Gym marketing plan in freefall? Goliath-slaying tactics to help you compete with big brands


Running a small local gym is hard enough. But when a big-brand name muscles in on your territory the challenge intensifies. So, what can be done to ward off this goliath-sized competitor and protect your business?

The answer is simple. Create a gym marketing plan. The solution is more complex. 

Here’s how to create a gym marketing plan using organic SEO and show your competitors who’s boss.

Nail your organic Search Engine Optimisation (SEO)

Organic SEO is an ethical technique used to improve a website’s visibility in the Search Engine Ranking Pages (SERPs). Using specially targeted keywords a business can match user intent by creating content tailored to its audience.

Why should organic content form part of your gym marketing plan? Other than the time you put in there’s zero cost – meaning you needn’t rely on paid advertising.

Organic SEO comprises the following elements…

Local SEO

Visit Google Keyword Planner and type ‘gyms in’ followed by your location (you’ll need to sign up if not already subscribed). Can you see the number of monthly searches is relatively low?

These low numbers equate to less competition which means there’s an opportunity to rank highly on Google for this phrase.

See – size really doesn’t matter after all!

Fitness partners gym floor workout


Backlinking is a great way to impress Google and Bing. After all, sites will only associate with brands they trust. Therefore, each backlink to your website is a vote of confidence.

For this strategy to work:

  • Multiple sites must link to yours; and
  • Each should have a high domain authority

To achieve this…

  • Develop partnerships with local businesses and ask if you can guest post on their websites
  • Submit articles to journalists or local papers in exchange for a free backlink
  • Create listings on Google My Business and trusted directory platforms

Make backlinks part of your gym marketing plan and the possibilities are endless.

On-page and off-page SEO

On-page SEO

These are the elements visitors can see: menus, pages, blogs, and other forms of content. All must work collaboratively to create a seamless user experience and  maximise engagement and conversion rates.

Other factors that influence on-page SEO include:

  • Keyword research – targeting prospects with the right words and phrases matters
  • Design – your site should be eye-catching enough to capture your audience’s attention
  • User Experience – great content and design can be undone in an instant by confusing navigation

Neglect off-page SEO and even the best gym marketing plan can fail.

men running on track for charity

Off-page SEO

Apart from link building – which we covered earlier – off-page SEO is about…

  • responding to customer reviews 
  • building a presence on social media 
  • commenting on web forums
  • guest blogging

…and any other actions taken outside your website which affect its rankings on Google and other search engines. 


Organic SEO shouldn’t form the sole basis of your gym marketing plan but is still of paramount importance. Ultimately, it’s free marketing – in that it costs only the time you invest into it.

To discuss the benefits of organic SEO – and how to build it into your gym marketing plan –contact us to book a free consultation.

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