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Google Ads for Fitness Businesses – Best Guide for Gyms in 2023

With a proper understanding of Google Ads for fitness businesses, you can propel your gym to the top of your audience’s search bar. Navigating the advertising space as a local fitness center no longer has to be difficult when faced with well-known franchises such as Lifetime Fitness and OrangeTheory.

Understanding the key terms in Google Ads

Before diving into Google Ads for your gym business, you must have a general understanding of some of the key terms you will encounter when navigating the site.

Campaign: Campaigns are the top organization level within a Google Ads account. We group one or more ad groups under a campaign.

Ad Groups: These are the umbrella terms that are underneath your Google Ads for fitness businesses campaign. The themes of the ad groups will drive the creation of your keywords. You will have several of these within your campaign.

Keywords: Keywords are essential to achieving a high rank in the search bar. These are the words included in your Google Ads for fitness businesses campaign that is most likely to be searched by your target audience.

Conversions: This is when someone clicks your ad and follows through with the call-to-action (such as calling the gym or purchasing a membership pass) that you have set as your goals.

Landing page: This is where the users will “land” when clicking on your advertisements.

Creating a Campaign for your Fitness Business in Google Ads

To start the process of creating your campaign, begin by creating an account in Google Ads using your business-associated Gmail account.

If you require more in-depth guidance than what is given in this guide, schedule a free consultation to let us help you.

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Choosing Campaign Goals

Create your campaign 1

When you create your new campaign, Google will ask you to set a goal for the campaign. While all the options will drive traffic to your site, like a fitness center, your goal is to increase the number of membership inquiries and subscriptions.

With that in mind, we recommend you choose to Create a campaign without a goal’s guidance. This option will also allow for better optimization as you go further in your campaign.

Choose your Google Ads for Fitness Businesses campaign goal

The next step is to select the type of campaign you would like to run. Like before, all options will inevitably lead to increased website traffic. However, the goal of your campaign is to keep this as cost-efficient as possible.

With this in mind, you will choose Search. This is going to target those who are searching to join a gym meaning they are more likely to consider signing up at your establishment.

Choosing Campaign Type

Selecting campaign type

Now Google Ads wants to know how you plan on reaching your goal. For your fitness center, this is going to be through phone call inquiries and website visits. Add your website and phone number and continue.

Selecting results

Entering Prefered Settings for Fitness Businesses

For now, avoid setting up conversion tracking. You will see how to do this efficiently later in the guide.

You should now be led into the Google Ads campaign site to begin creating your keywords, descriptions, and other necessities for a quality campaign.

Name your campaign

Enter in your campaign name and click the Display Network to disable the feature.

By allowing the Display Network to run with your campaign, you will spend unnecessary money, so you must avoid enabling it during the start of your Google Ads campaign.

You want to target only those who are interested in signing up for a membership at your fitness center by googling.

As you scroll down the page, you should be asked to select your target location.

For a local fitness center, you can keep your campaign effective by limiting your target audience to a realistic location. To do so, select the Enter another location option and type in the location of your establishment.

Locations to target

If you own many fitness centers with locations spanning across the county or state, adjust it accordingly to assure that you are reaching as many potential members as possible.


Scrolling down, you should see options for both Target and Exclude.

While for some businesses it may be beneficial to reach those with interest in your product or service, for fitness centers, you must consider how realistic it is for people to travel to reach your location.

Because of this, it is best to select Presence so that only those who are likely to frequent fitness centers will be targeted.

You will keep the Exclude setting on Presence.

Next, you should see the language settings.


Take note of all the languages that you and your staff feel comfortable speaking, but do not include them within this Google Ads for fitness businesses campaign.

It is beneficial to make different campaigns for each language spoken. This will set you apart from other competition while simultaneously making yourself available to a different cultural niche.

For your first campaign, you can skip the Audience settings for now. You will return to this after you have completed your campaign.

The next step is one of the most important in your Google Ads for fitness businesses campaign, as it will determine part of your budget for the ads you plan on running in Google.

Setting up a Bid


We recommend you start your average daily budget at $40-50.

However, keep in mind that the effectiveness of such a budget will vary depending on the city your fitness center is located. High-population cities will likely require a larger budget than that of a smaller city.

If you would like to receive more information on how to maximize the effects of your budget, schedule a free consultation.

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For bidding, you will enter a dollar amount to begin.

To explain bidding in more depth, it is how much money you will pay based on clicks. Typically, this is seen through cost per click (CPC).

CPC is the amount of money you will pay to Google Ads each time someone chooses to click on your advertisement.

The dollar amount you have entered is the maximum that you will pay per click but remember that this can decrease depending on the quality of your campaign. Paying more for your bid does not guarantee high placement.

The equation below is how you can maximize the results of your bid while lowering the price.

Equation for the PPC for your fitness center

The most critical element of this equation is the quality score. Google Ads states the quality score’s calculation is dependent upon the expected clickthrough rate, ad relevance, and the landing page experience.

You want your ad to be clicked on and relevant to the user’s search.

With this in mind, you can increase your quality score through keywords, a quality landing page, and ad copy.

Adding Extensions

But before you can enter in your keywords, you must complete your Ad Extensions. This is critical to increasing the previously mentioned click-through rate.

Be strategic when including the site link extensions to highlight the service and quality of your fitness center.

Do you offer personal training?

Include a site link extension.

Do you have group classes?

Include a site link extension.

Are you offering 50% off on the first month of membership?

Include a site link extension.

You need to capture the potential member’s attention while simultaneously encouraging them to click and see all that you have to offer.

Entering sitelink extensions relevant to your fitness center

Use at least four of the site link extensions to assure that you are not missing out on any potential real estate.

For callout extensions, these are the buzzwords that appear below the main link.

Like before, you want to use keywords that are going to draw in the curious gym-goer.

Try to include numbers where possible such as “$0 down” or “$10 a month.”

Examples of callout extensions relevant to fitness centers

Try to include at least 10 callout extensions.

Next, you should include a number to your reception in the Call extensions setting.

Adding your fitness center's number to the campaign

Go into advanced options and choose your fitness center’s hours of operation and do not select an end date.


If you set this up to show your phone number outside of business hours and you or your receptionist does not pick up the phone, you might have lost a potential member.

This can be the same for any leads you may obtain through an email inquiry on your site.

Not responding to the users in a timely and professional manner could cost you significant amounts of money.

Now, you should be able to begin crafting your ad groups and keywords.

First, consider the Ad Groups, or what your potential members are most likely to be searching for when on the hunt for new fitness centers.

For this guide, we will use the ad group “gyms near me” as a model.

Keyword Planner

Use Keyword Planner to begin selecting keywords for the use of your campaign.

Using the keyword planner for gyms

Before your search, make sure your target location aligns with the one you set previously in your campaign.

Remember to start your ad groups by using signal words like “near me” or “in my area” to better target your audience.

The date should approximately span a year out from when you start your campaign.

After typing in the ad group in the search bar, you should see a range of keywords that fit within the subject.

What is important to consider here is whether your fitness center offers these services.

Remember that your quality score can go down if your keywords are not aligned with your services. Adding in keywords that are not relevant may result in more impressions, but it could be to the detriment of your ad rank.

You want to earn the trust of your potential members

Include the ones most relevant to your business in your Keyword Planner.

If you are using the same Gmail account that you used when you initially created your campaign, these should be automatically transferred into the draft campaign. The indication is saved to your campaign is the green In Plan: Saved notification to the right of the chosen keyword.

Save your Ad Groups and Keywords and continue to the next page.

Entering the keyword group name

Creating the Ad for your Fitness Business

Now it is time to craft the ads that will appear within the Google search results.

Select the ad group to create your advertisement

Choose Text ads to begin.

Example of entering in ad information for your fitness center

While filling in the information, you should be able to see the previews to the right of your work.

Create at least 3 varied versions of your text ads that include as many of the keywords you have chosen as possible. This will increase the relevancy of the advertisement and lead to an increase in your quality score.

Your Final URL is going to be the landing page. Much like all of the other components in the campaign, this must be relevant to the search and abundant in related keywords.

This also helps increase your quality score.

When you feel comfortable with the work you have completed, congratulations! You are now ready to publish your first Google Ads campaign.


Your finished ad should look something like this.

Example of an ad for gyms

As your campaign is running, if you want to optimize your performance and see a significant increase in clicks, schedule a free consultation with us.

Optimize your performance now!

Additional Tools for your Google Ads Fitness Business’ Campaign Optimization

As mentioned prior, we will go into the basics of conversion tracking for gym businesses. This process is slightly difficult for the average user, so it is encouraged to schedule a free consultation with us to help walk you through the process.

You should begin by entering your Gmail account and going to your Google Ads for fitness businesses campaign.

Additional settings in your gym campaign

Hit the large plus button on the page and click Website to first set up conversion tracking on your page.

After you complete this process, you will be able to go back into your Google Ads for fitness businesses campaign and add Phone call conversion tracking using the same steps.


For this instance of conversion tracking, we are going to be tracking the membership Sign-ups you get on your page.

Tracking sign ups on your page

You can change the conversion name if desired, but Sign-Up is best to know exactly what conversion this is tracking for future reference.

Now, you should be asked to place a value on each conversion.

When you enter in the value, enter the amount of money that the member is going to pay for your gym subscription or trial upon signing up.

When it comes to Google Ads for fitness businesses, you will use One for the count. This is recommended for sign-ups such as these.


Maintain the default settings in this portion and create the tracker.

To add this tag to your website, choose one of these three options.

Method of adding the tags to your gym site

Congratulations! You can now track Sign-Ups on your website through Google.

How to Set Up Remarketing in Google Ads for Fitness Businesses

Remarketing will be helpful for the future of your Google Ads for fitness businesses campaign. Essentially, remarketing allows you to further market your campaign to those who have connected with your landing pages before.

This is going to make sure that those who have expressed interest in your fitness center will be further implored to take action and make the conversion.

When you have completed your Google Ads for fitness businesses campaign, you will enter into the tools icon and select Audience manager underneath the Shared Library section.

Setting up the audience source for your fitness center

Begin creating the tag data source and select the first option.


Like conversion tracking, decide how you will add the tag to your site to begin the process of remarketing.

Installing the tag on your website

While setting this up, keep in mind that you will first need to run the Google Ads for fitness businesses campaign for a while to generate an audience. If you attempt to start the remarketing process when you first begin your Google Ads for fitness businesses campaign, it will not work.

Remarketing list rules

How investing money in Google Ads can increase your Fitness Business’ revenue

While the thought of investing significant amounts of money into an uncertain form of advertising may be daunting, when done properly, you will notice a significant uptick in your yearly revenue.

To increase your confidence in your purchasing decision, look at the Customer Lifetime Value (CLV).

The CLV is used to determine the expected overall revenue that is obtained from a single customer. It considers factors such as retention rate, discount rate, and margin to determine value.

CLV Equation

Equation for Customer Lifetime Value

Because a fitness center generally relies on a year subscription, it may initially appear as though you are paying more for the advertising than what it is worth. However, the CLV will put things into perspective for any Google Ads for fitness businesses campaign.

To provide an example, say that your cost per click is $4. You have generated 10 clicks over the past month, resulting in $40 billed to your business card.

Out of those 10 clicks, only one person signed up for the $10 monthly membership.

For the average fitness center owner, this will seem like a waste of their 40 dollars, as they were not able to break even on their investment.

By knowing the CLV, you understand that is not true.

Should you provide excellent service and equipment, that single-member might have a retention rate of 4 years. Put that number into the equation and you made $440 from that $40 investment.

To explain this more in depth, schedule a free consultation below and check out our case studies.

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