Part 1: Fitness Center Guide to Using Google AdWords Advertising
My name is Patrick Jones, and I’m the owner of Boost Fitness Marketing.
Prior to starting this company, I worked in search engine marketing for a large Denver startup. Along with my manager, I co-managed a Google AdWords budget of over $100,000 per month. That means we were spending close to $3,000 per day on Google advertising. I learned a LOT during my time with that startup. One of the best parts about working with such a large budget is that you get to try things and see if they work, very quickly. When your boss says, “hey, go spend $500 on a new keyword idea and see what happens” it’s a great feeling. I really enjoyed the job and learned a ton. However, the need to stretch my entrepreneurship muscles pushed me to leave and start my own business. Now that my gym marketing service, FitnessTexter, takes up my days, I thought I’d put together a guide for fitness centers looking to use Google AdWords. Here goes!
**Start disclaimer ***
FitnessTexter does not provide Google Adwords services. If you’re looking for search engine marketing help, just search, “search engine marketing _________”, with the blank being your city name. And a word of warning. There are a LOT of untrustworthy SEM(search engine marketing) companies out there. It’s best to get a referral from someone you know who uses the same company.
*** End disclaimer ***
This is going to be an extremely long post, cut into multiple parts. First, I’ll discuss HOW Google AdWords works. This will give you a better idea of how to make your internet marketing campaign more successful.
TAYNTL: The Acronyms You Need to Learn
First and foremost, let’s go over all the acronyms that I’ll be using throuhout this post. The internet is full of acronyms and internet marketing is no different. Most of the acronyms serve their purpose, they shorten long phrases and don’t have much meaning besides their letters. This is very unlike US government backronyms; things like the PATRIOT Act. Someone’s job was to create a phrase that could be shortened into PATRIOT. Stupid! Anyways, enough ranting, onto the good stuff.
Google AdWords is a form of advertising called pay-per-click(PPC).
It’s a facet of search engine marketing(SEM).
Within SEM, you’ll also find search engine optimization(SEO).
SEO is all about getting your business to show up high in the search engine results page(SERP). The top 3 results from a Google search get something like 80% of the clicks, so being in those top 3 is extremely important. SEO has a lot to do with creating good content and getting lots of social shares, which in turn are factored into your web authority on a certain topic(the keywords of your article). This post isn’t about SEO though.
PPC is just what it sounds, you pay a fee to Google every time someone clicks your advertisement. These advertisements are shown at the top of the SERP, along the side of the SERP, or on other websites that are part of the Google AdWords network and contain words on the page that match your selected advertisement keywords.
Here’s a good example of how AdWords works for a fitness business. Every one of the steps below will be detailed further in parts 2, 3, 4, etc of this blog series.
Business Chooses Where to Advertise
1. A fitness business chooses the geographic region where they wish to have their advertisement shown. For this example, they want their ads to only show when people in a certain zip code make a search. They then choose the maximum amount they are willing to pay for someone to click on their ad, the PPC fee.
Business Decides on Ad Keywords
2. They choose keywords that must be in the search query in order for their ad to show up. They pick the words: “fitness” “gym” “their-city-name”
Ad Copy is Created for Text Advertisements
3. They create a text-based ad that says: “Gym-name-here. Get in shape in city-name-here. Sign up for a free week pass here.” and created a landing page, where the person will go if they click on the ad. This should usually be a special web page only accessible via clicking the advertisement. You don’t want people going to this page, otherwise the fitness business won’t be able to track their traffic.
End User Performs a Related-Search
4. When someone searches: “good gyms in city-name-here”, the gym’s add shows up in the SERP, alongside other businesses that are advertising based on the same keywords. Some business with big budgets do blanket advertising, where their ad shows up anytime someone searches the word “gym” or “fitness”. Their ads will show up, as well as the fitness business we’re using in this example.
End User Clicks on Business’s Advertisment
5. The person making the web search decides to click on the gym’s advertisement. When they make this click, Google registers the click, charges the business a PPC fee, and then sends the person to the designated landing page. From there, Google is done. They’ve made their PPC fee, and now it’s up to the person to, hopefully, respond to some call-to-action(CTA) on the landing page, like filling out a form or registering for the gym.
How Google Charges for PPC Fees
I’ll go into more detail about PPC fees, but basically, Google charges a higher PPC fee when more people are “bidding” on the same keywords. There’s an instant auction that happens every time someone makes a Google search. If company A is bidding on the keyword “denver sushi” and is willing to pay $5 per click, and company B is bidding on the same keyword and is willing to pay $10 per click, then company B’s ad will show up higher up the SERP. That’s why you see a lot of deep-pocket businesses have ads in the top 3 advertisement slots, whereas the smaller companies’ ads are usually along the sidebar of the SERP. However, it’s not purely based on who is willing to pay more, other factors are weighed when it comes to advertisement placement(keyword match percentage, landing page relevancy, etc), but I’ll discuss that in detail later on in this series.
Example SERPS for Various Search Queries
Just to give you a fun fact, PPC fees can very greatly when it comes to keywords. If you’re bidding on an unpopular keyword like “eastern russian eggnog”, then you’ll most likely have a low PPC fee, because not many people are bidding on that phrase.
Just How Expensive is PPC Marketing?
However, if you’re bidding on something like, “car insurance”, well then you can expect to pay around $50 per click! That’s right, for every single click on your advertisement, you’ll pay Google $50, regardless if the person takes any type of action on your landing page. The reason insurance companies are willing to pay so much for these clicks is because they know the long-term value of their customers. If the average lifetime value of a car insurance customer is $3000, then these businesses are willing to spend $1000s in order to get that customer. That means they’re willing to pay for 49 clicks($2450), with the hope that the 50th click turns into a lifetime customer. Now you know why Google makes so much money!
Well, that’s it for this Intro to Google Adwords for Fitness Businesses. Hope you learned a little something about how it works. Please check back for part 2, 3, 4, etc. I’ll keep writing until there’s nothing left to write. Every time a new post is added, we’ll update the hyperlinks on this page and add links to the other parts at the bottom of this post.