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How to choose the right name for your fitness business

21 November 2018 openplay Leave a comment Marketing, Operations

What’s in a name?

Choosing the right name for your business is crucial. Your brand name is how your customers will come to know you and how they will reference you when they rave about your amazing service or product.

You wouldn’t rush naming your baby, and this is the same sort of thing. While you don’t have to consider the SEO implications of naming your newborn, and it doesn’t matter if another kid down the road is also called Annabelle Greene when it comes to naming your business these factors matter. What’s more, there is no Big Book of Pilates Studio names. It is time to get creative.

Take a look at our top tips to help you choose the right name for your fitness business.

Think about your online presence

Before you think of your business name you want to consider how it will look on a search engine. Your domain name does not have to describe your company in order to rank in Google. Up until 2012, domain names that explicitly explained a business’s function ranked highest on Google. For example, BestYogaStudioInMontreal.ca would have done well pre-2012, but algorithms have gotten smarter, realising that such a site might not have any substantial offering.

Nowadays, plenty of sites with abstract and obscure names rank highly. It is the content on your website and the number of meaningful visits to your pages that will put you near the top. However, sticking in your primary selling point can help, as the keyword will be put in bold, eg: LotusYoga.ca, RainbowStudio.ca. Some consumers find the bold keyword striking, thus they click onto the site. The more clicks the website receives, the more valuable Google bots perceive it to be, thus ranking improves.

The trick to being relevant in your market is to use keywords in your homepage title. Your homepage title will appear above your website domain on the Google search page. So even if your name doesn’t explain your business, your page title does. For example, if you’re called Tea leaf Yoga, it is not clear what the tea leaf has to do with yoga. Your page title can then explain: “Vinyasa movements performed while sipping floral tea blends.”

Keep it short and snappy

Experimenting with rhythm and sounds. Try out different word combinations, like rhyming words (eg. Zen Den) or alliterative pairings (eg. Fire Fit).

Think outside the box

Invent a new word. Google meant nothing until it was a company name. Actually, it was a purposefully misspelt version of the mathematical term for 1.0×10 to the power of 100: “googol”. Today, Google is used throughout the world as a noun, verb and adjective.

Sky peer-to-peer is a longwinded name for a business. Whittled down, Skype is a catchy product name.

Häagen-Dazs, Xerox, Kodak, Sony and Ikea are just some other companies whose names had no meaning.

Pluck from elsewhere

A fruit had nothing to do with computers and phones until Steve Jobs decided to name his company Apple and his first product mackintosh.

Similarly, you wouldn’t associate virgins with records, airlines and gyms, but Richard Branson has made Virgin a global brand, and the scandalous nature of the name helped to get the business noticed.

Choose unique

With brands launched every single day, finding a unique name is next to impossible. Studio Soleil might seem oh so unique and tres classy (it’s French after all), but a quick Google search reveals it’s also the name of a tanning salon in Arkansas. It may seem irrelevant that a business 10,000 kilometres away has the same title, but if that salon has thousands of orange customers, they may just overtake you on the Google search rankings- even in your country.

Besides, if the name is trademarked, it is illegal for you to use it.

Furthermore, if you have any intentions of expanding your fitness business to multiple locations, you are going to want to have a name that cannot be confused with another brand- competitive or otherwise.

Read more: How to use Instagram to build brand awareness

Consider tone and unique selling point (USP)

A name can conjure up your brand’s emotion. Yes, a fitness business has the aim of helping people get and stay fit, but there are many strands within in that goal that will set you apart from your competitors. Your fitness business might focus on hard work and sweat, energy and rejuvenation, learning and self-improvement or maximum exertion and pushing yourself to the limits.

Orangetheory Fitness suggests a workout based on proven scientific methods. Orangetheory is a global brand that uses heart rate technology to boost participant output. The name itself suggests a scientific approach to fitness, so perfectly encapsulates the unique selling point.

Budget chains often go for short, punchy titles that frequently (and bizarrely) include numbers: Fit4Less, Fat2Fit. Their titles point to their USP: Anytime Fitness (Open 24hrs), Pure Gym (no fuss). These names, like the businesses they represent, are no-nonsense and straight to the point.

The name of the game

Choosing a name for your fitness business requires time and patience. Even if you think you’ve found the perfect title for your business, sit with it for a week or two to make sure you’re still keen on the idea.

Question: What are some of the best fitness brand names you’ve heard of? How has your brand name influenced your business?

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SEO 101 for sports and fitness websites

31 July 2018 openplay Leave a comment Booking System, Marketing, Technology

With over 57,000 searches per second and at least two trillion searches per year, Google is your biggest marketing tool. Search Engine Optimisation is the name given to the activity of improving a web page’s ranking on Google (other search engines are available) without simply paying for advertising. Social media can drive a certain amount of traffic to your website, but the majority of visitors are scooped up by the clever use of SEO.

So how do you use SEO effectively?

SEO beats PPC when you promote local

With the top four spots being taken up by paid advertisements, known as “pay-per-click” or PPC; the remaining Page 1 positions are highly contested for through the use of SEO. Unfortunately, 65% of clicks are made through PPC sites.

Sports providers shouldn’t be disheartened if pay-per-click isn’t an option. For many location reliant searches, such as sports clubs or fitness classes, ads don’t even surface. For example, if you type “Tennis in London” or “Football camp Leeds”, both return advertless results, with the top spots taken up by local sports providers.

To secure a premier place, feature plenty of location-specific words on your website, and be sure that your meta-description clearly states the purpose of your business. Pay-per-click is a quick fix that will gift you instant clicks. SEO is a long-term investment that grows in value as clicks accumulate over time. SEO turns out to be a better return on investment if you are hoping for steady and sustainable growth.

Use keywords

You don’t just want to be found; you want to be found by the right people at the right time for the right reasons. Keywords are essentially the words that people are most likely to type into their search engine when looking for a business like yours. In fact, keywords are really key phrases; they are likely to be three to five words long.

Unfortunately, an excellent article doesn’t equate to lots of visitors, shares, and business. You must use keywords, which can be annoying as it often requires you to choose the most common word rather than the most eloquent. Choosing your keywords is, for the most part, common sense, but you can use tools such as Google Adwords Planner or Serps to compare the popularity of phrases.

SEO trends change as frequently as the weather

If you want to master SEO you have to be prepared to follow the trends. For the most part, your keywords will stay relevant, but you can use tools like Google Trends to see if the words you feature are still being searched. It’s not only keywords that are subject to change but Google’s very algorithms.

Right now local businesses do well, but Google has become increasingly commercial in its approach to its search results. Pay-per-click ads have recently increased from three to four of the top results, making it harder and harder for businesses to reach people organically. As the monopoly shifts towards the money spenders, new SEO trends will, no doubt, emerge to keep smaller businesses in play.

Click Bait is out. Click through is in

Before the interweb grew its wisdom teeth, it was easy for mediocre content or even complete nonsense to scam the system and rank highly in search engines. Nowadays, Google’s algorithms are smart and only reward valuable content.

Consumers are delighted they no longer have to wade through click-bait rubbish; businesses should be too. However, content providers now have to work harder in order for their articles to rank.

You want people not only to read the content of the page they visit but “click through” to other sections of your site. Include links to more blog posts or your sales page, so you drag visitors deeper into the rabbit hole of your website whilst you climb up the search ranks.

Read more: Website tips for sports providers

Quality is a delicate balancing act

Google’s algorithms have shifted to favour websites that feature quality content. Quality content is the primary factor in an effective SEO strategy.

Quality is defined as original material that caters to popular searches and trending topics. However, these demands are somewhat counterintuitive. Indeed it is difficult to be original when writing about issues that everyone is writing about. Try to find a new angle on a popular subject. Again, keywords, keywords, keywords.

Count the seconds

If people don’t scroll to page 2 of a search result, why do you think they will read to the bottom of your blog post? *Spoiler alert*- they won’t. The two come hand in hand. Good content makes it to Page 1; good content is read in its entirety.

For every second a viewer spends on a page, the value of the page itself increases. You might think that you can write a thousand words of heavy going, thesaurused content and complicated syntax, but realistically this will have people x-ing out before reaching the second line. Choose words carefully and write succinctly to ensure you carry your readers right to the end of your article.

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