Today we rounded up with Nicole Aucoin from Healthy Steps Nutrition, a Nutrition Coaching System for boutique gyms, and talked about simple (yet effective) ways for small gyms and fitness studios to boost their local SEO ranking.
Local SEO for gyms and fitness studios is a tough nut to crack. After spending countless hours of doing it for some of our PushPress clients, I have come to the following conclusions.
Local SEO For Gyms Is Easy To Get Going
The good news with local SEO in the small gym space is almost zero small gym owners know how to do Local SEO work.
So any small changes and effort you place will likely give you a pretty good boost in local search ranking.
It usually takes a few weeks for Local SEO to begin working, but the results are usually felt within a year or so.
Local SEO For Gyms Is Not Worth Most Gym Owners’ Time To Learn
The bad news is Local SEO for gyms and fitness studios is not easy to do well.
When done right, Local SEO takes a lot of time and effort. And Local SEO has become about as complicated as it can be with Google's continued updates and algorithm changes.
So most small and boutique gym owners will not be able to justify the time and effort Local SEO requires without additional benefits.
Local SEO for gyms can provide a lot of value if you have the budget and time.
Picking the Right Keywords To Target
There are a ton of Local SEO ranking factors. But Local SEO keywords is one of the most important Local SEO ranking factors for small and boutique gyms.
For Local SEO, you want to think about building a presence that will rank locally first on Google Maps but also show up on general search engines as well.
The Winning Local SEO Combination
Generally speaking you want one key phrase + your city or locality as your key term you're trying to rank for.
Thus, your Local SEO keyword list usually comes out to something like this:
- Local gym keywords (e.g "Crossfit Springfield")
- Local service keywords (e.g "Nutrition Counseling Springfield")
- Local health keywords (e.g "fitness classes Springfield MO")
The Local SEO Term for Gyms
Time and again, after looking at hundreds of local keywords for gyms, the #1 searched term in any area is "gym near me".
A Small Planned Local SEO Effort Is A Good Start For Most Gyms
The good news is Local SEO doesn't need to be a full scale effort. Most of the easy lifts for getting a local SEO boost can be done with little work.
(in fact, most of this should be done by whomever built your website for you)
For most gyms and fitness studios, I would recommend starting with Local SEO by doing a few key things:
Steps For Your Gym's Local SEO Work
- Claim and completely fill out your Google My Business profile.
- Put your gym name, city, state, address, and phone on your website footer (which should appear on every page of your site)
- Include a plugin or section to highlight your Google My Business reviews.
- Change your homepage H1 tag to include your Keyword Target.
- Make sure your Page Meta Title and Page Meta Description include your Keyword Target.
- Pack your content with your keyword components. Make sure you discuss your city or locality as well as your service along with your Keyword Target often on your homepage.
- Include a "Location" page on your website which should include a name, address, city, state, phone and a Google Map.
- Optimize your website for Google Page Speed Rank. Google is placing more and more emphasis on websites that have great user experiences and load fast.
The above Local SEO efforts might take you a couple hours, but it should give you a significant boost in local search results.
Obtaining a #1 Local SEO Rank Is Hard
Keep in mind - you will likely be competing for ranking against large gyms like a Planet Fitness or Anytime Fitness.
These guys not only know how to do proper SEO ranking, but they also have the money and people to focus on doing it.
So if you never rank #1... or even #3, it's ok. You can still get a lot of Local SEO benefit by being on the first page.
It Takes Constant Local SEO Efforts To Keep Ranking High
For Local SEO, your goal is consistency. You want to keep ranking high so you show up often on Local SERPs.
You do this by continuing to promote your Local SEO efforts (claiming your business listing, adding reviews, etc) and by building links so Google knows you're an authority.
You should build a plan to consistently do the following to increase your ongoing SEO ranking and potential for rank promotion:
- Update your Google My Business (GMB) page weekly. Upload photos or enter posts there every day if you can. This is important to Google.
- Write Local SEO friendly pages for your website and use keyword rich anchor text links to link to other pages on your site.
- Create Local SEO videos and upload them to YouTube with proper tagging (including tags like City, State, Local Business Name as well as the type of video). Try to get links back from these videos onto other pages
- Reach out to other local businesses and coordinate blog post link exchanges.
- Continually ask your clients for reviews on your Google My Business profile.
Learn More About Local SEO
Local Marketing and SEO is so critical to any small local business, it's no surprise we write about it quite a bit!
Make sure you check out this post on 10 Local SEO Tactics Your Gym Needs To Deploy Today.
Our Director of Website Development, Maddy Galvez wrote about Why You Need to Prioritize Google Reviews.
Finally, check out this article about 4 Local Marketing Hacks You Can Deploy Today for Your Gym.
Learn More About Nutrition Coaching At Your Gym
Adding revenue streams to your gym is key for your long term success. Do you know what's key for your client's long term fitness success at your gym? Nutrition.
The Healthy Steps Nutrition Mentoring Program provides gym owners with nutrition business training, nutrition coaching education, an online client dashboard, marketing, and ongoing support to build and grow a nutrition program in-house.
Check them out if you're thinking about adding a professional nutrition counseling program, but you're not sure how!
Nicole and team have implemented their coaching program at their flagship gym, CrossFit HSN (A CrossFit gym in Deerfield Beach, Fl) - so they know a thing or two about how it should actually work!