It’s always nice to get web traffic. Regularly updating your gym’s website with useful content, kick-ass videos and a smattering of photos will often attract readers from around the world. But how do you gain traction on that by actually getting new clients to descend upon your doorstep?
That’s the question I posed to SEO expert Troy Lerner of Booyah Advertising, an online ad agency. He pointed out that a map listing would be particularly effective for increasing foot traffic.
A map listing is what shows up when you enter the word “gym” (for example) and the city and state. If you’ve ever looked up a business in your city, you probably already know that having your gym feature prominently on the map is extremely helpful for web users.
How do you get your gym on the map? First, go to places.google.com and verify that your business’ information (address, phone number, hours, etc.) is accurate. Next, make sure your business is also listed on all of the major directories online. These include yahoo, bing, yellowpages, citysearch and local.com, as well as hotfrog and goguides.
Okay, now open your browser to google and type in “gym” and your city. A bunch of maps will show up. Check out your competitors’ listings – not their actual websites, but the reviews they get. Now start making a list of the sites that reviewed your competition.
Check those sites to make sure your gym is also listed and that your information (again, business name and address and phone number) is accurate. And if your gym is not listed, see if you can rectify that.
Why the emphasis on accuracy? Google ranks sites on their maplisting based on accuracy. Ever tried to find a business in Google and gotten something else entirely? This might make you want to pull out a real-life phone book or (gasp!) go use another search engine.
Google tries to minimize this by verifying the accuracy of their information, and they do this by looking for corroboration from a lot of directories that humans may never use.
In fact, even small variations can be detrimental. If your gym is listed as 123 Main St. on some directories and as 123 Main Street on others, Google might read that as two different addresses. If this is the case for you, it may be worthwhile to edit your address in various directors.
Just look for a button that says something like “report incorrect information“, “edit this place” or “change your business listing“. You may need to jump through some hoops to prove that you are, in fact, the business owner, but making corrections should be fairly easy.
Follow these suggestions and you’ll be on your way to getting your gym on the map so that potential clients can make their way to your doorstep. Special thanks again to the amazing Troy Lerner for this invaluable information.