“Google keeps the lid on their 11 herbs and spices of page ranking sealed very tight, but here’s some basic SEO for Personal Trainers to follow to be easily found by their target audience.”
Find out the basic need-to-knows of SEO for Personal Trainers.
What is Search Engine Optimisation (SEO)?
SEO means making changes to your website in a way that will encourage search engines to rank your site higher when a person makes searches related to your content.
Personal Trainers will need to understand how SEO works to effectively compete with other trainers in their area who offer similar services.
In the earlier days of search engines, the rules for how they ranked websites based on search terms was (seemingly) significantly less complicated than how it is now.
In fact, nobody really knows exactly how Google’s ranking algorithms work, other than the engineers that work on it.
SEO Secret Sauce
Google releases best practices and guides to the public that will cover aspects of site design that Google favours, but they keep the lid on their 11 herbs and spices of ranking sealed very tight.
The reason for this is they don’t want people to take advantage of any loopholes in the algorithm that will give someone an unfair PageRank advantage (how high up on the search results a website appears).
Users that utilise these tactics are known as employing ‘black hat SEO’ techniques.
There was a well-known update to Google’s PageRank system (Panda) that effectively wiped out thousands of websites that were employing somewhat shady methods of gaining rank positions.
Deliberately crafting content in order to boost your page ranking is seriously frowned-upon, and will very likely hurt you if and when Google update PageRank again.
85% of people do not go past the first page of search results, and in order to effectively capture your potential clients, you will need to be competitive and efficient to rank as highly as you can on that first page.
SEO for Personal Trainers – Why is it important?
Imagine potential clients searching for ‘Personal Trainers in North Sydney‘
You will want to show up in the first few results, otherwise you won’t even be considered against your direct competitors.
Your potential clients won’t find you, and will likely end up training with your competition, since you weren’t ever in their list of choices to consider.
Alternative Strategies to SEO
Unfortunately, Personal Trainers applying SEO best practices today, won’t lead to better page ranking tomorrow.
SEO takes a long time to show the results of the labour, but ensuring that you follow the SEO recommendations when you launch your site, and every time you post or update, will help you reap the rewards in the long run.
Following SEO best practices is like an overweight client starting to walk for an hour each day.
Walking alone won’t strip the weight off quickly, but combined with a new healthy lifestyle, it will lay the foundations for long-term health benefits and added longevity.
Factoring in SEO to your website will (slowly, but) steadily help improve your page-ranking.
Combined with creating useful and quality content for your clients in addition to other traditional marketing strategies – it will boost your business’ online presence in the long-run.
5 Website Tweaks PTs can make immediately to optimise their site for search engine ranking.
1. Having an easy to navigate website with a clean design that loads quickly.
MOZ suggests that the penalty kicks in when you page takes longer than approx. 5 secs to load, and anything longer than 10 might as well be considered dead.
2. Clear headers (<h1>,<h2> tags) relevant to the topic of your content.
This breaks up the page and makes it easier for readers who skim-through to find the topics of your post, and shows the search engines that you are writing about relevant content.
3. Easy readability in the language of your target audience.
This one is fairly straight-forward. If your sentences don’t make a whole lot of sense and are full of errors and typos, your audience is going to hate it… so why would Google bother ranking it well?
4. Links to your website and content from higher ranking websites.
This proves to Google that your content and your website are endorsed by websites that rank higher than yours, implying that your website is worthy of ranking well. It is also a great source of traffic flow – meaning that you are now getting in front of the audience of another site, which might lead to more clients for you too.
5. Post quality content, regularly.
Most business owners “know they need to have a website”. They need their audience to be able to look them up, find out their trading hours and location, and maybe a contact number too.
Google doesn’t like these ‘poster’ websites – because putting a website up once, and only updating it every 3 years doesn’t convey a sense of trust to the search engines.
How do they – search engines AND humans – know that you’re still in business?
How do they know that the information on there is still relevant?
And most importantly – what value are you offering to your audience by having a website?
Being able to address these concerns is easy, when you are providing regular, useful content to your audience.
Posting for the sake of posting is only slightly better than ignoring your website altogether, but by users not hanging around or returning to your site (let alone sharing the content you post with others) will quickly show search engines like Google that your content isn’t valuable.