How a Small Local Business Went from Good to Great Using Local SEO
One of my clients who started his own personal fitness business a little over a year ago has done an excellent job at promoting his business online as well as engaging and growing his online audience. For this post, I thought it would be interesting for other small business owners and marketers to learn a little bit about how he did it.
For a little background, before this venture he was managing a very popular restaurant here in Boston and doing very well at it. For those of you in the hospitality business, you will most likely understand why my friend simply got worn out from this exhausting work. The hours are very long and little time for a break. So due to the tiring schedule as well as lack of fulfillment, my friend decided to follow a passion of his, health & fitness. He really quite honestly felt it was his calling and it was inspiring to observe this relevation come about.
So my friend, Jake, approached me during this pivotal time in his career and we would discuss his ideas whilst running together or in my office. One day after he had worked for about 10 or 15 days straight at the restaurant, he said “That’s it; I’m done”. At this moment, we started talking about his new venture in a bit more detail and started to lay out a strategic plan for his fitness business. The first thing we discussed was his brand and what it represented. We came up with the brand name TriJake due to his passion for endurance sports and since it incorporates his name.
After we developed his brand a bit and discussed his mission of trying to helping others to enjoy and experience the joy of being active, we talked about some of the fundamental components that he would need to do to first set up his business. For example, he needed his trainer’s license, to register his company with the state, set up a website, find a studio and develop an initial business plan so his new venture has some structure, and of course call a lawyer. My friend Jake works incredibly fast so he took care of all of the off-line set up in what seemed a heartbeat and in the meantime we started crafting his website. In regards to his site, it was clear that displaying his passion for endurance sports & helping others was very important as well as of course making his program very inviting to all (eg. someone new to running or an expert marathoner). Finally, and most important he wanted to make sure that his online visitors could easily contact him so he could generate leads and clients.
One of Jake’s real strengths is that he is very outgoing, approachable and a natural at sales & PR; so he was signing up clients before he even had his studio. Once he found the ideal location for his studio and put money down, he immediately immersed himself into the town’s community. For example, he joined their local chamber of commerce, introduced himself to all of his business neighbors, and started hanging small posters in various coffee shops & restaurants which introduced his service.
In regards to his online growth strategy which I formulated with him, we focused on
- Local SEO Program
- A Small AdWords Campaign
- Content Marketing via his blog and social media
In regards to his local SEO program, I did a lot of local competitive research to learn how his local competitors positioned themselves online and to understand their keyword strategy. From this and looking at some keyword research + search trend data, we developed his top keyword phrases which would serve as the base of his online content strategy. Utilizing these phrases I set up the PPC campaign to give his site an immediate traffic boost since his brand was new.
The next thing of course was his content strategy which I helped him a lot by showing him some successful examples of some other blogs and then breaking down how these blogs achieve this success into simple actionable components. By breaking down his overall online marketing strategy into simple daily/weekly action items or tasks, Jake was able to see that if he followed this simple program and did the work, he would get results. (below is an overview of his 2014 Traffic Growth).
From the above Google Analytics data, it is clear that his overall online traffic experienced a 2x growth jump through the months of January to March. How did this happen? Well if you were to take a look at his website www.trijake.com you would clearly see that his site is very well optimized for local search, he clearly posts a fair amount on his blog and that he is very active in his social media channels. He even received an award due to the quality of his posts. But there was something he did along the way that really took his online game from good to great. He incorporated video. Why was this so beneficial to his online performance & results?
Well first off, for a personal trainer utilizing video is a great way to offer instructions & workout tips for your clients which they can access at their leisure. It’s also of course great content that can be easily shared to further promote your brand and its wonderful for SEO, especially when all of his videos are posted on the town’s .org site. Funny enough, he even does a local weather forecast for the town that his studio is in now and he received PR for it to boot! Check – Move over Al Roker: Have you seen Wellesley’s awesome new weatherman?
So to sum it all up, today my friend’s site pretty much owns all of the local search results for the top search engines in his local area for his main keyword phrases. His site is about a year and a half old, so he has managed to do this relatively quick. (He actually broke onto Google’s 1st page in about 4 months.) Some of the things that really helped his traffic & rank were optimizing his site with a very local focus, having a mobile site using responsive design, his frequent posts on his blog & social media channels and his use of video. So if you are running a local business or in charge of online marketing for one, please try incorporating some of these online tactics and I would bet you will start to see a positive return in your overall online performance & results. Of course, if you have any questions about any of these tactics, please give us a holler.
**BTW- if you need a personal trainer and you live around the Boston or Wellesley area see TriJake.com.