A How-To Guide for a Robust SEO Strategy

Your website is your billboard to the world. For health and fitness companies, it’s usually the first place potential clients land when they are looking for a gym, a trainer or some stylish new workout digs. That’s why you have to put effort into your digital storefront.  Trust me — your entire company will be judged with one click.

Yes it is, Spock!

However, unless a future customer knows your exact URL, they’ll likely find you through a Google search. The fitness industry has a lot of online noise, and it’s up to your creative thinking to stand out in the conversation. That’s why you need an SEO strategy.

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4 Tips for Engaging Your Target Audience

Not too long ago I gave a writing presentation to a room of athletic-clothing fashion designers.  I started out asking them a seemingly simple question:

Who do you want wearing your clothes?

They looked around the room with darting eyes, sinking into their seats. One young woman bravely responded, “Everyone.”

This was the exact response I expected.

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Indeed, from a business owner’s standpoint, if everyone is engaged in your product, then you are a success. But the truth is, not everyone is going to come to your gym, love your style of yoga or be comfortable in your see-through cropped workout pants. In order to connect your product with consumers who will buy, you have to have an extra firm grip on the kinds of people who would be attracted to your gym, studio, spa or clothing line.

So, in a world of 7 billion people, how do you figure out who is your target audience? Here are 4 tips from the marketing experts at Swoll Media.

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Automation Schmatoumation

I have very few inflexible rules when it comes to marketing, but one in particular tops the list of Must-Don’ts. I don’t automate social media posts. I am anti-automation. That’s not to say that I don’t schedule posts or organize campaigns ahead of time. I even keep a posting calendar, editorial content concept files, and an extensive set of swipe files with an ongoing list of my highest performing strategies, tweets, posts and other tag lines.

But I never, ever automate.

social-media-conversation

Why? Why not save time and push out a blog post that automatically sends out a tweet and a Facebook message? In one click I can share my latest ingenuity with all of my fans and followers. Sounds perfect, right? Wrong.

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Breaking the Block

One thing that really caught me by surprise when I entered the “paid writer” world is often I’ve come face-to-face with a bullying case of writer’s block. I always thought writer’s block was a bit of a cliché, really. Then I learned, quickly I might add, that in college you aren’t producing something every single day. You have weeks before an article is due. You can chew, mull, prob and pull until the putty of your words takes the shape you want.

Even Kurt Vonnegut dealt with writer's block.

Life at a desk job is a bit different. So far, I’ve learned that:

  • Computers aren’t inspiring.
  • The closer your deadline the more your head hurts.
  • Reading your own writing makes you sick.
  • The neurons that travel from your brain to your fingers have died horrible, ghastly deaths.

Face it: writer’s block is a leg cramp for Lance Armstrong or a sore throat for Lady Gaga. It gnaws you up, sucking the marrow and leaving you all meek and doubtful. You need to shake up your routine; find another reason for writing. Creativity doesn’t come from stagnation. Derived from illumination, the only way to break through writer’s block is inspire yourself.

  • Read something you enjoy!
  • Take a pen and a notebook and go for a walk. You’ll be surprised how blinding a computer really is.
  • Have a conversation. Tell someone (or yourself) about the story, in detail. Jot down a few of the things you say and you’ll find that the phrases you create during a conversation are way more engaging.
  • Work on something else. If, like me, you have a plethora of writing, designing and web assignments, just switch over to something different. Give your mind a break.
  • Stream it out. Forget the grammar, punctuation, AP Style… just go for straight to paper. Put your thoughts down, in their chaotic beauty. Let the rambling lead to coherence.
  • Change the scenery. Work in a different part of the office or plug-in some headphones. Do something to alter the environment and refresh your mind.

Nothing, to me, is as frustrating as writer’s block. I can see it wreaking havoc in a well-intentioned story. I gave it the good ol’ college try, but my best just isn’t in it. You can’t, however, hold on to that. You have to accept that you will write a paltry story every once in a while and that’s okay. The world didn’t end. Remember, all pages start out blank.