Search engine optimization is a part of online marketing that enables different types of businesses to enhance their online visibility. Search engines are platforms that connect you worldwide and help you spread the word about your business far and wide. However, as a fitness center functioning within a single city, would you really be interested in attracting customers from other countries? Of course, not. For such businesses, local SEO is the best practice to follow. When you conduct local SEO for fitness centers, the goal and strategies are planned to only target the local audience of the location where your business functions.
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For an owner of a fitness center, reaching out to the local audience is important as you will not be getting customers from offshore. This makes local SEO an important practice for you. So how do you go about conducting local SEO for fitness centers? Well, here are some tips to get you started.
Start with Your Website
To start with your local SEO strategy, you need to take a close look at your website. Optimizing your website will have a great impact on how well you rank on the SERPs for local searches. To begin with, make sure you have a dedicated contact us page on your website. Within this page, there should be proper and detailed contact information of your fitness center. To ensure proper details, always remember the term NAP. NAP refers to Name, Address, and Phone number. These three details are crucial for any business if you want your customers to contact you easily. Apart from this, an email address is another important detail you should add to your contact us page for people to send in their queries. Now if you have a large fitness center with multiple branches, make sure you add the address of all your branches on your website.
Another good way to make fitness enthusiasts contact you is by making your contact details mobile friendly and clickable. With the smartphone era, a majority of the people browse the internet through the mobile phones. If you have your website optimized to make calls directly by clicking on your phone number, the chances of the user contacting you drastically increases. The same idea works for your email address. Another important factor to consider is adding a location map to your contact page. This is important as a majority of the people look up a location on the Google Maps eventually. So make it easier for your customers and add the map to your website. This will not only enhance the user experience but also boost your local SEO efforts.
Here is a good example of an optimized contact us page. If you can see the website has the contact details along with a map to find them. In the bottom of the page, there is a mention of the phone number and the email, which are both clickable. The page also has social media links and icons so that users can link and follow them on social media.
Apart from these contact detail optimization, you could also consider adding a testimonial section for your fitness patrons to submit testimonials about your center. This will help build goodwill around your brand when a user visits your website.
Plan and Create Your Content
When you plan search engine optimization, blogging and content management is one aspect that you cannot ignore. Having a blog section on your business website is always a good idea as it boosts your SEO. How? Well, having blogs on your website means you gain more links and better ranking for your business website as these blogs get a separate ranking for different searches on the SERPS. With a large number of links, your organic ranking will increase on the search engine result pages.
The common knowledge is that to make your website SEO-friendly, you need to add content to your website that is rich in keywords. Keywords are words or phrases used by online users to conduct any search on the search engines. To make your content rank high in the search result, such keywords are identified and included in the content. Now that we are focusing on the local SEO for fitness centers, how do we make the keywords local? The answer is simple, include the location you wish to target in the keywords itself. For example, if you wish to work on the local SEO of the Calgary branch of your fitness center, you might want to consider keywords such as ‘fitness center in Calgary’ or ‘gym and fitness in Calgary’.
Another smart way of boosting your local SEO through content marketing is by adding links to local news or local authoritative forums. This will not only increase your ranking on the search engines but also make your website and content reliable in the eyes of the online users. When you have a fitness center, there are so many other ways you can make your content local. Like for instance, you could sponsor or hold an event such as a mini-marathon or a local bodybuilding challenge and later write about the same on your blog. You could also try to get an interview with a local fitness icon and publish the same on your blog.
The key to good blogging and content marketing is not trying to oversell your business. That’s right, refrain from constantly talking about services and fitness center. Instead, provide quality information and solve user queries to keep them engaged and visit your blog frequently. Your aim should be to become an informative blog and not a promotion blog. To make your blogs more informative, I would suggest that start adding more links to your content. This can be done by adding both internal links and external links to your blog and content. While internal links will help to divert the traffic from a blog to other pages, external blogs provide the necessary reliability to your content. Backlinks are what you need in your content. Backlinks are when other reliable source link to your content. Now you would not prefer putting the links of competitors but try to get links from related businesses such gymming supplement companies. This can be done by simply collaborating for backlinks with similar businesses, writing guest blogs for these businesses or by having exceptionally good content with factual information and statistical data that will compel similar businesses to link to you.
Claim and Create Your Local Listings
No doubt that your website is essential for your online presence. But as a fitness center, you need to get your business listed on major listing and review websites. These websites are a great platform to enhance your online presence and boost your local SEO strategy. How? Well, these local listings are websites which are generally used by locals to look up businesses in a specific area. The reason online users trust these websites is the genuine reviews put up by other users, which gives them an idea as to how the service of a specific business is.
A few commonly used review and listing websites in Canada include Google My Business, Yelp, Angie’s List, etc. For your fitness center, you need to first claim or create your Google My Business page as it will help you rank well in Google search. You need to claim it in case it has already been created. Often it happens with Google My Business that your business page is already existing without your knowledge. Find out if your fitness center has one and claim it and fill it correctly. If not, then create one and optimize. Ensure that your profile is complete with your NAP and website details. Do keep in mind that your contact details should be identical to that of your website and the address you provide should be a physical location on Google Maps. Apart from your contact details, Google My Business gives you a plethora of other options that you should utilize. These include adding images along with a 360-degree view of your fitness center, adding a question and answer section, wherein the users can put their queries, your fitness center’s working hours, etc. Therefore, explore what options are available and utilize them for a complete profile.
You should also consider getting your business listed on other commonly used listing websites such as Yelp. The more listings you claim, the better the chances of your fitness center ranking high for local searches. Apart from these listings, it is recommended that you create social media profiles for your local SEO. They are not listings or review websites. However, they provide an opportunity to the users to leave comments and reviews about your fitness center and also have a high ranking factor on the search engines.
Get Business Reviews
When we work on local SEO, the reviews that you get from the online users play a very important role. Google search, for instance, gives a lot of importance to user reviews as people tend to read and trust such reviews. For this reason, reviews are mostly featured, and they stand out on the SERP. If you have bad reviews or no reviews at all, people may not consider enrolling in your fitness center. So how do you ensure that you have a good online review?
The very first step in acquiring positive reviews is by giving the best service at your fitness center. A happy and satisfied customer is bound to talk good about your fitness center. Sometimes it may happen that a gym patron is happy with your training and yet not putting a review about it. This is because they might not be aware or are simply forgetting it. For such patron, you could just ask him if he has liked your fitness center so far and if he is pleased, politely ask him to leave a review on your online listing. Do not ever provide free services or discounted fitness plans to a customer for a good review. It is unethical and also considered as a violation by many review websites.
Apart from managing your positive reviews, it also matters how well you handle your negative reviews. Customer reviews are something that is not in your hands. Some may like some things about your fitness center, some may not. With an open forum like these review websites, you will get some negative comments as well. If you do get a negative review. Do not lose your cool or simply ignore the comment. Be polite and professionally address the agitated user’s concern.
Use Free Tools
When you start working on the local SEO for fitness centers, you will come across various new concepts and you might feel the need for a little help. At that point, you could consider using some tools to make your task easy. There are some pretty smart local SEO tools that you can use. To start off, you could use Whitespark Local Citation Finder. This tool will do the job of finding your citations anywhere on the web and help you manage each citation. You could also opt for Moz Local to ensure that all your listings are verified and will they get more visibility for your fitness center by pushing your listings up. To make the optimum use of backlinks on your website, you could opt for Buzzstream, which not only helps you earn local backlinks but also provides your performance report.
By following the above-mentioned tips, you will be able to create an optimum online presence to boost your local SEO for fitness centers. Do keep in mind to keep a follow up on your efforts and do not forget to evaluate your local SEO’s performance on a regular basis. For more information and guidance, get in touch with our local SEO experts.