Google Display Ads are like background noise. They are so common, that we barely even notice them anymore. But you’ll find that the ads that appear at the top and the bottom of a Search Engine Results Page (SERP) otherwise known as search ads can be really effective in attracting qualified buyers.

These text ads made up of a headline, display URL, description and extensions (when available) are highly effective because they target people looking for the exact personal training or gym memberships you offer. They have the greatest likelihood of being seen and start to get really interesting when you learn some basic optimisation and measurement features.

Here are ten tips for getting more personal training and gym membership leads with Google Search Ads:

  1. Use Competitor Targeting

Running ads on Google may give you an advantage if you use competitor targeting. What is competitor targeting? This is basically where targeting the competitor’s brand name as a keyword will be used in your own business advertisement- For example if the business name is Fitness First, you would write your brand name + ‘Putting your fitness first is simple.’ This enables you to offer an alternative product or service whenever somebody searches for them on Google.

  1. Create negative keyword lists

Coming up with the right words for a Google Ad can be harder than remembering your first Hotmail password. There are so many different options, and some people make a full-time job out of staying ahead of the trends.

One way to ensure you don’t spend lots of time in a brainstorm that fails is to make a list of negative keywords for your personal trainer or gym membership ad. Find a bunch of keywords that you wouldn’t want your business to show up for and then apply that list to the selected campaigns within your Google account. For example, I use ‘Cross-fit’ and ‘Pilates’ because I’m not looking to attract that buyer nor do I offer that service.

You can manage your negative keyword lists within the ‘Shared Library’ feature.

  1. Focus on your keyword strategy (for Search Ads)

Keywords are the blankets that ensure your click budget doesn’t get burned. They build the bridge between your brand and the personal training or gym membership customer- So make sure your CPC (cost-per-click) is done with keywords that target your customer persona’s and eliminate unnecessary spending. When you pay for a Google Ad, you will set a maximum bid for each click.

Here is how to determine your keyword strategy:

  • Find keywords that match-up to the pages you have on your website.
  • Use words that you have chosen to describe each of your gym’s services.
  • Choose words that your customers would also use to describe or search for your gym or personal training service.

Find the right mix of keywords:

The Google Keyword Planner tool can be used to locate the popular keywords; low, medium and high. It will also tell the range on bids per keyword per click ie; $0.30 – $2.50.

You can then search your competitors on Google to see what keywords they are using in their advertisements or simply research the Keywords that you plan on using yourself.

You can also locate suitable keywords by looking at your own website data via Google Analytics or investing in membership software such as SEMRush or

When it comes to Google Advertisements you should be targeting customers that want to make a booking straight away- That is, personal training or gym membership clients who are ready to trail.

You can capture their intent within the keywords that they use; ie the number of months that it takes to loose a certain amount of kilo’s.

  1. Short Call Length Phone Calls

Google Ads gives you a license to free-up time and get phone calls straight to your phone. This is chosen when you set-up the campaign in Google Keyword Planner.

In the Calls from Ads section of the campaign, you choose how long you would consider a phone call to be in order for it to classify as a ‘conversion.’ Often, people make this too short. Which means that if somebody were to call you as an accident- It would be marked as a ‘conversion.’ It’s recommended to make the standard-setting as a full minute.

  1. Measure your success.

There are a number of ways to pull results from your campaigns and build them into higher converting ads. Depending on how often you choose to monitor your results, and what analytical methods you choose:

  • Set yourself KPI’S and compare your campaign metrics from those.
  • Google will indicate if your bids are too low to attract clicks, in that case, look for easier keywords to rank for (lower popularity) or raise your bid.
  • Track the sales in comparison to the amount you’ve spent on ads.
  • You can use the “Cost / Conv” feature in Google Ads to calculate how much it costs to make a sale. Ensure that it’s worth your while.
  • Sometimes Google can make some profitable automatic suggestion’s to fix campaigns.
  1. Test different idea’s

After you’ve established what works well, you can take advantage of finding more customers by filtering your campaigns. Simply add-on extra groups (this doesn’t affect how much you already spend.)

You can add simple variations based on your customer demographic or location and what performs best. Disable those that don’t perform and enable the ones that do. There are many opportunities to capitalize on different keywords.

Remember, it’s not always the most popular word, sometimes lower amounts of traffic can be a great source of income for the specific gym membership or personal training service you provide.

  1. Build Dashboards



Within Google Ads you will get to choose what sort of graphs you receive. These widgets are usually preset within the Google Ads ‘Overview’ tab. You can capture unique data depending on your goals or competitor weaknesses by setting things up for the right metrics. Check out some Youtube tutorials to get idea’s; gym memberships and personal training sessions can be highly competitive in the search engine!

  1. Asana vs.



You’ll need to jump on the backs of your competitors and tackle them to the ground if you wish to get a chance at getting some new leads with Google Ads. The way this is done is to guide customers to your website instead of your competition.

When it came to the project management software companies ‘’ and ‘Asana,’ Asana was slower to the game than Monday. They started advertising underneath them with Google Ads and wrote ‘See why teams switch to Asana’– To directly target curious Monday customers who weren’t yet sure or didn’t think that was performing highly enough.

Has your business been sitting in the Background? It’s could be time to bring it to the forefront with some high-performance Gym Business Mentoring. Get ready to smash your sales targets and contact us now!