If there was such a person as a marketing genie for local businesses, they’d be very busy granting just one wish; “I want more customers.”
Sadly, there isn’t a marketing genie just waiting to grant your wishes. If you want more customers, you have to do the work yourself and, to get more customers, what you need is to get more website traffic for gyms.
Luckily, there’s no shortage of ways to drive quality traffic to your website. However, that’s the key: It must be quality traffic. It must consist of people who are genuinely interested in what your gym has to offer. Not only that, but they must be in the right local area too unless you also offer online courses for people to join in with from anywhere.
Either way, there’s a lot you can do if you’re struggling to send people to your gym website and get them to sign up with you.
How to Drive More Online Traffic to Your Website
Here are our top nine tips to get yourself some consistent, quality traffic to your gym’s website:
1) Optimize your Google Business Profile
Your Google Business Profile (GBP) is completely free. All it takes to make the most of it is time. If you haven’t already claimed yours, then do it now. We’ll wait.
Why is your GBP so important? Well, it’s provided by Google and they do want you to use it. A fully optimized and complete Google Business Profile will help to send targeted traffic back to your website. In fact, with a great profile that has all the information your potential customers need to know, they might skip your website altogether and give you a call directly, or even book or sign up with you, right from your GBP. Who doesn’t want that?
In addition, a well-optimized profile is great for your SEO efforts. You’ll rank higher in the search engines with a quality GBP, and you might have the chance to appear in the Local Pack at the top of the search results.
Not only that, but customers can interact with your profile too. They can comment and leave reviews, giving you precious user-generated content (UGC) and vital social proof. Both of these have more value to Google and to any other potential gym members who might find your profile. User-generated content and reviews are far more convincing to potential customers than anything you can say about yourself. You can also reply to your reviews on your profile and create a community feel that’ll go a long way in convincing any potential new members.
And, back to the topic of our article, you can have a link to your website on your Google Business Profile which will send traffic your way.
How do you optimize your GBP? In a nutshell, fill in everything and provide quality images that show off your gym!
There are a number of different sections on your profile and it’s important to complete them all.
- Select the right category for your business.
- Use your relevant keywords and local keywords in your headings and your copy.
- Fill in the Q&A section. If you don’t have any questions from people yet, then answer what you think people will want to know.
- Fill in every piece of contact information you have, and your opening hours. Though, be consistent both here and everywhere else on the internet that you post your NAP (Name, Address, Phone number). Use the same format and the same version of your details everywhere to avoid confusion.
- Keep asking for reviews and respond to them when you get them.
- Keep posting and updating your profile regularly to keep eyes on what you’re doing and provide fresh content for visitors.
2) Claim and manage your local business directories
After Google Business Profile, the largest directory is actually Facebook, which we’ll come onto next. You’ll also want to be on the larger business directories, such as Yelp, and on any local business directories.
Again, complete your profile with as much detail as possible. Make it attractive and full of information about your gym and why people should join.
These business directories can also send you traffic right back to your website, so don’t skip them.
Many of them also allow visitors to post reviews, so if you have a presence on these directories, you can get reviews and respond to them.
3) Get more reviews on the top platforms like Google, Facebook and Yelp
We’ve covered reviews a little already, but we can’t overstate the value they bring to your online presence and how much they can do to convince potential leads to try out your gym.
Everywhere you’ve got the option to get reviews for your gym, take it! And keep responding every time you get a new one. People love to feel heard and understood and your replies can make them feel that way.
Thank people for positive reviews and don’t ignore your negative ones. It’s tempting to just hide them, if you can, and walk away, but you’re not doing your gym any favors if you do. Take a minute, digest the review, and look for any fair points you can learn from and the positives in it. When you do respond, be polite and professional. Don’t get into an argument online. Provide your phone number so that the reviewer can call you and you can do your best to resolve the issue in private. Done well, even a negative review can provide a positive outcome, as people can see how well you handle criticism.
What you’re doing in responding to your reviews is showing people your personality and what your customer service is like before they join.
You will get traffic back to your website from online reviews if you handle them well. People will click through to find out more information about your gym if you impress them with your responses.
4) Be active and engaging on social media
Social media really is a gym’s best friend. It’s the perfect place to show off your personality, educate people on how to get fitter and healthier, and to provide the kind of content that has people clicking through to your site for information on how to join.
There are so many ideas you can implement when posting on sites such as Facebook. You can provide a daily workout routine, promote any online classes, write about an exercise of the week, provide nutrition tips depending on what your audience is trying to achieve, share videos of your gym facilities, talk about new exercise classes or equipment, introduce your staff and your personal trainers online, write educational posts, provide special offers to your audience, promote your blog posts, and so much more. We really could go on.
While you can schedule a certain amount of content to auto-post for you, there’s no substitute for being there in person at least some of the time.
Social media is about engagement. It’s a two-way street. People will comment on your posts and ask questions and they want you to respond. You can build a strong relationship with people over the internet and create a community online without ever meeting them, and if you do, who do you think they’re going to think of when they’re looking for a new gym to try?
5) Ensure your website has high-value content
Your website is your home on the internet. It should contain everything people need to know to decide if they want to try your gym. Of course, you do need your basic information, including contact details, opening times, pricing, class schedules, and more on your site, but your site needs high-value content too.
You are the expert in your area. You are the fitness person people are looking to for answers on how to solve their fitness problems. Provide top-quality content on your site answering their questions and you’re well on the way to convincing them that yours is the gym for them.
Your website copy should be fully keyworded and optimized for the search engines, but most importantly, it should provide highly informative, well-written content for your visitors.
Update your site regularly with informative and entertaining blog posts, videos, demonstrations of equipment, and quality images of your gym both inside and outside. Show that other people are enjoying spending time in your gym and that they’re getting excellent results from it.
Include some of your reviews and testimonials for important social proof and easy ways to contact you and sign up on every page.
Think about what content your audience would want to see and provide them with it.
6) Optimize your website with local schema and structured data
Don’t forget basic SEO, such as keywords in your H1 and H2 headings, meta descriptions, website copy, and more, but in addition, you can optimize your website further with local schema and structured data.
Implement schema markup for your site and it will help the website crawlers, such as Googlebot, to index your website pages. This is really important. The more you can do to help the search engines index your site, the more pages will appear in the search engine listings and the more visible your site will be. And guess what? The more traffic you’ll get.
If you’re not sure about this one, talk to your tech or marketing person or take a look at Search Engine Journal’s excellent guide on Local SEO Schema.
7) Ensure your website loads fast and is easy to navigate/read
No one will wait for long for your website to load. On average, if it takes more than three or four seconds, your visitor is long gone, probably to the competition. Try out a site speed checker and see what results you get.
If your site doesn’t load quickly and isn’t responsive on all devices and browsers, you’re losing vital traffic and it’s time for a serious chat with your website provider.
It’s important to regularly look at your website and ensure it’s easy to navigate and easy to use. Check your navigation works and provides a clear path through your website. Ensure every button works and every link goes to the right location.
Look at your font and your design. Ensure people can easily read your content and that your site has plenty of white space and isn’t too busy.
Check that people know what to do when they arrive at your site and that you have clear calls to action.
While this one isn’t about getting traffic so much, it is about keeping it once you get it and ensuring you’re making the most of all those leads you’re sending to it.
8) Leverage email marketing to engage prospects and send them to your website with a relevant CTA
Building your mailing list is one of the most important marketing activities you can do. We’ve all seen the furor going on at Twitter right now with Elon Musk’s acquisition of the platform. While Twitter might not disappear any time soon, it’s easy to see what would happen if it did and you’d built all of your online presence on it.
You own your mailing list and no one can take it away from you. You can reach out directly to your subscribers at any time with a great offer, a new blog post, or anything else you want to send them.
Set up a welcome sequence for new subscribers and make sure they get great content that suits their goals, all designed to guide them to your website and sign up. Even better if you can segment your list and provide tailored content for newbies, seasoned gym goers, and pro athletes, depending on your audience.
Ensure you include a clear call to action in each email so people know what to do next.
9) Set local targeting parameters for your digital ads
When setting up your paid ads, you’ll obviously make sure that you target the right age groups and select any demographics and psychometrics that are relevant to your audience.
However, don’t neglect local targeting parameters. Unless you have a fully online gym with classes to watch from anywhere, local advertising will be important to you.
You don’t want to waste vital marketing spend by showing ads to people outside your target area. While your gym may be amazing, it’s highly unlikely that you’ll get regular visitors to it from over a certain distance.
Ensure you’re using geotargeting in your ads and setting which local areas you want your ads to be shown to. You can select your local town or city, areas within your city, or if you have multiple gyms in multiple locations across the US, you can set up targeted ads to reach potential members in each area.
Don’t throw marketing dollars away either by setting your areas too wide or by not setting your parameters at all.
Okay, well that’s quite a list we’ve given you. It’s certainly enough to keep you well-occupied and to provide you with quality traffic and targeted leads, but it is a lot of work.
Attend a Surefire Local Marketing Platform Demo
Instead, why not take a look at Surefire Local’s business intelligence marketing software and see how we can help you take care of business?
With our marketing software, you can sign in once and manage every aspect of your marketing in one place. You don’t need multiple pieces of software, just our easy-to-use platform.
You can manage your content, your social media, and your emails to your list. You can ask for and manage reviews right from your dashboard, and instead of having to update each individual business directory one at once, you can update over eighty of them by filling in your updates just once in our software.
Don’t make getting traffic more hard work than it needs to be.
Book a demo and see how our business intelligence marketing platform can do the work for you while you focus on helping your clients get incredible results in your gym.