SEO and Location

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Chris Coyier on

This is just a baby thought I had about SEO.

I overheard some folks at the gym I go to talking about SEO. It was a part-owner of the gym, talking about an SEO firm they were in contact with to help them with the gym website and reaching more people. A concern all businesses share: how do we sell to more people.

In the context of a gym, sales will be limited to a pretty narrow geographic region. With rare exception, people don’t drive clear across town to go to the gym, because gyms are largely a commodity and dotted all over cities. So the available market is humans in this narrow geographic region who want to join a gym.

Two more facts:

  1. This gym is named: [name of neighborhood] fitness.
  2. It comes up very easily in all manner of web and map searches.

I can’t imagine what an SEO company can do for this gym, aside from a general lookover of the site for best practices and light advice.

SEO is all about search, and this gym already comes up in the relevant searches. There is no magic to work here. Search engines want to help you find what you are looking for, and they are doing their jobs well here already. Some other kinds of marketing and advertising might help get more folks in the door, but search is fine.

If search wasn’t fine, then sure, it seems warranted to try and figure out why and get the business showing up for the relevant searches.

I also overheard what the SEO company wanted: $2,500/month.

It’s not surprising to me why so many web folks roll their eyes and sneer at SEO consultants and agencies. That seems highly predatory.

$2,500 could go a long way in local advertising, actually reaching people in different ways.