Search Engine Optimization or SEO is a highly debated and often 'best guess' topic on how to rank your personal training blog or website higher and more precisely with popular search engines like Google and Yahoo, by using specific keywords.
There are many and varied opinions on what works and the best ways to structure your content to get the most value from your personal training businesses blog or site, however there are some strategies that appear to work more consistently and better than others.
What do you want to achieve with your #blog or #site?
To begin, your SEO strategy should reflect the outcome that you want to achieve and for what you want to rank for, which could be one of the following:
• Promotion of your personal training business by targeting a specific geographic community (what I am discussing today)
• Selling online personal training services
• Selling advertisement space on your site or blog
• Promotion of yourself and your personal training products, like ebooks or merchandise.
Once you're clear on what your blog or site is about and the objective you wish to achieve, you need to begin researching keywords for your particular niche.
I recommend using Google AdWords Keyword Tool for this. You simply type in the keywords you have selected, fill in the CAPTCHA and hit 'Get Keyword Ideas'.
The resulting information provides you with a specific breakdown of the amount of people searching for a particular keyword or keywords, both locally and globally. You can modify your search to show more specific results, including advertising rates etc., however for now lets just see what the search volume for your keywords are.
I just typed in 'personal training' and I can see that the global search volume for this keyword is 823,000, which indicates that a lot of people are searching the net for personal training; this is positive and negative.
The positive is that plenty of people are searching for that combination of keywords; however the shear volume suggests that you will probably never rank for those particular ones, in fact you may be lucky to make the top 100 pages as there is a lot of online competition.
So what you need to do is try new combinations and be more specific in your #personal training keywords.
As I mentioned, promoting your personal training blog or site to a specific geographical community is probably the 'easiest' way to rank highly.
One way to come up with a keyword strategy is to think about what you would search for to hire a personal trainer in your local community. Let's say 'personal trainer Melbourne'.
Let's go back to Adwords and try 'personal trainer Melbourne'. You can obviously adjust your search terms to your specific city or town; however for the purposes of this article I'm just using my local region.
The result for this keyword search is 3,600, which is much more positive.
You will also notice that the keyword tool offers a variety of results and by changing the term to 'personal trainers Melbourne', the result is significantly different (1,600).
To become even more specific, you may want to narrow down your search even further. I just tried 'personal trainer Richmond', which is a suburb just outside of Melbourne where my imaginary studio or gym is located and the result is much smaller.
On the surface this may seem like a bad result, however, the people who are searching for 'personal trainer Richmond' are a very specific and targeted audience that are more than likely genuine business prospects and you are in a very good position to rank well for this term if you follow a few simple SEO procedures when you're writing your content.
There are many different reasons why websites and #blogs rank in search engines the way they do, some of which contribute to:
• The volume and consistency of content
• The age of the blog or site
• Keyword usage throughout the blog or site
For the purpose of this article I'm not going to go into any details about different types of links or the 'pagerank' of a site, other to say that the previous 3 factors do contribute to it but I will cover this topic in more detail in future articles.
So using our keywords 'personal trainer Richmond', you need to start using them in every post and even in the name of your blog or site.
To rank for a blog post, there is some SEO etiquette that suggests that you should use your keywords in the title of your post, in the first paragraph of your post and then intermittently throughout your article.
We could write an imaginary article as follows:
[Post Title] Richmond Personal Trainer Now Available!
[First Paragraph] "Are you looking for a personal trainer in Richmond? Well look no further!"
And then using the terms a few more times throughout your article...
The SEO rules
Now, the trick with this is that you have to be careful with how you word and format your post.
If you use your keywords too often, it will become annoying to read for the consumer and there is also information to suggest that Google will recognise a heavily repeated keyword post as spam and you will get no rankings.
A rule of thumb is to read your article aloud to yourself and if it sounds corny, then it probably is.
With blogs, each post is its own SEO entity, so the above strategy is fantastic and while Google will establish a theme to your blog with consistent keyword usage, for the most part you will rank one post at a time.
Websites are different to blogs in that Google reads the entire website via 'sitemaps' and a few other things to ascertain what the site is about and where to put it in relation to search engines.
If you reread this article, you will notice that I have followed the principles that I discuss in this post using the keywords 'personal training blog SEO'. I used the terms in my post title and flipped them around in my first paragraph to make it more pleasing to read.
I also used the terms several times throughout the article and sneakily added them again in the previous paragraph.
Depending on how you came across this article should also determine how well I have used the principles.
I hope this has given you an idea of how to re evaluate how you're writing your online content. Keep in mind though, the minute you start writing for the search engines and not your human audience, your content will not make any sense and be boring, so try and find a happy medium and then everyone wins.