The Top 5 Ways to Get Local Leads For Your Fitness Business

Fitness companies operate in a competitive market. In any given geographic region, hundreds of rivals attempt to win business from a limited pool of clients. Data suggests there are more than 201,000 health and fitness clubs worldwide, so it’s a crowded industry.
In this environment, fitness professionals need lead-generating strategies that help them win. They need to be smart, using all available tools to their advantage. Those who reach out effectively online will see their success snowball, while those who don’t will stagnate.

The following are the top five ways to get local leads for your fitness business. Read on to learn more.

#1. Prioritize Local Reviews

Reviews are a form of what marketers call “social proof.” Instead of relying on your regular advertising materials to convince leads to buy from you, you use your past customers instead.

Reviews are significantly more critical than many personal trainers believe. For instance, most clients don’t trust conventional advertising. According to Edelman’s Trust Barometer, three-quarters of consumers say that they avoid advertising altogether, preferring other channels to get quality information on brands.

Furthermore, reviews have an observable effect on revenues. According to Yelp data, a one-star increase in business rating leads to a 5 to 9 per cent increase in revenues. Therefore, you will want to prioritize your review collection process.

You can set up a review function on Google by applying for a Google My Business account. To do this, you’ll need to apply online and then fill out a form with a unique code in the post. Whenever you win a new customer, ask them to write a review of your services and post it on one of the top review platforms (usually Google, TrustPilot, Yelp and Facebook). You can then send them emails with links for reviewing your services.

#2. Optimize Local Ads

Local ads are a geographically relevant form of advertising. They’re essential for fitness businesses because they usually only recruit customers from the local area. If you target audiences nationally or internationally, you’ll waste money (unless you have widely distributed locations).

Both Facebook and Google allow you to target leads based on geographic parameters. For instance, you can tell these platforms to only display ads to people searching for you in specific areas or using location-relevant keywords. For example, you might say to Google Ads to display advertising only when users type “personal trainer New York” into the search bar, not just “personal trainer.”

When optimizing ads for the local area, do the following:

  • Tailor them to the region you’re targeting. Make it clear to users that you operate locally
  • Offer something exclusive that’s only available in your city or county
  • Create ad copy that reflects the type of language your target audience might use
  • Time your ads to appear when people in your local area are most likely to buy from you

Paid ads are expensive, but you can generate a significant return on your investment if you get them right. If you use ads, focus on conversions – targeting paying customers only.

#3. Post On Directories

While Google and Facebook dominate the internet, they are not the only players in town. In fact, there are dozens of smaller sites, all offering directors your audience can use to find you.

Yelp is a good example. It receives a high traffic volume among people searching for local companies, particularly fitness businesses. Other large directories include Yahoo!, Bing, Instagram, LinkedIn, YellowPages, Manta, Local and Foursquare.

You can also become a member of online fitness groups on Facebook. By actively engaging with audiences interested in your niche, you stand a better chance of winning customers. Try to target local groups with lots of members since these are most likely to generate leads.

#4. Flesh Out Your Social Media Account

Users looking for personal training services expect to be able to find you on social media. Before they formally contact you, they’ll want to check you out, learn more about what you do and figure out whether you can help them.

For you, this is a tremendous opportunity. Social media platforms give you scope to tailor the user experience and communicate the value of your offering.

At heart, social platforms are a tool that you can use to engage with your audience. According to a 2019 Buffer Report, 73 per cent of marketers believe that social media marketing is either “somewhat effective” or “very effective” at helping them achieve their business goals.

You can make your fitness business Facebook page more local by including location-specific details on your feed. Pay homage to SEO by incorporating local keywords in your company description, posts, tags and bios.

You can also get thoroughly involved in the community and post details about local events. For instance, you might organize a sports day for children at a nearby playing field and report it to your Facebook followers.

#5. Optimize Website Keywords

Lastly, you’ll need to optimize your website keywords. Remember, search engines won’t automatically forward people to your website. Search algorithms require you to make your copy specific to your target area.

Start your keyword research by asking yourself about the type of keywords people are likely to type into search engines when looking for services like yours. Pick two or three “pillar keywords” and then use keyword tools to discover related keywords.

For instance, you might type “personal trainer new york” into a keyword tool and get the following suggestions and more:

  • Personal trainer New York
  • Personal training near me
  • Training classes New York City
  • Fitness club NYC

Here’s an example from Answer the Public:

You can then select the keywords relevant to your business and insert them into your website titles, body copy, meta titles and image tags. You can also deploy them on your Google My Business page and any other third-party content you have on the web.

Including long-tail keywords (keywords with two or more words) is a good idea since competition for them is often lower, and relevance to your business is higher. The more extended questions can give you some ideas on what topics to discuss in your content marketing.


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