thin woman with lean and tight body measuring waistThe internet’s strange in that you can express desires that you can’t or wouldn’t admit to anyone else or anywhere else.  Google has become everyon’s best friend.

This matters because we can get accurate and almost real time data about what’s going on in the general populations heads at any given time.  It’s a really unique look into what people are thinking and what they’re looking for, and if it applies to what you’re providing (ie personal training and fitness information), you’d be real smart to jump in front of it.

A book I read last year that specifically talked about these search patterns and how they relate to people’s weight loss goals was CLICK: What Millions of People Do Online And Why It Matters, by Bill Tancer.  The book had an entire chapter devoted to how the populations weight loss ambitions are played out online through their search patters, and the info may be useful to you.

With Personal Training and fitness in particular, here’s some of the data:

For a brief period of time, four days at the beginning of the New Year to be exact, there is a surge in weight loss and fitness interest (and coincidentally, online and search engine marketing.).  Estimates are that between 40-45%  of all Americans make New Year’s resolutions each year …

The book points out some of the psychological ramifications of this, but we won’t get into that here.  Of all the choices out there, I think us as trainers and ethical marketers are the only ones that really provide a meaningful service that can educate people and help them achieve real results.

What we can really take home from this is a piece of strategic info that serves, the fact that “the yearly pattern of visits to online dieting sites is one of the most predictable in the realm of all Internet behavior. “

That only doesn’t apply to January 1st, but the period we’re in NOW too:

In fact, by charting dieting and bikini searches together, we can see that we’re thinking in advance, as early as March and April of each ear, before the need arises for swimwear, with bikini search acting as a great proxy for swimsuit interest, which begins in lat May and ends in the August time frame.

The graphs they showed in the book showed a search trend not quite as high as the four day peak in searches after New Years, but more prolonged, lasting for several months.  For that reason it appears that the window of opportunity to take advantage of the business around this time is more prolonged (a period we’re in now by the way).

And in case you were wondering when to cut back your advertising dollars and marketing efforts, that would be leading up to and on Thanksgiving Day.  That’s the lowest point of the year when it comes to people’s searches for nutritional guidance (but probably the time they need it the most).

What’s important about this info isn’t just that people are going online to get info about health and fitness.  It’s that these numbers reflect what the population as a whole is thiking in general.  It’s a look into their brains in a way that you wouldn’t get as accurately on a survey form.

You can use this info when you’re presenting a deal to a potential joint venture partner whether it’s off-line (partnering with a gym or other business for a promotion) or online (creating a program and working on releasing it to a wide audience specifically when people are searching for it).

Whether it’s online or off, knowing when people are looking for what you’re selling is vital to getting the best results out of the time, effort, and money you’re putting in to getting new business.