Posted by Eamonn Curley on 12 November, 2018
In the second entry of an ongoing series, we look at how you can use different ad platforms to generate leads for your fitness business and ultimately grow your memberships. This week it's Google Search Ads.
In the previous entry to this series, we discussed how you can successfully generate leads using Facebook Ads. While this one of the most powerful advertising platforms available today, there is another that has dominated the game from the earliest days of the internet.
Google Search Ads is one of the original digital advertising platforms and operates on Pay Per Click model that targets people based on the keywords they are searching for. Keywords that have a large search volume are usually higher in cost but more niche keywords are less expensive as there is less competition for them. You then pay each time a someone clicks on your ad.
With Google Search Ads the person you are trying to convert to a lead is actively searching for a solution. This is much different than Facebook Ads where the aim is to disrupt their passive interaction with an ad based on their interests and demographic.
And while our gym management software can help you manage leads more effectively than ever, you first need to actually go through the process of generating these leads with an effective gym ads strategy.
For your gym, creating an effective Google Search Ad Campaign can significantly boost this process which in turn can significantly increase membership for your gym.
We know there is an extensive range of ways you can use Google Ads but this article is intended to get you started with basics of Google Search Ads.
Lets dive in!
Track Your Campaigns
Opening up the Google Ads dashboard for the first time can make for an intimidating experience for a novice. There are many things to master and at first, the experience of creating your own campaign can be daunting.
No matter what successes or failures you may have you need to track your campaigns and the best way to do this is through Google Analytics. If you don’t have Google Analytics set up on your website you can use this quick tutorial here.
Link your Google Ads Accounts to your Analytics account is very simple and you can follow the instructions in this video.
Choosing The Right Keywords
So basically Google’s Ads is based on an “auction” model and to create ads for Google, you need to identify keywords that your target market might search for and then bid on these keywords.
The most successful ads are those that combine a high bid with relevant content that answers users’ questions.Google then calculates which ads to serve based on a user’s search intent, geographic location, and search history, among other things.
Choosing the right keywords can be at first an intimidating process but there is one thing you need to keep in mind when selecting what keywords to bid on.
The different levels of intent by a person can be identified by these three examples:
Example 1: “gym”
This search has low intent – someone might just be searching for workout routines or general information about gyms. This means the cost to run ads on this keyword is relatively low, as people searching “gym” probably aren’t looking to join a gym
Example 2: “boston gym”
Someone searching for “boston gym” has much higher intent. They’re looking to gather information or canvas fitness centers in Boston, which implies they could be looking to join a gym. The bid for this keyword would be higher, as there might be multiple fitness centers in Boston looking to serve ads for it.
Example 3: “boston gym trial”
This search has the highest intent of all three. It’s clear that this user is actively looking to join a gym in Boston, and wants to see their options. This has the highest intent as those looking to try out a gym in Boston are the most likely to become members, which makes this a high-competition keyword.
Create A Google Friendly Landing Page
Google is very willing to crack down on advertisers who do not meet their standard. For example in 2015 alone, Google reported that they disabled 780 million ads, due to policy violations.
There two key things you need to be aware of when advertising for Google:
- The landing page experience
- Google’ site policies
According to Google, a good landing page experience is one which doesn’t mislead the person in any way.
There are three main guidelines that dictate this:
- Relevant, useful, and original content
- The landing page is directly related to your ad text and keyword
- Provides useful information about what you are advertising on the landing page.
- Offer useful pieces of content that are unique to your site
2. Transparency and Trustworthiness
- Make it easy for visitors to find your contact information
- If you request personal information from your customers, make it clear why you are asking for this
- Distinguish sponsored links from the rest of your site's content
- Openly state what your business does
3. Ease of Navigation
- Don’t make people hunt around for information they might need
- Make it quick and easy for people to order the product advertised
- Don’t annoy customers with pop-up ads
- Make sure links to Terms and Conditions and Privacy Policies are clearly visible
Another guideline that Google places importance on is page loading time. You can check your pages landing time using a tool called Page Speed Insights
Keep note of the above when designing a landing page for your gym ads. As well as that you should look into using a predesigned landing page that is Google friendly. Leadpage provides an excellent one here.
Ok so now that we have gone over the key things that are important in setting up Google Ads its time to set up your own!
Setting Up Google Ads: A Quick Overview
In this quick overview, we will be looking out how you can generate leads for your fitness business using a search campaign.
Set Up a Campaign
First of all, you need to set up a campaign goal. You are presented with a range of options such as sales, website traffic, app promotion and even the option of setting up a campaign without goal guidance.
As this article is about lead generation, you want to set your campaign up to collect leads.
Next below this you want to select what type of campaign you want to run, which in this case will be a Search Campaign meaning your ads will show up on Google Search Network.
After that, you select the way you would like to reach your goal, which in this case will be Website Traffic. You will also enter here the URL of the landing page you would like to send them to.
On the following page, there are more settings that you need to review and while most of these should be fine without tweaking, there are a few things you should consider.
- Location: For your gym, you are trying to target people in the local area. You can set a radius you want to hit and you should keep this quite small as people usually do not want to travel too far for the gym.
- Language: Consider the demographics of your local area. For example, if you have a large Spanish speaking community nearby consider setting your ads up in Spanish in addition to the primary language of your ads
- Bid Strategy: After you have set your budget it is recommended for beginners to keep to what Google recommends. In this case it will recommend focusing on conversions for your bid strategy.
Set up an Ad Group
After you have set up your campaign, it is time to set up your ad group. An ad group contains one or more ads which target a shared set of keywords.
When you enter a couple of keywords, Google begins to create potential ad groups for you comprised of keywords that are similar to those you’ve already chosen. Clicking into these shows you the search volume for each of these keywords, which can help you gauge interest in certain topics and determine the exact keywords you want to bid on.
Set up an Ad
The structure of a Google Search Ad is quite simple and something you have probably seen a thousand times before on your results page. It consists of a Headline, Display URL and a short 90 character description. Take a look at the example underneath and learn more about the ad structure here.
Now we go on to actually creating your ads and there a couple of key things you need to definitely do:
- Include at least one of your keywords in the ad text
- Match the copy of your landing page to the copy of your ad
- Use a clear CTA. a very simple one would Sign Up Today!
- Highlighting promotions, such as 25% off membership or a free trial to entice people into joining your gym.
So now we have gone through the basics you are ready to start launching your own campaigns to start generating leads for your fitness business by creating gym ads on this platform As with any other advertising method, the key is to test everything from ad copy to bidding strategies.
For more information, different tips and tricks visit the Google Ads Youtube page which hosts easy to follow and short tutorials.