The first and most important question you need to answer when discussing Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is what are your goals? Getting more traffic isn’t the right answer. Why do you want to get more traffic?
Do you want to improve your brand’s visibility?
Do you want to get more leads?
Do you want to sell more products directly online?
Do you want to develop a good reputation?
Get crystal clear on what you’re trying sell or promote and understand who your customer is. Would you rather have a million random visitors or ten thousand visitors who are interested in what your selling?
There are two aspects to SEO that we’ll discuss here: On-page and Off-page SEO.
You should ideally start with keyword research and determine what people are searching for in accordance to your product/brand. Once you develop a solid list, you can start optimizing your site.
- Header tags
- Alt Tags
- Meta Descriptions
- Title tags
Do not use spammy tactics such as keyword stuffing or hidden text.
This is sometimes referred to as “link-building”. This includes things like blogging, social media, promotions, etc. Getting links from high quality relevant sites can help you be more authoritative and trustworthy, therefore increasing your search ranking. For example, if you are a business consultant, it would probably help if Forbes linked to you in one of their online articles. It probably won’t help you if a bunch of spammy sites link to you and you don’t want to be associated with that.
Links can also send you direct traffic. Imagine if you sell your own custom shoes online and then Lady Gaga mentions your site on her Twitter account and links to it. You’ll probably get a massive influx of visitors directly.
Try to build relationships with people and they’ll naturally link to your site one way or another. You shouldn’t for this stuff to much be it becomes a spammy tactic. The search engines will punish you
It’s been said a million times, but “Content Is King”. That’s a true statement and you should focus on creating and sharing high quality and relevant content. Focus on your target market and you’ll start generating the traffic you want.
Optimizing for local search for your gym is crucial to getting leads online. Since you’re a gym or a fitness business, you’ll probably want people who are local to find you. If you’re located in Florida, it doesn’t help you get more members if you target people in California.
Here are the main ways to improve your local search:
- On-Site Optimization
- Google Places
- Social Media
We’ll go into each of these in detail.
- Use your city and state in your homepage title. It could look like this: <title>Awesome Gym in Venice, CA</title>
- Use a phone number on your pages with a local area code. Also, include the physical address of your gym.
- Use your location in your logos alt attribute. It would look like: <img src=”http://example.com/images/logo.png” alt=”Awesome Gym, Venice, CA”>
- Regularly blog and include content and images that are related to your local area.
- Display testimonials on your site, especially from people or businesses who are local.
Claim your listings on these citation sites and directories.
5. Merchant Circle
26. Discover our Town
28. EZ Local
37. Local Site Submit
41. Yellow Assistance
42. Get Fave
42. My Huckleberry
46. Magic Yellow
49. Navteq GPS
50. Judy’s Book
An easy way to get your listings setup is MOZ Local
- Ask your current clients to leave you reviews. After 5 reviews on Google Places you will unlock the star rating system. This really helps you stick out.
- Respond to negative reviews. Do not get into online battles with people. Be professional.
- Upload at least 5 photos including your logo. You can add videos as well.
- Upload the correct info such as addresses and phone numbers.
- Get more than five positive reviews to unlock the star rating.
- If you upgrade to premium you can create offers.
- Fill out a Google+ Local page.
- Create a Twitter profile
- Create a Facebook profile
- Create a YouTube account
- Claim your Foursquare business listing
This should be plenty to get your started on your local search journey. Remember, this isn’t a “set it and forget it” type of deal. You need to be actively working on this such as consistently getting review and being active on social media and blogging. If you go through everything on this list, you should definitely see a boost in your local rankings.