Why Customer Reviews Are So Important To Your Business

By | Blog, Branding & Website Advice, Business Help, Digital Marketing, Julie Weldon, Marketing, SEO Help | No Comments

Think about the last time you bought something online, or reserved a place to stay, or chose a restaurant. Before making a decision, what was one of the FIRST things you did?  If you’re like most people, you looked at the reviews.

How many reviews are there? Have they primarily been given 5 stars… or 1-2 stars? If they have mostly 4-5 stars, what do people love about it? And, if there are 1-2 star ratings, what are their biggest complaints?

If there are no ratings and reviews, what are your thoughts? You’re most likely a little leary to purchase, aren’t you? If no one else is trying it, you probably will keep looking for another product that someone else testifies is good, or (hopefully) amazing.

Ratings and reviews – good, bad, or non-existent – can make or break a business.

Customers trust other people’s opinion in today’s social media saturated world more than they trust what a brand says about themselves.

In 2015, BrightLocal released the findings of their Local Consumer Review Survey. They found that 92% of people said they read reviews to determine the quality of a local business before visiting a business. NINETY-TWO PERCENT.

So, what does that mean for you?

If you don’t have a lot of reviews all saying how amazing someone’s experience is at your place of business, chances are you are losing people, and probably a lot of them.

Here are a few other statistics that communicate the importance of online reviews:






Reviews matter. And they matter a lot.

So, given that, here are a few things that are key to know and remember:

  1. Volume of reviews you have – many customers form an opinion after only reading a few reviews, but they want to at least know that there are many similar reviews just like the ones they read.
  2. All on the same day – Google doesn’t look favorably on all your reviews happening around the same time frame. Spread them out and consistently ask for reviews. Sort your members alphabetically and reach out to the A-E’s the first week, then F’J’s the following, etc.
  3. Incentivize – You certainly don’t have to incentivize your members to leave you a review, but it wouldn’t hurt, would it? You can enter them in a raffle for a $25 credit to your retail, or a $5 giftcard to Starbucks, etc. For drop-in’s, you can offer them a 2nd drop-in for free if they leave you a review. Their efforts will be well worth the investment you spend. 
  4. Reviews impact your search ranking – Google likes it when a business has a bunch of reviews so they will use these to rank you higher in searches.
  5. New customers will pay more for highly rated products or services – You know as well as I do if you read awesome positive reviews about a product, you are more willing to open up your wallet.
  6. Have reviews on different platforms – The main platforms to have a healthy dose of glowing reviews are Google and Facebook, but it never hurts to have a good handful of positive reviews on Yelp as well.
  7. Make it “stupid simple” for people to leave a review – Use our template to help people with the review-leaving process. The less clicks they have to do, the more likely they’ll actually leave you a review.

We cannot understate the importance of getting at least 35-50 positive reviews, spread out over the course of time. The more, the better. Invest time in this and it will pay you back in dividends.

Want more help with this? Check out Hub. This month, we’re focused on helping Hubsters get found online and getting reviews is just one piece of that. For only $10 for the first month, you can get your online “house” in order.



Also… if you haven’t registered yet for the 1st Annual Gym Owner’s Growth Summit, do so today!!  It’s FREE and it’s 3 days of content from some of the greatest minds in our industry!!

How To Be Sure You Are Showing Up Online When Potential Leads Are Searching

By | Branding & Website Advice, Business Help, How To, Hub, Julie Weldon, Marketing, SEO Help | No Comments

Ever wonder if your gym actually shows up when people search for a gym online? Well, you’re not alone.

If you ask the majority of small business owners how well their website is performing in online searches, most don’t have a clue. But, it’s important to remind you that if you’re not getting found when people are looking, you’ve thrown good money after bad when you invested in your website. One of the main points of a website is to market to your potential leads, so if you’re not showing up, your website is like a dull blade.

Each month we release new content in Hub. For August, the content is all about Local SEO and Getting Found Online. And you can check it out for only $10 for the first month.

Here’s a sneak peak into the content you’d have access to once in there…


Everybody wants to show up on the first page of Google, right? Of course! It makes no sense to have a website that doesn’t get viewed. But, the truth is, not many gyms are showing up in those prime spots. Why? Because no one really know how to make it happen.

Is this you?

  • Not 100% sure if your Google Places page is optimized.
  • Not sure where you rank on Google for the keywords you want to rank for and definitely not sure how to take actionable steps to increase their ranking.
  • Not clear on the key drivers that affect your ability to rank higher.

This month, we’re committed to walking with you in helping you understand what it takes to get your website found.


GSD 1: Watch the “Local SEO 100: Introduction” course (Approx 29 minutes)
GSD 2: Watch the “SEO 101: Get Your Website Fit” course (Approx 52 minutes)
GSD 3: Watch the “SEO 200 Part 1: Understanding Citations and Reviews” course (Approx 41 minutes)
GSD 4: Watch the “SEO 200 Part 2: Link Building Tactics for Gym Owners” course (Approx 40 minutes)
GSD 5: By the end of the month, make sure your gym’s Google My Business Listing is 100% optimized based off the course. Use the “Hub Google My Business Checklist” pdf for reference
GSD 6: Have a plan in place to get at least 8 new Google reviews each month

By the end of this month, you should:

1. Have completed the “Local SEO 100: Introduction” course
2. Have completed the “SEO 101: Get Your Website Fit” course 
3. Have completed the “SEO 200 Part 1: Understanding Citations and Reviews” course
4. Have completed the “SEO 200 Part 2: Link Building Tactics for Gym Owners” course
5. Confirm you have your Google My Business Listing page setup properly
6. Have an ongoing plan to get at least 8 Google reviews per month

For only $10, you could work through this Game Plan and have confidence that your potential leads are finding you when and where they are looking online. Check it out today!


Also… if you haven’t registered yet for the 1st Annual Gym Owner’s Growth Summit, do so today!!  It’s FREE and it’s 3 days of content from some of the greatest minds in our industry!!

How Gyms Can Get More From Their Facebook Ads

By | Branding & Website Advice, Business Help, Digital Marketing, How To, Joshua Sturgeon, Marketing, Social Media | No Comments

One of the greatest mistakes I see among gyms starting out with Facebook ads is that they’re using an old approach to advertising on a very modern platform.

Advertising has had a major upgrade with the development of Facebook’s ad platform. This new channel also requires a new approach.

Here are the key ways that Facebook differs from traditional print advertising, and how you can upgrade your approach to get the most from your ad dollars!

Facebook lets you target a very specific audience

I’ve seen gyms take a wrong turn by using their printed flyer designs as Facebook ads.

Don’t do this.

Your flyers are probably designed for mass appeal. You’re handing them out at coffee shops and posting them in areas of high visibility. Your goal is to get as many eyeballs as possible to see it.

Not so with Facebook. It’s the key advantage, really. You can get so specific with who you’re targeting, it’s actually a little creepy.

So if you are targeting young, pregnant mothers in a 10 mile radius around Boston who want a safe way to stay fit during the duration of their pregnancy…make sure that you’re speaking to them in your ad copy! Speak directly to their concerns and offer a specific solution.

Facebook ads create a two way street for communication

In the old days, advertising was about broadcasting a message to as many people as possible. It was a megaphone.

The only engagement you would get on a billboard was graffiti.

But when you’re running Facebook ads in a newsfeed, you’re giving your target audience a voice to respond. Sure, you’ll get some “graffiti”. But you can scrub it off pretty easily with your keyboard’s delete button.

The takeaway here is that if you’re running Facebook ads for your gym, be ready to standby and participate in the comments section of the ads.

You’ve been given an awesome opportunity in the comments to overcome objections, be helpful, and show that you’re a real human being, not some heartless brand.

I’d recommend downloading the Facebook page manager app on iOS or Android to quickly respond to comments in real-time. Strike while the iron is hot!

Facebook ads are engineered to be shareable

Except for a funny Super Bowl commercial, when was the last time a friend shared an advertisement with you?

We’ve said it already, the old model of advertising depends on getting as many eyeballs as possible and at any cost. They are an interruption and provide little value. So why would anyone share them?

Friends don’t like to spam each other, but they do like to share helpful content.

Facebook makes it easy for you to get its users doing the hard work for you of finding the right potential new members. It’s common for people on Facebook to tag friends in the comments or even share your ad to their feed.

The cool thing about Facebook is that when people share or tag friends in your ad it boosts the “organic” reach, which is really just a fancy way of saying that you get in front of more people for less cost (thanks, Zuck!).

When your ads get engagement like this, Facebook rewards you with a lower cost-per-click and they won’t charge you for the people who see your ad thanks to a friend sharing it.

So what does that mean for your ad creative?

First of all, don’t be afraid to write long ad texts, as if you were writing a mini blog post. We’ve seen these long-form ads work quite well, particularly because they more closely resemble helpful content vs. ads and users feel more comfortable sharing them.

Tell a story about one of your members. Write in detail about the struggle between wanting to get fit while lacking the discipline to do it alone. Build empathy.

Second, you should outright tell people to tag and share. We’re an incredibly obedient species, particularly when we’re passively scrolling through the newsfeed!

Try something like this for your next challenge: “Tag a friend who should take on this 6 week challenge with you!”

Remember, a new platform requires a new approach.

Be bold. Experiment. And most importantly, don’t give up after running one campaign!

If you need more help with setting up Facebook ads, we’ve created a Hub course specifically geared toward walking a gym owner step-by-step of creating and launching quality ads. Check out Hub for only $10 for the first month!

12 Big Things to AVOID on a Landing Page

By | Business Help, Digital Marketing, Marketing | No Comments

Your landing page has one rule. To get people to take ONE action, not multiple.

If you ask visitors to do a lot of things, most of the time visitors leave doing nothing. That’s not good.

In the past few weeks, we shared some solid info on creating the best conversion landing pages.

Today, we want to share the 12 Things to AVOID on your landing page:

  1. Assumptions: Don’t make them. Put yourself in their shoes. Try to anticipate their questions, then answer them. Clearly and simply.
  2. Too much copy. Keep it simple and to the point. Typically, your main goal is to get them in the door. It won’t happen with too much content. Guaranteed. We all lead very busy lives. We are skimmers of content. Make it easy to do just that.
  3. No Popups on your landing page. Very important. Don’t distract your visitor by giving them another option.
  4. Doesn’t load quickly. Make sure your landing page loads within a couple seconds. People will leave if they have to wait long.
  5. Cluttered Design. Simplicity is key to good design. Remember white space, less copy, and a good photo supporting your Call To Action.
  6. No business logo on your landing page. Don’t forget to make sure your gym logo is on the landing page. Visitors need to make sure they are in the right place. This is overlooked often.
  7. Social media icons on your landing page. You may think you want them on your page, but the last thing you want is to give visitors a reason to click away from your website. Remove them.
  8. Boring or Long Headline. You will lose visitors so fast if the first thing they read or see is something super long and bland. This is probably the most important part of your landing page. Spend time getting this right.
  9. Your photo doesn’t match your offer. The goal here is for anyone to look at your photo and tell what the offer is. We’ve also found video works even better. Grab your iPhone and create a short 1-3 minute video highlighting your offer so people can see your personality and spend more time engaging on your landing page.
  10. Not mobile friendly. I know this sounds like a given, but you’d be surprised how many people think of this after it’s too late.
  11. No social proof. It’s one thing for you as the gym owner to talk about your offer, it’s another to have other people who have had previous success with your service or product. This third party validation works so much better. To do this, include a short one sentence testimonial with a headshot and name attached.
  12. Using the word, “Submit” on your form. Don’t recommend it. Make your button action oriented, something like, Schedule your Free Consult or Download your Free Ebook.

As we round out our month focusing on creating solid landing pages and Facebook ads that produce leads, remember these articles are just a taste of what our Hub offers on a monthly basis. We dive in much deeper and provide you with a community of peers and experts who are ready and willing to answer your questions so you take these principles and apply them to your gym.

Need help with your landing pages, marketing or website?  It’s what we’ve been doing in this industry for 6+ years and we’ve helped 1,000+ gyms. Schedule a free call with us at your convenience by clicking on this link. We look forward to talking with you!


Want to read more about Landing Pages?

How to Create a Solid, Converting Landing Page

Help! I Don’t Understand Landing Pages.

How To Create a Solid, Converting Landing Page

By | Business Help, Digital Marketing, Julie Weldon, Marketing | No Comments

Landing pages are an important element in the marketing of your business.

But how do you know where to start? What makes a rock solid, lead generating landing page vs. just more noise on the internet that doesn’t convert?

In a previous article, we defined what a landing page is and walked through a crash course in Landing Pages 101. In this blog post, we’re going to dive into the components you should have in any landing page you create.

The thing about landing pages is that there isn’t an exact science on how to create them. You ask ten people, you’re likely to get ten different answers. Include this, don’t include that. But there are a few guidelines that have become industry standard. This month, in our Hub online learning platform, we published a complete course on Landing Pages. It walks you through the basics, the how to’s, and the steps by steps of creating your own landing pages that convert.

So, let’s dive in… what are the different aspects we suggest you include when creating a landing page? Check out this infographic and see corresponding numbers explained on either side. 

Once you build your landing page, ask yourself these questions:

  • Is your content short and compelling (good headline, short content, benefit bullet points)?
  • Are you using simple language your readers will understand?
  • Is it crystal clear what action you want the reader to take?
  • Would you be interested in what you are offering? Is the experience a good one?
  • Can they easily reach out to you and get a quick response back if they have questions?

Need help with your landing pages, marketing or website?  It’s what we’ve been doing in this industry for 6+ years and we’ve helped 1,000+ gyms. Schedule a free call with us at your convenience by clicking on this link. We look forward to talking with you!