Over the past few months, we’ve talked a lot about marketing basics for fitness businesses. Today we’re going to tackle the importance of online reviews and testimonials for your fitness website.
Nielsen’s “Global Trust in Advertising Survey” found that 70% of consumers trust online reviews from people they don’t know. Meanwhile, the Local Consumer Review Survey showed people trust online reviews as much as recommendations from friends and family. Both of these pieces of research stunned me as it means strangers hold as much weight as those who are in our “circle of trust.” But, it also is an opportunity for you as a business to ensure that when someone does look up your business that what they will find online will be positive.
When you display testimonials on your website, potential customers will trust that they’re an honest representation of your services. As well as boosting your credibility, which helps potential clients trust you, testimonials are useful in other respects. First, the feedback you get from testimonials can help you improve the services you offer. Second, by asking your clients to write a testimonial for your business, you’re reinforcing their positive experience of working with you. As they write your testimonial, they’ll think about everything they appreciate about your services. Third, publishing testimonials on your site gives you one more page to be tracked by search engines, which is good for your SEO.
Reviews and testimonials are critical – especially in the age of the always-connected consumer. I’d recommend you encourage your members to review you on Yelp and any other review sites and provide them with a link to do so in a newsletter or in any other email communication so that you make it as easy as possible for them to give you the positive rating you are seeking.
Your fitness software should let you collect reviews easily. You could set up an automated email to go out after a certain period of time and include a link to your Yelp listing or other review site. Make sure you give a potential reviewer enough time to evaluate your gym or studio. For example, many folks that are new to a workout routine take about ninety days to begin to seeing results. In this case, you would have an email timed to go out after ninety days that says something such as:
“Thank you for being a member of ABC gym. We love having you as a part of our community.
If you’re happy with the results you’re seeing, please tell others on this review site. (Note: Provide a direct link to your business’s listing)
If you have other feedback, please reply to this email and give me the opportunity to chat with you about how we can improve.
Thank you again for being a member of ABC gym.”
Here are a few examples of reviews I found when I searched on Zen Planner customer, Capital MMA:
You could employ a similar strategy for testimonials, using an automated email, but I’d suggest a more personal approach. First, you should plan to track progress over time so that you can easily provide your gym member something to shout about. You can do this easily with Zen Planner’s Advanced Workout Tracking. As you see your gym member’s reps or weight improve, you can then circle back and ask about a testimonial. You can also use “before” and “after” pictures to emphasize the changes and then put those on your fitness website.
Here’s an excellent example of our partner and customer Cody Bishop, Owner of 181 Fitness, using testimonials really well. In fact, they even have a section called “Success Stories” that is dedicated to their gym members’ success and progress.
Obviously you’d need to be vigilant about taking those “before” pictures so that you can leverage the “after” photos. I’d suggest you make gathering member photos a standard part of your intake process for new members to facilitate testimonials.
Just like all of you, we are also looking for feedback on how we are doing. Please let us know if there is a particular topic that you’d find useful to see in an upcoming post. You can send your feedback to firstname.lastname@example.org. To your success!
Testimonials are an important component of a solid fitness website. Discover what else your website must have in our latest checklist, 10 Things Your Fitness Business Website Must Have!