Your gym, yoga studio, or healthy lifestyles business dialed in top-notch Google Ads campaigns, optimized every bit of your Google Business Profile—and now people are flocking to your website.
People who find your business via Google Ads or the Google Business Profile-driven local 3-pack are actively looking to buy services like yours.
So you don’t have to worry about whether they’ll buy.
It’s just a matter of “Who will they choose?”
And what happens on your website determines whether you get that happy ending.
Follow along with your prospect’s mindset as we explain each question and list the content you need:
1. Will this be right for me?
- How does your approach compare to other ways I can work on my goals, like books, apps, videos, or online sites?
- Do other members have goals similar to mine?
- Will my own health journey feel like it fits in here?
Questions like these signal purchase intent. These folks are no longer casting their net far and wide. They’re narrowing down choices. They’re at your website because they saw specific references in your Ads or Google Business Profile that clicked with their interests and concerns.
For example, perhaps your Google Ads mentioned “triathlon training” or “get ready for Kona” (you are running search ads, right?). Or perhaps your Profile description emphasized a safe, inclusive environment, or a high-energy positive vibe.
And now, they want to know more. Your businesss sounded like a good fit so far—but does that hold up upon closer inspection?
Remember: you’re not a hundred-dollar bill. Not everyone will like you. Your business is not the right fit for every prospect.
The content goal here is to give people the insight that empowers them to either say “Sounds good, still interested,” or “No, I’m not seeing something I care about here, better keep looking.”
You need to:
Be clear about what you do and who you do it best for. Every fitness and wellness business has ideal customers in mind. The swim coach for Ironman age-groupers, Kona hopefuls and competitive masters swimmers is probably not the ideal coach for a fearful adult or a toddler. When your site makes it clear that your aquatics center is for competitive athletes, everyone else will move on to another business. That’s okay. You weren’t going to be able to serve them well, so showing them who you serve best saved you time and money better spent on other potential clients.
Here’s how you can do that:
Share customer stories. When your clients experience that magical transformational moment in their fitness or wellness journeys, ask them to tell you about it. All of it. The doubt, the struggle, the waffling about where to go and how they ended up here and now. A short email or text from that customer, a casual interview recorded on a cell phone, a selfie next to a brag board—anything that candidly tells their story shows people with similar concerns that they’re in the right place. Feature that content prominently on your website.
Feature highly relevant reviews. Curate the highest-impact reviews from Google, Yelp and Facebook. In this context, “highest-impact” means the ones that speak most strongly to the concerns and questions prospects have. For example, a review that says, “I thought I would feel self-conscious but everyone was so welcoming” is far more relevant to a prospect than one that says “Suzy’s 9 AM Core Aerobics class is great.”
Share authentic staff stories. Theoretically, a well-designed program or experienced, well-trained professional can help someone even if you haven’t walked in their footsteps—but most of us prefer to work with people who share at least some of our life experiences. People want to believe that you “get” them.
Plus, the nature of health and wellness often requires a fairly highly level of personal disclosure. Part of what makes prospects more comfortable is making that disclosure mutual. It builds a sense of community that subtly reminds folks that streaming a yoga video is not at all the same thing as attending your live yoga classes.
Let’s be clear: posting staff resumes and certifications is not what we’re talking about. The to-do here is to weave together their personal stories with their professional experiences and perspectives and to show how they fit with the mission of your business and the customers you serve best.
If you don’t do this kind of storytelling, there’s no way for prospects to tell the difference between two persontal trainers: “Soothing Steve” who’s great at reinforcing “little steps” towards goals and “Drill Sergeant Debbie” who urges clients to push through the pain. Prospects know what they’re looking for—it’s your website’s job to show them what you have.
Show them. Videos and photos of your actual customers help tell the story. Show Joe Sixpack who’s looking for a weightlifting gym your photos and videos of members actually lifting serious weights, working out on brand-name equipment, using cages and squat racks, and holding up their competition medals. If you’re telling people you’ve got a family-friendly gym, make sure actual families show up in your photos and videos. Make sure your kids’ play area is in the pictures. Highlight reviews that mention families and kids. Deep-dive on your kids’ programming.
2. What makes you special?
- How do your approach, programs and services, facility &/or location set you apart?
- What do you have that I won’t find elsewhere?
- What’s your customer experience like?
- Atmosphere & community vibe?
- Staff/member interactions?
This question is the natural follow-on to “Is this right for me?”.
The key here is to know what makes you special. Double down on it. And then embed it prominently throughout your website so folks who aren’t yet customers know about it!
(If you’re stuck trying to figure out what’s distinctive about your business—or simply want to confirm your thinking—see our tip in the Question 3 discussion below.)
Even competing businesses within a niche—for example, two hot yoga studios in the same area—usually differ in the minds of prospects. For example, there are at least four different types of hot yoga. And even within a single type, different studios may have different strengths that appeal to different prospects.
You might assume that someone looking specifically for Bikram hot yoga is already up to speed with the Bikram asanas and just wants the studio nearest their home.
But what if that person’s a runner or cyclist? A Bikram studio that offers an introductory class specifically for athletes that emphasizes benefits like heat tolerance, joint flexibility, balance, and injury avoidance will have an edge for that prospect.
What makes you special can be as intangible as that authentic feeling of coming home, as simple as the fact that you always know customers’ names when they walk in the door, or as unexpected as your “Donut Mondays,” or that “insider feeling when you complete your 100th workout and Coach Alyson ceremonially tosses a gym towel at you.
3. What do other people think?
- What do customers like me think about your business?
- What do they see as your strengths?
Use customers to tell your story. It’s one of the most powerful things your business can do to promote itself. And it’s a strategy that’s available even to clinical practices or businesses otherwise restricted by customer privacy concerns.
Remember those testimonials we talked about earlier? Knowing what the experience is like from the customer’s perspective does more than just confirm that a potential customer is “at the right place.” It provides an authentic, personal, and in-depth insight that no product sheet or service description can ever match.
What’s more, customer stories told by customers are a unique source of insight. Wondering what really makes your business stand out? Wondering if you’re right about being good at something in particular? In your most useful reviews, your actual paying customers literally tell you why they chose you and why they keep coming back! This stuff is marketing gold. In fact, reviews are one of the things we analyze when we create content for fitness & wellness websites. It keeps you honest, too. If you tell people that you’re known for A, B & C—and none of those ever appear in your customer reviews—sorry, you’re kidding yourself. Whatever you’re known for, it ain’t that.
Here’s how to clue potential customers in on what other customers think:
Testimonials: Short quotes and photos of actual customers interacting with each other and with staff go a long way toward showing prospects a warm, happy place where folks feel at home, successful, and energized by their experience. They take next to no time to gather—but you do have to gather them.
The plus/delta method is the best way to get amazing fitness and wellness testimonials.
Simply ask customers these two questions periodically:
- What two things do you like most about your experience here?
- What two things could be better?
It’s very important that you ask both questions to get the best answers. Curiously, what you’ll often find is that you get positive and complimentary responses to both questions, even the one that asks about improvements!
When you see especially stellar responses, thank the customer effusively for their feedback and ask if it’s OK to share it. . Most will happily agree, flattered to have been asked.
Reviews: Warts-and-all commentary from real-life customers. Here’s a good reality check: if you fear putting a Google review feed on your website, your top priority should be fixing the persistent issues causing all those bad reviews.
Some of the most glowing reviews and commentary come from people who were blown away by some small act of kindness, thoughtfulness, or listening. Those things matter! And they’ve very compelling to prospects.
If you do put a review feed on your site, don’t worry about occasional reviews with minor or batshit complaints. Those just make it clear that you’re sharing information transparently. If the complaint is legitimate but minor, respond and ask them to contact you to make it right. Don’t argue or defend online. If the complaint’s irrational, check Google’s terms of service. If it violates them, you can ask Google to remove it.
If you’re seeing a pattern of disappointment—folks complaining that you don’t have things they wanted or felt were important, or that the experience didn’t unfold the way they expected—that tells you that your Google Ads, Google Business Profile, and website probably don’t have the right content. Go back and recalibrate your content based on that feedback.
Case studies: These in-depth profiles are the whole package! They’re a great way to give prospects a real sense of what it’s like to be your customer. They describe the featured customer’s entire story: the problem/goal they wanted to address, previous attempts to solve it, what did/didn’t work, why they kept looking for a better answer, why they chose you, which of your services and programs they’ve used, and what the experience with your business has been like vs what they expected, including outcomes or results!
You can see why it’s so compelling during the sales process, and it’s content you can use in multiple places, not just on your website.
Q&A: Bonus points if you’re actually familiar with this feature of your Google Business Profile. Q&A gives both you AND customers a chance to ask common questions and get answers. It’s far more than an FAQ. What often happens is that about half the questions will get answered by you, and the other half will be answered by customers who want to help others have the best experience possible. For instance, if the question is: “Do your swim coaches do any open water training?”, don’t be surprised if before you can jump in an answer “yes”, one of your most loyal customers has already responded with “Yes, but you have to get the right coach. Some do beginner sessions weekly at the lake, but if you want longer distance or Ironman training you need to talk to Coach Todd.” In that particular case, the answer provided by a customer actually gives you insight into what other customers need to know most…because it’s being answered by someone who’s sole intent is to provide the most useful, relevant answer possible.
4. What are my options?
- What programs and services do you offer?
- How do they work?
- Features, benefits, and starting prices?
- Bundles, packages, special offers?
Superficial program or package or membership descriptions and not even a hint at pricing don’t cut it.
Here’s what needs to go in your descriptions. “Service” could be a service, a program, a membership or a digital or physical product depending on your specific wellness business.
- Name of service
- Features—ex: number of weeks in program, days and hours of access to facility, intensive outpatient treatment
- Description of customer experience—ex: class led by RYT-500 yoga instructor, fitness dance set to original hip-hop instrumentals, 1:1 private nutrition counseling
- Available options—ex: 5-class card or 10-class card,
- Customer feedback, reviews, ratings &/or testimonials—internally-collected, third-party like Google, or both
- Photos or videos (relevant & authentic, not stock)
- Price indication
- Risk-reduction features—ex: cancel online at any time, no long-term contracts, satisfaction guarantee
A lot of health, fitness, and wellness businesses are squeamish about pricing and product bundling. Some of them are just uncertain how to arrange service bundles so they’re most attractive to prospects. Some don’t really know what the buying obstacles really are. And yet others simply don’t want to talk about price until they get someone actually interested in buying.
Regardless of what the problem is, it’s making it hard for prospects who are almost literally cash-in-hand to find a comfortable way to buy.
Are you really going to refuse business if Yasmin Yogini wants to buy the beginner package but add on premium services like weekend chat support that only come with your advanced yoga bundle?
Think of your pricing plans as a starting point. They’re “value meals” that make many people happy. Other folks are going to want to order a la carte, and that’s okay.
Be sure to offer different options for different budgets. Not everyone is going straight for the lowest-cost options. Some people can only spend so much, so turn the question around and ask yourself about the best value you can provide for that price, and if you’ll lose money, be honest and tell your prospects that you can’t go lower than that.
How do you do that on your website? Try some of these phrases:
- “Our most popular package”
- “Best value for budget conscious”
- “Full service option”
- “Bronze/silver/gold packages”
- Hourly rates
- Individual service pricing
Let people know exactly what they get in each case, and be transparent about the price. Even if you don’t know whether you might need to charge more at some point, you can always say, “Prices start at….”
PRO TIP: Make sure you offer your best prices to loyal customers, not newbies. Otherwise you’ll find your most loyal customers–the ones who cost the least to keep compared to the cost of acquiring new ones–quitting when they don’t feel appreciated.
5. How can I try before I buy?
- How do I get a feel for what it’s like to be your customer?
- Are the trial offers, free assessments, guest passes, etc. well-chosen?
Okay, so Very Interested Prospect (VIP) Phil has visited your website, read your testimonials and case studies, checked out your reviews, and is almost ready to buy. But he’s never been through your doors until now.
Your very next job is to give Phil a chance to try things out for a reasonable amount of time before making his final decision.
Now, a lot of you probably already offer free 3-day passes and trial offers and that sort of thing; and quite a few of you also probably feel like you’re getting eaten alive on those.
Here’s what NOT to do. Don’t offer day passes like candy. People will just take the candy.
Instead, offer people ways to talk to you: web chat, email, phone, text, or direct messaging on social. Get them to make some effort to reach out to you, and answer their questions. Gauge their level of seriousness. Then offer the guest passes if you feel like VIP Phil is likely to become a customer.
If Phil’s not making any effort, neither should you–it’ll just cost you money.
So what should your website do to answer these kinds of questions?
- Make sure your address and phone number are prominently displayed (this helps visitors but also helps Google help people find you) so that people visiting your website can talk to you or find you.
- Offer web chat. There are hundreds of WordPress plugins out there. We can recommend some if you like.
- Offer virtual tours. At least Phil can get a sense of things.
- Make people give you something of value for those day passes. Ask them to fill out a questionnaire, subscribe to your email newsletter, or engage in some other kind of lead-qualifying activity. Email subscription links and embedded or linked JotForm surveys aren’t hard to set up to work from your website, and you’ll end up wiser about who your most interested prospect are.
Your most seriously interested prospects are pretty ready to buy and really do only have a couple of questions holding them back. So if you feel you’re being taken advantage of on try-before-you-buy deals, communicate politely but firmly that you can’t extend them and offer other options that require at least some financial commitment, such as day rates, or a weekly or monthly membership.
6. What if I still have questions?
- Can I get in-depth answers without sales pressure?
- Can I contact you the way I want to, like chat, email, drop-in, call?
From your website, provide as many ways as possible for folks to reach out to you.
- Chat widgets: We currently use Tidio ourselves, and most chat tools include preconfigured Google events so that you can use Google Analytics and Google Ad Manager to track what led interested prospects to chat with you and what they did afterwards—visit other pages or make a purchase, for example. For those of you who’ve told us “we can turn people into customers—if we can just talk to them”, this is often a very effective way to invite that conversation.
- Phone number: Putting your phone number on your website is always a good idea, and the reasons may surprise you. Of course it makes it easy for folks to call you. But you can also configure Google Analytics to track those calls so you know whether the call was answered, how long it lasted, etc. (And a well-configured Google Ads campaign will activate Google’s “click to call” capability so folks can call you directly from your ad.)
- Address: Google’s local search results prize proximity and relevance, so Google wants to show local searchers the nearest relevant businesses. Customers also want this information, so it’s critical that your website displays your public physical address, if any. Bonus points if you embed live Google Maps so folks can get directions right from your web page.
(Don’t forget to add messaging buttons on your social media pages and enable the Messages feature in your Google Business Profile, too.)
7. Are you easy to do business with?
- Do I have to make a long-term commitment?
- What if life events happen?
- Is changing or cancelling my membership simple and easy?
When life events force someone to make a change in their membership or program enrollment, do you slow-roll processing their change, drag your feet calling them back, wave discounts to try to retain them, or point out that the fine print of their membership contract requires 30 days notice plus prorated membership fees for the fractional month?
(If you said yes, are any of these responses really the right way to treat people? We bet your reviews answer that question.)
Is it easy and quick for a prospect to sign up? Are your terms and conditions transparent? Or does becoming your customer take an hour of intense backing-and-forthing with an in-person high-pressure sales rep who’s tapdancing around hard questions and scribbling a bunch of “today only!” numbers on scrap paper trying to bamboozle the prospect into signing up for more than they meant to?
Pro tip: Prospects want to know that upgrades, downgrades, changes and cancellations ae easy. Here’s how your website can communicate that:
- Language like “1-minute online enrollment—cancel at any time”
- “Full refund of the unused portion of your membership”
- Prominent Login and “Edit My Profile” links in the main menu, including simple ways to discontinue billing
After all, the best way to make it easy to do business, retain customers, and keep them happy is to let them know every day what you value about them.
That says a lot about the kind of business you really are.