Which of the following statements do you agree with?
- Search engine optimization (SEO) is an important part of a marketing strategy
- SEO can be effective, but isn’t always worth the time and resources it requires
- SEO is outdated
From our perspective (and as substantiated by loads of data), the first answer is also the best one. SEO matters - greatly - within a digital marketing strategy. Consider this: 93 percent of online experiences begin with a search engine.
Let’s say part of your marketing strategy is to acquire new members at your health club, and one of the top ways you do this is by getting more traffic to your website. This means you need to understand SEO best practices, know how to use a keyword planner and how to optimize your site to be found via the Google search engine (and other search engines).
What Are People Searching?
The first part of making sure your website is well-designed in terms of SEO is to conduct keyword research (or revisit it, if that’s something you’ve done in the past). One of the best tools to use is Google’s keyword planner, and guess what? It’s free. You can search for words and phrases that you’d expect your audience to use in their own searches. Start with words like “fitness,” “health,” “weight loss,” etc. and see where the results take you. Then, filter down and select the words and phrases that have a high average amount of searches per month with low or medium competition.
If you’re not sure what people are searching, keep in mind these two nuggets: 1) 50 percent of search queries are four words or longer, and 2) Google “near me” searches have increased by two times in the last year. This tells us that you need a solid mix of individual keywords, as well as longer phrases or questions in your SEO terms. It also tells us that local search is on the rise, and if you want to attract local customers (which, of course, every health club does), you should think about including phrases like “fitness center near me” or “yoga studio near me.”
What Else Impacts Search?
We all heard that “video killed the radio star” years ago when music videos became popular. But today, video is also trampling over traditional written content. Don’t get us wrong - written, SEO-optimized content on your site is still very important. But since Internet video traffic is expected to constitute 81 percent of all consumer traffic within the next three years, it clearly has a digital stronghold in the content world. Because of this, search engines favor video as a format.
You don’t need to go out and hire a video crew, and start becoming your own production company. But if you can include a few videos on your website, along with keyword-rich descriptions and meta tags, you’ll increase your odds of being found on search engines by your ideal audience.
Even as a marketing expert in your own right, it can be difficult to navigate the world of search because it’s so nuanced and dynamic. Improving your search rankings and being found by the people you want to have find you requires understanding SEO best practices and how to effectively use keyword planners to optimize your content.
If you’d like some help with this, please contact us. SEO is what we do, and local search is one our specialties.