines. The most popular search engine is Google. Google accounts for nearly 90 percent of all searches conducted online and from smartphones, so it’s important to focus your SEO strategy to Google and its ranking system.
The way SEO works are Google releases bot crawlers throughout the Internet. These crawlers are part of a machine learning technology that allows the bots to understand what on the Internet relates to your business and its domain. Based on a myriad of factors (over 200, in fact), the Google bot crawlers provide your domain with a score. This score impacts how indexed pages on your fitness business website will rank when users type in keywords or keyword phrases into the search engine. The higher your score and the better-optimized web pages are on your website, the more likely you are to be on the first search engine results page (SERP).
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What Is Google My Business?
Google My Business is a business listing that directly links to Google’s search engine algorithm. Fitness businesses that have a complete Google My Business profile will have their information appear when users type in the businesses’ names. Think about when you conduct a Google search. You will see paid ads before you see organic results. You may see a featured snippet, depending on the search query. When fitness businesses have a verified Google My Business profile, the business information appears at the top on the right-hand side on the desktop and right at the top on mobile. This allows your business to be placed front and centre.
Google My Business profile provides fitness businesses with the opportunity to add their services, classes, hours, specials, contact information, and much more. If you already have a Facebook, Instagram, or other social media account, you can link those to your Google My Business as well.
To have a complete Google My Business profile, you must go through a verification process that confirms your address. Google My Business profile gives users a sense of confidence when they attempt to learn more about fitness businesses in the area since the information is verified by Google.
Better still, Google My Business allows fitness businesses to directly interact with users. Users can ask questions about anything and the admin and approved moderators of the Google My Business account can reply to the user. It also provides customers with an opportunity to leave honest reviews about their experience. Admins and moderators can respond to reviews. If a review seems particularly negative, fitness businesses can ask customers to reach out via email or phone to try and correct the situation.
Does My Google My Business Profile Improve My SEO Ranking?
Since Google My Business is directly supported by Google, having a complete profile that is optimized for keywords your users are searching for will drastically improve your SEO rankings. Your profile should be filled with keywords about the services you offer to improve your SEO rankings.
In question replies and review responses, fitness businesses should try to incorporate keywords naturally. Remember, you are writing to a person – not a search engine. Whenever you can, add in these keywords so your business and domain are associated with these keyword phrases. When a user types one of these into the search engine, they will see the keyword bolded in your Google My Business profile, questions, and reviews. It adds another layer of credibility to both the user and Google’s bot crawlers.
How Do I Optimize My Google My Business Profile?
Fitness businesses that haven’t already created a Google My Business profile should start right now. You cannot pass up the positive impacts on your SEO ranking. To do so, visit the Google My Business main page. You will need to sign in with your Google account to get started. Once you are signed in, click “Manage Now” and begin by entering your business name. From there, enter your address and continue to fill out the information. Once you are finished with the signup, Google will let you know to expect a postcard in about seven business days. You do not have to wait to optimize your Google My Business Profile, but it will not be visible to users until the verification from the postcard is entered. Be sure to enter the verification code as soon as you receive it.
Now it’s time to optimize your Google My Business profile to help improve your SEO ranking. To do this, you will need to go to “Info” on the sidebar and edit the information.
- Service Areas: You should be sure to list all of the cities, towns, neighbourhoods, etc that you are attempting to target. This will help improve your local SEO ranking, which is vital for bringing customers to your door.
- Services: Be sure to list the services you actually offer. Do not list a service just because you see other fitness businesses doing this. If you only offer a cycling class, just list that. Don’t add kickboxing or other classes/services you do not offer. You can add a description and price if you desire to do so. The more information you add, the better. This information will also be displayed under the “Services” tab on the sidebar.
- Description: Give a good description of two to three keywords. You can also list your services again in this box, but be mindful of the 750 character limit.
You will also want to update “Products” on the sidebar and add any relevant information. Plus, you can list any promotional gear you may have or anything that is not a class/service. Again, be sure to use keywords in the description and add as much information as possible. Fitness businesses in your local areas are likely already doing this and seeing great SEO results, so don’t fall behind!
How Do I Claim My Google Maps Listing?
If you have ever typed in a restaurant into Google Maps while driving or walking, you’ve seen how a handful of eateries appear in the results. This is because they have claimed their Google Maps listing If you type in fitness businesses, you will see which of your competitors have already claimed their Google Maps listing.
Your Google Maps listing is one more way to improve your SEO. How? It is one more layer of verification for Google’s crawler bots and checks off one of the SEO factors.
To claim your Google Maps listing, go to Google Maps and enter your fitness business’ address. On the results, click “Add Your Business” and follow the instructions. Now, if you already have a Google My Business profile, you should not see the option to add your business. If you do, you need to verify you have entered the correct address in Google Maps.
How Can I Optimize My Website for SEO?
Your website plays a huge role in your SEO ranking, just like your Google My Business profile. While your Google My Business profile and Google Maps listing will improve your SEO and ensure your customers can easily get ahold of your and/or find your location, your website helps establish your fitness business as an authority.
Each page of your website is indexed by Google every three to six months. These indexed pages are what you will see when you look at the results on SERPs. The more relevant pages you have on your website, the more often you can be shown as a result of keywords and keyword phrases.
Fitness businesses must understand that optimizing a website for SEO is crucial before beginning to add relevant content and web pages to the site. If your website does not meet Google’s standards, you will not have a good SEO ranking. Your website will not be shown when users are typing in keywords you have used to optimize your web pages.
To optimize fitness businesses websites for SEO, you must:
- Create a proper internal structure,
- Implement easy navigation,
- Format URLs correctly,
- Write unique meta titles and meta descriptions for every web page,
- Add images with proper alt tags,
- Include H1, H2, and H3 header tags in page structures,
- Ensure fast website speed,
- Make the website user-friendly,
- Add in responsive design elements,
- Ensure ADA compliance,
- And more!
This is not a comprehensive list of what must be done to fitness businesses’ websites to be completely optimized for SEO. However, it is a good starting point for those who have no idea what to do. If you employed a web developer and designer to create your website, it should be SEO friendly. You can go back and ask them what they did to ensure you could have a good SEO ranking.
If you created your own website or used a template, it is not impossible to optimize your website for SEO on your own. Start with looking at how easy it is to navigate through the site, get back to the contact information, and understand what is on the page. Check to make sure you URLs are created with keywords, not something along the lines of “post-123-vch-3759”. Every part of your website should make it easy to identify what it is about to both humans and bot crawlers.
Optimized SEO Content for Fitness Businesses
Once you know your website is optimized for SEO, now you can move on to optimizing your website content for SEO. Fitness businesses need to have a comprehensive content strategy in place that will be used to supplement their SEO strategy. Relevant, unique content must be added regularly to help improve and maintain SEO rankings for fitness businesses. Google has mentioned that content is among the top three of the 200 factors used to create SEO rankings.
Here are some tips for creating optimized SEO content:
- Use bullets and numbered listed to help users easily digest information.
- Every page should have a focus. This is called the primary keyword.
- Content should be supplemented with secondary and tertiary keywords without taking the focus off of the primary keyword.
- Every page should only have one H1 tag. This helps both crawlers and your web visitors understand what the page is about.
- Break content up with H2 and H3 tags.
- Paragraphs should be easy to read and skimmable. Don’t add long sentences.
- Post at a regular frequency.
- Mix up posting SEO web pages and blog posts. Each serves specific purposes. SEO web pages are for information gathering and blog posts are for connecting with your customers.
Always write for your customers. It will help you create content people want to read, and it will help your fitness business appear genuine. Also, be sure to write about what is actually being searched for online at the time. Keep your keyword research to a monthly or quarterly basis. If you search for keywords for your SEO content strategy a year in advance, you may not be writing about what is actually being typed into search engine queries at that time.
Bottom Line Regarding SEO for Fitness Businesses
When it comes to improving SEO rankings for fitness businesses (or earning one for those who are just getting started/getting online), remember to write for people first and Google’s bot crawlers second. It’s important to have content that sounds natural on your Google My Business profile and your website. Google’s bot crawlers are part of a machine learning technology, so they can understand (to a point) what is being said. If it is too hard to read or clearly filled with every keyword imaginable, your SEO ranking can be negatively impacted.
To summarize SEO for fitness businesses:
Google My Business
- Add in all cities, towns, and neighbourhoods where your target audience resides to improve your local SEO ranking.
- Describe your services and products in detail. When possible, use keywords.
- Make sure you verify your fitness business is listed on Google Maps. It will show up based on the address you provide in your Google My Business profile.
- Use keywords in responses to questions and reviews if they can be worked in naturally.
Fitness Businesses SEO Websites
- Make sure your website’s structure is built for SEO before you try to optimize your content.
- Ensure you have a responsive website that can fit on any device.
- Each content page should be focused on one primary keyword.
- Add content often to show Google’s bot crawlers your website is active and authority in your local area.
Most importantly, you must remember that SEO for fitness businesses is a long term strategy. The results will not happen overnight. You will need to continue to conduct keyword research to ensure your Google My Business profile and SEO website are still optimized for the keywords your customers are actually searching for in search engine queries. If they are no longer searching for specific keywords, you must go back and re-optimize everything for the new keywords. Otherwise, you will not show up on the first SERP.
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