More Clicks: Simple SEO Strategies for Gym Owners

Mateo Lopez and title text.

Mike (00:02):

You’ve got a great business, but your terrible website is letting you down. Today, we talk about search engine optimization and how some simple adjustments can earn more clicks and clients for your fitness business.

Chris (00:12):

More on that topic in just a second. Two-Brain Radio is brought to you by AGuard, providing elite insurance for fitness and sport. AGuard offers coverage for functional fitness facilities, mixed martial arts gyms and even events and competitions. You can also get access to healthcare insurance, discounted AEDs and discounted background checks. AGuard’s coverage options are designed to keep you safe. To find out more, visit

Mike (00:38):

It’s Mike Warkentin, and this is Two-Brain Radio. With me today is marketing expert and web wizard, Mateo Lopez. He’s one of the great people behind Gym Lead Machine and the new SEO fundamentals course available to Two-Brain growth clients. Today, we’re going to go over some of the SEO basics that can have a huge effect on your business. First things first. Mateo, I am not ranking at all for best heavy metal guitarist of all time. Can you help me in any way?

Mateo (01:03):

I can try, but it might take a while.

Mike (01:07):

Like a week or what?

Mateo (01:09):

Definitely not a week. I mean, do you have any sweet riffs on your website?

Mike (01:19):

We actually have the revenue riff here on Two-Brain Business and I’ll get our producers to fire it in right now.

Mateo (01:34):

My face is officially melted, which is good, but I think, yeah, you probably need, probably need a bit more content, maybe a hit record or two perhaps, maybe a cool video online of you playing.

Mike (01:51):

I don’t like it when people watch me. You’re saying I have a few issues that I need to take care of first and there is no be all end all one stop shop, super fixed for SEO. Is that what you’re kind of soft selling me here?

Mateo (02:05):

That is true. Generally speaking, but yeah, let me ask, do you have any reviews of people saying, Hey, I heard Mike guitar and it was great.

Mike (02:14):

Just my dog.

Mateo (02:14):

He helped me fix my ears with his awesome playing. I recommend Mike and his guitar.

Mike (02:21):

We are empty in that category as you answer that.

Mateo (02:26):

That might be a good place to start to get some social proof. You know, that you’re actually, you are who you say you are, you shred, like you say you shred, people should search for you as the number one authority on all things shredding and heavy metal.

Mike (02:44):

So what you’re getting at essentially here is besides my astounding lack of talent, you actually are saying that there is a process to SEO and, you know, you can make inroads, but it’s not an instant overnight fix. So let me ask you this right off the top for gym owners. What is SEO? Why should people care about it?

Mateo (03:02):

Well, SEO is an acronym. I don’t know if you could tell, it’s an acronym from the online and digital marketing world and, it stands for search engine optimization. So I guess the next question is, well, what is search engine optimization? So it’s the process of curating your online content and online presence in order to rank well in the unpaid section of the search engine results, search engine result pages. So if you ever go and type into Google for something, anytime you type anything, really, once you hit enter, there’s a list of results based off of what you typed in. And so SEO is basically curating your online presence so that you rank well in that list of results for certain given search keywords in certain search criteria.

Mike (04:04):

Search engine results pages, SERPs, as they often show up. That’s another acronym. Yeah. So that’s an ugly acronym that we’ll throw at you. And then of course there are other search engines than Google, but let’s be honest. Google is the top banana, am I right?

Mateo (04:17):

Totally. That was definitely my next point in my notes here. There are other search engines. Bing is another one, if you can believe it.

Mike (04:27):

Is Ask Jeeves still around?

Mateo (04:30):

Honestly, I don’t know. We should Google it to find out.

Mateo (04:36):

Yeah, we should go, Hey, Google, does Ask Jeeves still exist. They’ll probably be like, no, never use it. So there are other search engines, even like going into Apple maps, searching for, you know, where to get pizza, like that’s a search engine, right? So there are other search engines out there. It is important to have listings in these other search engines, but yeah, the one that people use the most is definitely Google. And given the limited amount of resources that a gym like a micro gym, a solo kind of one person shop, you know, owner-operator business, given the limited amount of resources and time that that person tends to have, you know, focusing on Google is probably the best way to get the most bang for your buck. Yeah.

Mike (05:28):

And the short of is this is essentially unpaid advertising, the stuff that comes up when someone does a search in a search engine and gets results. And if you are the number one in that list of results, it’s likely that you’re going to get more free clicks than anything else. Now, of course there are paid things that pop up before these results and so forth, at least on Google. And it’s not guaranteed that anyone will click on anything and it’s certainly not guaranteed with any amount of SEO tactics that you’re going to be Google page one, because no one, only Google makes these decisions, but there are some things that you can do to rank higher. Correct?

Mateo (06:02):

Yeah. I mean, this is like kind of what you were saying that should go without saying, ranking well in the search results for relevant keywords in your niche. So, you know, ranking well for the word CrossFit, ranking well for the word strength training or whatever, like that can be a powerful tool for driving traffic and getting prospective customers to see your website. You know, there’s a stat that a lot of people like to put out there, but the vast majority of online experiences, the vast majority of what people do online, it begins with a search engine. So nearly 75% of searchers start their searches on Google. So, it’s definitely valuable to work on trying to rank well, and improve your rankings in the Google search results pages.

Mike (06:57):

I’m going to throw a stat at you. This 2020 Sistrix report said the number one organic result of a Google search gets 28.5% of the clicks, entries two and three get 15.7 and 11% of the clicks, respectively, number 10 on the page gets 2.5 and page two, basically doesn’t exist.

Mateo (07:17):

You can imagine what the open rate the click rates are for page two results. Right? And as you were saying before, you know, this is traffic that’s coming in relatively organically, you know, for all intents and purposes, right? You’re not paying per click, right? You’re not paying for anything. The work and the time spent is in order to get these people who are searching to see your website on a list of results. And obviously the higher you are, like you just said, the better chance you’re going to have of getting that person to click on your site.

Mike (07:55):

And this is a big money game. Like when we talk about SEO consultants, these are like $400 an hour, you know, $10,000 a month kind of people, right? Like for when we’re talking big, big money, SEO, if you can get to Google page one in some of these monster popular categories, which is a ton of work and very hard and no SEO consultant guarantees it, but if you can get there, you’re going to make some money, but you’re also going to have to spend some money on some big money SEO guys. Like I’m looking at, go ahead, sorry. I cut you off.

Mateo (08:23):

Like exactly what you’re saying. Imagine if you ranked number one for the word fitness, you know, like at any time, someone typed in fitness in Google, your website popped up as number one, that would obviously be very, very valuable. And so everyone who works in this industry knows how valuable that would be. So that’s why they charge a lot of money to try and get you close to those top three search results for certain words. Or certain search phrases.

Mike (08:57):

The top three for fitness, you got fitness, blender,, So we’re talking like these are the big kids.

Mateo (09:05):

Exactly, exactly. And that’s why if you’re good in the SEO world, you know, you’re able to charge a lot of money for your work because getting that top spot for those big keywords, you know, is valuable. And they know it.

Mike (09:20):

And no gym, so let’s be real. No gym is going to bump off the fitness top rankings. But we can make some inroads in local SEO. Tell me about this, because this is super important for gyms and fitness businesses.

Mateo (09:34):

So there is a difference between doing work for, you know, we’ll call it general SEO and then local SEO, right? So, you know, ranking really high or ranking well for the search term for the word fitness, obviously it would be very valuable. But you you’d have to beat out these big players. But the thing is you don’t really need to, right? Apple is trying to reach a really wide and big audience like or whatever it is, you know, they’re trying to reach, everyone all over the country for that word. You’re not trying to reach an audience that big, I mean, unless you’re, you know, I suppose if you’re trying to grow some kind of virtual, personal training business or, you know, some kind of online app, but generally speaking as a gym, you know, you’re serving a local market, right.

Mateo (10:28):

So what you’re going to do and what you want to rank for is gonna be very different than if you were trying to reach, you know, people on a national global scale, right? So that’s the main difference between SEO management for a business and a website that services customers on a national or global scale, and then SEO management for local businesses and a website that needs to reach a much smaller audience on a local level. Right? So that’s really what we’re talking about here is there’s SEO and then there’s local SEO and the work that’s involved is slightly different, right? So an example, you know, like a can of Coke. No, one’s really Googling Coca-Cola near me or best soda in Miami. No one’s really Googling that. Right. So Coke versus Pepsi and, you know, Amazon versus Walmart, these big you know, companies are battling it out to rank well for a wide variety of search terms, right? And they’re spending wild amounts of money to make sure that they reach this massive audience of people who use Google and their search engine, but for smaller businesses, right. Especially gyms and micro gyms, Two-Brain Business clients, local SEO is what’s more important, right?

Mike (11:44):

Service business, right. You got to be there except we’ll cut people a pass for COVID measures right now that are putting them online. But in general, for a gym, you’d be there.

Mateo (11:54):

Right. Exactly. You know, few CrossFit affiliates or small boutique studios or local yoga studios, very few of them have a national or international presence. Right. So like you just said, they rely on training in a physical location. Right. So with that in mind, you want to attract local people who are typing into Google search engine, best gym in Houston, or get fit in New York. Right. These are the terms that you probably want to rank for, you know, if you’re a CrossFit gym in Houston, for example. And so while there are tactics and best practices for local SEO that do overlap with, you know, what you would do if you were managing a big national brand, general SEO, right? There are some few key differences that we want to keep in mind and that’s kinda what what we focus on in the new course that I just created for our Two-Brain clients.

Mike (12:52):

Quickly tell me about that. What is this course and who gets it?

Mateo (12:57):

So it’s a mini course that I just created, it’s available for the Two-Brain growth clients. And one of the things that we talk about is this exact topic here, which is figuring out OK, what’s what’s SEO and how does local SEO differ? And what are the actual steps gyms need to take in order to rank well for local searches. Right.

Mike (13:18):

  1. So we’re not going to give away everything that’s in that course for growth clients. But if you are a Two-Brain client currently, you talk to your mentor and he or she will help you work through this thing and make some inroads. However, Gym Lead Machine, Mateo is a big player over there, has a blog. And the blog is called the guide to local SEO for gym owners. I wrote it, Mateo published it. So it’s obviously amazing. But it will give you a lot of tips on stuff that we’re going to talk about here. And that’s in the course, and again, the course is going to be much more in-depth, it’s gonna help you do the work. This will just give you an overview though. So I’d encourage you. We’ll get that link in the show notes to click it. But Mateo, you’ve got in this article, we talked about some important places where you want to pop up with local SEO. What are they, where are they?

Mateo (13:59):

Right. So, you know, with general SEO, if you were to type in a keyword phrase, like, let’s just say best gym mentorship, right? Two-Brain pops up, but there’s really only one place to see the list of results. With local SEO, there are actually two spots where a gym and its website could potentially pop up. Right. So if you were to type in best CrossFit near me, there’s two locations on the Google results page where your website could show up in a list. The first is what’s called the local map pack and that’s, if you’ve ever Googled, you know, I need to get a haircut. So barbershop, right? It’s basically this list of three businesses. And Google is basically showing you the three businesses that it thinks best match the term that you just typed into the search bar. Right. And then you’ll see where those businesses are on the map and, you know, where it is in relation to you and where you’re conducting the search.

Mike (15:00):

That’s the icons with A, B, C and points on the map?

Mateo (15:00):

Exactly. And then below that you have the rest of the organic link lists. You know, this is basically the only thing that used to exist, right. And then they added the local map pack. And so there’s basically two places and here’s the confusing part, right? There are slightly different factors that determine which business gets the top spot in the local map pack. And then which business gets the top spot in the organic listings that are below the map pack.

Mike (15:30):

I must know.

Mateo (15:30):

Well, if you want to know, you should check out the course. But no, I mean, we can talk about a little bit here, but, you know, for example, right. Here’s one way in which that plays out. Let’s say there are two websites and they have identical ranking factors.

Mateo (15:51):

They have the same amount of reviews. They have the same amount of keyword rich content, their website loading speeds are the same, you know, let’s say everything is the same on like an SEO perspective, but let’s say the only difference is that the person who is actually doing the searching, right, whatever, typing into the search bar, they’re one mile closer to location A versus location B. Well, Google will place location A in the number one spot in the local map pack results. Now let’s say that person walked a little bit closer to location B and then conducted their search again. Well then location B would actually show up first in the search results in the local map pack. Right. So Google search results dynamically change based on the location and the proximity of the actual searcher to the businesses. Does that make sense? OK.

Mike (16:44):

And that’s because of the tracking device that Google has implanted under your forehead skin. Right.

Mateo (16:49):

Exactly. Right. Exactly. So proximity to the Googler is a major factor when it comes to where a business ranks in the local pack. But that factor is not as significant when it comes to ranking in the organic listings below the map pack. So that’s just one way to kind of illustrate, hopefully that, you know, these factors are slightly different. And so that’s why it’s a little bit tricky. And why we decided to create the course, expand on this idea and give gym owners the info they need.

Mike (17:26):

It comes back to like your business plan because where you put your business is going to have some effect on your Google results. So if you are out in the middle of nowhere where no one’s ever there, you might have a different result where of course you certainly can, like you can become a destination location, but Chris Cooper’s written about this, how to choose a location. And, you know, back in the day, a CrossFit gym in the scariest part of town in a warehouse covered in skulls and blood, that was kind of cool. It maybe isn’t so much any more. So just note to people, if you’re thinking of opening a gym, you might think about location as it relates to Google search engines. So you talked about all things being equal, and you mentioned some of the things, the site speed and different stuff. Let’s talk about that. What’s on-page and off-page SEO?

Mateo (18:08):

Right. OK. So right. What I was alluding to before is there are these different ranking factors that Google uses in its algorithm to determine which sites rank where in the local pack and in the organic listings. And the tricky part is that there are over 200 of these factors.

Mike (18:31):

Does Google give us a checklist?

Mateo (18:31):

No. That was what I was going to say next. It’s tough to know which of these factors matter more and when, right. So obviously as we alluded to before, proximity can have a big effect. But it’s not the number one thing to focus on. Like you also can’t control it. Right? You can’t control where a person is when they search for you. Right. So, it’s tough to know which of these carries more weight, and which you should focus on, but there are some best guesses and there are some best guesses and there’s ways to kind of track these things and experiment and get a general idea. There is a consensus that these certain things do matter and they matter a lot versus some of these other things they matter, but not quite as much. Right. And so the best way to think about that is to divide those factors into two categories, which is what you were just alluding to before there’s on page SEO and off page SEO. That’s probably the best way to start to divide up these ranking factors and figure out what we need to focus on first.

Mike (19:37):

And I’ll just jump in and say, the reason why Google doesn’t tell people is because as soon as you let that info out, people game it. And that’s what happened with like keyword stuffing back in the day where you could just create these terrible, terrible sites that do nothing, but just stuff the keyword camera lens over and over and over again. And all of a sudden, everyone would search for camera lenses, get to these terrible sites that didn’t actually help anyone. And it didn’t help Google help people find what they want to find. So Google keeps that algorithm secret. We all try to guess what it is so we can get the traffic, but they won’t let you know exactly how to do it, because if they do, the robots will take over and game it all. So talk about the on and off page.

Mateo (20:12):

Yeah. Yeah. Definitely like, you know, you could probably rank well for free intro and personal training if you said, if your website copy was something like this, book, your free personal training consultation at CrossFit 204 in Winnipeg, we have the best personal training. You can book your free session for it in Winnipeg at CrossFit 204. Now, if you ever thought about booking a free personal training session at CrossFit 204 in Winnipeg, now is the time to book your free intro.

Mike (20:52):

Stuff it away.

Mateo (20:52):

Yeah. And so people used to do that, right. People used to cram in those keywords to rank well for those terms. But the thing is that makes for a very unpleasant experience for the user when they’re reading. And so they leave, right. That’s only going to hurt you because you’re going to have a higher bounce rate. And then, that’ll negatively affect your SEO rankings. Right. So, that’s why Google keeps this stuff close to the vest and they don’t want people just gaming the system and making it unpleasant for their users. Right.

Mike (21:25):

But you can do some stuff.

Mateo (21:27):

Yeah. But there are some things that you can do, right? So there’s on page SEO and off page SEO. On page SEO refers to the optimization of elements that belong to your website’s content and structure. So, as we were alluding to before, a website that’s rich with keyword search terms, and that offers valuable content, a website that’s responsive, that loads really quickly, that has optimized metadata. These are just some of the many factors that can influence your rankings. And these are things that you can control through the management of your actual website, right? So that’s why it’s called on page, on the actual page of your site. These are the factors that are on your website that can have an effect on your SEO, on your rankings. And so off page SEO refers to the optimization of elements that have an impact on your website ranking, but that exists outside of your website or off of your website page. So that’s why it’s called off page SEO. So, examples of off page SEO are reviews for your business, from Google or a third-party review aggregator like Yelp, back links or links back to your website from other authoritative industry related blogs and websites, the click-through rates of your website, your Google My Business page, so these are just some of the many factors that influence and determine your ranking that aren’t really related to your website, or what’s on your website.

Mike (22:59):

So I’ll give you this and we won’t dive in, cause this is a whole show unto itself, but I’ll give you this. And you can argue with me and let me know, but on page SEO, I’m going to throw this out to you. Content is king or queen, whichever one you prefer, do you agree?

Mateo (23:11):

Yes. Content is the royalty, I guess. Yeah. Content is king, content is queen, content is bae, content is super important. One of the most important things, one of the most important factors for, um, on-page SEO, right?

Mike (23:32):

You just, you have to answer questions for people and help them. So when Google sends someone to your site and someone spends a long time there, clicks through several pages and clearly gets the answer he or she was searching for, Google will be more inclined to send more people that way.

Mateo (23:46):

If Google sends people to your site and they immediately click out because it’s horrible, it sucks. It doesn’t have any great content. Google will probably take note of that and send less people your way. Now there’s also, you said there’s all sorts of other stuff like site responsiveness, speed, metadata and Gym Lead Machine, of course can take care of that for you. The content is generally on the shoulders of the website owner. They have to produce it. Lots of it, regularly.

Mateo (24:14):

An example I point to in the course is like Seth Godin’s blog, for example.

Mike (24:21):

That’s a good one.

Mateo (24:22):

Seth Godin, for those of you don’t know, he’s an entrepreneur and he offers, wisdom, anecdote stories on his blog just to anyone who wants to read it basically, but geared towards helping entrepreneurs, marketers, business owners to, you know, to learn and grow.

Mateo (24:44):

And his site is pretty simple. It’s just Seth’s Blog. And he just blogs. He just writes every day, on a variety of topics and the content is so good. What he says is so good, what he writes is so well written that people feel compelled to share it and link back to it on their blog or their site, or just share it on social media. And because it’s so good, because that gets shared so many times and so often he has generated a lot of backlinks back to his site which Google then thinks, OK, well, this guy, a lot of people are referencing this guy. He’s obviously an authority in the space. So his domain authority gets ranked higher, or he has a higher domain authority. And so ranks well for a variety of search terms. You know, he pops up a lot, and you have a really high domain authority. And it’s all just because of the content he writes, it’s so valuable. It’s so good that he gets people to share it. And that helps him rank higher, so, and have a higher domain authority. So that’s just an example of just the power of writing and writing well, and what it can do for your website and domain authority and how it ranks.

Chris (25:57):

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Mike (26:32):

As a writer, I can tell you that there are tricks to writing content that search engines like without keyword stuffing and being what is referred to as black hat SEO. What it really comes down is writing a really good article, using a diverse vocabulary, figuring out certain search terms and working them in properly without stuffing and still creating a resource that works really well, but does have some optimization aspects. That’s a whole different ball of wax, but white hat SEO, the good things that Google will allow and will not penalize you for. You can use some of that stuff to create great content. So we won’t get into that. But the thing that I want you to tell me about here a little bit, we talk about off page SEO, Google My Business. Now I’m just going to go on a limb and say that if Google is your search engine, and there’s a thing called Google My Business, putting in some work on that page might help your search engine results. Am I right?

Mateo (27:18):

So yes, a big part of SEO and especially local SEO is this thing called citations. It’s basically where you get your business listed in various directories online. So, you know, if you need like the yellow, we used to have a physical yellow pages where you could look up a businesses’ phone number, its address, but yellow Right, I know it was long time ago, but, yellow is a directory for various businesses that you can put your business in and list it so people can find you, right? So the more of these that you have, right? The more of these listings that you have, that’s one of the ways in which you can boost your ranking. One of these places where you can list your business, one of these directories is Google itself and what they call a Google My Business.

Mateo (28:09):

Its their own kind of business directory. It’s their own place where you can put your business listing, and where people can find you, right? And this is something that you can really only use if you’re a local business. So you want to take advantage of it because a lot of the bigger brands that, you know, are trying to reach people on a national scale without kind of a local physical location, they’re not really able to use GMB, right? So Coca-Cola for example, I guess maybe their headquarters could, but that really wouldn’t work for them. So, so yes, Google My Business is Google’s own business directory, and you want to have a page for your business on GMB. And some of you may already have it and you just don’t even know it, right? So you can kind of look yourself up on the Google maps and you should be able to find the listing for yourself.

Mateo (29:03):

And Google really wants its users to use Google My Business, because they want people to stay on Google. Basically. It’s almost their way of like creating a mini website for your business. And if they’re users of the Google searchers aren’t really leaving Google to go find your website. They can just find all the information on your GMB page, on your Google My Business page, that’s better for Google because it wants users to stay on Google longer. And if you take advantage of that, they’ll reward you, right? If you have a fleshed out GMB page, if you’re using it, if you’re actively posting on, if you’re responding to messages on it, Google takes note of that and will reward you by giving you a better ranking. So one of the biggest factors for where you rank in local pack is your Google My Business page. So just working on that alone can have a big impact on where you rank.

Mike (29:57):

And there’s basic stuff in there, like your address and your phone number, your hours. You can put photos up, you can do like tours and things like that. You can make posts, there’s all sorts of different stuff in there, but for the most part, you do not have to be an absolute wizard to use this thing. You can just like, if you can use Facebook, you can use Google My Business. You’re just filling out as many fields as you can. And then, you know, you can experiment with posts and pictures and things like that. And like, I’ve done this with our business and we’ll get lots of people looking at photos, tons of them. And I was surprised at how much, or how many views some of these photos I got when it was just, it wasn’t paid traffic or anything like that. We didn’t run an ad. People found this stuff. And of course, people want to see like, you know, where are you? What do you look like on the street? And things like that. So if you put these photos, what does your staff look like? All these things contribute. And like, again, they don’t publish this, but like, it stands to reason. Like you said, if your Google My Business listing is really great and helps Google out and helps people out, Google is probably going to show up more.

Mateo (30:56):

Exactly. Yeah. They reward you for that work a hundred percent by helping you rank higher in the local pack specifically, in the map pack, Google My Business can have a really big impact on where you rank there.

Mike (31:08):

Let’s talk quickly as we wind this one down, what are a couple of SEO kisses of death? Tell me a couple of things that are just like, you’re going to page 30 and will never be clicked on ever again.

Mateo (31:19):

So, generally having a broken website, like broken links, you know, having people click on like a tab, and then it goes to like, this page is missing or it’s a 404. Yeah. So redirects, broken links, just having a site that’s generally kind of broken, is gonna hurt you. Having a really slow website is going to hurt you. Although we should take a pause here about website speed. Cause a lot of people will use some of these speed testers to see if their website is slow or not. Or if it’s working well or not. Website speed is important. Like you want to have a website that loads when people click on it in a timely fashion, but at a certain point, website’s speed can kind of be like splitting hairs because there’s diminishing returns at a certain point. Right. So for example, if we go back to Seth’s Blog, right, Seth writes really important, valuable content. And if his site slowed down a bit after you click on it, if it took a little bit of time for it to load, I’m willing to bet people would still wait to read it because people are really big fans of his work and it’s valuable stuff. And if your content is good enough, people will wait for it basically.

Mike (32:40):

We’re talking like they’re going to wait like five seconds or something.

Mateo (32:43):

Yeah. Like not, yeah. If it takes five seconds to load, there’s a problem there, but generally speaking, right, if your website’s good, if it’s got valuable content on it, people will wait to access it, is kind of my point. On top of that, it’s really hard to figure out the actual speed of your site with some of these free site speed testers. Sometimes the amount of extensions you have on your Chrome browser or whatever it is that you’re using to conduct the test can actually negatively affect the site speed where you’re doing the test. So, you know, if your wifi is bad, cause you’re in a coffee shop versus if you’re standing next to your router, your speed, the results of your speed tests are gonna differ. Right.

Mike (33:30):

What if I use an iPhone 4?

Mateo (33:31):

Yep. That will definitely probably, negatively affect your speed test results. So all that being said is, you know, you want to have a speed that loads fast. You want to have a site that works well, but, you know, you don’t want to stress out too much on the minutia of some of these tests, speed test websites.

Mike (33:57):

Yeah. I’ve heard of people who just like are obsessive about their sites and they’re just constantly speed testing. And it’s just like you said, splitting hairs where it’s like milliseconds of difference that no one really, it doesn’t matter. And it could be attributed to any one of the factors that you just laid out. OK. So site speed important, not super important, but if it’s 40 seconds, like I had, it’s going to be a kiss of death. What are some of the other kisses of death?

Mateo (34:19):

The other one, bad reviews, right? Or getting marked as spam. If someone marks your GMB as a spam page or something’s wrong, or making a correction, you know, those things can negatively affect you as well. On the flip side, that’s a technique that has grown in popularity in the SEO world. That’s a technique that has grown in popularity in the SEO world lately is if you go in and clean up some of these listings, if you mark some listings as spam, if you’re white knighting a little bit and going in and doing some of the work for Google, they’ll actually reward you for that work as well. So, that’s an interesting little nugget I found in my research. But yes, so getting marked as spam, bad reviews, really slow load speeds to your website and employing black hat techniques, right?

Mateo (35:13):

You mentioned white hat techniques. These are basically, SEO techniques that abide by Google’s terms of service, black hat techniques would be the opposite, right? So this is the maybe using link farms, which are basically like hiring shady firms to create a bunch of like back links to your site from websites that are all offshore and that are just meant to create back links.

Mike (35:43):

Basically just the equivalent of bots liking your Instagram posts.

Mateo (35:46):

Yeah, exactly. Exactly. Yeah. So so black hat techniques, generally speaking. Google will find you Google find out you’re doing them. It may not happen right away, but once they do, you know, they could suspend your GMB page. There’s lots of things that they can do. So black hat techniques, generally speaking will also really hurt your ranking.

Mike (36:08):

Yeah. It’s not a good plan. And like you said, they might work for a brief period, but the penalty is probably going to be not worth the reward. So don’t use them, you know, that’s the best advice we can give is don’t use them, I’ll ask you one important one. What happens if your site does not load on mobile very well?

Mateo (36:24):

That will definitely hurt your rankings as well. I mean, most people are searching and surfing the web on their mobile device. Right. So you want to make sure that your site is mobile friendly, that it’s designed in a format that works on desktop, mobile and tablet. You know, I think you mentioned this in the blog post that we put out, no one wants to have to pinch and scroll around to look and try and read your what’s on your website. Right? So making sure that your website is mobile friendly, even, you know, tablet, just to cover your bases. That’s really important as well. And if it’s not, you’re gonna see a negative impact on your rankings.

Mike (37:05):

So let’s close this out, tell me first and foremost what Gym Lead Machine can do for people and what aspects of SEO that it can take care of. And then on the way out the door, give us one tip, your number one tip for a gym owner who’s listening right now. And maybe isn’t using Gym Lead Machine. What’s the one SEO tip that you would give them that they can do right after they end the show.

Mateo (37:24):

So content is a huge factor and so we make sure that what we create for our clients reads well and it’s valuable to their website visitors. Design and layout, right? That’s another huge on-page SEO factor. So with our websites we engineer reasons to keep your viewer on the page. And that’s really important for SEO. You want to make sure that you have a really high scroll through rates. And we also want to make sure that your websites don’t just have huge blocks of texts, right? So our websites, we use multimedia to keep your website viewers and visitors engaged. We also make it easy for our clients to customize their meta-tags and metadata. And we make it easy for our clients to insert keywords that they want to rank for onto their website. So keywords is another really important on-page SEO factor that we kind of touched on briefly earlier in this episode.

Mateo (38:16):

And our websites are really, really fast and they’re really responsive. We built them in formats that work well on desktop, mobile and on tablets. We also employ things like lazy load, which helps your site load faster. And we also make sure that we limit the use of plugins and widgets so that, you know, we’re not weighing down your website with bulky things that honestly don’t really, that are not really necessary for your site. And so a lot of the on-page SEO stuff is taken for you in a big way. On top of that, we have our automation platform, which makes reaching out to your clients to generate reviews really, really easy and reviews is a huge off page SEO factor that we didn’t really touch on. But, you know, it’s one of the major things that Google is looking at on your Google My Business page to see, Hey, do you have good reviews? How many do you have, that has a big impact on where you rank.

Mike (39:10):

More is better, more is better for sure. More good ones, anyways. The thing that I really like about your site is like, I can drive the content. Like that’s one of my skill areas, same thing with my wife, we crank out the stuff. But what I like is that once I get someone onto that page and I get them to read one of the blogs and so forth, you guys take care of all the other stuff where when they click for more info, they click to book, everything’s taken care of. They go into funnels and automations and things like that. And you guys also provided a lead magnet, which is great. We had someone download that thing yesterday and ask us for more info. So the thing that’s really cool about you guys is that you handle a large portion of the SEO stuff that I don’t want to deal with, which is like, you know, the site speed and all the other stuff. I had that 40-second website, didn’t know how to fix it. You guys take care of that. I just write good stuff and you help me connect with clients. So I love that part of your process. Give me the number one SEO tip for a gym owner out there right now who is going to try and do something when they hit end on this show.

Mateo (40:07):

Well, they can sign up for Gym Lead Machine.

Mike (40:11):

I would. I did.

Mateo (40:13):

Beyond the on-page stuff, there’s a lot of off page SEO things that factor in, one of them that we touched on before is, you know, flesh out your Google My Business page, right? Claim your business if you haven’t already on Google My Business, and then flesh it out, right? Flesh out the services that you offer, the products you offer, make sure you have a description in there. Add photos, figure out a way to start posting regularly, an easy way to just to repurpose what you’re already posting on social media and just do that in the Google My Business posts section, another one is reviews, right? Make sure you have a strategy for generating reviews for your business, especially on your GMB page, on your Google My Business listing. And here’s another quick tip.

Mateo (40:57):

If you can, ask your clients when they are leaving reviews to include the keywords that you want to rank well for. So for example, if you want to show up more for searches related to personal training, go to one of your personal training clients, ask them to leave you a review on Google and say, Hey, when you go to write your review, can you do me a favor? Can you make sure you mentioned how we’ve helped you with our personal training service, right? So it’s like, all right, I went to 204 fitness in Winnipeg and Mike was awesome. I signed up for personal training and I got awesome results. I highly recommend personal training with Mike because he’s great.

Mike (41:39):

He’s probably the best personal trainer in Winnipeg.

Mateo (41:42):

Exactly. So asking them to include those keywords in their review is going to actually have a really big, positive impact on ranking for those keywords.

Mike (41:52):

I love it. And I’m going to throw one final thing at you, if you have nothing else to do, publish a blog and make sure that it’s a good one. And if you want to know what to write about, ask your clients what questions they have about fitness and nutrition. And I would give you a tip to ask your newest clients, what do you want to know about fitness and nutrition, and then write your answers and make them good. So not just like, vegetables are important, right? A lengthier, more detailed answer, put some links in that thing. Use some keywords, mention some local grocery stores. You can find the exact things in this recipe at Smiths Foods, right down the street here in insert your city or whatever. Write some great content. I would encourage you to do that as well. So that’s like we were going to give one, we’ve given them four things. I think that should set them on the right path. Do you think?

Mateo (42:41):

Yeah, definitely. I mean, think about about questions that haven’t really been answered, you know, or that there’s not good data or answers on a certain topic. You know, I think that one that you did, Mike was really good, was like what shoes to wear for CrossFit. That’s a question that gets asked, but not a lot of people have written about it, right? So that’s something that you could do if you’re looking for topics, right? Because then that stuff gets shared, right? If there’s not a lot of info on a topic, you’re the one who writes a good blog post around that topic with some valuable info. That’s the stuff that gets shared. And then when it gets shared, you know, you’re building more domain authority and you’re just increasing the chances of you ranking higher for those searches related to those terms and those topics.

Mike (43:24):

Surprisingly enough, there are some very, you know, searchable topics that haven’t been covered in great detail, or they’ve been covered badly. We won’t get into the whole digging for those things right here, but I’ll just tell you that, like the stuff is out there. And if you can find a way to write about it properly, you will get some traffic. I’ve written some blogs that hit very high on Google, some page ones, page number ones. And we get organic traffic regularly from that stuff. Same thing with Two-Brain Business. We have some really solid posts that give us lots of organic traffic. Figure it out and you will get more traffic. That’s all I think we’re going to tell people for today, if you want to take this SEO course, it is in the growth group.

Mike (44:02):

And Chris Cooper has told you talk to your mentor. He or she will help you find it. If you want to adjust a lot of this stuff without having to do the work, talk to Mateo and his crew at Gym Lead Machine. And if you want more great info like this, subscribe to Two-Brain Radio for more episodes. Thanks for being here today, Mateo.

Mateo (44:17):

Thanks, Mike.

Mike (44:17):

That was marketing expert Mateo Lopez on Two-Brain Radio. I’m your host, Mike Warkentin. If you have not done so, you need to join the Gym Owners United group on Facebook. Chris regularly post articles, instructional videos, and advice in there. It’s the only public group he’s in. That’s Gym Owners United on Facebook. Join today.


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