SEO vs Facebook Ads For Your Fitness Business | Active Fitness Marketing
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Seo vs Facebook ads for your fitness business

SEO vs Facebook Ads For Your Fitness Business

Attracting new clients and members into any fitness business can be a challenging task. With so many different methods, deciding where to concentrate your efforts for maximum results can be confusing. 

There’s a lot of advice online on the best methods for attracting new clients and growing a fitness business. Most of this works well, but it can be wildly different based on who is giving the advice.

In fact, a lot of what we see online from “marketing gurus” is highly personal. It may not always be relevant to your circumstances and your fitness business, however no matter what advice you follow, one thing is constant.

No matter what your offer or service is, you need to get eyes on it, and in this case, what I mean is this. Get people to see your offer and then follow through by visiting your website.

Without Targeted Website Visitors Everything Fails

Encouraging targeted and relevant visitors to your fitness business website and your offers that you are running is essential to growing any fitness business or studio.

At present, there are a couple of highly effective ways of doing this.

  1. Paid traffic and in this case Facebook ads
  2. Organic (free) Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

SEO For Fitness Businesses

The Case For SEO

SEO is the process of getting your website rank better for relevant search terms on search engines like Google. There are a number of strategies for doing this ranging from how you set your website up, the page names, the text on the website, blogs you write, even how many links appear on other peoples sites linking back to yours.  

A well thought out SEO plan should take into account multiple strategies to improve your ranking. The ultimate aim to achieve a page one ranking in the first 2-3 listings.

The main benefit of a good ranking on Google for your fitness business is that anyone searching for you or what you do on Google will have a greater chance of finding you rather than your competitors. 

Additionally, because these visitors are actively searching for you, they are often better leads and should be easier to convert to paying clients.

Free Traffic

It is assumed by many that SEO is a free source of traffic, and while you don’t have to actually pay for Google to rank your website, unless you using Adwords, you do have to consider how much time is involved. 

If done well however,  SEO can be an incredibly cheap form of well targeted traffic for your fitness business website or gym.

An additional benefit of SEO is that a steady and consistent effort on your website can lead to effects being compounded over time.

The Case Against SEO

Trying to rank higher on Google for a fitness business is not without it’s negatives, especially as you have zero control over your ranking. An overzealous Google update can literally wipe out all your good work in a single swipe.

SEO requires in many cases a lot of time and effort and there is no guarantee of results. It can also take time to improve your rankings, in fact many SEO companies will tell you that you should wait at least 6 months before you start to see the benefits of a SEO campaign.

It also relies on people actually looking for your service. Although that means that the leads are often warmer than Facebook leads, the results are limited to how many searches there are in your location each month.

An easier way of ranking your fitness business on Google?

Google Local SEO for Fitness

A well optimized Google My Business listing is hands down the easiest way to rank your fitness business higher on Google.

My advice to any local fitness business who wants to rank on Google, is to put their effort into setting up a Google My Business listing and optimizing that.

It’s easier to get ranked on there, especially if you have an up to date listing with reviews and the local business listings often sit above the organic listing for most local search queries.


Facebook Ads For Fitness Businesses

Hands down the quickest way of attracting people to work with your fitness business is to take advantage of Facebook (and Instagram) advertising.

Fitness Facebook Ad

An example of a successful Facebook Ad for a boutique gym or personal training studio

One of the main benefits of Facebook ads is the level of targeting that you can use which makes it dead easy to get your offer in front of your ideal client.

Facebook Fitness Audience Targeting

You can target people who live or work close to your gym or fitness studio. In this example, we are targeting males who live or work withing 1km of a high end fitness studio and who work in financial services.

Want to target 35-45 year old moms who want to lose weight and who live withing 10 minute drive of your fitness studio?

It’s really easy to do that.

You can target based on age, location, gender and interests. You can even target people who have already visited your website by installing Facebook’s tracking pixel, which is very powerful because your audience are then seeing ads from a business that they are already aware of.

Additionally Facebook will actively try and get the best possible people to see your ads.  This is because Facebook want both you, and the users to win. 

If the wrong ads are shown to the wrong people then people won’t want to spend time on Facebook, and in turn they won’t earn revenue as no one will be clicking on ads.

Another benefit is that you can actively search for people that may be interested in your services instead of waiting for them to look for you.   Because of the targeting you will be able to make sure they are within a relevant geographic area and avoid wasting time with people who are too far away to work with you in your facility.

The Case Against Facebook Ads For Fitness Businesses

Facebook ads may not always be the right solution for your fitness business.

Ideally, you will usually need a great offer, things that work well are free offers like a consultation, coaching session or free trial of your services.

Facebook ads, while still great value for money, can become very expensive if you are not sure what you are doing.  It’s vital that you have the right offer in place. If you are sending the traffic to your website, then you need a page that is set up to convert traffic into high quality leads.

Should Your Use SEO or Facebook Ads to Grow Your Fitness Business

Ideally I would recommend a mixture of both strategies. Putting your marketing eggs into one basket or relying on a single source of website traffic is never a good idea.

Facebook advertising when used in the right way can be a strategy that can cause your business to grow very rapidly. So making sure you have a good sales and conversion process in your business is vital here.

Fitness Lead Generation

Consistency is key when it comes to fitness marketing. When you focus on generating leads for your fitness business consistently from different traffic sources the results can be staggering.

SEO is a great way to build a fitness business over time, and potential clients who find you using search will often lead to higher conversions. 

Another point to note is that many people who see your ads on channels like Facebook then go to Google to find you.

They do this to check out your reviews and make sure you are a bona fide business. This is why its vital to have a Google My Business listing with positive reviews.

Want Help Growing Your Fitness Business and Attracting Leads

If you want help with improving your search engine ranking or getting the most out of Facebook ads for your fitness business then get in touch with our team. You can book a call with our Fitness Marketing experts and see how we can help you grow your fitness business faster.

About the Author Liam Thompson

Liam is a co-founder of Active Fitness Marketing. He has been working in the fitness industry for over 20 years. Author of The Clarity Project: 4 steps to simplifying your sales message and attracting more clients online. Liam lives in Cheshire in the UK with his wife and son.

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