For new personal trainers, or personal trainers looking to grow their existing business, establishing a strong online presence is a “no brainer”. Although the industry has traditionally been very hands on when it comes to marketing and sales (i.e. posters, handouts, and advertised promotions), leveraging the power of Google is essential to making the most of the business.
Personal Training – A Simple Business
There is a simple mindset when it comes to a personal training business. These businesses are very “hands on” and require little to no technology when compared to other service-based businesses (i.e. restaurant, retail store, or doctor’s office). All a personal trainer needs to be successful is knowledge, experience, good communication skills, and gravity. Free weights, cardio equipment, and other fitness accessories aren’t necessary to challenge a client and produce measurable results, but they definitely add more to the services a personal trainer can offer.
Because personal training is such a “hands on” profession, trainers struggle to find the time to market themselves and generate new business. Most personal trainers work really hard to build a client base and then “hope” they don’t ever leave. Unfortunately, that is not the best way to run a business.
The Internet has provided a brilliant way for personal trainers to market and advertise themselves (and their business) 24/7/365. It’s a marketing company that doesn’t need to sleep, eat, or take bathroom breaks! Although the internet has been available to most of us since the 1980’s, Google has changed the way people around the world communicate with one another and how we stay connected.
Google, the most used search engine (and #1 website in the world), is reported to have over 65 percent market share of searches in the US (according to a recent Parse.ly Authority report reviewing Internet traffic for July 2013). If you want to get noticed on the internet, and build your personal training business, you need to get to know the “rules” of Google!
Understanding Google Search
Google Search receives several hundred million queries each day. When a search term is put into the Google search bar, it searches through over 100 million gigabytes of data (3.6 billion pages – August 2013) to find the best possible answer to your request. At Google, they take their role in providing useful and impartial web results very seriously.
Google writes programs and formulas (a.k.a. algorithms) to deliver the best possible results each time. These formulas are constantly being improved to ensure the best results come up and that websites don’t “game the system” to show up higher than those who truly deserve recognition. For example, Google ranks results based on over 200 different factors (click here for more information).
Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is the culmination of activities that seeks to generate productive “organic” traffic (unpaid search engine results) from search engines (i.e. Google, Yahoo, Bing, etc.). Although SEO prior to 2012 was associated with marketing scams and unethical business practices, SEO is essential to business success on the internet.
- Content – Produce great (and unique) content.
- Links – Focus on building quality links pointing to your site.
- Social Media – Get people to share your content on social media sites (i.e. Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Pinterest, Instagram, etc.).
For more detailed information on the “Three Pillars of SEO”, click here.
Optimizing a Website Takes Time
Personal trainers looking to establish their business on the web need to establish an effective strategy for long-term success. As Google is getting better at filtering out websites that have used “loopholes” to obtain their high rankings (using black hat SEO techniques) a realistic timeline for a new website has gone from a few days to several months (or even years). Similar to starting a weight loss program, it takes time and consistent effort before you see tangible results. It may feel like a waiting game but by focusing on content, links and the social influence of your site, Google will handsomely reward those who follow the rules. For more information on timeline, click here.
Like all businesses, the most important time to advertise and market a business is at the beginning. Waiting a minimum of 12 to 24 months to get ranked high in Google Search is not a realistic option. Personal trainers who choose not to invest in a website, but want to leverage the internet to build their business, are also at a disadvantage.
Luckily, there are unique and inexpensive services for personal trainers that leverage the history and credibility of existing fitness websites to get their name established and drive business. Although personal trainer certification organizations and personal trainer listing websites provide services to list trainers on the internet, they do not actively promote individuals (or individual pages) that get individual trainers to the first page of Google. Their home page shows up but individual trainer profiles typically do not.
Simplefit.net, a website established in 2004, is focused on showcasing personal trainers in an effort to match them up with clients in their local area. Not only do they showcase individual trainers, they also establish a very high organic search engine ranking with Google Search (typically in less than 10 days)!!
Although it may sound too good to be true, Simplefit.net is the real deal. Simplefit.net can deliver on this promise because they have spent the last decade consistently developing quality content, establishing links to quality websites, and building a large social network. Personal trainers can sign up for a FREE personal trainer profile page and a listing in their global personal trainer directory. For more information, and to set up your FREE profile online, click here.
Final Thoughts …
The internet is a powerful tool to build your personal training business. Not only is it not going anywhere, people are becoming increasingly reliant on it for their everyday needs. Many businesses spend too much time making a website cool and/or beautiful and little time on search engine optimization. Regardless of how beautiful a personal training website looks, it if doesn’t show up in the Google, Yahoo or Bing search results … it might as well not exist. To build your personal training business for the long term, take the time to develop an effective strategy to improve your rankings and optimize your website.