A Quick Guide to Local SEO: Get Found by More Searchers
Search engine optimization (SEO) is the process of making sure your website is more likely to show up in relevant searches. Local SEO is the process of using relevant terms throughout your website so local residents can easily find your business. But SEO is about more than using the right keywords, and includes writing high-quality content, increasing website speed, making sure your site is accessible and mobile friendly, and so much more.
When SEO is done right, your website will show up on page one of Google, which will drive more traffic to your website and ultimately help your gym business grow. Today, more than 28% of people click on the first search result on Google and only 2.5% click on the 10th result in search, according to a study of 80 million keywords and billions of search results. That click rate gets smaller and smaller on pages two and beyond, and most people don’t even click to the second page of Google.
of people click the first search result on page one of Google (Sistrix)
Although it can take time and effort to optimize your website, it will be worth its weight in memberships.
Tips for Finding and Using the Right Keywords
- Find relevant keywords using a free tool like SEMrush or Ubersuggest. Or, go to Google and start searching “gyms in” or “gyms near” and see what the autofill results are to get ideas for local keywords to use.
- Google Trends is a great tool for keyword research. Enter a keyword and gain insight into the popularity of that keyword over the past 12 months.
- Don’t stuff your site with keywords! Google is wise to sites that fill their site with keywords. Instead, use keywords naturally throughout your website and remember that you’re writing for humans first.
- One way to avoid keyword stuffing is to use keyword variations throughout your website. Google’s bots are smart and understand that “CrossFit gyms in Austin” and “Austin CrossFit gyms” are the same set of keywords.
Once you’ve got a solid list of relevant local keywords and variations, you can start optimizing your website.
How to Optimize Your Site for Local Search
- Create a “Contact Us” page on your site that features your full business name and every way to reach you (e.g., email, address, phone number, social media profiles). Add a Google Map to this page, too, so people can see exactly where you are.
- Make your gym’s phone number clickable throughout your site so mobile users can easily contact you while on the go.
- Include your contact information in the footer of your website and make it consistent with what’s on your “Contact Us” page.
- If your club has multiple locations, be sure to create separate pages or microsites for each location so searchers get the right information in a single click.
Another smart tactic for ensuring you’re found by local residents is to create a Google My Business account. Make sure you complete the profile, add photos of the inside and outside of your gym, and verify your website. Then, be sure to ask your members to write 5-star reviews of your club on Google. These reviews are often the first thing people searching the web will see and read about your business, so it’s important to have a stellar reputation on Google My Business.
Finally list your business on Yelp, Bing Places, BBB, and any industry-related online directories. For example, if your gym features a climbing wall, add your business to the Climbing Gym Directory.
If you enjoyed this guide, you should check out our new e-book, Everything You Need to Know About Marketing Your Fitness Club. This e-book will help you identify the most effective marketing strategies for blowing past your local competition, increasing revenue, and bringing in a steady stream of new members throughout the year. You can download it here: