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Running a CrossFit Facility Tips and guidance on how to open and operate a CrossFit gym.

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Old 10-05-2011, 12:09 PM   #1
Jason B Cox
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SEO/SEM Question

something John Burch from CFLA mentioned in his last Biz seminar has got me thinking. He mentioned that we should not be thinking of other CrossFit gyms as competition - we should be thinking of Bally's, bootcamps, personal trainers, etc.

I always take the "there's plenty of business out there" approach and definitely see all the affiliates in my town as being on the same team.

In terms of search engine optimization, I am wondering if I should be focusing those efforts on getting my site to rank well for terms like "crossfit Denver" or if I should be focusing my efforts on terms like " personal training denver" or "bootcamp fitness denver". After all, there's a lot more people out there searching these more general, popular fitness terms.

I'm not talking about paid search here - organic search, like the keyword you use for a given post or page on your website. Maybe it matters what the page is? like a post for today's wod should do well with search terms for CrossFit and a more general one should focus on the more general "personal training"?

Any thoughts?
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Old 10-05-2011, 12:23 PM   #2
Tim Huntley
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Re: SEO/SEM Question

James,

Here is an article called Local Search Ranking Factors that may be helpful to you.

I am not sure it "exactly" answers your question about a narrow or broad search word strategy; however I think you will find some of the suggestions pretty valuable.

...Tim
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Old 10-06-2011, 08:58 AM   #3
Dave Traeger
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Re: SEO/SEM Question

I think first, you need to have a longer think about who your target audience is.

Is it:
1) Some boxes only want to attract the people looking specifically for a certain element of crossfit because thats their niche and they can provide it.
2) Other boxes (who are generally cheaper) are happy to throw their net out to the boot camp / personal training crowd because either a) they're good at managing potential client expectations or b) they like meeting lots of people and having a lower client conversion rate.
3) Something else?
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Old 10-11-2011, 11:09 AM   #4
Jason B Cox
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Re: SEO/SEM Question

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dave Traeger View Post
I think first, you need to have a longer think about who your target audience is.

Is it:
1) Some boxes only want to attract the people looking specifically for a certain element of crossfit because thats their niche and they can provide it.
2) Other boxes (who are generally cheaper) are happy to throw their net out to the boot camp / personal training crowd because either a) they're good at managing potential client expectations or b) they like meeting lots of people and having a lower client conversion rate.
3) Something else?
These are excellent considerations. I guess my thinking on the personal training crowd is that people don't know there is another/better option. I am just not sold on the idea that CrossFit has enough brand recognition to be a major traffic driver. True, you will get a better conversion rate when people are looking for CrossFit, but the total pool of people out there familiar with personal training is.

Maybe it's just that we are young enough that we haven't had a ton of folks come in that had used a personal trainer.
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Old 10-11-2011, 12:13 PM   #5
T Michael Tucker
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Re: SEO/SEM Question

Just a few thoughts:

I own/operate a small martial arts school in my town.

The dojo is part of an international organization headquartered in Japan. So the organizational structure is similar to CrossFit in that there is an HQ and small affiliates everywhere, often with multiple affiliates in a single town.

90% of the affiliates use the organizational name (Bujinkan). My school's name is Magic City Dojo (Magic City is a nickname of Birmingham).

The school is doing pretty well, so other affiliates ask what my secret is to attracting and keeping students. One of the first things I tell them is to not use Bujinkan in the name which always takes them by surprise. Some even thought that I was prostituting the art by running the business side of things as a business. I've always maintained that the quality of training comes first.

There are many reasons, but the main ones are 1) I live in the deep south, so hardly anyone here can pronounce Bujinkan properly, much less remember how to spell it well enough to search for it on the internet, and 2) the people who are looking for Bujinkan training specifically will find you anyway.

For my SEO purposes, in the title/description section of my website's HTML, I include the name "Bujinkan" as well as my location. But for the majority of folks that will inquire about training, I include keywords such as "martial arts" and "self defense." I also include "Japanese" for the folks that are looking for some kind of Japanese style.

So my advice based on my experience (and my girlfriend is an SEO specialist - lucky for me!) would be to try to rank well for several of your keywords, including CrossFit Denver, CO. I wouldn't worry too much about stepping on the toes of the other affiliates in your town. Not all, but most newbies will probably go to the box that is closest too them (3-5 mile radius).

Your marketing will just let folks know that you exist and wet their appetite enough to come check out your box. It'll be your professionalism, quality coaching and programming, and personality of your box that will convince folks to pick you over the other guys.

Just my two cents.

Sincerely,
Michael Tucker
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Old 10-19-2011, 04:54 PM   #6
John D. Burch
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Re: SEO/SEM Question

Hey guys - not sure if you saw this post relating to SEO/SEM:

WFS:

http://www.board.crossfit.com/showthread.php?t=70936
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