Local SEO Website Tips
Since you have a physical location, you have a huge benefit in your local market. Let’s use that to our advantage.
Let’s define local SEO?
I’m sure you have done a Google search and seen the results populate at the top of the page with the map, star ratings, address and phone number. This is local SEO. It has the potential to be the very first result on Google and can make a big difference when it comes to bringing new leads into your gym.
Step 1: Create a Google My Business page.
It is free and imperative you create a Google My Business page for your gym. This step shouldn’t take long at all. This will get your business hours, phone number and directions onto Google Search and Maps.
Make sure you add pictures of your business and add a solid description so people can get to know your brand directly from your Google My Business page. To verify this process, Google will manually send you a postcard with a pin so make sure to check your mail!
Step 2: Submit your business to local directories.
After you’ve entered your PIN and verified your Google My Business page, there are hundreds of local directories across the internet where your business needs to be submitted to.
We highly recommend a service that will take care of this for you. Through Moz Local, you can get your business submitted to hundreds of directories. The cost is approximately $99 per year, but this will be one of the most worthwhile investments you can make from a marketing standpoint.
Step 3: Get reviews.
Reviews on a Google My Business page won’t necessarily help increase rank. Just because you have more reviews than another gym doesn’t necessarily mean this will help you pass them in rankings. What reviews will help you do is increase your click-through rate, an important indicator to Google.
Reviews help establish credibility for your gym. When people are deciding between local gyms, they are likely going to read reviews. If they like what they read, there’s a good chance they are going to click on your gym. Google likes it when you have a high click-through on the search results because it means you are clearly providing value to the user (otherwise, they wouldn’t click on your site).
Starting with reviews on your Google My Business page is a great start. But, don’t forget about Yelp and Facebook. If you’ve only have time for one, focus on Google.
Tip: Don’t send a massive email out at once to all of your customers seeking reviews. This could raise a red flag to Google if you suddenly go from 0 reviews to 30. Be sure to stagger this out so the reviews are naturally coming in over time. We recommend setting a goal to get 5-10 reviews per month.
Step 4: Acquire local backlinks.
How exactly is Google determining which local business to populate in the “Google snack pack” results (Basically the 3 listings in the map section that show up first)?
There is a lot of correlation between the domain authority of your website and the local SEO results.
If you are unfamiliar with domain authority, it is a score (on a 100-point scale) developed by Moz that predicts how well a website will rank on search engines. To make a long story short, to increase domain authority, you need quality backlinks pointing back to your site from other websites.
For a local gym, it’s REALLY important that you have local links pointing back to your site. Do you have any massage therapists, chiro’s, PT’s, coffee shops, local restaurants, spas, etc. that could link to your website. Maybe offer to run a co-promotion with them to get a link easier. Get involved in the local community and get local businesses to link to your site and link to theirs. All of these backlinks are indicators to Google that you are a local business.
Step 5: Improve your on-site SEO. Fortunately, we take care of this for you:)
Google is not going to know you are a gym owner in Little Rock unless you make this clear on your website. Make sure to include your business name, address and phone number on your website. In the title tag of your site, reference your local and surrounding towns. On your contact page, make sure to list out directions to your gym so people can easily find your location.
Your local search results tie back to your website. Your website needs to be a true local indicator. Don’t go overboard though; there is no need to mention Little Rock on your homepage 48 times. Google will get the point if it is naturally worked into the verbiage throughout the site.