If you’re in the fitness industry of any kind, then you’ll benefit greatly from strategic fitness SEO.
Understanding how to do SEO for fitness websites can lead to more traffic, clients, and memberships for your business without having to rely so much on paid ads.
And that’s good for your bottom line!
Regardless if you’re a gym owner, yoga instructor, personal trainer, or a general online fitness website that offers health and wellness advice, the search engine optimization tips below can help you rank higher on Google so your business can get discovered by the people who matter most.
I’ll also share with you some of the best keywords for fitness to target and the most search for topics related to the fitness industry so you can easily generate more content ideas for your website.
Table of Contents
What is SEO for Fitness?
SEO for fitness websites is an online strategy that uses search engine optimization to generate organic traffic by ranking high in the search engine results. Fitness SEO applies to gyms, studios, and fitness centers. It’s a valuable method for bringing awareness to your fitness business and attracting new memberships.
When it comes to SEO for your fitness center, gym, or studio, you’ll want to focus your efforts on specific search engine optimization tactics to get the best results.
By following the SEO fitness tips below, you’ll be able to rank your content higher in the search engines for certain keywords that can attract the right type of traffic (e.g. clients or members) to your site.
Fitness SEO Tips
1. Know Your SEO Fitness Keywords
The first step in optimizing your fitness website for SEO is to create a list of keywords to target that are related to your business.
If you’re trying to attract local clients and members, then you’ll want to focus on keywords that include your local area. For example, “fitness center in Baltimore”, “yoga studio in Cambridge”, “Crossfit gym in Barton”, or “Scottsville Zumba classes”.
If you’re trying to attract people on a national or international level, then you can target general keywords in the fitness niche. For example, “online fitness program”, “Pilates training coach”, “wholesale gym equipment”, or “Bokwa fitness at home”.
One of the best keyword research tools for this process is KWFinder by Mangools (try it for free). It’s one of the only SEO tools I recommend as an affiliate because it’s cheap, yet powerful for keyword research.
The Mangools suite of tools also comes with other great things like a Keyword Rank Tracker, Backlink Miner, and Site Profiler. And in my opinion, there’s no other tool you need to be successful with SEO.
After you open up the tool, you can search for a seed keyword like “boxing gyms in Maryland” and KWFinder will show you related phrases along with the average monthly search volume and keyword difficulty score.
In the image below, you can see suggested keywords like “boxing gym Baltimore”, Knockout fitness Baltimore”, “boxing classes in Maryland”, “boxing gym Annapolis” and many more.
Additionally, anytime you see a green-colored square under the KD (Keyword Difficulty) column, that means the keyword phrase is easy to target.
As a fitness website, center, gym, or studio, you should be looking for keywords with high search volume and low keyword difficulty to write content on for your site. By following this SEO strategy, you can get better and faster results than if you were to go after harder terms with high KD scores.
Another thing to keep in mind here is that when creating your final list of keywords, it’s best to cluster the closely related keywords together so you can target them all on one page.
For example, you wouldn’t write a separate piece of content for “boxing gym Baltimore” and “boxing gyms in Baltimore county”. Both of those keywords belong on the same page.
2. Optimize Your Fitness Website for SEO
After you have a good list of keywords to target, the next step is to optimize your fitness website for those phrases.
As previously mentioned, the best way to do that is to create individual pages for the keyword clusters you’re focusing on. That way, you can optimize the content so it can rank for all of the related terms and capture the most amount of traffic.
While there are about 20 areas you can optimize a fitness website for SEO, the 5 elements listed below are the best places to start.
Meta Page Titles
The meta title, also known as the page title, is one of the most important SEO ranking factors.
Meta titles tell Google what the page content is about and are what get displayed in the search engine results page on Google for your URL listing. So keywords in this field are crucial for higher rankings.
If you have an SEO plugin installed on your site, then you can easily edit the meta page title to include your target keywords. All-in-One SEO, Yoast, and RankMath are good options.
If you don’t have such a plugin, then the meta title is often pulled from the H1 tag by Google. And the H1 tag is typically coded to be the title for the page or blog post.
For example, the meta title for this SEO guide is:
- SEO for Fitness Websites (5 Ranking Tips + SEO Keywords)
Therefore, that is what will appear in the Google search engine results for this web page listing.
It’s best to put your main keyword as the first piece of text in the meta title because it provides the highest SEO weight.
The meta description is another field you can manipulate with an SEO plugin.
Meta descriptions give Google a brief summary of what the page content is about.
One thing to keep in mind here is that Google may or may not choose to use the meta description you supply. That’s because Google tries to match the best content on the page for the search query, and if your meta description doesn’t meet that need based on the algorithm, then Google will rewrite it for your listing.
However, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t try to optimize your meta descriptions for a fitness website. In fact, if you write a good description that meets the searcher’s needs with SEO applied, then it has a better chance of being displayed on the search engine results page (SERP). See my article on what does SERP stand for in SEO if you want a deeper explanation of this term.
A simple fitness SEO tip here is to include your main target keyword as the first piece of text in the meta description. Then include as many secondary keywords as you can without repeating too many of the same words.
Also, look at the meta descriptions for the top 5 ranking pages on Google to get a good idea of what to include in your page’s meta description. You should notice a pattern of the type of information that’s included.
For example, the meta description for this page is:
- SEO for Fitness Websites: 1. Know Your SEO Fitness Keywords 2. Optimize the Right Way for SEO 3. Set Up GMB 4. Build Local Citations 5. Add NAP & Schema Markup
The page URL is another important ranking factor for fitness websites.
Page URLs are the string of text that appears in the search bar and point to a particular page on a website. Google also displays a portion of this URL in the SERPs.
Keywords in the URL are a good place for SEO.
So it’s best to have your main keyword and any secondary keywords in the URL without repeating words.
Also, use dashes (-), not underscores (_) between words in the URL. Google doesn’t recognize underscores as word separators and that can hurt your SEO for a fitness website.
For example, the URL for this guide is:
Now, if you are targeting 3 keywords that have overlapping words and variations, then you would want to maximize the usage of those words in the URL without repeating the same words.
Always start with the main keyword in the URL and then add on any variations to the end.
For example, let’s say you were targeting these 3 keywords for a fitness website:
- West Hollywood pilates studio
- West Hollywood pilates club
- pilates class in West Hollywood
Then your URL could be something like this below to include all of those target keyword variations:
The headers for a web page include the H1 to H6 tags.
The H1 tag is usually the main title for the page, which we briefly discussed in the meta page titles tip above. A good rule of thumb here is to copy the meta page title text into the H1 tag.
As for the H2 to H6 tags, these can also be optimized for SEO.
Put your main keyword in the first H2 on the page and try to add each secondary keyword in at least one H2 tag too.
H3 tags can have keyword variations.
The H4 to H6 tags can be ignored for SEO as they don’t have as much ranking power.
The navigation menu can also be optimized for SEO purposes on a fitness website.
Not only does it help visitors navigate your site but it also tells Google what the most important pages are, and therefore, should rank the highest.
So be sure to include your most important pages in the main navigation menu.
And use an exact match phrase for the main keyword in the menu item link anchor text.
For example, if you were targeting this keyword for a fitness website:
- best yoga fitness studio in Dallas
Then the navigation menu item could simply be:
- Best Yoga Fitness Studio in Dallas
3. Set Up A Google My Business Listing
Creating a Google My Business page listing is crucial for fitness centers with a physical location.
Having a physical location listed with Google My Business (GMB) will help your fitness organization be better optimized for both local SEO and national SEO.
For local businesses, a GMB listing ensures your business shows up in the Google Map Pack in the search engine. The Google Map Pack is a SERP feature that enables users to quickly identify the most relevant businesses that provide what they searched for.
A GMB listing also allows you to include photos, hours, fitness activities, contact information, and reviews, so it’s beneficial for more than just SEO.
But just setting up a new GMB listing won’t make you rank #1 for your local keywords.
There are a few best practices you should follow to maximize your SEO efforts here.
- Complete All of the Information Fields: Fill out as much information as possible on your Google My Business profile, including your physical address, phone number, and category. The more information you include, the easier it is for Google to match your business with relevant keyword searches.
- Verify Your Location: Verification is essential for proving your business is located where you say it is. A verified location increases your chances of showing up on Google Search and Maps.
- Update Your Business Hours: Make sure the hours your business is open are accurated and up to date. Also include holiday hours as the approach. This improves the reliability of your Google My Business listing.
- Add Photos: Photos are another essential element for a fintness center of any kind. Uploading photos to your Google My Business listing helps show off your studio, center, or gym so that potential clients and members will want to visit your location.
- Respond to Reviews: If a person leaves a review, then make sure to immediately respond to it; regardless if it’s a good or bad review. This shows your potential customers that you are active on the platform. Also, encourage current members of your fitness center to leave positive reviews on your Google My Business listing. The more postive reviews your business receives, the better chance it can show up on in the SERPs for your local keywords.
For more details on local search optimization, check out my page on what is local SEO.
4. Add NAP and Schema Markup to Your Website
NAP refers to the name, address, and phone number of a business.
And when it comes to SEO and ranking in Google, it’s important to have consistency online for your NAP information. A mismatch of NAP for a fitness website can cause a number of ranking issues, which you don’t want to experience.
Plus, every fitness website should have NAP information included even if you don’t have clients or members come into the building.
For example, if your fitness website is an online-only resource, then you should use your home address or office address for the NAP information. By doing this, you can improve the authenticity of the site.
Now, the first step is to make sure your NAP is present on all of your web pages. And the best place to do that is to put this information in the site footer.
It’s also a good idea to put your NAP on the about page for the fitness website.
The next step in this process is to include Schema markup on your site that includes the NAP information.
Schema markup is another way to improve the quality of your business information to increase your fitness website’s rankings in Google.
Simply put, Schema markup is a set of HTML tags that help search engines like Google identify what specific types of content are on a site. And when it comes to NAP information, Schema markup can make sure that the name, address, and phone number are attached to your business without any mistakes.
While the NAP information in your site’s footer is visible, the Schema markup is hidden and only read by Google’s crawler. Basically, it’s an invisible sign that tells Google what your fitness center’s address and phone number are.
You can easily create Schema markup for free to add to your site using Rank Ranger’s Schema Markup Generator. Just choose the “Local Business” option to get the correct fields.
Once you’re done using the tool, copy the HTML code and place it in the footer of your site.
5. Build Local Citations for Your SEO Fitness Website
After your NAP and Schema markup have been added to your fitness website, the final step is to build some local citations to further verify your business.
Local citations are a type of crosslinking in SEO that are made up of directory listings with online profiles that include your business name, address, phone number, website URL, and additional information about your fitness business.
Anyone can create a local citation for their business and many of these directories are free to create a profile.
Local citations are important because they not only verify your NAP information is correct but also act as authoritative backlinks. This is another reason why you should include NAP information on your fitness website even if you don’t technically have a physical building for people to visit.
When it comes to SEO and fitness websites, the more relevant directories you can get listed in, the more Google will trust your business as being real and authentic.
Also, you can add related keywords to your local listing profiles to further associate your site with the queries you want to be ranked for. (See on-page vs off-page SEO for more details about these two types of search engine optimization techniques.)
Below is a general list of local citation sites you can create a profile for your business.
You can also go to a site like Fiverr and pay someone to create these local citation listings for you. See Local Citations on Fiverr for approved vendors.
What are the Best Keywords for Fitness?
|SEO Keywords to Use||SEO Keyword Examples|
|“Fitness Center” + “Your Local Area”||Fitness Center in Danville, VA|
|“Your Local Area” + “Gym or Fitness Studio”||Barton, NY Gym|
|“Excercise Type” + “Your Local Area”||Bodypump in Madison, WY|
|“Excercise Type” + “Class or Classes” + “Your Local Area”||Kickboxing Classes in Harfield, MD|
|“Exercise Type” + “Workout Plan”||Cross Fit Workout Plan|
|“Excercise Type” + “Tips” + “Type of Person”||Zumba Tips for Beginners|
Note: These SEO keywords are general ideas for fitness websites. You can mix and match the examples and use other words that apply to your particular fitness center, gym, or studio.
Which Keywords Relate to the Term Fitness?
- athletic training
- fitness training
- health and wellness
- lose weight
- weight lifting
- weight loss
- work out
Most Searched Fitness Topics
- What is Fitness
- What are the Different Types of Fitness
- Best Exercises for Fitness
- Top Fitness Programs
- Fitness Workout Plans
- How to Lose Weight
- How to Gain Weight
- How to Build Muscle
- How Often Should I Exercise
- How Long Does it Take to See Fitness Results
SEO for Fitness Websites Summary
I hope you enjoyed this guide on SEO for fitness websites.
As you discovered, the basic principle for fitness SEO is to optimize certain elements on each web page so you can maximize the ranking value for each keyword on Google.
The search engine optimization tips I revealed here can work for any type of fitness center, gym, studio, or online fitness website. So feel free to use these SEO strategies to increase your search engine visibility for all kinds of fitness topics online.