Fitness business owners usually assume we mean spending hundreds (or thousands!) on digital ads when discussing marketing. But there are so many alternative marketing sources, including guerilla marketing or maximizing event visibility to attract your ideal customer. The key is to take advantage of your available resources, especially when they're free.
Google's free business tool is one of the best free marketing tools to bring new customers to your gym. Unfortunately, most gym owners are not benefiting from organic Google as a marketing platform since they unintentionally leave their pages unfinished. Page optimization is especially important before you plan to advertise with paid ads, but all business owners should ensure their page is up to date and refreshed monthly.
Google explains, "Local results are based primarily on relevance, distance, and prominence. A combination of these factors helps us find the best match for your search." Although you can't change your distance from the person searching, you can and should optimize your Google Business relevance and prominence scores to rank higher on potential customers' search results.
Let's start with the basics.
One of the most important steps is to verify your business with Google, which is crucial for your page's visibility. Once you submit, you'll receive a postcard with a verification code in about a week- keep an eye on your mailbox, so you don't need to start over. After you confirm your code and receive verification, you can add your profile's details to get you noticed by customers, including hours, photos, and messaging options.
Business Description: This is your opportunity to speak directly to your target client, encourage them to click to your website, and begin the journey into your studio. This section is chronically underutilized amongst small business owners. When building your description:
Photos: According to Google, business pages with images receive 42% more requests for driving directions and 35% more website clicks. It's not just any photo, however. You want to illustrate all the points from your description and encourage searchers to click by presenting:
Reviews: A robust review section is one of the most critical factors for ranking well. It's not just how many reviews you have, but how frequently they roll in, their content, and whether or not you respond. Don't be afraid to ask for reviews, and take a moment to thank each reviewer who submits.
Post Updates: It may already be challenging to manage a gym's social media posting requirements, but adding google updates to your page is a great way to increase your ranking and let your client learn more about you - for free! Google customers are looking for an answer to their specific pain point, so keep your posts informative, speak directly to your ideal client, and include a link to your website to boost SEO. Aim for one to two posts a week and include topics such as:
Add Your Offers: Did you know your Google Business page has a section to post your intro special and other packages? Link a few purchase options to send potential customers directly to the cart or a landing page and minimize website bounces.
Our preferred coaches have watched as studio owners went from not ranking at all to ranking in the top three after a few months of google optimization work. With an increase in position comes an influx of new leads ready to try out your studio. Although it may add to your workload in the short term, taking the time to improve your Google Business now will continue to pay off each month as long as you keep it up to date. All it takes is a few minutes each week and this guide.