Jumpstart Your Health Club’s Digital Marketing Biometrics

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Member biometrics let your health club give targeted advice to improve individual results. Marketing biometrics help you understand your prospects’ behavior so you can grow your membership and revenues faster.

Here’s how to develop your own dashboard of digital marketing biometrics, built around eight key questions:

Who’s looking for you?

Start with Google Analytics, and expand the Audience menu in the Reporting section on the left. Click on Overview to see your site visitor Demographics.

Notice that in Demographics, you can quickly learn your visitors’ preferred language, their city location, and the screen resolution, which tells you their preferred device, like laptop or tablet or smartphone.

Aha! 87% of your site visits are from English speakers — but another 8% come from Spanish speakers.

Are you providing Spanish-language ads on Facebook and in Adwords? Do you have printed materials in Spanish? You probably should, if nearly 10% of your prospects prefer Spanish!

Continuing to scan, you notice that the Screen Resolution for about 70% of your visitors reveals that they’re using smartphones.

That’s huge. Is your site thoroughly optimized for mobile? Have you analyzed which actions are most common so they’re super-easy to do on a smartphone?

Now, click on City. Turns out that 30% of your traffic is from a handful of boroughs in New York.  Use this marketing biometric to strategically target your Adwords, Facebook and Every Door Direct Mail or other print advertising. Don’t buy clicks or pay postage for a huge geography when most of your members come from a much smaller trade area.

Finally, take a look at Audience/Demographics/Overview. Here you’ll see the age and gender of your site visitors. Turns out that your average visitor is around 40-55 years old. Just one problem — most of your marketing targets folks in their 20s and early 30s, with programs like Bridesmaid Bootcamp and Get Bikini Ready. The biometric reveals a strategic disconnect — your website, your programs and your actual site visitors aren’t aligned. Our prediction: this is probably why your revenues aren’t going up and members aren’t sticking around.

People also find health and wellness businesses through Yelp. Take a look at your Yelp Business Activity. Anyone searching in Yelp is a hot prospect — they’re highly likely to click on your website link or even more promising, your phone number or the map to your business.

For local businesses, we nearly always suggest paying $75/month for the Business Page Upgrade that will prevent competitor ads from appearing on your Yelp page and allow you to create a unique Call To Action that will appear at the top of your business profile. The included slideshow is a nice feature, too.

Now, compare your cost/Yelp activity to your cost per Adwords converted click or conversion. You may be surprised!

How are they finding you?

At the top of the Google Analytics interface, click “Add Segment” to look at traffic from specific types of site visitors.

Paid search analyzes only site visitors who arrived via Google Adwords. Organic search analyzes only site visitors who stumbled across you through a Google search, without clicking on a paid link. Email will analyze only visitors who arrived via something like a Mailchimp email link and Social captures traffic that arrives via a Facebook or Yelp link.

Now, let’s revisit the demographic information we looked at earlier. Drilling down, you now can tell that most of your Social traffic is from women aged 45 to 60 who click through on Facebook ad links. Most of your paid traffic is from men in their 30s and 40s who are searching in Google and click one of your Adwords placements. This may mean that you need to target your search advertising slightly more toward men, and your social slightly more toward women.

Next, look at your Facebook Ad Manager. How are your Facebook ads converting, and what’s the cost per conversion or converted click? How does that compare to your Yelp, Adwords and other results? How do the demographics for your Ad Manager conversions compare to those for your Adwords conversions?

Does your AdWords marketing and social marketing reflect this reality? Or are you using the same marketing images and copy in both channels even though the audiences are quite different? How well do your programs and services map to these groups?

You’ll also want to take a look at the Referral segment. This traffic can really inflate your visitor counts — while some of it may be legitimate referrals, let’s say, from a blog post, a lot of it is bogus traffic from link farms, not real, live potential members. We’ll talk more about that below.

What part of your site do they visit?

With the earlier segments still selected in Google Analytics, take a look at Behavior/Site Content/All Pages. Which pages did each segment visit? Look specifically for differences and similarities between segments.

In our example, site visitors spend most of their time on either the club’s home page (probably via the Direct segment), or on the personal training landing page. Most of those clicks arrived via paid search ads, so in our fictional example, these visitors were probably men in their 40s.

Note: DO NOT point your paid search ads like Adwords to your home page. Link your Adwords to a targeted landing page. Targeted means that the marketing messages, copy, images, offer and call to action are tailored to the likeliest site visitor, based on visitor behavior, your ad text and keywords. For example, if your earlier analysis revealed that nearly all of your site visitors are using a smartphone, and the call to action is “Call to schedule a free tour”, you need a big call button so they all have to do is tap it to reach you.  Forget making them scroll up to a Contact link at the top of the page!

You  may be able to use existing pages as landing pages — IF they have an offer and a clear call to action. If they’re just general information about, say, personal training or types of yoga, they’re fairly useless as landing pages.

Still on that same screen in Google Analytics, now, take a look at the pages on your site that signify buying behavior — typically your Contact and Locations pages. Next, filter it to show Mobile users only.

These are your likeliest prospects. In fact, one of the most common searches for mobile users is “health clubs near me.” The trick to using your marketing biometrics effectively is to use the data to define “health clubs”, “near” and “me” as specifically as possible — for instance, to a 45 year old male looking for HIIT gyms within 10 miles of a specific suburb of Dallas, TX.

How long do they visit?

While you’re on Behavior/Site Content/All Pages, notice the bounce rate. In our example, it’s about 40% higher for your paid “clickstream” traffic vs your organic search traffic.

You also notice that organic site visitors visit an average of 1.5 pages more than your paid search visitors, and organic visits to a page also last 30 seconds longer.

People who are already familiar with your business tend to arrive via organic search (not Adwords), and they tend to spend more time on your website.

Those ads you paid for? If folks are visiting one less page and leaving 30 seconds earlier, maybe it’s time you edited both your search ads and associated landing page content to better fit prospect expectations.

How “sticky” are the visits?

The fact is that people who have visited your club’s site and seen something of even passing interest are likelier to visit it again without prompting than complete strangers will be.

The degree to which visitors stay long in a session, visit a lot of pages, visit the site multiple times — potentially across devices, or visit to enroll or make a small purchase is a strong indicator of future buying behavior. If your site engages well with these “sticky” customers, you’ve got less so-called sales friction and it will cost you less to close a sale.

There are several measures of visit “stickiness.”

One way to look at stickiness is to examine the Returning Users segment within Google Analytics. Another is Multi-session Users, and another is Converted Users. These are all visitors who have already visited your site more than once and either researched or paid for a product or service. Compare the numbers for these segments with New Users to see what parts of your site appeal to regular visitors vs prospects or new customers.

Now look all the way down on the left to the menu choice Conversions, with your three “sticky” customer types still selected as segments. This will tell you which of your best leads from online traffic are converting.

If people are visiting your site multiple times and aren’t converting — including ones who’ve converted before — you’ll need to investigate further to determine if you’ve got a problem that needs fixing.

How easy is it to reach you?

It is essential that you have a Google MyBusiness listing, and the profile must be complete and accurate. This is the number one source for hot prospects who are ready to buy, because it points them to maps, directions, phone numbers, and hours of operation. Without this, you’re virtually unfindable on the web.

Check your last-30-days Google Business stats monthly. The statistics that show click-to-calls by time of day for each day of the week are especially interesting.

You can’t directly influence your Google Business stats, but looking at how they’re trending helps you understand the behavior of your potential customers.

What are people saying about you?

Online reviews — Yelp, Google Reviews, Facebook reviews (different from comments) and NextDoor — are among the most effective marketing techniques you can use.

It’s important to get a continuous flow of reviews because it increases the likelihood that your business will show up higher in Google search results.

Compare the number of reviews through each of these channels to prior months. How many reviews are you getting, regardless of whether they’re positive or negative? Is the quantity trend positive or negative?

If you’re not seeing much activity, make online reviews a top priority in your marketing plan.

Analyze the actual content of the reviews. Ignore clearly wacky comments. However, if someone has a specific complaint or concern that you can address directly, do so. For example, if someone complains about dark parking lots, it’s very important that you reply and make the point that you’ve upgraded the lightbulbs, or will walk members to their cars, or have a guard who patrols, and so on.

What are they thinking about?

For consumer businesses, Facebook is the top priority. For most local health and wellness businesses, Instagram isn’t nearly as valuable.

For corporate and employee wellness, LinkedIn is the most important social media platform.

Each month, examine your engagement trends: likes, comments, shares/forwards. The most important are comments and shares/forwards. Likes alone aren’t worth much.

Look at your different types of content: Facebook ads and posts, with and without video, with and without images.

Which ones are generating the most engagement? Feed this information back into your ad campaigns and budgets for the following month.

Go to your club’s Facebook page. As the owner, you’ll see a menu option at the top called Insights. Click on that, and then look at the side menu choices. You can skip Likes, since in business, being liked doesn’t translate well to revenue — though it does have an incremental effect on reputation.

Instead, go to Reach, and look at the difference between Paid and Organic. Don’t forget that there are two ways to get your message out on Facebook — you don’t always have to run ads if your content is viral enough. But you’ll want to examine the Posts section to see which posts got the most engagement.

Next, in Facebook Insights, take a look at the demographics under Actions on Page. This section will tell you the age, gender, and location of people who engaged with your club’s Facebook page and got your phone number, checked your website, asked for directions, or took other actions in response to your post.

Now, examine Google Analytics’ Acquisition Overview and details pages, then click on Social. In our example, you find that while most of your traffic on social originates from Facebook, you’re also seeing an increasing trend in Instagram and Reddit activity. What’s so special about your club that people are Instagramming it? Why is Reddit lighting up with comments and topics of interest to your club?

Target your marketing content to the characteristics of your highest-converting social channels. For example, organic Facebook content may be most engaging for existing members who are quick to re-post your content, whereas content targeted to specific demographics may produce better results for your paid Facebook ads.

Digital marketing biometrics make it clear that prospective members are thinking and talking about your club long before they cross the threshold. Make smart use of your marketing biometrics to find out who those customers really are and how you can keep them walking through that door!