“…Working with Mabo Media has been a truly fantastic experience.

(YoY comparison vs the month Mabo first took over management)

Lifestyle Fitness are one of the UK’s most recognised national gym chains and have gyms throughout the country, each offering modern gym equipment, personal training and hundreds of fitness classes at an affordable price.




Lifestyle Fitness were looking to considerably increase the contribution of paid search to their marketing mix with the intent of generating gym sign-ups through their various UK locations. The Google Ads account had been running for a while prior to Mabo Media getting involved and was generating a reasonable number of conversions. There were clear objectives to maintain profitability and to ensure the ad messages reflected the needs and selling points of Lifestyle Fitness and each individual gym, but the technical implementation to achieve these objectives was going to need advanced Google Ads knowledge. That is where we came in.


Initially we realised that we needed the best platform to build from. Previously there had been a small number of campaigns with locations bundled together and we found that there were keywords that performed well in some locations, but poorly in others. So we built separate campaigns for each location so we could make decisions on keyword bids uniquely for each gym. There was also no consistent structure to the location targeting. We could see from the data that wherever clicks were being attained beyond a 10 mile radius of a Lifestyle Fitness gym, the performance was very poor and actually not generating gym sign-ups. So we took the decision to tighten the targeting to 10 mile radiuses of the actual gym locations. But the pattern in the data went further than that and actually showed us an almost universal trend that the closer the user was to the gym the better the conversion rate. So we went a step further and actually built a unique location structure where each campaign had radius targets of 1 mile, 2 miles, 3 miles, 5 miles and 10 miles, with more positive bid adjustments the smaller the radius around the gym – meaning we were bidding more aggressively on people much more likely to convert.

By breaking the campaigns into separate gym locations it also allowed us to target ads to the locations much more easily. To understand the needs and selling points of each gym better we contacted each gym owner individually. Immediately the value in these conversations was fully appreciated. Not only did we find out more about unique promotions, facilities and selling points, we also learnt a great deal about the type of members each gym has. That meant we could cater our messages more accordingly. As an example, we found Middlesbrough has a higher than average student membership so their members were much more concerned with price; whereas London gym members are more likely to be business professionals and more affluent so gave greater weight to the available facilities and types of classes available. So we were able to use that to our advantage in the ads we delivered.

In order to get the volume and growth Lifestyle Fitness were looking for we realised we’d need to target a portion of relatively generic keywords with higher search volume. We completed a full review of the existing keywords and a full analysis of previous search term reports and built a keyword list that balanced relevancy and volume well. There were however some of the most generic terms that hadn’t performed well in the past and were proving to be a drain on budget. Rather than completely disregard these terms, we built a campaign with the RLSA targeting setting so we could uniquely trigger for the most generic searches where people were part of our previous site audiences (and hadn’t already signed up), as we found that when the users had given previous consideration to Lifestyle Fitness those highly generic keywords did actually perform.

We also noticed that there were a large portion of relevant yet unpredictable and unique searches that all the keyword research in the world would fail to discover. So in order to harness that traffic we set up dynamic search campaigns with low bids. Once we noticed these performing well and analysed the data we saw that when this traffic was combined with one of our site audiences it performed exceptionally well. So we took an innovative step in re-creating these campaigns with the RLSA targeting option so we could focus on that combination much more aggressively with our bidding and increase the volume of sign-ups further.


There was always confidence that being more clever with our targeting would improve performance, but by continuing to innovate and striving to improve the account, the performance went well beyond the initial targets. The conversion increase came relatively quickly, but the growth continued to improve the more data we had to optimise for and every time we found a new opportunity for an additional campaign type or targeting option it gave us a bump in gym sign-ups. There were actually a number of gyms that stopped their advertising through the year after the gym sites were sold too, so the conversion increase of 61.88% was actually across a smaller selection of locations (and therefore smaller opportunity for growth). Through the first year of our management we also saw gradual decreases in the cost per conversion so while growth was consistent the account was also actually improving profitability month to month.


As well as hitting (and exceeding) the conversion and profitability objectives we were set, we also managed to ensure the ad messages were tailored to to our audience to a level even beyond the clients expectation. The hard work we did to understand the business, and beyond that, the individual gyms combined with a uniquely thought out structure has significantly benefited the account. The click-through-rate increased by more than a third in the first year of our service (and more than doubled versus the period before we took over management). Which not only means we are delivering ads that are more enticing to our audience, but has actually lead to quality score rewards that have resulted in lower cost per clicks throughout the account. The result being that where we have been more aggressive and attained the growth we have been looking for, it’s barely been felt from a cost perspective.


“Working with Mabo Media has been a truly fantastic experience. They’ve taken a project that has a number of unique challenges, and transformed it into a productive, cost-effective and profitable series of local campaigns that have become a vital part of our business model.”

Chris McQuillan – Marketing Manager
(on reviews.co.uk)

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