“Google My Business” Tips for Gym Owners

Mateo Lopez

Mike (00:00):

Google is the key to the internet. So if you want to unlock web traffic, you need to pay attention to your Google My Business listing. Marketing expert Mateo Lopez will tell you what to do right after this.

Chris (00:11):

Back to Two-Brain Radio in just a minute. Beyond the Whiteboard is the world’s premier workout tracking platform. Beyond the Whiteboard empowers gym owners with tools designed to retain and motivate members. We all know clients need to accomplish their goals if they’re going to stick around long term, and Beyond the Whiteboard will help your members chart their progress. They can earn badges view, leaderboards, track their macros, assess their fitness levels, and a lot more. Your job is to get great results for your members. Beyond the Whiteboard’s job is to make sure your members see those results and celebrate them. For a free 30-day trial, visit BTwb.com today.

Mike (00:50):

This is Two-Brain Radio I’m Mike Warkentin here with marketing expert Mateo Lopez of Gym Lead Machine. Mateo. I’m going to read you something from Google itself, and I want your opinion. Here it is. You may find that your business doesn’t show up for relevant searches in your area. To maximize how often users find your business in local search results, ensure that your business information in Google My Business is accurate, complete, and engaging. So the question, how much of a hint is that that Google really wants you to pay attention to Google My Business?

Mateo (01:19):

That’s pretty, they’re not hiding anything. They’re pretty up front.

Mike (01:29):

Just like wink, wink.

Mateo (01:30):

And I think y’all who are listening should listen to that little piece of advice from Google, because it’s true. It’s not fake news. It’s true.

Mike (01:46):

The blunt description is that Google wants people to find stuff. And if you help Google make it easy, they’re going to show you more. Is that accurate?

Mateo (01:56):

Yeah. I mean, we’ll get into this for sure. But yeah, basically Google wants to keep its users on Google. And so when you’re talking about the search engine, people are using Google to find stuff. And if you make it easy for them, for the Google users to find you or to find what they’re looking for, you make it easier on the algorithm to show people what they want in terms of when they’re searching. Then you’ll get rewarded for that. And the one way that makes it easier for Google and its algorithm to sort through all of the different businesses or all the different sites or all of the different businesses that have a presence on Google, one way to make it easier for the algorithm to sort through those and figure it out is with Google My Business. We’re going to talk about that in a second. Google wants to make life easier for Google and for its users. And if you can help in that process, then that makes the mighty algorithm happy.

Mike (03:07):

Scratch my back I scratch yours kind of situation. So for people who are kind of, haven’t really looked into this yet, let’s just get, what is Google My Business? How can listeners set it up? Like just give them a quick overview of what this thing is and how difficult is it?

Mateo (03:19):

Yeah, basically, it’s an online listing for your business or a business. iIt’s like a Facebook business page, but Google’s version of that, I guess, is the easiest way to, if you know what that is. But yeah, I guess there are, we’ve talked about SEO here before. There’s basically two types, there’s on page SEO and that’s basically anything that has to do with your website or your page that you have online about your business or your gym. And then there’s offsite or off page SEO and that refers to anything that’s not your website, but that also contributes to where you rank in the search engine results pages. And so, you know, with off page SEO, your goal is to basically prove to search engines and the people using search engines or typing in search queries, you basically want to send signals to the search engine that your website is popular, that it’s relevant for the search terms that people are using. And that you’re trustworthy, that you have authority in what you’re talking about, you’re not some kind of like pirate website. Those are all of the signals and the things you’re trying to send to the search engine and the algorithm.

Mike (04:38):

Unless you are a pirate website, in which case you want to use a lot of like booty and Buccaneer terms and so forth.

Mateo (04:44):

Exactly, exactly, exactly. If you are Jack Sparrow on the internet, then yeah. Then ignore everything I’m saying, but there are many ways to signal to the search engines and to Google that your site, that your website is safe and that you’re trustworthy and that, you know, you’re not a pirate. There’s many ways to send those signals, one way is to get other reputable places to link back to your website, to talk about your website, to comment to your website. You know, if you had, for example, crossfit.com, right, write a post about your gym and it links to your gym. That’s a reputable source saying that you are a trustworthy authoritative, you know, business in the space. So basically you’re getting other third parties to vouch for the quality of your website.

Mateo (05:44):

Exactly, exactly. And so one of these third parties is Google itself and basically, Google My Business is the platform that beads that let’s try that again. Google My Business is the platform that feeds Google’s business listings. And so these listings are basically used to populate results in the local pack or the map pack, which will, I guess I can define in a second. And also when you’re using Google maps, basically if you type in like, you know, restaurant near me, when you see a list of Italian restaurants that are near you or whatever it is, Google My Business is what is feeding those listings and those results.

Mike (06:32):

  1. So what I’m looking at here, I’ve just pulled up, you know, my wife’s business page and I did a direct search on it for Google. And what I’ve got here is what is referred to as the knowledge panel on Google. And I’ll just read off a couple of things that you see right away. And this is the thing, if you search for just, you know, think of like local plumber or whatever you would Google and it’ll come up and if you get the exact one, it’s going to have the name, it’s got a map it’s got, see photos, see outside, website directions, call. And then it’s got a list of reviews with our rating. It’s got a description of who we are, what we do, nutritionist in Winnipeg. Then it’s got address, hours of operation, phone, appointments, province or state. And then it’s got some questions and answers, reviews from the web. It’s got Facebook, you know, links to Facebook there. It’s got the popular times. And then it’s got a bunch of reviews, plus a bunch of other stuff, if you keep scrolling. So it’s like, it’s like the about section on your Facebook profile, you know, and it’s like relationship status, open for business. Right? What do you think that’s the knowledge panel. Anything you want to add about what people need to have in there?

Mateo (07:35):

So basically, yeah, I think you hit the nail on the head there, Mike. Basically the Google knowledge panel is the informational box that appears basically after a search result, giving the searcher a preview or a snapshot of the most important directory type information. So you’ll see this box at the right hand corner of the search results. If you’re searching on a computer obviously, or basically the top of the page if you’re on your phone and the knowledge panel will appear when someone runs a search specifically for a business. So for example, if I were to actually type in the search box, CrossFit San Francisco, that business specifically, most likely if they have an active online presence on Google, that will show up and the knowledge panel will show up as well.

Mateo (08:27):

And it’ll give me a preview or snapshot of what to expect at CrossFit San Francisco photos, hours of operation, link to their website, things like that. So again, the knowledge panel, you should see key directory info, address, hours of operation, a phone number, website, directions, all the important info about a specific business. That’s what you would sew in the knowledge panel.

Mateo (08:50):

It’s the 4 1 1, so to speak.

Mateo (08:53):

A hundred percent. The other place that’s important, and basically where managing your Google My Business page comes into play is the local map pack or the snack pack. We’ve mentioned this a couple of times already today. And basically if you were to type in not a specific business, but just a type of business. So CrossFit near me, for example, basically when you type that into the search bar, you’ll get a list of three local business listings that will appear as a response to your search or your query, and it’ll show up next to a map as well, most likely.

Mateo (09:30):

And, it will give you those three top options that are one close to you, two relevant to your search, three authoritative, meaning they’re trustworthy. They have a lot of reviews. So yeah, like I said, if you type in best CrossFit gym in Miami, you would see a map and then three businesses and where those businesses rank, like one, two, three will depend on a lot of different factors. A lot of them have to do with off page SEO factors. Some of them are just proximity. And the big one, which we’re talking about today is your Google My Business page and how well it’s optimized, all of those come into play in determining which businesses rank in the top one to three spots when you’re running a search.

Mike (10:16):

So I’ve got three right here. I just Googled, as you were talking, I Googled best CrossFit gym in Miami, and I’ve got CrossFit 305 of Miami, CrossFit Yellow Falcon Miami, and CrossFit Downtown Miami. And it’s got, that’s my map pack. So you could certainly dig more. I guarantee if I click on this, there’s going to be more, but those are the top three that it selected for me.

Mateo (10:36):

Yeah. And your Google My Business page is a big contributing factor on who ranks where in that list. The other, place where you’ll be able to see Google My Business information when someone is on the Google platform is with the Google maps app itself. So when, you know, while it’s true that, you know, you usually use Google maps when you’re trying to go somewhere right. For directions, so that’s true, but you can also use it to discover new businesses and services that are close to you as well. So if you were to just open up the maps app and you just type in restaurants near me, or just, you know, gyms, it’ll give you a list of results and your Google My Business profile will feed into and determine where you rank in that search on the maps app.

Mike (11:31):

So I just hammered in gyms, New York for fun, and I’m getting two ads paid, paid to be there up top. And then it’s got a list of a, you know, I’ve got Gym NYC, Tone House, New York Underground Fitness, Ludlow fitness, and they’re all here. It looks like I’m in right along the river, close to where you are near Yonkers, I think is what it’s got. But anyways, that’s what the map pack, sorry, the map search the app is giving me. So it’s really interesting because you can see, like, if you searched for some of this stuff, like best CrossFit gym in Miami, or best gym near me, or whatever, it would really behoove you to be in the results for that, like right at the top, would it not?

Mateo (12:06):

A hundred percent. A hundred percent.

Mike (12:08):

That’s like money maker right there.

Mateo (12:08):

Oh yeah, definitely. The higher you can rank in those searches, you know, the better. Some things are out of your control. So for example, you know, if the person who’s actually doing the search is closer physically to one gym versus the other. And if all things are equal, you know, in terms of your ranking, your website, your Google My Business profile, but the person is just physically closer to one versus the other, the one that they’re closer to is going to get the higher spot. And then if they were to move, you know, my point there is proximity of the searcher is a big factor. So that’s kind of out of your control, but there are definitely other things that you can control, such as, you know, your Google My Business page and how well it’s filled out, if it’s optimized for certain keyword terms. And if you have reviews, if it’s fleshed out with photos, things like that.

Mike (13:04):

The good example of that is when I Googled the best CrossFit gym in Miami, and I read you the three, it gave me when I clicked on the map, there were a ton of CrossFit gyms around those three. So I’m not in Miami. Right. But for whatever reason, it selected those three, even though there were a ton of other ones all around it. So whatever’s going on there, whether it’s Google My Business or a good website or whatever it is, those three were the ones that I looked at, despite the fact that they have competitors all over close to them. I would be very inclined to just pick one of those three.

Mateo (13:32):

Yep. Yep. Especially if they have good reviews, there’s no reason to keep scrolling down the list. If it’s close to you, if it has good reviews, you’re probably going to go to the ones that pop up at the top. One of those three, for sure.

Mike (13:46):

So the setup on this thing, you can set up a Facebook profile. It’s not that hard, right? You’re just going through and basically just filling in information like hours of operation, you can upload pictures of staff. You can create like posts, you know, offers and so forth, but you’re putting in as much info as you can. And you want to obviously get your clients and so forth to get reviews and all this, it’s not that hard to set it up. Are there any tips that you have for what people need to set up or what’s essential in there, or even how, like some specific things that would help people do it fast?

Mateo (14:13):

Yeah, totally. One thing, the first thing is that I wanted to mention a little nugget here is just your name, the name of your business that you have to put in the title section, basically in the business name section, is a big contributing factor to basically what searches you populate for. So for example, if you were a CrossFit affiliate CrossFit 123 and then you disaffiliated and became Fitness 123 and then, you know, you changed your name in the Google My Business listing accordingly, that’s going to have a big impact on what searches you populate for and where you rank.

Mateo (15:10):

It depends. In that example, let’s say you’re in a small town and there’s only three or four CrossFit gyms, and you were one of them. You’re probably gonna rank pretty high for that search term for CrossFit. But if you disaffiliate and then now your town also has, you know, a few globo gyms, a few personal training studios, a few yoga studios, and now people are typing in gym or fitness near me. You’re going to have a lot more competition. Right. And so your title, that kind of competitive advantage you had in the business name, you know, you don’t have that anymore. If you’re disaffiliating, that’s just, you know, one example, I’m not saying, yeah, I’m not saying you should be an affiliate or not. That’s not kinda my point of that example, but just to illustrate the impact.

Mike (15:59):

I’ll take it one step further. And just say, like, when everything happened and a lot of gyms deaffiliated because of Greg Glassman’s comments last year, we won’t get into the political aspects of any of it, because that’s a whole huge other discussion. We’ll just say that racism is bad. But the idea of just completely dropping a name with no plan to replace that SEO can be very troublesome, right? Like if everything funneled to your site through your CrossFit affiliate name, and all of a sudden you get rid of that and you don’t have that other name branded and properly, you know, the SEO setup and everything that gets you traffic, your traffic could just disappear. Could it not?

Mateo (16:33):

Yeah, definitely can have a big negative impact on your organic traffic, for sure. Just to illustrate this, the importance of your name here. I go over this example in the course that I created for SEO and in the section about GMB, and it’s probably easier to see it when you watch the course visually, but I’ll try and describe it basically, there’s this example of this like construction or think it was like a Realty or a property management company. And they had all of the words that they wanted to rank for in their Google My Business name. So it was like Texas Realty, office construction, long-term lease contract office, building construction, building office, like all of those words just crammed into their title. And, you know, it made a big impact, a positive impact on populating for those search terms, every search term they wanted to populate for, basically they put it in their name.

Mike (17:46):

Doesn’t roll off the tongue, but it works.

Mateo (17:46):

Yeah. But it works. I mean, an example for us would be like, you know, CrossFit Winnepeg best yoga in Winnipeg, personal training Winnepeg, fitness Winnepeg, best place to work out as like your official name. Right? So if you were to put that in your Google My Business name, you might see a lot more traffic for those search terms. Like it has a big impact. Having said that if that’s not actually the name of your business, you’re going to get flagged by Google and shut down pretty quickly there. So my advice there is if you want to show up for the search terms, best personal trainer in Miami, you can do that by putting that in your Google My Business name, you just might have to legally change your business name to best personal trainer in Miami.

Mike (18:44):

If you’re starting out a business right now, you know, thinking up your mystical in joke name, which was cool for a lot of us back in the day, don’t do that. You know, like it sounds really good to have this whole business card graphic theme that works into your secret esoteric concept, but no one Googles that, it would be better to just call yourself Mateo’s weight loss center, or, you know, something like that, where it’s just, maybe it’s not the most sexy name in the world, but it’s blunt and it gets the point across. And if I’m not mistaken, I’ll just say Gym Lead Machine has a description of what it does in the name of the company. Am I right?

Mateo (19:18):

Yep. It sure does. We get leads for gyms, so, yeah. That was on purpose. Going off your example, Mateo’s personal training in Jupiter, Florida, it’s the best. I can make that my LLC, and then I can put that in my GMB business name. And then I would have a much better chance of showing up for those search terms. Your name is a big factor, I guess it’s a long, long way of saying what you type into Google My Business name field is a big contributing factor for what terms you show up for in the search results. Having said that only put what your actual name is. Don’t try this sneaky Google hack unless your name is actually what you’re putting into the GMB.

Mike (20:12):

Google is like a casino. They always win in the end.

Mateo (20:15):

They do. That’s true.

Chris (20:17):

Hi, this is Chris Cooper, and I founded Two-Brain Business to make gyms profitable. Over the last years, as we’ve compiled more and more data, more and more tools, gotten better and better at mentorship, we’ve really made a lot of gyms, hundreds around the world, thousands over the years, profitable, doing better. What hasn’t kept pace is the quality of coaching in a lot of gyms worldwide. There are great programs out there that will introduce you to a method like bootcamp, kettlebells, Olympic lifting, powerlifting, CrossFit, running, whatever that is. And so we can make coaches who know the subject matter, but that doesn’t make them a great coach. To be a great coach, you have to be able to change somebody’s habits. You have to be able to change their behavior and to do that requires deep understanding of their motivations to do that means amazing adherence by the client. And it means amazing retention because as gym owners, we know it’s harder and harder and more expensive than ever to get a new client. Retention is more important than ever. Referrals are more important than ever. Peer to peer marketing, word of mouth is more important than it’s ever been. How do you get those things? Through client results. So I founded Two-Brain Coaching with Josh Martin to get coaches the skills they actually need to make a career in fitness instead of just familiarity with a methodology. Twobraincoaching.com has courses to help you start a career with personal training, to scale up with group training, both in person and online, and to diversify with nutrition, coaching, and mindset coaching. We have the best programs in the industry that will prepare you and your coaches to deliver any method that you love now or you might love 10 years from now. Twobraincoaching is really a project of love for me. And if you visit twobraincoaching.com, you’ll get a ton of free resources, just like we produce every day on twobrainbusiness.com.

Mateo (22:16):

Um, so we’re talking about setting it up, right? So your name is a big focus. The next one would be categories. So when you’re setting up your GMB page, and even if you’ve already set it up, you can go in and review, your primary category has a big impact on what you show up for in the search results. So, you know, I would choose, I guess, gym as a primary category, but let’s say your money-making service is actually personal training. Like you offer classes, you offer nutrition, but let’s say your money-making service is personal training. You may want to have personal training as your primary category instead because you’ll have a better chance of showing up or for search terms that are related to personal training. If that’s your primary business category.

Mike (23:03):

So it could be as specific, as like, as opposed to Mateo’s plumbing, you’d be like Mateo’s residential toilet unplugging service, right? Like something very specific as opposed to a giant thing. If you maybe wanted to niche down a little bit.

Mateo (23:15):

Right. And this is more if you’re choosing, once after you do your name it asks you, you know, what category are you, what business category, what’s your primary category? It gives you a dropdown. And they’re adding categories every day. By the way, I should say that if you don’t see the thing that actually speaks to you, pick the one that’s most accurate or most closely related to you and go with that and then keep checking on it because Google is adding categories as more and more businesses, you know, sign up for GMB.

Mike (23:45):

Instead of like professional services, you might be able to niche down to like accounting or something like that.

Mateo (23:51):

Yes, yes. One day. One day nutrition coaching might be on there, but it’s not right now. But so yeah, when you’re choosing basically a thing you want to think about is, you know, does gym, is that really what, you know, you want to show up for? Or do you want to show up for personal training? Or do you want to show up for nutritionist? You know, those are the three categories that you’re probably going to want to choose between. And so whatever your money maker is, that’s the one you want to choose. And then after that set up your secondary.

Mike (24:24):

I just did a Google on that and I just found this thing on pixelcutlabs.com and has updated Google categories. And like, I’ll just read you like seven of them here so that, you know, you can understand how niche it can be. It’s like Acura dealer, as opposed to car dealer, you’ve got addiction treatment center, administrative attorney, adoption agency, adult daycare center, adult DVD store, adult education school. So like, you’ve got a ton of different things. The best example there is probably Acura dealer as opposed to auto dealer or car dealer.

Mateo (24:51):

Right? Yeah. So they’re creating new categories all the time. Right now for our industry, for our niche, I think the big ones are gym, nutritionist and personal training, but, you know, keep checking back. But they’re adding more every day. So whatever you choose that is a big contributing factor to what you populate for in the search results.

Mike (25:15):

That’s a good tip.

Mateo (25:15):

So the next, after you pick your primary category, you know, you’re going to want to pick your secondary categories. So, you know, if you picked gym on the first one, you can obviously add personal training as a secondary category and things like that. You’ll notice CrossFit is not going to be on there, but you know, that’s all right. Like I said, Google’s adding categories all the time, so maybe one day they will.

Mateo (25:45):

So, nutritionist is a category on there as of now. But nutrition or nutrition coach. I don’t think those are on there. And that’s because, you know, people still to this day really aren’t—when they’re thinking of nutrition coaching, they’re thinking nutritionists or dietician. They’re not thinking nutrition coaching the way we are with like macros or like, you know, signing up with like, someone’s going to help you with, you know, paleo or whole 30 or whatever it is, you know, people still search when they’re searching for those words are looking for a nutritionist most of the time. If you have a nutritionist on staff, take advantage of that category. For sure.

Mike (26:26):

Life coach is on there.

Mateo (26:26):

You could probably add that, but again, what is the intention behind that search? People usually aren’t thinking gym, right? When they think life coach.

Mike (26:37):

Eventually like life coach, probably I’m going to guess it’s a slightly more recent addition than like sports coach. So if they’re niching down there, you might find nutrition coach at some point. So your advice to check back regularly is really good.

Mateo (26:48):

Yeah. And like other tricky ones, when it comes to categories like weight loss or weight loss specialists, obviously as a gym, you y’all probably help with weight loss solutions. But, typically when someone is searching for weight loss, most of the time they’re looking for more like, you know, laparoscopy or, you know, like actual doctor weight loss solutions, if that makes sense. Yeah.

Mike (27:17):

Like I see the category here is weight loss service, which is very broad and general. It could be a whole lot of different stuff, interestingly, for our audience right below that I see weightlifting area. Kind of an odd one.

Mateo (27:27):

Oh, that’s interesting. But yeah, like if you do add weight loss services as a category, obviously that makes sense. But just keep in mind, you may get a couple of strange phone calls. Like you may get a call for someone asking for lap bands or something like that. So categories is a big one. Make sure you flesh those out when you’re setting up your profile. Another one is obviously hours of operation is important, but they should be accurate. So that’s the one takeaway I want you to have for this section is let’s say you have, I’ve heard of gyms who have a separate kind of room that’s key card access only. And they like to say that a 24 hour open gym access. That’s cool. However, if someone calls your gym through the GMB pages, like a little call button, if they call your gym through the Google My Business listing, and it’s 10 at night because they think, oh, they’re open 24 seven. I can call. And then no one picks up the phone because no one’s actually manning the desk at 10 o’clock at night. And if that happens enough times, you might get dinged by the algorithm say, Hey, this says you’re open 24 seven but people who have called at various hours and no one picked up. So my advice there would be to list the hours where, you know, someone will pick up the phone. That’s where you want to have, uyou know, your hours of operation listed on GMB.

Mike (28:58):

Because people can give feedback on this stuff to Google. Correct?

Mateo (29:00):

Totally.

Mike (29:00):

It’s interesting, we actually got, someone recommended, we shut down our physical location, moved to an office next door, forgot to update our Google My Business listing. And people were saying that we had been permanently closed and that was an oversight on our part. And we had to like go through the process to switch that over. So definitely keep your stuff updated on that site.

Mateo (29:19):

Yeah. A hundred percent. Keeping updated, accuracy while we’re on that topic, your phone number should match what’s on your website. That’s important. You know, you’ll be surprised how many times I’ve seen cell phones, the owner’s cell phone at one place and then a different number on the other. So just, you want to keep that stuff consistent. Other things to flesh out, you can add additional services. So this is where you can add things yourself that are custom. So, if you want to add like a women’s only bootcamp class, and you offer that service, there’s a place where you can add in your own kind of categories of services that you offer. You know, if you offer yoga classes, you can add those things in personal training. And I would add in as much of the additional kind of categories as you can, you know, you offer one-on-one personal training, two on one personal training, small group classes, large group classes, like all those things, feel free to flesh those out as much as possible. Same with the product section. Obviously we sell services, but if you sell t-shirts, if you sell water bottles, meal services, you know, protein powder list that stuff out, make your page as robust with as many things that you can as possible. InBody scans is another one that I think is really cool to add as one of the additional products or services in your GMB page. OK.

Mike (30:44):

So that is a huge list of tips. And this is just again, filling out fields, generally. It’s not that hard to do. And then you can certainly like you can go a little further and you can put up posts, which I think is kind of cool. And you’ll get some looks on that. Photos, I think is a really good one. We got a ton of views on some of our photos that we put up for our gym when we had the physical location and that’s just free advertising, right. It works really well. We actually put up a facility tour, like you could take some 360 degree stuff. If you want to get technical a little bit and, you know, use some of these apps to create 360 degree photos, people can actually tour through your facilities and so forth. You might not want to do that if your facility looks really scary and people are vomiting in the background, but you might want to showcase your front, you know, awesome consultation area with, you know, smiling staff members and so forth, lot of cool stuff that you can do in there.

Mateo (31:29):

Yeah. Photos is really important. I think we mentioned this last time, but, one study, I think this came from Google itself, but one study found that 60% of consumers said that local search results with good images captured their attention and push them towards a decision. And then the folks over at Google HQ, they reported that businesses with photos on a Google My Business page received 42% more requests for driving directions and 35% more click through rates on their website than those that don’t have a ton of photos. So it’s kind of a straight from the horse’s mouth.

Mike (32:09):

If you’re shopping for a house online, looking at real estate listings, and you’ve got this great description with no pictures, you’re not going to look at it as closely as something that has a ton of great pictures. Like it’s just a thing. So it would be really wise to get some pictures up there and then just keep chucking them up. Every time you update Facebook, chuck another picture up or whatever, or update your staff or whatever. But the pictures are a huge deal. And like, when I look at businesses, I’m just Googling in the background here. As you’re talking Mateo, when I see great pictures pop up, I’m immediately more inclined to scroll down on that business and see what they’re all about.

Mateo (32:40):

Yeah. And no stock photos, please. From your actual gym. Actual people from your actual gym.

Mike (32:47):

We don’t want to see the general, the bearded, tattooed weightlifting guy doing the front squat that everyone uses on their site. Don’t do that.

Mateo (32:53):

Yes, no. And really what you’re trying to do is give people a what to expect when they actually show up to your facility. So, you know, show them, you know, the parking lot and where they can park, show them, you know, the entrance, show them pictures of your staff and their uniforms so that when someone shows up to your gym for the first time they saw the picture on GMB, they say, oh, I know who to look for. I’m looking for the people in the red shirts. Those are people who work there. I can ask them questions. So things like that. Right. Amenities that you want to show off, if you have a sauna or, or cryo chamber or whatever, like definitely show that stuff off. That stuff’s cool if you have it. But yeah, images is a big part. Yeah.

Mike (33:36):

And like, you know, even now talking in the COVID times and so forth, you might want to showcase your hand sanitizer station and your entrance area and so forth and your protocols, there’s just a ton of stuff that you can do to really help people understand. And let’s think about this. Like fitness has long had a barrier to entry where it’s quote unquote scary for people, right. Especially gyms that are like micro gyms often look kind of weird because they don’t have the traditional machines. I come at it from a spot whenever I go somewhere. I like to know what’s going on in there. I like to look inside the business. I like to know where I’m going. It’s like, I don’t like walking into places and not knowing where to go, like walking into a movie theater and in the dark and not know where to sit.

Mike (34:10):

I cannot stand that, I’d rather leave. Right. So I’d love to look at a business and say, OK, this is the entrance area. This is the waiting room. This is where, you know, like, just check it out. You can do a lot to set your people at ease with smiling faces and directions and so forth before the fact. So I’d encourage you to put up those photos and update them regularly. What else? Google My Business do’s and don’ts, are there any like major don’ts that you’ve got up there that you haven’t already mentioned or any do’s that we need to talk about for sure?

Mateo (34:33):

As you mentioned, COVID, there’s a section for highlights and attributes when you’re setting up your GMB page, flesh that out for sure. That’s a place where you can add things like we have free Wi-Fi wheelchair access, advanced COVID cleaning, online classes, especially now, you know, when, you know, we’re still kind of getting out of the COVID sphere. So if you want to add additional things of that nature, that’s where you would put it. I think, yeah, especially COVID cleaning things, online classes. Those are important things to add nowadays.

Mike (35:09):

You could do all sorts of stuff on the app. And it’s just like, I’ve got it open on my cell phone here and it’s great. Like you can post, and I don’t think a lot of people take advantage of this, but you can post like offers and you can post events. And then of course you can like, you know, get more reviews and so forth, like share your profile and ask for reviews. There’s all sorts of stuff that you can do. You can manage and respond to reviews. It’s really a great system. And if Google is the king or queen of all search engines, spending some time here is going to payback. I will guarantee that.

Mateo (35:35):

Yeah. Yeah. You mentioned posts. You’ve said it a couple of times, and I think we should definitely highlight that Google posts are basically posts that they’ll display within the knowledge pane section of like a Google search or Google maps, and think of posts like blog posts. They’re very similar. You can add an image, a description. You can even add a call to action. Posts typically I think they’re supposed to be for like recent things or upcoming things, they don’t last forever. So kind of have to, yeah, they have an expiration dates, but an easy way to just start taking advantage of those posts and just start getting content up there is just duplicate whatever you’re putting on Instagram or Facebook, and just put that same content in a Google post. And you can use, you know, the applications are endless, but you can promote an event. You can make an announcement, share seasonal messages, all kinds of stuff.

Mike (36:32):

When it expires, it’ll often tell me your post is expiring, give you some stats and ask you for another one. Go put up another one.

Mateo (36:39):

Exactly, exactly. And you can gain some, glean some valuable insights from here as well. You can see how well your posts perform. You can see people clicked on your pictures, how long they viewed them for, all kinds of stuff. And the more activity you have on your GMB page with posts, you know, the more that Google is going to reward you for using the platform.

Mike (37:03):

You could even acquire followers, right? Like it’s, you know, there’s so much that is untapped on this for gym owners. And especially in an area, like if you look around, every gym owner around you has a crappy Google My Business, spend like, spend an hour on yours and you will see some results on that.

Mateo (37:21):

You also mentioned reviews. Reviews is huge. Obviously anything that you can do to consistently gain positive reviews from your clients and have them added to your GMB page is gonna pay dividends.

Mike (37:39):

Like the app is so good that I can, like, it says reviews and it says, share your profile. So I could pull this up right now, hit share my profile and I could send you right now, a text message with a couple of taps that would say, 204 lifestyle would love your feedback, post a review to our profile. So think about that. If you’re talking to leads or clients, and like, let’s say you’ve had, you know, a goal review session or you, or something like that, hit this thing, text that the client when they’re feeling great about your business. Could you post review us? If you put like a very simple system and like, I’m literally telling you how simple it is. You’ll get more reviews out of it, right? And you need that, the more, if you have a hundred five star reviews, that’s gonna be better than two two-star reviews.

Mateo (38:17):

Yeah. And if you need help with that. You need a system or an app that can make that a little bit easier, Gym Lead Machine integrates beautifully and seamlessly with Google My Business. You can manage reviews and respond to reviews on both Facebook and Google all from one platform. Another thing that you can manage is conversations through the GMB chat function, which we didn’t even get to, but this is something that you have the option to turn on or off. And basically, when someone finds your GMB page on mobile, if you have messaging switched to on, they’ll actually see an option that says chat. So someone could start chatting with the business right away. And I think this is going to be the future of all consumer to business, local business communication is with this chat function here.

Mateo (39:14):

So I would advise if you have the staff to man the chat inbox, to switch that chat function on your GMB page to on. It will allow a prospect to start talking to you and getting the conversation moving, it’ll make it that much easier for them. And all of those messages can be funneled through, into one conversation’s inbox, with our Gym Lead Machine app as well. So we have all the conversations going into one place, it’s easy to manage, easy to see. But yeah, the GMB chat function is huge. You want to make it easier for prospects to contact you and to start talking to them, inquiring about your gym, and with GMB chat, that’s a easy way to do that.

Mike (39:55):

The world is instand. And you’ve told me many times on this show that the sooner you respond to a lead, the better, if you could be instantaneous through a chat, you’re going to make more sales.

Mateo (40:03):

Yep. A hundred percent.

Mike (40:06):

What else? Anything else you want to talk about Google My Business before we shut this down and send people off to update their profiles?

Mateo (40:11):

Well, you asked about don’ts. The only don’t would be to, you know, not pay attention to GMP page. The only don’t would be to ignore your GMB page, would be to have two pictures on there would be to have, no reviews on there would be to have nothing in the description section, you know. Fill out your GMB page as much as you can. It should only take, you know, an hour. And then it requires a little maintenance moving forward. You know, you’re going to put a post up once in a while. You’re going to add some new photos once in a while, you’ll respond to reviews and that’s really it.

Mateo (40:51):

Yeah, exactly. As long as it’s accurate and up to date, you’re going to see some really positive results just to emphasize, you know, the importance of this thing. White spark, which is one of the largest SEO companies in the world, they ran this huge study where they surveyed 50 of the world’s top SEO consultants. And they asked the survey group to list the most important ranking factors for local SEO. And the study then presented the top 15 most important factors that determine your rankings in the local pack, in the search results and of those 15 factors, of the top 10 of those were tied to information that’s found in your business’s GMB page. So all that’s to say is that Google wants to use your GMB page. It helps them better serve their users who are running local searches for businesses and local search inquiries. And then it rewards businesses you know, that have robust GMB pages by ranking them higher in the search results. So it’s important. It’s a major factor in local search and local SEO when it comes to off page SEO, it’s a big factor. So I would pay attention to it.

Mike (42:10):

So many people and I was one of them for a period obsessing over what their website looks like. And you know, what photos are on there and fonts and this and that. And what plugin. Honestly, if no one gets to your website first, no one’s going to see any of that stuff. You need to update this page. It takes like less than an hour to do that. And then the other thing is obviously Gym Lead Machine takes care of a lot of the other elements. So I don’t have to worry about all the other things that I used to worry about too, because you guys have the backend SEO covered for me at our business. So you can simplify your life with one hour of work on Google My Business. And if you are so inclined contact Gym Lead Machine, to see what they can do for you and take your web troubles away as well.

Mike (42:47):

Mateo, thank you so much for this lesson. I sincerely hope that Mateo’s weight loss center takes off if you so desire to trademark that name, but in any case, thank you again for your insight and knowledge on this topic. I’m Mike Warkentin on Two-Brain Radio. That was Mateo Lopez, the takeaway, fill out your Google My Business profile now. But before you do, head to Facebook and join the Gym Owners United Facebook group. You can literally ask your gym business questions in there and get answers from other gym owners, certified Two-Brain Business mentors and Two-Brain founder Chris Cooper himself. Chris does not participate in any other public Facebook groups. If you want to talk to him, that is the place to go. That’s Gym Owners United on Facebook, join today, and then fill out your Google My Business page.

 

Thanks for listening!

On Monday, Two-Brain Radio presents marketing tips and success stories. Chris Cooper delivers the best of the business world on Two-Brain Radio every Thursday. 

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