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Add visibility to your fitness centre with Google My Business

If you have ever done any Google search you will surely have noticed one thing: the search results are not all the same. In fact, when a search is performed, its results change according to the location set or that is automatically detected, either from a smartphone or from a computer.

In this regard, there are several factors that can help the website of a fitness centre to gain more visibility on search engines.

The set of techniques that act on these factors is called Local SEO (Search Engine Optimization). Many fitness centres still ignore it today, losing so many opportunities from potential users nearby and spending their budgets to attract people who will never access their services because they are too far away.

Among the various activities of Local SEO, one of the simplest and most important concerns the setting and optimization of the Google My Business page of one’s fitness centre.

What is Google My Business?

Google My Business is the content that appears in search results, both from Google and Google Maps, in dedicated boxes (local box).

For example, trying to perform the search "fitness London " –  and bear in mind that if you just type “fitness” while in London you will get the same result and a page containing at the top a box with a map and the first three results Google has considered the most relevant and valuable for the location in question. Note: the results are always shown in three, for which there is always the relative map.

How is a Google My Business page made?

A page typically contains all the relevant information to an activity: industry segment, address, telephone number, website, hours, location on the map and online reviews. In addition to this it also contains the images of the fitness centre divided into categories (outside the office, interiors, staff, etc.).

All this information, if not managed by the business owner, is automatically generated by Google, and it can be freely created and modified by other users.

In 40% of cases, business owners do not create or update a Google My Business page. As you can imagine, this often results in the display of incorrect or incomplete data, which inevitably follows a damage to the online and offline image of the center. This is a serious issue, since today the border between the two worlds is non-existent.

Putting the Google page of a club back in order

First of all, you need to check that the club page is already there or not. To do this, simply search for the club's name on Google. If it already exists, you will need to follow the procedure to claim ownership. Sometimes it may happen that the club card has already been claimed by an account that we do not have access to or which we are not aware of. In this case the best thing to do is to contact Google’s customer care.
In case the card is not yet present it will be necessary to create it from scratch, providing Google with all the club information through the control panel of Google My Business. Once this has been done, you can set the contents of the card, starting from the images:

  • a profile image
  • a logo
  • a cover image
  • exterior, interior, staff and services / products images.
The choice of images should not be secondary: in fact, there is the opinion of your club at stake, so it is preferable that the images used are professional ones, made by experts. Furthermore, it will be important to keep these contents always updated over time.

Once you have taken care of the images, you can set the information of the activity, providing as much data as accurate and precise: for example, a description of the activity containing the keywords and the link to the site, opening and closing times and so on. In the case of a fitness centre with multiple locations in the area, My Business allows you to create multiple pages with the same account, one for each location.

Feedback is your best advertisement

Once you have provided all of this basic information to Google, it will be important to get a good number of verified reviews from club members. The reviews are very important for branding, reputation, indexing and, in this case, also for the glance in the search results of the stars with relative number and average of the votes received.

Working on reviews is a decisive factor for the success of your business.

Statistical data at hand, 97% of people read online reviews on local businesses and 90% of these are influenced by both negative and positive opinions for their purchase decision. It happens to almost everyone to do an online search and choose with their eyes closed simply the best alternative based on the stars of the reviews.

Another element in favor of the reviews is observed with the results that appear in local boxes. The reviews in fact do not affect only the "human" decision factor, but also the position that the Google algorithm assigns to the activities inside the box.

Unleash your ingenuity with your club's posts and stats

Posts are the latest news from Google My Business. They can be considered as a kind of blog linked to your page. In the event that a centre already has an institutional blog, an excellent strategy can be to publish the abstracts of the articles in your My Business tab, reporting in each post the link to the extended article on the website. This work, if done by providing interesting content and highlighting the right keywords, can be an excellent channel of acquisition to bring potential subscribers to get closer to their centre.

Even for this container, Google will obviously reward the website with a better positioning with the best content (for quality, ability to intercept, interaction).

One last aspect of Google My Business, which is not always exploited, is its search statistics engine. Even in this case, reading the statistics is very simple and can say a lot about the condition of the club's Local SEO.

For example, some of the visible data among the statistics is the way customers look for the business. This can be done either by direct search, that is, by reading the traffic of people who find the business card by looking for the name or address, or by discovery (organically) - with the traffic of people who find the card looking for a category, a product or a service.

In short, why is Google My Business important for a fitness centre?

  • You can intercept, with minimum financial effort, people geographically close to your centre in search of fitness and/or movement activities.
  • It allows to show, through the positive reviews, all the satisfaction of your clients, exploiting the powerful psychological leverage of social proof.
  • Being able to be present in the first three results of the local box means being in the eyes of your local community, in one of the most important showcases of both Google and Google Maps.

In conclusion, verifying, optimizing and managing the information on your Google My Business listing may seem challenging at first, but it's definitely worth it to be found easily on search engines, remaining competitive on the market with a few simple steps.

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