You say you’ve got the best CrossFit community in your area.
You finally built yourself a new website (2 years ago.)
It feels like you’ve spoken to every SEO, SEM, PPC, OMG expert in the country.
So, the question remains: Why are you having trouble gaining more members? We have spoken to over 1000 CrossFit gyms around the world, listening intently both to success stories and shortcomings. We used all that data to compile our top 7 ways to improve your CrossFit SEO:
1. Optimize for mobile
- We’ve all seen the “MobileGeddon” ads. Being mobile-friendly is now a huge requirement for search engine rankings with Google and Bing. If your website is not mobile-friendly, its ranking will drop significantly.
- Almost half of all website traffic is now mobile. If your website was originally designed specifically for desktop, it won’t perform well on a much smaller screen with slower internet.
- The mobile audience is primarily looking for different things:
- How to call you
- Shorter bits of information
2. Tell your distinctive story
- People have HEARD of CrossFit, but people don’t REALLY really know what CrossFit is. This is an opportunity for you to use your website to proactively tell your story – not the story told by everyone else and TV stations.
- Potential members need help in understanding the difference between CrossFit and other alternatives. Everyone understands the traditional fitness models of GloboGyms or specialty Yoga and Spin studios. Community driven group functional fitness requires far more explanation if you want to earn the right to charge premium rates.
- Most local markets are already saturated with multiple CrossFit. It is now time to create your own unique brand of fitness and help people understand what makes you different from other CrossFit gyms! Do you have a community of CrossFit for women? CrossFit for Kids? CrossFit for sci-fi fans? Show this off front and center with your website.
3. Aim at new members and ASK FOR SIGNUPS
- Your website should target people who don’t know much about you or about CrossFit in general. THESE are your potential clients. Save the pictures of ripped athletes doing snatches for an “Advanced Class” page and store the day’s workouts in a “Members” section.
- The primary reason visitors leave your website without inquiring further is that they do not understand it or they are intimidated by the idea of an exclusive community. By talking to Firebreathers about 205 LB Snatches AMRAP, you are missing out on the chance to educate newbies.
- Calls to action are key for any CrossFit website. When your website educates people properly about your product, you earn the right to ask them how to get in touch with them. Showing visitors where they can easily enter their information will increase contact with potential clients a lot earlier in their decision-making process.
4. Make sure you are found in maps
- People are often just looking for the 3 or 4 closest Crossfit gyms to choose from. Showing them where you are and how they can get to you is a no brainer.
- Having a fully filled out Google+ page is a requirement to be featured prominently in Maps (the lettered listings that show up at the top of your Google search.) The more reviews you have associated with your map listing, the higher your gym will be listed.
- While it might feel like nobody uses Bing anymore, it is still the default browser on Windows computers with Internet Explorer. We see the Bing map listing as the most forgotten listing in fitness. This is a missed opportunity!
5. Boost your SEO by focusing on long-tail keywords and by being featured in local publications
- Everyone always asks about the magic of SEO, and at times it certainly feels more like black magic than a science. The bottom line is that having the domain name CrossFit(your city).com will all but guarantee you being number one if someone simply searches CrossFit in the area. Number two is up for grabs and so is what is known as long-tail keywords. these are more specific keywords such as “women’s CrossFit in (your city)” or “CrossFit for kids in (your neighborhood).”
- One of the easiest ways to boost your search engine score is by getting your business listed in local publications such as “The Top Ten Gyms in Boston” and asking partners to add your link to their site as well. While it may feel frivolous to simply be described as the best, that inbound link is valuable in order to optimize for Google searches.
- It is important to seek out listings for more program-specific keywords. To be listed for a term like “interval training” or “personal training” in a city, you need to have a lot of content on your site describing the specific program.
6. Automate contact form responses
- If we haven’t made this clear yet, I will say it again: ASK PEOPLE FOR THEIR NAME, E-MAIL, and PHONE NUMBER or they will not give it to you. If you don’t feel comfortable asking for their phone number, how can you ask them to sign up for a gym membership totaling close to $2000 a year? A website that educates and builds trust with potential members will make this a lot easier.
- It’s hard to answer people right away because you are probably busy coaching or running your business. Wouldn’t be great if an automated “You” could answer their most basic questions right away? This is possible using e-mail automation tools such as auto-replies.
- Okay. So you’ve called your leads but they didn’t pick up. But how do you remember to follow up with them? Please don’t say sticky notes. Using a CRM (Customer Relationship Management) tool is key in tracking any potential member who expresses interest in your gym.
7. Optimize your scheduling software to work for you
- There are a ton of tools out there to help you run your gym. Mindbody, Zenplanner, Wodify, Facebook, Instagram, WordPress – How do you get these tools all to talk to each other so that when you add something to your blog, it shows up on Facebook? How do you ensure that when updating your schedule through Mindbody it will immediately show up correctly?
- Understanding all of the complexities of these relationships is hard when the tools themselves are constantly changing. It is important to have a provider or system in place that ensures all updates run smoothly without leaving broken functionality on your site to turn away would-be clients.