Search Engine Optimization or SEO can be a complex and technical topic. It’s a topic that fitness business owners we’ve worked with typically feel is over their head and they’d rather just pass it off to a professional to handle. Now, while there is nothing wrong with this, there are a few common mistakes we see to give you a place to start if you’re the DIY type. Once you’ve got the basics addressed you’ll be able to let your website work harder for you without lifting a finger.

#1 – Not Optimizing for Local Search

People typically workout within 5 miles or 15 minutes of their place of work or home. Target this group of people by focusing more on local search. Things like geo-targeted terms/phrases in meta descriptions and title tags, adding address and phone number to your website footer, setting up directory listings on Yelp, Google Places, FourSquare, and other local search directories can all help! SWETI can list you on all 65+ directories if you want to streamline things!

#2 – Not Setting Up Unique Title Tags and Meta Descriptions

It’s amazing how many businesses use their business name as the title tag for every single page of their website. Each page of your website should have a separate title tag and meta description. The title tag should specify what the subject of the page is, while the meta description is your elevator pitch for said page.

#3 – Over-Investing in SEO

We’ve found that it doesn’t take much for gyms or studios to move up to the top 3 places on local search. Monthly retainers for a marketing agency to manage your search engine optimization will cost $750-$5,000 per month. We’d recommend not spending more than $250 monthly on SEO-related marketing. Simply having a listing in the top 50 directories will drastically boost SEO at only $100 or less per month. Don’t feel like you need to be investing thousands of dollars in this area.

#4 – Poorly Written Copy

If you don’t feel like you are great at writing, hire a copywriter or marketing agency to create the content for your website. Be careful with “keyword stuffing”. This is where you overdo it by listing keywords in an unnatural way on your web pages and it can be detrimental to your search rank. Google’s algorithm can tell when you are overdoing the keywords for SEO purposes. Don’t do it! Another red flag the Google Algorithm looks out for is duplicate or stale content. Don’t have any content repeated word-for-word on your website. Make sure to keep your website up-to-date with weekly or monthly updates. The more current your site is, the more relevant Google will deem it.

#5 – Out-of-Date and Inconsistent Information Across Directories and Websites

Another place to watch out for stale content is in search directory sites. Make sure to check and update your content regularly. Run a directory scan (link below) and create a spreadsheet of each listing, then check them monthly to make sure there weren’t changes and that they contain the most up-to-date info. Don’t want to spend the time or effort doing this manually? SWETI can do it for you! We can also lock down your listings so that other people can’t change them and only you control the content.

#6 – Not Using Free SEO Resources

There are so many free and cheap resources available out there to help you with your SEO! Google Webmaster Tools is a free resource to help you keep tabs on your website and any errors that Google comes across. Directory Listing Scan is a free way to see where your business is currently listed and see any errors or data inconsistencies. We’re also doing a free SEO webinar this next Tuesday and Thursday. Sign up here!

Want to improve your organic search, but unsure where to begin? Start with getting listed in 65+ directories for just $85/month by contacting us. Rather do it yourself? Register for a free upcoming webinar that reviews how to optimize search for your gym or studio.


Tia Stone, Director of Marketing