Whether you are an employee of a fitness agency or the owner of your own business, you cannot afford to skip out on marketing yourself. To succeed as a personal trainer, you need to grab people’s attention and convince them of the benefits of your services. For the most part, you can do this with normal advertising practices: newspaper ads, online ads, and even television ads. However, there is an important practice that you might be missing out on when it comes to digital marketing and improving your overall visibility: search engine optimization (SEO). When you consider how many people use the Internet to both find and vet businesses before becoming customers, not using the strategies suggested by SEO can really hamstring your potential. In this article, we are going to discuss how and why you should be using local SEO as a personal trainer.
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What Is SEO for Personal Trainers?
The term “search engine optimization” is an accurate, albeit potentially misleading title for an effective and cheap strategy to improve online visibility. The term makes it seem complicated, perhaps requiring specialized knowledge and skills to make the most out of. While there is value in hiring experts to help manage your website’s construction (especially if you are new to digital marketing), you can make many of the necessary changes yourself.
SEO is a series of strategies used when building your website to help search engines, such as Google, find it and know who to show it to. Additionally, SEO practices help push your website to the top of the search results among other similar businesses, which is important when you realize how many people only click on the first link that appears. To stay competitive, you cannot afford to miss out on that many customers! The changes you make to your website are surprisingly simple, and easily done by anyone who knows how to use HTML or any website creation software.
How Is SEO Different From Local SEO?
You are probably wondering how feasible reaching the top spot on the search results page is. There are massive companies all over the world competing for it, after all. If this were normal SEO, this would be a natural concern. However, we know that you most likely are not shooting for the top spot on Google overall. This is where local SEO is introduced. Google uses location data when determining what websites to show its users, and a large portion of Google searches are concerned solely with local information. You are not trying to get the top spot on the global Google market, just the top spot when someone nearby wants to find a personal trainer. Fortunately, the strategies used for normal SEO practices are almost identical to those used for local SEO. We will get into those in just a second.
Creating a Social Media Presence and/or Website
You have probably already caught on, but the strategies that will be outlined here mostly apply to those who have already built a website (or at least a webpage on a website). SEO strategies do not involve establishing your online presence for you, so make sure you get a website as soon as possible! Besides making SEO strategies viable for you, they also serve a number of purposes relating to marketing, customer feedback, and visibility. Considering how many small businesses have or want to have a website, you should strongly consider creating one for yourself. If you cannot do so or want to leave this part of your business in the hands of experts, do not worry, SEO Design Chicago can help.
Local SEO Strategies for Personal Trainers
With the basics covered, we can now look at the specific strategies you can use to boost your search results ranking. The goal of local SEO for personal trainers is to make your website the first thing that shows up when the locals search for “personal trainers near me.” With proper consideration given to the text, formatting, and information on your website, you can easily improve your current position. Here are a few tips to get you started:
Keywords, the most basic element of SEO, comprise an essential concept to grasp for improving your search results ranking. To put it simply, keywords are words and phrases people would enter into the Google search bar to find businesses like yours. “Personal trainers near me,” the example given earlier, is one such example. Google uses the words found on your website to determine who to show it to. To maximize your visibility this way, you first need to find what search terms apply to you. Some examples might be:
- Gym trainer
- Trainer near me
- Gym instructor
- Elite trainer
- Certified personal trainer
- Personal fitness trainer
These are some general examples but don’t feel limited by these. An important thing to remember with local SEO is that you can capitalize on the linguistic features of your operating region. Maybe there’s a phrase or word people use near you that isn’t so common elsewhere. You can use these words as well to help your local SEO efforts. If you need a place to look for some keyword examples, consider using the Google Ads Keyword Planner. It’s a free service that can provide invaluable help, and can even be tuned for your specific region.
The next thing to consider is your use of headings. Headings are larger pieces of text used to subdivide the normal text on your page (such as the “Headings” title above this paragraph). Google gives the heading text a special weight when determining your relevance to specific search terms, so be sure to use keywords in your headings!
While this might seem counterintuitive, links, both to other webpages of yours and other websites help with local SEO for personal trainers. Google boosts websites that use plenty of links because such websites tend to be more credible. Potential customers of yours will also appreciate the links, as it gives you an image of being legitimate and scientifically founded. External links (which direct to other websites) are great for providing this sense of credibility. Internal links (which direct to other webpages on your website) are also great, as they allow every webpage to increase others’ traffic. It can turn the success of one page into multi-page success, and it allows visitors to immerse themselves in your content.
Speaking of traffic, Google uses traffic as another way to determine how relevant your website is to what people are looking for. The more visitors you have, the higher you get on the page, which leads to even more visitors. Getting into this positive feedback loop is the goal here, and is a great way to expand your public outreach.
Digital Marketing for Personal Trainers
Now that you are more familiar with local SEO for personal trainers and how to use it, we can get into some specific digital marketing tips you can use. Digital marketing is not only an essential component of any marketing campaign: it complements your SEO efforts through increasing traffic and relevant search terms to yourself. Spreading your brand’s name online is crucial for success today, so here are a few ideas that might help form the basis of your advertisements.
A form of marketing uniquely suited to personal trainers in content creation. More specifically, video content. To give customers an idea of what they are getting into, posting a video of a standard workout routine for free is a good idea. The video will give your website’s visitors a baseline to gauge you with, as well as an idea of how you look. Attractiveness aside, people want to make sure that you are in shape before engaging with you. Not showing yourself and what you look like is a red flag for many potential customers, so if anything, put your picture all around your website. You want to give an aspirational image for your clients, turning your own fitness success into their success.
As a personal trainer, you have no doubt enmeshed yourself in the larger fitness community, giving you insight into the larger culture. Use this knowledge to your advantage! Not everyone searching for a personal trainer is an out-of-shape person who is new to working out. Sometimes, even veteran athletes and lifters are looking for expert or specialized advice on how to improve their routine or diet. You can appeal to those people by using familiar slang terms or even memes that they would understand. Demonstrating that you are knowledgeable about the fitness community serves to legitimize you and your brand!
SEO Design Chicago Can Help Personal Trainers
If all of the information covered here sounds like a lot, you are not alone. Digital marketing and SEO can be difficult to figure out, especially if this is your first time encountering these concepts. SEO Design Chicago has experts who are ready to help you take your brand to the next level, handling all parts of digital and social media marketing. We can even help with local SEO for personal trainers in a wide variety of locations.
- What is SEO?
- What is local SEO?
- Do small businesses really need a website?
- How important is traffic for SEO?
- How do I make videos for marketing?