These days, your fitness center’s online presence is the face of your business, because for most people the first step to locating new services is a Google search. Even prospects who walk through your front door will have likely already visited your club’s digital storefront via your website, social media platforms, or digital ads. In fact, 91% of customers report they have visited a store directly because of an online experience. Here are five online areas of your business that can shape your web prospects’ first impression of your fitness center.
1.) Your Website
Let’s start with the most obvious—your website. This is your biggest digital touchpoint. You might be saying, “Great, I already have a website!” Sure, but when was it last updated? There’s a huge difference between having a modern, well-designed website and having a site your sister’s son designed for you in 2005 after he took a web design class in high school. What’s more, every year a larger chunk of online traffic is generated by smartphones, and 72% of consumers now report wanting mobile-friendly websites. so your site needs to be responsive. Further, if your website takes more than three seconds to load, you likely lose a chunk of prospects before they’ve even seen the beautiful layout of your site.
2.) Your Social Media
Social media is where you really get to develop and define your club’s brand. These platforms can give prospects an insight into what distinguishes your fitness center from the competitor down the block. But prospects have to be able to find you, so first ensure you have a presence on all social media channels that your target prospects frequent. Depending on your prospects’ demographics like age, interests, or economic range, the social media channels your club needs to establish itself on can vary widely. Once you have robust social channels, you can deploy digital ads on certain platforms to widen the pool of potential prospects who can discover your brand.
“30% of small businesses with a web presence generate more than 25% of their revenue online.” - Top Digital Agency
3.) Search Engine Optimization
Search engine optimization, or SEO, is a broad term for a variety of actions you can take to optimize your website and webpages to get free, organic traffic from search engines like Google. Why is this important? Because when a prospect runs a keyword search like “fitness centers near me”, Google’s algorithms sort all relevant web pages and rank them in order of perceived relevance. If it isn’t clear what your website is about or how they pertain to fitness, it will appear lower in the results. And ask yourself, how often do you actually click to page two on a Google search? SEO practices help your web pages rank higher in searches thus increasing its visibility with new prospects. Learn more about SEO.
4.) Customer Reviews
The importance of customer reviews cannot be overstated with nearly 95% of shoppers reading online reviews before making a purchase. Simply put, consumers trust other people over your advertisements. So no matter how slick your ad campaigns, if you have hoards of disgruntled former members leaving one-star reviews all over the internet, you won’t make a good first impression with online prospects. Actively cultivate positive reviews using Listen360 by identifying your member advocates, i.e. your most devoted regulars, and ask them to leave a review. You can incentivize this request by including free merchandise, products, or training sessions in exchange for reviews posted on Yelp or Facebook.
5.) Digitally capture leads and sales
We all know some people hate the sales process and would do almost anything to avoid speaking directly with a salesperson, so let them! Add to your website and social platforms, where applicable, web interest forms and online membership join processes. After reviewing your website, your social media, and your online reviews, some buyers will have enough information to join your fitness center now, not later. Have a self-sign up process on your website to capitalize on this opportunity. Likewise, web interest forms on your website and social channels allow interested prospects to quickly request more information from your sales team.
A critical component to making the right first impression is having the technology to quickly contact and keep up with prospects. Club OS is a comprehensive software that can enhance your strategy with prospects whether it’s online, in-person, or over the phone. Let us show you how we can help. Check out our e-book below: First Impressions Matter. 5 Strategies to Win Over Prospects Online, In-Person, and by Phone.