Have you built yourself a great looking website but nobody seems to be looking at it? Worse still, you've paid good money for someone to build a site for you and you're worried it won't re-pay the investment?
A website without visitors is never going to be an effective sales tool, so below we cover a number of things you can do to increase traffic to your site. We only recommend you put in the effort to make these changes if you also have steps in place to measure their success, otherwise you are just shooting blindly into the internet abyss!
For more on tracking traffic and increasing new client enquiries check out our other guide to improving the leads from your website.
To do this, you need to know what you bring to the table as a personal trainer that makes you different from other trainers in your gym/area. If you haven't yet worked this out, then read our guide to choosing your training niche first.
The plan here is to produce a set of written pages that will effectively relate your chosen niche/specialism to potential clients. Start off by making a list of the niches you plan to operate in, then make sub-lists describing the various ways each niche can be applied.
For example, if your niche is weight loss, then your sub-list might include specific applications of that, such as:
The applications you identify should be specific enough to speak to a particular group of people, each with their own needs. However they should also be topics that you can comfortably write about in reasonable detail. Create a page on your website for each of the applications you identified and write as if you are talking to just one person, showing understanding, empathy, and a willingness to help.
Here's a simple formula you can follow when writing pages like this:
Follow this process for each of the applications you identified until you have a set of pages written. Review each page to check it offers an accurate representation of you and comes across as friendly and approachable. This will be the first contact people have with you after all.
The following steps will apply to both the pages you produced above, and the existing pages on your site.
It's amazing how often this crucial detail is overlooked. The title and description tag on every page of your website determines how your site looks to people before they visit. Think of them as the words on signposts pointing to your site. If your signposts are badly written, they will not be effective.
Most systems allow you to control the content of these tags, whether you are using a managed provider such as Wix or Squarespace, or your site was built using an installed CMS like WordPress.
Here are a few simple rules to follow when writing your page titles and descriptions:
Once you have created winning titles and descriptions for all your site's pages, allow some time for Google to re-index your changes. You can then see the results of your efforts by listing all your site pages together. Simply go to Google and type the following into the search box:
site:yourdomain.com (where 'yourdomain.com' is your website's domain name)
Google will then display all the page results it has for your website, as they will appear to the world when they are searching for you.
Slightly more advanced than above but hugely beneficial if you plan to post pages from your website to social media. Depending upon the system your site is built in, you might need to find a tutorial explaining where to make these changes. Some systems may generate OG data for you automatically based upon your page's existing title and description text, but if you want to be sure exactly how they will appear, then OG (Open Graph) tags are the answer.
Use OG tags to explicitly specify the picture, title and description that will be used when your page's post displays on other people's timelines. Here is the code you will need to add into the <head> section of each page:
<meta property="og:title" content="The main title for your shared post" /> <meta property="og:description" content="The secondary line of text for your shared post" /> <meta property="og:image" content="http://www.yourdomain.com/images/a-great-picture.jpg" />
When creating pages of content on your website, you will have various formatting options available to you. These will include a number heading styles which you should use to break up larger passages of text. Instead of simply making text bold, use headings to let search engines understand your pages better. Headings are numbered from 1-6. Heading 1 should be used for your main page title. Multiple heading 2's can then be used to divide up long pages into more manageable chunks, with heading 3's sub dividing the content within those, and so on.
If you add an image to your site, you will also have the option to include alt (alternative) text. This gives you the chance to include a short explanation of what the image is. This will be used by search engines to help them determine your site content, and also by screen readers used to help the visually impaired when visiting your website. Try to keep image descriptions short and factually accurate to the photo they are describing.
You've made some pages with great information about the specific services you offer, and you've made sure they will look great when shared. Now it's time to share them!
Don't be afraid to share the same pages more than once as not everyone will see the content you shared the first time.
Having yourself listed on websites that people commonly use to search for local services is a no brainer. Why would you not want to appear as an option when people are actively searching for something they want?
The biggest service currently is Google My Business (previously Google Places). If you mostly work in a single location, then this will allow you to appear and be searchable on Google maps, provide your contact details and begin receiving reviews. Be sure to complete your profile fully as Google tends to prefer this. There are also other services such as Yelp and Yell (UK), as well as a number of more specialised listing services aimed at people looking for personal trainers (toplocaltrainer.co.uk, fitnesstrainer.com, etc.). Some people even find success with free adverts on platforms such as Gumtree.
If you are running classes, also consider sites like Meetup, or create Facebook events to share with your followers and drive interest that way.
There are many places online where people gather to share their thoughts and discuss their problems and needs. These places can be a great for nurturing new relationships and beginning to build up a reputation for expertise in your chosen area. Armed with your website full of targeted pages, partake in these conversations, and where relevant to the conversation, share the links to your site pages that demonstrate your ability to help and make a difference.
There are many places where people gather to discuss their needs, but the most common are:
Partaking in these online communities can be time consuming initially, but over the longer term it can pay off.
We'll admit this one falls squarely into the 'long term and not for everyone' category. But if you don't mind stepping in front of the camera, and you think you have the capability to cover interesting topics over a sustained period of time, then this might be a rewarding string to add to your PR bow.
These days it's never been easier to produce photo or video content. We all have the hardware required in our pockets! And with platforms such as YouTube and Instagram just waiting for you to participate, there are no cost or technical barriers to stop you from giving it a try. But what content to make we hear you cry? Well, here are some ideas to start:
You'll probably find that as time passes, you naturally develop a style and format that works for you and the topics you are covering. Don't be afraid to get started without overthinking it. However you begin, it's 99% certain that you'll look back in a year at your early content and cringe so just accept it!
The most important thing is to include a link to your website in a way that feels natural for each piece of content. Ideally you will have a page on your website that is relevant to the topic discussed in your post, so be sure to link directly to that.
Even in this day and age, email is the most cost effective form of online marketing that achieves the biggest return on its investment. However this is only the case if you have a quality, targeted email list.
Building a list can be difficult from a standing start. What's most likely is that you will have a back catalogue of contact information for current, previous and potential clients that you can use to initially setup, and slowly grow a distribution list. The best part is you can add these details into a platform such as MailChimp and start sending campaigns to your first 2000 contacts for free!
Here are a coupe of advisory notes before you start sending out loads of emails:
Before you start throwing money at Facebook, make sure you have thoroughly planned out a targeted campaign. Otherwise it might turn into an expensive exercise that bears little fruit! Make sure you:
A critical part of ensuring your advertising is successful is establishing your niche. Not sure what that is? Learn more about how to pick yourself a niche here with our step by step guide to choosing your personal training niche.
Driving traffic to a website is great, but if that traffic is not being exploited to its maximum potential then it's just wasted effort. If you think your website could be performing better when it comes to turning website visitors into client leads, then read our guide to improving leads from your personal trainer website.