The Biggest Gainer: 2012 Gym Websites

Image from: Stuart Jenner / Shutterstock

We’re all guilty of that new years resolution we don’t keep. Perhaps the most common resolution with the worst reputation is to get in shape and spend “___ amount of days” in the gym every week. It’s the reason why every gym across the states is packed on January 1st and regains complete normalcy only a few weeks later.  Funny enough, online traffic often reflects this social phenomena. Unique Visitors to the top chain fitness establishments increase dramatically around the first month of every new year. Check out this graph of unique visitors to Bally Total Fitness, Gold’s Gym, Lifetime Fitness, 24 Hour Fitness and Planet Fitness over the past two years:

It’s hard to keep resolutions, especially ones that require changing or adding to an already overcrowded schedule. While we can’t promise you that 2012 will be the year you tone up and get your health back on track, we can almost guarantee more of you are going to try than last year.

Based on our data around the past two new years for the top chain fitness establishments, we can see that more people are making a commitment to  lose the weight. As a result, the dramatic jump in unique visitors that we anticipate to see around the new year has only increased in the majority our featured gym websites when comparing 2010 to 2011. It is my prediction that this trend will only continue and gym websites will experience an even larger growth this new year.

What can gyms do to capitalize on the social tendency to focus on health and reinvention in the new year? We checked out our search referral data and noticed that beside brand name keywords, “Sunday classes”, “Zumba”, and “free gym trial”, were some of the interesting top keywords that referred people to gym websites in the month of November.

Is fitness part of your New Year resolution? What would it take you to motivate you to make a sustainable change? Do you work for a fitness center? What are some innovative programs you offer to intrigue new customers around the new year?

About Jen Duguay:
Jen Duguay joins Compete to take on all things social media. She comes from a social issue background, most recently having worked for the Social Innovation Forum, the venture philanthropy arm of Root Cause, a nonprofit research and consulting firm. Jen's interests include singing, marketing, running, art, making guacemole, and using social entrepreneurship to tackle world issues. She has spent time in Belize and the Dominican Republic working on microfinance initiatives and recently traveled to Kenya where she studied the public healthcare system. Follow Jen @jenduguay on Twitter.