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Google ads for personal trainers

your step by step guide on boosting your client list through targeted google ads for personal trainers

written by Zack Mathews

Effective marketing is key for any business and Google ads for personal trainers is one avenue that needs to be targeted if you want to gain more clients.

We’ve all seen it while searching Google.

3-4 top results with the exact title of what we searched for. Now that is a well developed ad and it will show before your regular search results since someone is paying for that spot. 

That’s where we want you to be when someone is searching for a personal trainer.

You might be thinking that you will just let your website get to the top of the regular searches without having to pay for it.   You definitely want to optimize your site to rank well, but on average,

SEO can take up to 6 months to start optimizing your website and moving it up the rankings.

Not only is that a long time, but that is assuming you have developed your site really well with the proper SEO.

That’s where good google ads for personal trainers will put you at an advantage. It will allow you to be seen right away with people that have intent to buy.

how Google determines who is on top

Depending on your area, you will probably see multiple ads for other trainers advertising the same services as yourself.  What makes some rank higher than others?

    1. Bid amount - This is the amount of money you will be willing to pay for a click to your website.  The nice thing about this is that Google has an automatic algorithm that will do the calculations and bidding for you.
    2. Relevance - This will be how relevant your ad is to what the person is searching for.  If someone is looking for a weight loss personal trainer and your ad is promoting you as a bikini competition coach, you will rank lower than the person with weight loss specialist in their ad.
    3. Quality of the page you are advertising - When a user clicks your ad, the quality of the page they get sent to is important.  Google wants to make sure that the user is having a good experience from their ads they provide them.  If they don't see it as a benefit, they will knock you down your rank.

Since Google automates the bidding process, #2 and #3 are the most important factors for a high ranking ad.  The good news is that you have control over those so you are in the drivers seat for whether you ad works or not!

how to use the keyword planner to find relevant keywords potential clients are searching for

When it comes to having strong Google ads for personal trainers, you need to use the keywords that people are searching for that will give strong conversions and not waste your money.

If you haven’t done so already, head over to Google ads and create an account and get logged in.  From there, on your home screen, select Tools & Settings in the top bar and you will see Keyword Planner under the Planning tab.

keyword planner google ads for personal trainer

You want to click on discover new keywords to start exploring the popularity of various terms.

There are two options for how to find keywords.

  1. Start with keywords - This will allow you to see the phrase you write along with suggested phrases or words that are similar.  The easiest search you can do is type in “personal trainer YOUR CITY” and see the available searches.
  2. Start with a website - If you notice a specific site that uses Google ads for personal trainers, you can type in their website here and get examples of what they might be advertising to help give you ideas.
google ads for personal trainers seach example

Here is my search for personal trainers in Virginia Beach.  For my specific search, it shows that between 100 - 1K people are looking for trainers each month with that keyword.

As for price, there is a range of $1.29 - $4.48 per click depending on where it will show on the page. 

Remember Google will automatically do the bidding based on their algorithm, so all you can do is focus on having a relevant ad and making your page quality top notch.

Play around with different keywords to see what works best for your specific type of training, location, and budget.

the best and worst keywords for Google ads for personal trainers.

To help you out a bit, here is a short list of keywords I have used in the past and ones that I avoid.  You might have a specific niche you want to advertise to and your keywords will differ, so these are generic searches that will get you good results.

Strong keywords

    • Personal trainer YOUR CITY (Example: personal trainer San Diego)
    • Fitness trainer YOUR CITY
    • Personal trainer near me
    • Weight loss trainer near me
    • Gym trainer near me

There’s a theme with these keywords that I hope you have caught onto.  You're targeting people that have intent to buy and they are looking in a radius near you.

Weak keywords

    • Personal trainer (way to broad of a term if you train at a normal physical location)
    • Trainer YOUR CITY.  Type this one in and see the results.  Sometimes we forget that there are a ton of different types of trainers besides personal trainers.  When I type in trainer for my city, dog training are the keywords suggested.  That is a huge waste of money if align your ads with competitors that are advertising dog training.
    • Fitness coach (again too broad and can also relate to an athletics coach)

building your first Google ads for personal trainers

Now that you have one or more keywords you want to target, it’s time to start building our ads.  An interesting and important thing to note is

Google recommends that you have 3 different ads for your specific keywords.

They want to be able to shuffle your ads for more potential clicks and views.  As a result, using more than one ad will also allow you to see what is performing well.  Not only that, but you what is underperforming and needs to be changed.

To start building our first ad, go back to your Google Ads home screen and click on Campaigns and then click on the Plus sign.  Choose new campaign and then you will be presented with different goals for you to choose from.

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Choose to create a campaign without a goal’s guidance to allow us to build it from scratch.  From there it will present you with a campaign type and what type of results you want from this campaign.

As personal trainers, we want potential clients viewing our website, seeing the value we have brought to other people, and painting these potential clients a picture of what it would be like to work with us. 

For our campaign type, choose Search and website visits for the results that we want to get.

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Click continue and now we start with your General Settings.  Google wants your ads to do well so they default with most of the settings that you are going to want.  If you want to get advanced and adjust the settings how you want, you absolutely can.  With this article, we are sticking to a simple, effective ad and will let Google control anything we can to make our lives easier.

For your general settings, there are two main adjustments we want to make, with the first one being VERY important.

Scroll down to Targeting and Audiences.  We need to take this off United States (or wherever you are from) and make sure we are targeting our specific radius.  You are going to waste a ton of money if you are targeting “Personal trainers near me” and have your location to the whole United States.

google ads for personal trainers location services

Go to advanced search, type in your city for the map to locate your city, and then click the x on the city to remove it, but be able to stay in that area.  Next, click Show all areas (top right) for the map to break up into zones and allow you to select more precise locations.

Google ads for personal trainers location search

The next one is simple.

Adjust the budget settings so you know how much you are willing to spend each month.  Remember, that the number you put in is the average for the day.  So if you want to spend around $150/month, put in $5/day.

google ads for personal trainers bidding price

Save and Continue to set up your ad group.

set up ad groups

This is the section where we will put those keywords from earlier into play.  Go ahead and name your ad group, and then decide on match types for your keywords.  There are three match types to choose from and are differentiated with how you type them in.

    1. Broad match - This will be a normal typed out keyword that will also include searches that have misspellings, synonyms, other variations of your ad, and related searches. 
    2. Phrase match - These are your “keywords” with quotes around them.  These will keep your phrase as is, but may add words before or after.  For example, “personal trainer CITY” make come up in a search for “female personal trainer CITY”.
    3. Exact match - This will show exact matches of your [keywords] or variations that are very close to it.  Brackets are used for exact matches.
google ads for personal trainer keyword type

I personally like to do my keywords as a phrase match to be able to get those extra words I might miss. For example, if my keyword is “Personal Trainer San Diego” (see how I used quotes to make it a phrase match, if someone searched best personal trainer San Diego, my ad has the potential to show.

Add as many keywords as you want and then click on Save and Continue to start building our first ad!

google ads for personal trainers ad text

This is the overview of the available text you have to build your first ad.  

When you begin creating text for each field, make sure it follows this basis flow.

Headlines - You want the headlines to include your keyword so it will match with your potential clients searches. You will also want it to match the text on your website.  When the three of these are the same, it will help your relevance score and help you rank higher.

Descriptions - The description should contain two parts.

    1. Benefits - Show the benefits of why someone should choose you as a personal trainer.
    2. Call to action - Finish the text with something that will make the user take action.  It call be “call now”, “contact for your free consultation”,  “download now” if you are promoting a free guide, etc.

Final URL - This will be the area of your website where users will be sent to if they click on your ad.  If you want to improve your ranking even more, you should have your website page URL have your keyword in it.


Sitelink Extensions

In addition to your main ad, sitelink extensions are a great way to add more clickable links to your ad to help drive more people to your website.

Once you’ve completed your ad and saved it, at the top, you can click over to extensions and from the drop down box, choose to add sitelinks.  Choose links to your website that will provide value to your potential clients.  Great pages to link to include:

    • About you
    • Transformations
    • Reviews
    • Free articles
    • Contact
google ads for personal trainers sitelinks

When you add sitelinks, make sure they are going to your website.  If you link them to another page, say Yelp to view your reviews, it makes them less likely to go back and click on your website.  Once someone gets to your website, you want it easy for them to see value and for them to contact you right away.

Message Extensions

Since most people nowadays use their phones to search the web, it’s important to add a fast, efficient way for them to contact you.  Add either a message extension or call extension with your phone number.

Which one you choose is up to you.  If you prefer to start a conversation and be on the phone, have it as a call extension. Message extensions are great for quick back and forth communication. 

Callout Extensions

If you had trouble with fitting in everything you wanted to say in your description, you can add callout extensions to get more texts into your ad.  These will be quick, short callouts promoting your services that show what you can provide.  Don't duplicate information you already repeated.  No body wants word vomit over and over!

google ads for personal trainers callout extensions
Google Ads Ebook completed ad

Once you finish with your extensions, your ad will be sent to Google for review.  This process is usually fairly quick, and if it is approved, you will be up and running!  Take a look above at what a sample ad might look like and compare it to what yours looks like.  Remember you want to have:

    • Keyword 1 - 2 times and in the website URL if you can.
    • Show the benefits of working with you.
    • Have a call to action so potential clients make the effort right away
    • Add callout extensions if you want to show added benefits
    • Add sitelink extensions to give clients more chances to click your website and see what you have to offer.
    • Add a message or call extension with your number so people can reach out to you quickly.

negative keywords

Not only can you focus your ads on keywords that people are searching for, but you can also add words that you don’t want your ad to show up in.  These are called negative keywords and can be found next to the search keywords tab under the Keywords section.

google ads for personal trainers negative keywords

Click negative keywords and then the + sign to add any words you don’t want to show up.

Not sure what words to use?  Think of this example and it might get the ball rolling with ideas.  Say you are female personal trainer and don’t want someone searching “male personal trainer CITY” to see your ad.   You can add “male” to your negative keywords to eliminate that.

Just remember, if someone searches “personal trainer CITY for a male” that would also not show up your ad. 

When you add a negative keyword, think of all the possible wordings someone might do with that word and make sure it would not negatively influence you.

tracking keywords on your Google ads for personal trainers

We want to make sure you understand what ads are being clicked and how much you are paying for each ad & keywords.  After you have had your ad up for a few days, you can start dissecting the data and adjust your budget if some ads are doing better than others.

If you click on ads and extensions you can see the budget spent for the whole ad, but I like to break it down by the keywords section.

From your keywords, you can see how many clicks you got on each one, along with your average click through rate (CTR) based on how many people saw the ad.  Additionally, you can view what the cost was per click.

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A quick note about conversions.  Depending on what type of website you have (WordPress, Wix, Squarespace), you can add HTML conversion codes into your website so if you have a contact form, or potential clients can buy packages from you website, you will know which ad and keyword led them there.

Since my website format is different then others, I have not added the steps to add conversions.  There are plenty of Youtube videos out there that will show you how to add these tags to your website.

If you are not overly tech savvy and the thought of putting code on your website scares you, here’s two easy ways to track and make sure your ads are working for you.

    1. On your contact form, most of them allow you to add questions onto the forms.  Below their main information, you can have the question “How did you find me?” and have check boxes for Yelp, Thumbtack, Referral, Google, etc. to see where your leads are coming from.
    2. The old school way.  ASK them.  Anytime I have a consultation, I always ask where they found me so I can determine if I am getting conversions from places I am paying money to advertise.  Easy as that.

take action!

That’s it!  Now you know all the basics on how to build quality Google Ads for personal trainers.  It’s time for you to take what you learned and make an ad that is engaging and wants people to click it.

Decide on a budget that you want for the month and give the ads a shot.  Remember that not every click is going to result in a sale and you have to be comfortable with investing money into your advertising.

I’ve gone stretches where I have put 100 - 200 dollars without closing a new client, but when one does hit, it pays itself off instantly plus more for every month you keep them.  That $200 investment to get a $500/month client that stays a year with you just made you $5800 profit.

If you have any questions with your ads, I am always happy to help.

Contact Zack