SEO can change your business. Most people look at a website before even thinking about a visit in person, but how do people find you online? If they know your web address then it is a no brainer, but what if they are looking for a gym in your city? Or maybe they are looking for a gym in their neighborhood. The first thing a potential customer will do is google it. The million dollar question is – will they find you? This is crucial, especially if you have a mega gym in your area. Google uses keywords, tags and links to determine how important your site is for the search at hand, so if you want the extra customers, you are going to have to put in a little finger work. We’ve come up with a few simple tasks you can do to get drastic changes in your search listings.
Claim your business
Claiming your business is easy, free and a great way to get your link out there (the more links that lead to your website, the better your search results). First, choose 3-5 images of your box, members or coaches that you love. Make sure they are well lit and in focus, these are going to be the face of your business (but you can change them anytime). Once you have them selected and set aside get ready for an hour or two of filling out the same forms. List your business anywhere online (we’ve got some suggestions below) and try to get members to review the business for you. Make sure you are clear in the descriptions about what you offer and your philosophy, customers don’t like to dig or call for information.
Here’s some sites that are free and you should list yourself on:
- Google Places
- Yahoo Local
- Bing Business Portal
- Yellow Pages (free and paid accounts available)
There are more out there, so do a search to find what you can. All of these will take ~15 minutes to fill out forms, upload images, write in descriptions and setup the look of your listing. In addition, you will have to claim your business somehow, usually by a postcard in the mail with a code on it – so make sure you sign up AND complete the listings!
Use social media
There’s a ton of social media connections out there, so use them. Setup accounts for facebook, twitter, linkedin and google+ if you haven’t already. Then start posting up images, articles links and the daily WOD. Google searches these sites when it rates your importance, so its another way to get eyes on. In addition, creating an online community will strengthen the bonds in the gym as well. You can find programs that will automatically post your websites RSS blog feed up to facebook, and you can install an app to migrate facebook posts to twitter. That means if you only do half the social media, you don’t have to do any more typing/posting than you are currently after you have it all setup! Social media is free, easy to use and a great way to track the number of eyes on (facebook has its own analytics). In addition to signing up for various social media sites, make sure you add icons to your web page leading to each social media site. Just having a google+ icon linked to your businesses google+ page will bump up your search by 3.5 times!
Tag your blog
Most affiliates use either Word Press or Joomla! to manage their blogs. Both of these have great SEO settings if you download the addons (just search for SEO optimization). Once added, you will get some extra boxes on your post page. for keywords and tags make sure to add things like: fitness in [your city], fitness near [your city], [your city] gym, gyms near [your city], [your box name], skills in the workout (like Annie, double unders, situps). Do this for EVERY blog post, and soon enough you will show up with those search terms! You can also set the site wide settings for keywords and tags, which you should certainly do.
Link to your site whenever possible. If you are commenting on a health and fitness site, add in your website at the bottom. Link within your website as well, so on your blog, instead of just announcing a scheduling change, announce it and link back to your scheduling page. Every link helps the search engines build a map of your site and its usefullness to web browsers.
Use email signatures
Be sure to add your URL to all of your outgoing emails. You can also add a mission statement or something catchy to help people understand what you do. If you change this periodically it will keep eyes on!