The Personal Trainer’s Step-By-Step Local SEO Checklist

Stand out in local search results by checking the boxes in the Local SEO Checklist.

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If you’re an online personal trainer, don’t forget that you’ve got a local market too.

And depending on your niche, there’s a real need for LOCAL trainers who serve online.

I’ll use myself as an example:

I serve pregnant and postpartum personal training clients. Many of my clients find me in local search. While I work with them virtually, I am able to make great referrals to local physical therapists, doulas and lactation consultants.

I’m embedded in the local birth community and so I can provide next-level support to my local clients.

For an additional fee, I will provide the odd house call as well.

Proximity facilitates personal connection and a lot of folks would rather work with someone local, even if most of the work is online.

The Step-By-Step Local SEO Checklist

To stand out in local search results, you’ll need to optimize your website for “near me” searches.

Check the following boxes (if they’re applicable):

☑️ Claim And Optimize Your Google Business Profile

This is the one item on this list you need to be careful with. You can only have a Google Business Profile if you serve local clients. If you don’t plan to actively serve your local market, skip this and the next step. Google will penalize you if you create a Google Business Profile without actually having a local business.

Double-check that your profile is fully completed with accurate and detailed information. This means:

Completely fill out your business description: Check that your Google business listing accurately reflects what you offer, including your niche or specialty and any unique aspects of your service.

Solicit reviews: Encourage clients to leave positive reviews. These reviews lend credibility and often influence potential clients’ decisions. You can also re-use these on your website as social proof and a source of local keywords.

Regularly post updates: Share updates about your services or special offers. Consistent posting keeps your profile active and engaging.

Post photos that represent you, your clients, and your services: Include professional, high-quality images that illustrate your training environment and your services in action.

Solicit FAQs from buddies or clients: Encourage people you know to ask common questions about your services, then provide informative answers. This not only enriches your profile but also helps potential clients find the information they’re looking for.

☑️ Actively seek Google reviews from your (local) clients

Share your Google My Business review link with clients to gather regular feedback.

Make it easy on yourself: If you have an off-boarding email sequence, make sure you include a link to leave a review in that sequence.

☑️ Check Your Name, Address, And Phone Number (NAP) For Consistency 

This is super straightforward:

NAP (Name, Address, and Phone Number) data is one of Google’s local SEO ranking factors. Verify that your NAP information is uniform across your website, Google Business Profile, social media, and online directories.

Having consistent listings makes it more likely you’ll appear in local search results.

☑️ Create locally-themed blog posts

Creating locally themed content goes beyond providing general fitness advice or solutions. Write blog posts about local events, interview aligned local practitioners, and highlight relevant local news or activities.

These posts often offer a dual benefit. They’re a way to connect with your community and boost your local SEO simultaneously. For example, by interviewing local health pros, you’re enriching your local content AND you’re building real connections with other people in your area. These conversations can lead to reciprocal promotion and a broader audience reach.

☑️ Invest In Local Link Building

Reach out to local businesses for inclusion on their resource pages or for collaborative opportunities. This approach not only earns you valuable backlinks for SEO but also deepens your roots in the local community.

For example, as a pregnancy and postpartum personal trainer, you could reach out to doulas, childbirth educators or lactation consultants.

Set coffee dates or a Zoom call where you can both learn about one another and the ways you could each support the other. If it feels right, you could ask if they would be willing to feature you on their resource page (if they have one).

Create your own local resource page so you can reciprocate.

More than just an SEO tactic, this networking strategy not only improves your online visibility but fosters real relationships with other local service providers.

☑️ Embed A Google Map On Your Contact Page

Add a map pinpointing your location to assist local searchers.

I don’t recommend embedding Google maps directly on your home page or your footer because the embed does slow your website down to a degree. For your home page or footer, consider a screen shot of the map that you link to a live map.

☑️ Optimize For Smart Phones

Make sure your website is mobile-friendly, as most local searches are made on mobile.

Here are the points to consider:

Responsive Design: This is tech-speak for a website that adjusts beautifully no matter what device it’s on. Your text, images, and buttons should look just as good on a phone as they do on a desktop. Most modern website platforms offer responsive design, but it’s always good to double-check and make adjustments as needed.

Loading Times: Ensure your website loads quickly on mobile devices. This often means optimizing images and being mindful of using too many large files that can slow down your site.

Easy Navigation: Ever tried to click a tiny link on a phone screen? It’s not fun. Make sure your website’s menu and buttons are easy to navigate on a smaller screen. Think big, finger-friendly buttons and clear, concise menus.

Readability: Avoid tiny fonts and long, unbroken blocks of text. Your website’s content should be easy to read on a small screen. Short paragraphs, clear headings, and bullet points can make a world of difference.

Touchscreen-Friendly Forms: If you have forms on your site (like contact forms or sign-up sheets), make sure they’re easy to fill out on a phone. Large form fields and a simple, straightforward layout will help.

Don’t just set it and forget it. Regularly test your website on your phone and in different browsers to ensure everything works smoothly.

☑️ Don’t Forget Local Keywords In Your Local SEO Strategy

In addition to creating locally themed blog posts, there are several other effective ways to weave local keywords into your SEO strategy.

Consider all the ways people refer to your area: Your local area might have multiple nicknames. Make sure you consider these when performing your keyword research.

For instance, if you’re in New York City, terms like “NYC,” “The Big Apple,” or even neighborhood names like “TriBeCa” or “SoHo” can be highly relevant.

Localize Your Core Web Pages: Make sure that your homepage, services page, and about page include local keywords.

These are the primary pages visitors land on, so it’s crucial they reflect your local relevance. For a personal trainer, this might look like “[city name] Personal Trainer” or “[city name]-base personal trainer, [your name].”

Use Local Modifiers in SEO Elements: Integrate local modifiers into long-tail keywords within your website’s more technical aspects. This includes image file names, SEO titles, and meta-descriptions.

For instance, instead of just naming a photo “personal-training-session.jpg,” name it “personal-training-session-[City Name].jpg.”

Similarly, use local terms in your SEO titles and meta-descriptions to improve your visibility in local searches.

Showcase Local Client Testimonials: When you display testimonials, include the city and state of your clients (with their permission, of course).

For example, a testimonial could read, “Jane Doe, First time mom, [City, State].”

This adds a touch of authenticity to the testimonials and it also boosts your local SEO.

Before You Go

Think of this checklist as workout for your website. And keep in mind, as in fitness, you’re not going to see results overnight.

It’s about the little things you do consistently that add up.

Keep your Google My Business profile fresh, gather glowing reviews from clients, and connect with your community – these are your daily SEO exercises.

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Laura Jawad, Ph.D. is a personal trainer and birth doula-turned-SEO strategist for female health and wellness providers.

She offers SEO site reviews, SEO coaching and on-page optimization for wordpress users.

Please reach out with questions, schedule a Chemistry call or explore her services page!

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hey, i’m Laura (She/her)

I’m an SEO strategist and systems junkie devoted to helping female health and wellness service providers get found on Google. I’m here to help you fill your client roster without relying on social media.

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