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Health & Wellness

Win 2018! PPC Strategies to Rule Your Fitness and Wellness Advertising

By Rachael Law

Pay per click ads can be a great avenue for advertising health, wellness, and fitness products and services. While you can potentially reach hundreds of thousands of new users, remember that for some, health and wellness is a lifelong commitment. Keep this is mind while building out your funnels. Think about what someone brand new to fitness would want to see versus a seasoned fitness fanatic.


In this whitepaper, you’ll find information about the following:


  • Personas
  • Understanding seasonality
  • Ad copy messaging
  • Remarketing strategies





Personas can be a great way to organize your marketing efforts in the health and fitness industry. You may think about your different personas in a way like the following:



Nancy The Fitness Novice


Who are they?


These are the people who are just getting into the health and fitness world. They have little to no knowledge, and are probably looking for information to get started.




Introduce this audience to your brand with high value information and resources. This group will value blog posts, whitepapers, infographics, webinars, and the like. Once they are familiar with your brand, then start to introduce them to products or services valued by beginners. There is usually a big boom in this persona group in January (think New Year’s resolutions).


Your targeting for this group will be high level, top of funnel search terms. Think of your “how to” queries. This audience may also want to start small in terms of purchases, so maybe don’t show them the top of the line treadmill just yet.




Mary The Maintainer


Who are they?


This person already possesses a baseline level of fitness and knowledge. They may already be healthy and fit, but are interested in maintaining.




Maintainers may already be vaguely familiar with your brand. They could be in the consideration phase of the buying journey. As such, they could already be searching for you. Try setting up a remarketing funnel to show them new content every so often.



Brock The Busy Lifestyle


Who are they?


These folks value health and fitness, however they don’t have much time to do it. Think of busy business professionals, those with young children, people who travel often, etc. They value efficiency, so get to the point.




When designing ad copy, be sure to point out why your product or service can make their lives better. Can they use your equipment to build a home gym to avoid commuting for a workout? Do you offer some meal planning services or advice to help them save time on prepping food? Tell them!


These users will be searching for fast workouts, easy meal prep, how to stay fit while traveling, and other searches in that realm. Try finding them on the display network or setting up a high funnel search campaign if you have the budget for it.




Frannie The Fitness Fanatic


Who are they?


These people eat, breathe, and sleep health and wellness. They stay up to date on current news and trends, and already have a great deal of knowledge. They’ll be on the lookout for the latest and greatest.




To keep these users engaged with your brand, offer them a newsletter sign up, whitepapers, webinars, etc. These are prime candidates for cross-selling as well. If they’ve already purchased something from you, consider what else they might like to buy and remarket accordingly.


These users will likely be frequenting health and fitness blogs and websites, which can make great display managed placements. Display is a great way to introduce them to your brand and get them in the funnel.




In terms of campaign structure, you can use the personas above as a guideline to build out your funnel. The top of your funnel will be made up of research and information seeking terms, while the bottom could be comprised of “buy” terms, as well as a remarketing strategy.


Search & Remarketing Structures



For each of your product lines, think about the buying funnel. There are many versions of this out there, but here is one example:

Image Source





Your upper funnel campaigns will be focused on getting the user to be aware that your brand / product exists. Focus on “how to” or informational queries. You’ll likely be targeting people who fit into the “Nancy the Novice” category, but it’s possible you’ll also get some other personas searching for something they’re unfamiliar with.





Of course, there are topics, interests, and keyword targeting methods available:





There is also an option called custom affinity audiences. When you choose this option, simply type in some keywords (interests) and websites that your target audience would visit.



Google will give you a quick snapshot of estimated demographics for your chosen targets.


Display Remarketing


Get creative when building out your remarketing audiences!


When I build out remarketing lists I create a table with the following columns:


  • Time Frame (Cookie window)
  • Pages Visited
  • Conversions
  • Ad Copy Messaging
  • Landing Page


Use remarketing audiences to your advantage to move users down the purchase funnel. For example, if someone downloaded a whitepaper to get information, remarket to them with a product they might find useful, or a discount code. This is the time to introduce relevant pieces of content to your audience at the right time.


Remarketing for Search



RLSA is your chance to bid on terms that you normally wouldn’t in a standard search campaign. Think terms like “how to build a home gym” or “healthy eating” to attract those users back to your site.


Target users who viewed a product, say a treadmill, by using keywords like “treadmill reviews”, “best treadmills”, or “home cardio equipment”. These may be too broad for you to bid on for a new user, but someone that already knows who you are might be valuable.





As with many industries, the health and fitness space has seasonal swings. The following screenshots from Google Trends give a pretty clear picture of what’s going on.





Do you notice the trend? In January, interest in fitness, healthy eating, and the like spike as people set their New Year’s resolutions. However as the months progress, we see less interest in these topics. People get busy, forget about their resolutions, or just give up on them completely.


To make this information useful for your PPC strategy, take a look at your account’s data. In this example, we’re concerned with yearly seasonal swings, so it was useful to pull data from the last several years. You can either use data across all channels from Google Analytics, or pull directly from AdWords, Bing, etc.




Excel’s slicer feature makes it easy to view the aggregated data, or toggle through year by year.


So now we know that we make the most revenue between October and February, and we also see some corresponding increases in user engagement (pages / session and avg. session duration).


Now we’ll jump back to AdWords and see how our Impression Share stacks up to our competitors during these key time periods.




Uh oh, our impression share decreases during our key revenue generating months! This hints towards increased competition during these times, which makes sense given the Google Trends graphs above.  With this information, we’ll devise a better bidding and budgeting strategy to ensure we remain competitive. It’s also a good time to think about which promotions or sales you are running to entice users to buy.


Ad Copy Messaging



When writing your ad copy, think about features, benefits, and unique selling proposition. The health and fitness space is a competitive one, and you’ll want to use every possible inch of ad space to draw the user to click.


  • Features – What does the user get with your product or service?
  • Benefits – How do these features help them?
  • Unique Selling Proposition (USP) – Why is your product or service different than the competition? Why should they choose you?


These points should be highlighted throughout your ad. Use your ad extensions to take up more real estate, and to potentially highlight more reasons why someone would want your product.


Also, be sure to tailor your ad copy to the personas mentioned above. Running ad tests frequently enough will help you find ad copy that really speaks to each persona.


Here’s an example of a company that does a great job appealing to both the “fitness newbie” and “busy lifestyle” personas.





At a glance, you can call out the features and benefits that Planet Fitness is offering:


  • Features – 1,000+ locations, open & staffed 24/7
  • Benefits – Save money with $10/month fee
  • USP – Judgement free zone, feel comfortable here!



Below is another ad example, this time from Bowflex.



This ad does a great job of taking up space, using many different types of ad extensions. They also entice the user to click with the 14-Minute Workout (again – this will resonate nicely with our “busy lifestyle” persona!).




Wrap Up


When building a PPC strategy, build out the personas you want to target and organize the content or products you are offering by persona group. Within those persona groups, think about their individual buying cycles and how they differ. This will help you narrow your focus a bit, at least for your middle / lower funnels.