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In recent years, the fitness industry has benefited greatly from the growing awareness and focus towards improving health and wellness, especially within the United States. With motivations ranging from improved fitness levels, athletic performance, physical appearance, and overall health/well-being, the future of the now 28 billion dollar industry that is health and fitness in the United States remains optimistic.
Believe it or not, the majority of fitness clubs within the United States lose up to 50 percent of their members every year. In order to perform successfully long-term, players in the industry need to improve retention of customers, but also allocate consistent efforts towards bringing in new ones as well.
However, in an industry that operates with relatively low barriers to entry, the amount and quality of competition is constantly growing. In order to combat high levels of competition, it is important for marketers to differentiate their products and services through a customer-centric lense. This means not only offering customers superior experiences, but understanding the interests, needs and desires of potential customers throughout their research. So, let’s think about the actual people typing the word “treadmill” into their search engines.
Most simply put, people looking to join a gym or fitness program value the feeling of acceptance or a welcoming and comfortable atmosphere significantly. For a lot of people, the goal of improving personal health and fitness can be uncomfortable and daunting to pursue, especially at the start of their research. Developing a business model that emphasizes inclusivity and a personalized experience can help to differentiate players in the fitness industry in a positive light. One potential customers in the fitness industry could be looking for an entirely different experience than the next, so it’s important to keep that in mind throughout your swooning process. If you’re able to grab the attention of both the Dwayne The Rock Johnson and the guy working out for the first time in 15 years, you’ll be able to optimize your target market breadth. Focus on your worthwhile leads, and dive deeper into understanding what really makes them tick.
So, you’ve put together an inclusive brand image and some aesthetically pleasing landing pages – now what? Don’t get sucked in to overspending to try to outbid every gym in the country on keywords with the most impressions. Rather, focus your highest bidding on geo-targeted keywords in order to ensure the traffic on your website is generating the most valuable and promising leads. If you’re noticing low conversions and high traffic, think about taking a look into negative keywords for another way to do your best to ensure you’re reaching the right people.
If you’re a workout facility in Massachusetts that’s spending significant resources to outbid all the gyms on the West Coast for the keyword “treadmill,” there are better ways to allocate your budget. While the implementation of those high-search-volume keywords might increase initial traffic to your site, chances are as soon as people get to your site and notice you’re located on the opposite side of the country, they’ll bounce (literally, your bounce rate could suffer). Concentrate your efforts on beating your competition on location specific keywords, ensuring that the traffic on your site is potential customers close enough to purchase a membership.
If you’re not selling memberships to a gym or physically attended workout classes, geo-targeted keywords aren’t necessarily as paramount. In the case of selling gym equipment or workout plans/programs, focusing on building content for your site can not only increase your traffic and search ad optimization, but can differentiate your product or service from others in the industry. It can also be a great way to establish your business as a trusted and reputable source for information, which can potentially translate into worthwhile leads.
Along with making your website reflect your expertise in the fitness industry, adding user-friendly, approachable and passionate content can help people get excited about your offerings over that of your competition. People join gyms and purchase/explore fitness products/tools for guidance because they don’t already belong to or own them, so, chances are they could feel a little uncomfortable towards the lifestyle change. Focus your marketing efforts on making that transition comfortable and accommodating, and create content to build a relationship with customers. If you’re producing high-level products/services and customers feel a sense of belonging in an often intimidating industry, they’re more likely to stick around.
For more fitness marketing tips, tricks, and trends, check out the WordStream blog.