Need tips on SEO for personal trainers? Read these must-have SEO tips from an experienced blogger and personal trainer.
Hi, I’m Chantal!
I’m a mom, blogger, and NASM certified personal trainer.
I have been blogging for about six years now. With that experience under my belt, I’d love to share a bit of what I’ve learned with other personal trainers.
I remember the days of being a new blogger very clearly. Well, I remember mostly just how confusing and overwhelming it was. 🙂
Whether you’re interested in SEO for your gym’s website or for a personal fitness blog, it can be hard to know where to begin.
But if you’re here, you’re already ahead of the game. I know many personal trainers who are tired of trading their time for dollars. They have yet to tap into the world of online personal training, web marketing, or just blogging for profit in general.
Many of them simply don’t know where to start. Still, others don’t even know just how much opportunity there is out there.
But you do!
If you’re here, you probably already have a website. Since you’re reading about SEO, you probably have been working on your virtual marketing for some time.
SEO is not really for beginners, after all! It’s something that you focus on once you start to get serious about your personal training business or web presence.
What is SEO?
SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization. In short, it’s a strategy used to help your web content gain traction on platforms like Google. If you can do well with Search Engine Optimization, you’ll be able to get more clicks and leads, and therefore, more exposure. (And potentially, business!)
Of course, SEO is a little bit more complicated than making a few tweaks here and there to your content. There are many different factors that play into getting found on Google and other search engines.
While Google hasn’t shared all of its algorithm’s secrets with us, we do know of some factors that definitely contribute to “getting found.”
Factors That Contribute To SEO (& SEO For Personal Trainers)
Here are a few of the things that we know contribute to our ranking and search visibility in Google. Keep in mind that various factors are weighted differently – though we don’t know exactly how.
- Site/domain age
- Links to your site
- Content quantity and quality
- Site speed
Now, I am aware that these are pretty big and broad factors here. And, there are definitely other factors that contribute.
Don’t worry – I’m going to make SEO for personal trainers much clearer. For now, however, let’s focus on understanding the significance of SEO.
What is the point of SEO for personal trainers?
Without SEO efforts for your fitness business, you are extremely limited. If you have a website, you will need to manually promote it.
By that I mean that you will need to share about your site and services via good old-fashioned business cards, or you’ll need to promote it via social media.
If you’ve worked on building a social media presence at all, you know that it takes time and planning to gain traction. And, in truth, what you share on social media is limited to people who “like” or “follow” you already – for the most part.
With search engine optimization, you have the opportunity to see evergreen traffic. Not only this, but you have the opportunity to get “seen” or discovered by new potential clients and followers.
Due to the algorithms and nature of so many social media platforms, your visibility is super low unless you are a celebrity brand.
With SEO for personal trainers and/or fitness SEO, you have the potential ability to expand your reach far beyond what you can with social media.
Moreover, you don’t need to constantly promote your content if you’ve done a good job at search engine optimization. Once you are ranking well for your health and wellness keywords, you may see traffic start to roll in over a much longer period of time.
This is extremely valuable both for brick-and-mortar businesses, as well as businesses that offer online personal training or other virtual services. Plus, you don’t typically have to pay anything for SEO – compared to the costs of promoting posts on social media.
So let’s get to those SEO tips for your digital marketing efforts as a personal trainer.
*Please note that the following tips about fitness SEO and search optimization for personal trainers assumes you already have a website for your business. If you don’t, please see this post about how to start a fitness blog.
SEO For Personal Trainers (5 Must-Have Tips)
1. Go Long
I’m referring to what are known as “long-tail keywords.” For whatever reason, it took me a long time to figure out that my keywords needed to be longer.
You see, I used to think it was a good idea to use broad keywords like “weight loss” and “tips for bloggers.” The fact is that there are millions of people searching those terms. Along with that, there is a ton of competition.
The problem is not just that it’s hard to compete under such broad search terms.
Without getting more specific with your search terms (and longer), you are unlikely to find just the right person to click through to your content.
For example, if I were to type in the search term, “weight loss” into Google, the results would be insane. It would pop up with weight loss tips, weight loss products, before and after weight loss pictures, and a number of other related results.
But the fact is that each person shows up to Google with a pretty specific search intent. Most people aren’t looking for weight loss in general – they already have something more specific in mind. This is the user intent.
If you were to type in something more specific (and again, longer), you’d be more likely to find the right person. Something as specific as, “weight loss tips for new moms” would help Google match you up to the right person.
You’ve now found someone who is much more likely to click on your link and read your blog post. That’s because this person really wasn’t looking for weight loss in general. They were looking for:
- weight loss tips
- weight loss tips specifically for women
- weight loss tips for new moms
- weight loss tips for someone in a very specific period in their life
By using the more-specific, long-tail keyword, you have eliminated a TON of competition. This might sound like a bad thing, but in reality, it will help to increase your chances of being found at all.
Not only this, it will help people who actually want to read what you have to say. This will minimize the amount of people that reach your site only to leave immediately because they’ve found the wrong thing.
So – first tip on SEO for personal trainers = be specific and longer with keywords!
2. Analyze Your Keywords
For the longest time, I didn’t do keyword research for my fitness niche keywords because I was more concerned with social media strategies than SEO. This is a big mistake, to say the least.
But what was happening was that I was taking shots in the dark each time I “guessed” on my keyword selection.
I picked fitness niche keywords based on what I thought people might search for. You’ll see exactly why this is a mistake when you finally start doing keyword research.
There are two major problems here.
Firstly, if you pick keywords out of your brain alone, you run the risk of a low or non-existent search volume. This means that there might not actually be people using those exact search terms in Google or other search engines. It’s either just not something people look for in those exact terms, or it’s just not popular.
This doesn’t mean that people aren’t searching for those topics, it may just mean that they aren’t using those exact terms.
There’s a lot of lingo, personal experience, and other factors that contribute to the way we word things. Especially in search engine results. We don’t always talk the way we would search for something, either.
By doing just a little bit of keyword research, we can see what Google suggests based on topic search history.
The second problem with not analyzing your keywords is that you may select a keyword that is difficult to rank for. Unless you have an established website that ranks well with a great domain authority and everything, you need to consider the existing competition.
The number of search engine results may be in the millions.
Even when you use long-tail keywords, you may run into very popular topics that are difficult to rank for. So even though the search volume might be high, there might be a lot of other websites already covering the topic.
Not only this, but some of them will have a higher domain authority (meaning they are established, powerful, and authoritative as a website) than you do. This means that should you choose to spend your time and effort writing about a specific keyword, you may never rank on that coveted “first page” of Google.
How I Do Keyword Research
I recently started doing extensive research on each of my keywords before I write a post. Now I’m able to see how much search volume there is for each keyword, how hard it is to rank for it, take a look at the competitors, and see what related keywords are suggested for each one.
I do this using a valuable tool called KeySearch. It’s affordable, super user-friendly, and will help you big-time. It helps me figure out whether a keyword is worth my time or not, which pays off every single time! (If you sign up using my link, you can get 20% off using my code: KSDISC)
3. Use LSI In Your Content
What is LSI, you ask? It stands for latent semantic index. But in other words, we’ll describe it as relevant or synonymous keywords.
Using these helps Google and other search engines understand your content. This ensures that it is as relevant as possible to the search engine user and the keyword they searched.
Here’s an example. Let’s say that you want to write about your, “upper body workout using dumbbells.” You would want to use similar language or keyword alternatives, like these:
- dumbbell arm workout
- weight lifting workout
- upper body workout with weights
- arm workout with weights
- dumbbell upper body workout
There could be more, of course. But hopefully you get the idea. Using terms super similar to your keyword will not only help reinforce your keyword and topic in Google, it can also help you rank for those synonymous keywords.
So sprinkle them throughout your work!
One more thing – I also do a little research on my LSI before adding them to my posts. This ensures that my keywords match what other people are searching – not just what my brain thinks they do. If you are a fitness professional, it can be easy to use technical or scientific fitness lingo that the average Joe (or Jane!) might not be using.
I do this two ways to ensure I’m doing my best SEO for personal trainers.
One is with a quick Google search using my keyword. This gives me all of the suggested search terms. I take a quick look at the terms used by the top ranking posts, and then I down below to, “People also searched for” and write down those terms.
Secondly, I take note of everything in Keysearch. I plug my keyword into two of their tools – the regular “Keyword Research” tool, and the “Content Assistant.” Using these, you will see keyword suggestions that might be great to use.
But perhaps more importantly, you will see what keywords and LSI other bloggers and personal trainers are using to get them ranking on the first page. (This is under “must words” in the Content Assistant.)
You will also see how long the highest ranking posts are on average. So if you were planning to be able to compete and actually rank, you’ll have an idea of how long your content needs to be.
*If the average top-ranking posts for the keyword I want to use is over 4,000 words, I often opt for another keyword. There are some topics that are just SO hard to write about in that depth. It’s not worth my time if I am not going to rank after all of that work!
4. Install the YOAST SEO plugin.
If you are using WordPress to build your site, this should be fairly easy. The YOAST plugin will help you write SEO-friendly content for your fitness website. When you choose health and wellness keywords, the plugin will tell you if you’ve used your chosen keyword in the best possible way to get found.
It will literally give you a “green light” if you’ve done well and optimized your pages or blog posts. Here’s what it will help you with:
- Content length
- Under or over-use of your keyword given your content’s length
- Use of LSI
- Meta description
- Heading use
- Other minor SEO best practices
If you are new to SEO for personal trainers, the YOAST SEO plugin will help you learn to write with search engine optimization in mind. It’s free, so it’s a no-brainer.
5. Get Google Search Console.
Google Search Console will help you understand how much traffic you’re getting from Google, as well as what terms you’re ranking for. While Google Analytics will help you understand it in a vague sense, you won’t get the same specific metrics that you do with Console.
Sign up for your free Google Search Console account and connect it to Google Analytics for the best metrics. This will help you track your rankings in Google and understand what visitors are clicking on in terms of health and wellness keywords.
You can then track your SEO over time and use those insights to propel your upward growth. 🙂 I use it to keep me motivated when I feel like I’m not making progress. Take a look at my year-over-year ranking improvement via Google Console:
I hope that these fitness SEO tips help your personal training business! When done correctly, your digital marketing efforts should help you find new clients and make more sales.
Hopefully this helps you take your personal training business to a new level.
Have any other tips on SEO for personal trainers?
Share about your SEO strategies for fitness professionals by leaving a comment below!