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How to Improve Your YMCA Google Search Results for Free

Posted by Jeff Davis on Mon, Sep 28, 2015 @ 09:12 AM

"The very best marketing comess from observing consumer behavior and inserting your message into their behavior."

We are constantly asked "how can I get better search results from Google.  I want to be on page one..."

One of the tricks I use is by simply asking Google.  One way to do that is use one of the free tools they provide, Google Trends

Below you will see that I have entered the term "YMCA" into Google Trends.  The default results are shown.

Screen Shot 2015 09 25 at 12.01.02 PM

 Generally speaking over the previous 10 years, search volume is in a decline for the term "YMCA".  This is concerning if you operate a Y.  

"Observing consumer behavior..."  Note in the slide below I have added the term "gym". Interesting.  The consumer seems to be increasingly searching on the term "gym", while the search for "YMCA" is on decline.

Screen Shot 2015 09 25 at 12.01.22 PM

So how can we use this information to help our YMCA achieve better search results? Start by writing content that emphasizes the use of the local YMCA as a "gym".  Remind consumers of the advantages of the local YMCA over the local gyms.  Supervised Child Care.  Location. Perhaps a price comparison.  But don't start your new content just yet.  The results you are looking at show the trends for the entire world.  If you scroll down further on the Google Trends results page you will see that you can narrow the results by geography.  


Screen Shot 2015 09 25 at 12.01.37 PM

If you click on the map, you can display the results just for the United States.  Notice how the separation of the consumer's interest in the terms "YMCA" and "Gym" narrow.  Not as much of a difference. But the power of the local YMCA lies in the fact that it is local.  Let's narrow the search to a single state.


Screen Shot 2015 09 25 at 12.01.55 PM

In NC, clearly the consumer is spending more time searching for "YMCA" than "gym".  "The very best marketing comes from observing consumer behavior and inserting your message into their behavior."  What does it look like in California? 

Screen Shot 2015 09 25 at 12.02.09 PM

 As shown below, we see the exact opposite trend in California.  "Gym" is clearly searched for more often that "YMCA".  What does this mean for your local YMCA?  Know your market. 

"It doesn't do any good to sit up and take notice if all you do is keep on sitting."

Screen Shot 2015 09 25 at 12.02.42 PM

The way to best way use Google Trends is to identify the terms that consumers are using for online searches so you can match the content on your website to the terms consumers are using in your market.  If consumers are using the term "gym", find a way to talk about "gyms" on your website.  If they are using the term fitness, write about fitness.  

One of the problems the YMCA faces today is they struggle to brand their business using the terms of the current language used by consumers.  We must frame our conversation in the langauge of today's consumer.  What are some of the other terms consumers are using that should be part of the lexicon of today's YMCA?  How about Fitness? Diabetes? Child Care? Zumba? Personal Trainer?  Let's look...

Screen Shot 2015 09 25 at 3.56.23 PM

Remember - this is a look at search terms for the United States.  Visit Google Trends and see what is being used in your neighborhood.

Do you have questions about how to use Google Trends for your YMCA?


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Topics: YMCA, YMCA website, digital marketing, SEO


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