Between the new Facebook page algorithm and the upcoming GDPR regulations, personal trainers are worried their existing marketing strategies are taking a nose dive. So what do you do to keep up a consistent flow of incoming leads when social media and potentially email marketing becomes less efficient?
My bet is on Search Engine Optimization (SEO). It's been working for decades but to get it right you need to understand how to use keywords in the copy of your fitness website and how to implement page and blog metadata. Here's how.
1. Your Website Copy
While titles, description and keywords form the primary component of your website SEO, your website copy is the main element that website owners need to skillfully master.
The main three components of your website copy SEO are:
Header tags stand for the headers you use in your copy and which must be SEO-optimized to enable high page ranking. There are two types of headers in a copy – the H1, which is the main header/title of the page and the H2, which refer to all headers used as sub-headings in the copy.
As a rule, use the primary keyword and primary location once in the H1. Each H2 must contain a secondary keyword, different each time. A secondary location can be added in one of the H2’s, although it’s not really essential.
David Knowles' Bootcamp in Coolock for dads has the below header on the Home page to inform the user where they landed AND tell Google what the page is about and in the sub-header (H2) it specifies the target market.
Your website copy is where the magic happens. The more copy you can add to your website, the better. But there's a fine line between too little copy that Google doesn't rank you and too much copy that you ruin the user experience.
My advice it to aim for 700 to 1,000 words and include an instance of your keywords in:
Image Alt text
The image alt text is the copy that is used to describe the images you use on the website. If the website fails to load correctly and your images aren’t visible, the alt text is displayed in its stead. Website visitors can gain a sense of what the image is about by reading the image alt text.
The rules for writing the image alt text are similar to that of the header tags. A primary keyword needs to be added, to SEO-optimize the alt text. Keep the description short and under 125 characters. Location can be avoided, unless necessary.
Next up. Meta data.
What's Meta Data?
Metadata is the important information that all personal trainer website owners must provide if they wish to improve their performance and visibility on search engines.
Metadata contains three basic elements:
Is this the first time you hear about metadata or you just didn't know what to use in those fields? Worry no more, here are 4 tips for you to improve your fitness website's SEO titles and descriptions.
2. Write Short and Concise Titles and Descriptions
Highly-effective metadata is that which is compact and to-the-point. Writing a short title and a concise description makes for an easy read and encourages web users to take a moment to read about your services.
You can use a Snippet Optimizer tool to calculate character limit and see how the metadata looks live online after you've written it.
An increase in character limit of metadata can leave behind a trailing tag or description that users will be unable to read fully. If this happens, your metadata can turn counterproductive and will become an element that deters people from visiting your website, especially if important details are in the cut out part of the description.
Try the snippet optimizer and see for yourself. We recommend 45-55 characters for the meta title and 150-155 for the meta description.
Example - the Home page of one of our My PT Website Clients:
Meta Title: Full Body Workhouse - A LIFESTYLE COMPANY
Meta Description: Full Body Workhouse personal trainers are the leaders in providing fun and exciting group fitness classes in Roscommon.
3. Avoid Keyword Stuffing
While it's important to include relevant keywords in your website copy, it's not hard to overdo it and end up committing keyword stuffing. The logic behind it can sound appealing: the more often you use a keyword, the greater the chances of your website being found and more personal training clients gained. But there’s nothing further from the truth.
Overusing keywords can result in your page being automatically marked down by the search engine for wrongful practices. A page that's chock-full of a keyword is devoid of any meaningful, useful and actionable content. It also ruins the reading experience for visitors.
Search engines like Google and Yahoo know this and they penalize websites that use the same keyword multiple times in the copy and meta by ranking it very low on their list.
As a rule, when writing copy for your website, use a single, page-specific primary keyword in the meta title and the same primary keyword with one secondary keyword and where relevant, one location in the meta description. Aiming to use synonyms to prevent repeating a single expression too many times is a great idae too. (See what I did there?)
4. Make the Most of Local SEO
Yep, even if you're an online personal training business.
Location optimization is one of the best ways to get heaps of targeted traffic to your website. When you specify a geographical area for your business, you create opportunities to be found by people in your area who have the greatest likelihood to convert to a paying client.
In other words there are people out there near you who are already looking for your personal training services. Including your location in your metadata will help them find you.
Check out some of the local rankings we helped our clients achieve.
When writing metadata, include a single, page-specific location in the meta title. If you serve multiple neighborhoods or cities, you can use the meta description to include all the locations other than the primary location.
Use different metadata for each page by using different combinations of locations.
If you want to add locations to each page, use secondary locations in your service page descriptions. You need the primary location only in the meta titles of the Home and Contact page.
Every fitness website designer platform will have its own tools to help you SEO-optimize your website. Feel free to check yours out and use the above tips to increase the chances of your website appearing in more relevant and high converting search results.
Have any questions? Leave a comment or get in touch!
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