65% Increase in Calls to a Local CrossFit Gym [Case Study]

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There are hundreds of studies online showcasing the importance of Local SEO for local business, this is especially true for local businesses such as a local dental clinic, law firm, gym, restaurant and more.

According to Chat Meter, 76% of people visit a business within 24 hours after a local mobile search.

In this post, I’m going to break down what we did to help SouthloopSC increase calls by over 65% and local rankings to no.1 in three months, June to August.

Here is a quick rundown:

If you visit our homepage, you can see our 5 step process in detail, it goes from
Learning > Improving > Building > Promoting > Evaluating

Because of the budget, we only applied a few steps of our process and it still showed significant results!

Competitive Analysis

Before starting any new campaigns, we always like to run a competitive audit first. This helps us understand the competitive landscape and helps better our strategy going forward.

The analysis itself is more of an exercise strategy rather than comparing the client’s website to others.

There are many things that goes behind every website from budget to content, so there is no point in obsessing over your competitions website.

We ran the audit manually, from it we learn various things.

Overall, the client SouthloopSC is doing better than their competition in all aspects.

But one of the competition “River North CrossFit” seems to be receiving more traffic than us. Even though “metrics” wise we are beating them.

So that leaves us with on page factors…

We later found out the website had a tons of technical and on page SEO issues.

Citation Analysis/Cleaning/Building

After analyzing our competitive landscape, we move to citation analysis/cleaning/building

We split our citation process in three parts:

  1. Analysis
  2. Cleaning
  3. Building

Even though its a three part process. We group them together because, instead of spreading them out over the course of the campaign, its easier to get this done early and put more time into other more important part of the campaign. We rarely spread our citation process.

Citations are one of the most important factors in Local SEO, there are countless studies and articles supporting this fact. Although in recent years, the importance of them is declining but nevertheless, good citations are always helpful to the business and website.

We analyzed over hundreds of citations, we check if the NAP (Name, Address, Phone number) are matching with the client’s information in their Google my business profile. We also take notes of duplicate citations or other information that isn’t correct.

After the analysis, we clean them up either by updating them or emailing the corresponding citation websites with the new information. It’s best to contact them via the business website email address, example: Admin@pixlclick.com

After analyzing and cleaning, we arrive to the final step of our citation process, building. We start building new citations and cross-checking it with the current existing citations to ensure that we do not create any duplicates. The competitive analysis we did earlier comes in helpful here as well as we go through them and check for more citation opportunities by reverse-engineering the competition websites.

We do not want to make bunch of random citations, we only want ones that is related to our niche and location.

Google My Business Optimization

Having a Google My Business (GMB) is a must if you want to appear in the “map pack” as it is the only way you can appear in it.

From the image below, you can see a map with three results, A B C. This is what we call a “map pack.”

However, just having a GMB profile alone isn’t going to put your business in the top 3.

SouthloopSC was already appearing on the map pack but wasn’t #1 and wasn’t ranking well for other related terms as well.

We focused on two things:

Getting more reviews on your GMB profile. Reviews is one of the biggest factors in Local SEO, not only will it help you in local search, it can also build trust and convert users. We asked SouthloopSC to ask their clients to leave reviews on their GMB profile.

If you’re a gym owner and have clients who have been with you for about 2 to 3 months, chances are that they like the place and are more than happy to leave you a review, they just don’t know about it.

Basically filling in necessary information and making sure everything is correct. First, making sure the NAP is accurate and filling in the description. Also, uploading new photos of the business, its a simple job but a recent research shows that

Businesses with more than 100 images get 520% more calls than the average business, while those with just one image get 71% fewer. Source

Website Audit

SouthloopSC had some major technical website SEO problems.

We did a thorough audit of the website and came across issues such as:

SouthloopSC had two different versions of website. One with SSL certificate and one without.

  1. Https://southloopsc.com
  2. Http://southloopsc.com

This can cause duplicate problems one the website, and since HTTP is outdated now with Google showing signs such as “not secure” next to your URL. Its better to have HTTPS as it may also give your website a small boost in ranking as well.

Its rather easy to find this issue on your own website, simple head to Google and use this search operator without the colon, “site:website.com -inurl:https”

This searches for any URL with out “https” in your website.

Another issue we came across, there were several pages to host images only.

This wouldn’t be an issue but since Google is indexing them, this is something we looked at, as Google may view it as thin content instead. Also in this case, the page itself has other issues.

We removed those pages and 301 them relevant page or to the homepage.

We found this first through Google by using “site:southloopsc.com inurl:image OR jpeg OR png OR screenshot”

There are a lot of variables that goes into this so do test around with it.

Canonical tags are used in cases if you have several copy of the same page but only want search engines like Google to index one the copy.

We only want one version of the page to show up on Google otherwise, Google may view it as duplicate content and will hurt our website.

We crawled the website with an SEO tool called Screaming Frog and found over 148 pages with canonical tags on them and all of them were pointing to the the same URL, which should never be the case.

At the end of our website audit, we send our clients a slide deck that summarize and explains everything instead of just handing them a meaningless spreadsheet.

Keyword Research [Existing/Live Pages]

Next, we moved to keyword research.

We do keyword research in two parts.

  1. For existing or live pages currently on your website
  2. For upcoming new pages on your website

 For this we only worked on part 1, existing pages.

 With the website audit we earlier, we can identify several keywords on the website easily. We mainly look for low competition keyword, we call them “quick wins” because usually just by improving keyword targeting of the said page, it will increase organic traffic of the page.

Again, same with all of our work, after finishing the work, we send our clients a slide deck and other related deliverables.

Building out targeting pages

Connecting with the keyword research, we build out a spreadsheet of pages to target. This helps us divide the website into different sections, helping us prioritize more important pages on the site and also making it easier to hyper-focus on a specific part of the site.

On Page SEO

With the keyword research and target pages built out.

We can focus on the on page portion of the site much more efficiently as everything is laid out in an orderly manner.

SouthloopSC is using a page builder called instapage and caused a few hiccups on the site.

The hiccup was having multiple H1 tags littered all over the page, it wasn’t structured correctly as well.

Although Google has stated multiple H1 tags is “okay”, I say that with a grain of salt as we SEO tend not to believe in Google’s words much.

We are currently testing if one H1 is best here or multiple H1 slowly mainly because the website was already ranking fairly well, hovering between 9-12 and whenever we make changes we do it in a step-by-step format so that we have a better understanding of what’s make it increase or decrease in ranking.

Video Testimonial From SouthLoopSC Owner


Here are the key points I want you to take away from this:

  •  Avoid obsessing over rankings and your competition. There are a lot variables that goes into both so obsessing over them day and night isn’t going to be helpful.
  • Citations are very important if you’re doing Local SEO, but always quality over quantity and make sure the NAPs are consistent across all platforms.
  • GMB profile is a must if you want compete in the map pack.
  • Have an SSL certificate installed and use HTTPS over HTTP. 


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