Local SEO Tips for Gym & Fitness Centers


People often search Google for gyms and fitness centers in their neighborhoods. They usually pick the top results and sign up with them.
If you want your gym listed among the top search results, you must invest in local SEO. Also, below is the screenshot showing the gigantic search volume and traffic potential it has.
Thus, using the right local SEO tactics can help your gym business dominate any local competitors.

11 Local SEO Tips & Tricks for Gyms

1. Add Maps and NAP Information

Add a map of your gym location on your website. It is one of the most helpful ways for visitors to decide if your location is easy to commute from their residence.
For example, take a look at this screenshot having a location map that directly shows users the direction and how far they are from it.
Ensure that the Name, Address, and Phone number (NAP) is updated. It should reflect consistent information across your website and other online platforms.
If you want to succeed at local SEO, NAP consistency is vital. Any mismatch in it across platforms sends a negative signal to Google. It hurts the 'confidence' score used by Google to rank your website.
Here are our best tips to check NAP consistency:

  • Google your gym phone numbers, including old ones. Work on updating or removing old numbers.
  • Use the Moz Local Search tool. It helps you weed out the most inconsistent listing data.

2. Optimize Your Google My Business (GMB) Profile

Signing up on Google My Business (GMB) increases your chances of featuring in Google's local 3-pack and top search results.
Featuring in local 3-pack increases CTR, mentions (backlinks), and, most importantly, revenue.
But just signing up and claiming your gym business is not enough.
You must optimize it too. Doing so will give your gym an edge over others around you. Your prospects will find lots of valuable information that can motivate them to sign up with you.
So, how do you optimize your GMB profile?
Here are our top tips:

  • Select an appropriate category. It makes a huge difference in Google results. You can change it at any time.
  • Lookup articles that guide you on featuring your positive Facebook or Yelp! Reviews on GMB. More positive reviews instill customer confidence.
  • Upload crowd-sourced images and videos of your gym. Avoid using stock or copyrighted images.

3. Research The Best Local Keywords

Local keyword research helps find keywords or phrases people use online when searching for local products and services.
Take a look at the below screenshot. This shows trending words that locals are using to find your product/service.
Furthermore, this research reveals top ranking sites on SERP that you should beat to secure the top spot.
Keyword research is the first step to great local SEO results.
Apart from the obvious keywords, you must focus on other services you offer that can make your gym stand out.
For example, apart from words like "gym" or "fitness," also target terms like "core training" or "dieting guide."
There are paid and free tools that make local keyword research a breeze. Here are our top three:

4. Make the Website Mobile-friendly

Local SEO for mobile is the practice of making your website look great on a mobile device.
Take a look at the below trend from Statista, showing that audiences smartphone users around the globe have increased exceptionally and are expected to continue the trend. This is crucial as more than 40% of local searches are done on a mobile device.
The below image shows a website that looks bad on the phone is bad for business. It frustrates customers and positions your gym business in a negative light.
Optimize your website for mobile devices. It makes a big impact on your gym footfalls and SEO rankings. There are many easy ways to do it.
Here are our top tips:

  • Focus on the end-user experience. Make navigating the site easy and menus and buttons clearly labeled.
  • Work on improving the site load speed. It has a direct impact on SEO rank and user experience.
  • Avoid too many pop-ups and ads. It can be distracting.

5. Harness Social Media

Social media has emerged as a boon for local business owners. It can help your gym gain visibility at little or no cost. Set up a business page on Facebook or Instagram to drive more traffic to your gym and website.
Take a look at 24hourfitness gym is highly active on Facebook and Instagram by posting regular fitness images and videos. This will reach many audiences organically and build a positive impression among them.
People will often visit a local business on Facebook or Instagram before paying a visit.
How you can harness social media for great local SEO and business is endless.
Here are our most successful tactics:

  • Use social media to make announcements, run contests, and share details about sales.
  • Use social media scheduling tools to post on specific days automatically.
  • Share videos of exercise equipment or people performing exercises. Add an engaging caption about the video.
  • Post real customer testimonials and video reviews on your channel.

6. Create Engaging Local Content

Content about fitness and general topics in that space is great. However, your competitor may also be doing it. How do you stand out?
Featuring content about local events and happenings is a great way to reach more people in your community. Local content is excellent to boost your brand once you have gathered a modest number of followers.
There are many strategies to use local content to maximum effect. We share our favorites below:

  • Write about local events and share news stories in local papers. For example, you can cover a famous carnival in town along with great pictures or videos. Or, as in the image below, you can conduct weight lifting, weight loss, or other competition programs.
  • Create content about fitness with a local flavor. For example, you can write about the best parks in the neighborhood for joggers.
  • Encourage residents to share guest blogs or articles revolving around fitness.

7. Create Interactive Online Gym Tours

People like to see pictures and videos of a gym before they visit. You can be sure that all the gyms in your neighborhood have shared such content on their website or social media. How do you get more attention?
The answer lies in creating cutting-edge interactive and 360-degree videos of your gym premises. These types of videos are more immersive than regular videos. They go a long way in lead generation.
There are many free and premium tools to create these immersive experiences:

  • Videoproc Vlogger: Lets you create stunning 360 and VR videos. It's compatible with Mac and Windows.
  • Pinnacle Studio: A premium video editing tool with tons of cool 360 video creation and editing features.
  • VSDC: A free video editor that's best suited for small gyms. It has a great suite of features to create and edit videos.

8. Feature Case Studies and Testimonials

Featuring case studies and customer testimonials is a great way to inspire people. It can motivate them to join your gym. Case studies are informative.
They provide real-time examples of how well you function as a business. It gives them a peek into your approach to fitness.
Additionally, the customers tell your gymnasium story, market it, and make it stand out from the competition. Here’s a gym that posted has customer’s video testimonials on their website.
Make sure to feature the top case studies and testimonials from your clients. Post them on your website as well as any social media channels.
A few tips to bear in mind while putting together a compelling case study:

  • Chronicle your client's fitness journey. Talk about their fitness goals when they came in and the routine you put together to help them achieve them.
  • Include 'before' and 'after' pictures to show the fitness transformation after coming to your gym.

9. Work on Your Linking Strategy

Your website's local and internal links are vital to a healthy local SEO rank.
A local link redirects back to your website and gives you a chance to reach your audience. It could be a story in a local newspaper or online blog that has cited your gym name.
Take a look at the below example where this gym is named in some local news magazines.
An organic rise in such links is good for your reputation with search engines.
A few link building strategies you can use to get higher reach with local audiences are:

  • Create internal links to navigate between content on your website,
  • Reach out to the local press, bloggers, and other influencers and try to build quality backlinks to your site.
  • Run regular link checker scans to identify broken and invalid links.

10. Create and Execute a Strong Content Strategy

A gym offers a wealth of opportunities to showcase quality content. It could be about general fitness and nutrition or specific regimens. People of all walks of life find such content valuable.
Planning and executing a solid content strategy can make the difference for your local SEO rankings. Quality and accurate content on fitness has the potential to go viral. It brings your gym visibility and a good reputation in local circles.
A few tips for executing a winning content strategy are as follows:

  • Create a content calendar. Plan your blogs, videos, and social media posts well in advance.
  • Research your competitors to see the type of content they share. Use it as a reference to deliver better quality content.
  • Use your target keywords sensibly across your content. Audit their performance regularly.

11. Ask Clients for Google Reviews

Positive reviews about your gym have a lot of benefits. It is marketing for your gym free of charge. It helps in creating a loyal following for your brand.
Here’s Martech Zone statistics showing how the Google reviews influence the audience. Showcasing more favorable reviews is excellent for your gym's image.
Getting more reviews is that not all customers find the time or inclination. A person may love your gym but probably won't go home after a workout to tap out a review. Therefore, it helps to ask them for it directly. A gentle nudge to share a good review is often rewarded.
Here are a few ways you can encourage more reviews:

  • Ask a client while they are at the gym to write a short review.
  • Reward clients who post a positive review with goodies or free sessions.

Local SEO for Gyms - FAQs

1) How Do I Know I Need Local SEO?

If you own a brick-and-mortar business, you need local SEO. A gym is a physical location that people search for in a neighborhood. Investing in local SEO boosts your chances of being found online by prospective clients.

2) Can I Do Local SEO by Myself?

If you are a small gym and cash-strapped, you can do several things on your own to boost local SEO ranks. This includes social media campaigns, sharing positive reviews, and link building. If you can afford it, hire a professional.

3) What is a Successful Strategy for Local SEO?

A successful local SEO strategy focuses on keywords and quality content. Besides these elements, you must work on link building. Other aspects such as site loading time also play a vital role in any local SEO strategy.

Key Takeaways

  • Create a solid content strategy for your gym website. A gym is a perfect candidate for local SEO.
  • Feature customer reviews and testimonials often and prominently. They are a powerful way to attract new customers.
  • Harness the power of social media to boost your gym's visibility and keep in touch with your loyal followers.
  • Create content for the community with a unique local flavor. It helps you strengthen the bond with residents.
  • Use a wide range of free and premium tools for keyword research and on-page optimization tasks.
  • Track key local SEO metrics often and course correct your strategy as needed.

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