Brighton based company; White Hat Media http://www.whitehatmedia.com has demonstrated the power of internet marketing with a unique web-based gym membership system. Latest figures show that it took just three months to push the UK’s first low cost fitness club, The Gym Group http://www.thegymgroup.co.uk to the top of the Search Engines and to significantly exceed all new membership expectations.

The Gym Group chain is a revolutionary concept in UK health clubs. By providing a cost effective, no contract online membership to their state of the art equipped gym; all you need to join online are valid UK bank details. You don’t have to sign anything and can cancel without notice. There is a set price of £14.99 per month and the gym is open twenty four hours a day, seven days a week.

The economical monthly fee makes expenditure on personal fitness, often deemed a ‘luxury’, far more feasible during the credit crunch. The web based system is greener too, due to the elimination of the paper trail often associated with membership joining processes and contracts. Following the success of the launch of the first gym in Hounslow, West London, there are plans for many more across the country with another four expected to launch by Easter 2009.

The objective was to create a user friendly system and then drive traffic to the site. By developing innovative back-end technology designed to ease the joining process, the team at White Hat Media have created an uncomplicated website to process gym membership via the web. This; combined with a comprehensive search campaign means they are helping to pave the way for a new pioneer in the fitness industry.

The SEO campaign started in June 2008 with an original goal to sign up six thousand members within six months. The latest figures show that this number has already been far exceeded and the site is top of Google for ‘West London Gym’. Within these few months, there was nearly a three-fold increase in expected traffic to the site. By August 2008, they had to gear new membership applications as the campaign has been so successful.

White Hat believe they were able to achieve such results due to their broad range of skills and good range of understanding of how to combine deep technology programming expertise with the more ‘human’ element of such a project including; Search Engine Optimization, web and email marketing, ecommerce and usability. They are also working alongside Harlands and Secure Options for the secure customer payment process and Fitronics to devise online fitness programmes.

Jeremy Spiller, MD, White Hat:
“This was a great project to work on as it gave us the opportunity to demonstrate flexibility in the design using creative technology and programming, alongside effective, but uncomplicated reporting mechanisms. We understood the need to provide a clear return on investment and the numbers of members that have signed up emphasize the tangible benefits in the best way possible.”

Successful ecommerce sites are not uncommon. However, the combination of the ground-breaking concept of a low cost gym powered by smart online technology and effective Search Engine Optimization could potentially transform an industry that has always relied on expensive membership rates and contractual tie-ins.

John Treharne, CEO, The Gym Group:
“Not only does the structure and design of The Gym Group concept give accessibility to a much wider demographic than traditional gyms due to the inexpensive monthly rate, the power of the internet lends itself so well to this user friendly method that has driven membership beyond all expectations. Online marketing is without a doubt the way forward and is aligned with our low cost, no fuss approach. White Hat Media has been instrumental in the making the web work for us and we look forward to working with them on all our future sites.”

Contacts
Jeremy Spiller, MD, White Hat Media
01273 704771 / 07958 4035 jeremy.spiller@whitehatmedia.com
http://www.whitehatmedia.com

John Treharne, CEO, The Gym Group
0844 871 6700 / 07860 203225 john@thegymgroup.com
http://www.thegymgroup.com

Fay MacDonald, PR, White Hat Media
07880 896 131 fay.macdonald@whitehatmedia.com

About White Hat Media
White Hat Media is an award winning specialist web marketing and development agency. Based in the UK they work for a variety of national and international clients.

Led by MD, Jeremy Spiller, the people who run White Hat Media have all had more than ten years experience working with the web. It is a leader in the field of search engine optimisation (SEO) and web marketing. White Hat Media is also expert in design, development and ecommerce and are growing rapidly.

White Hat Media have worked for a wide range of clients such 3i, Yardley, HR Owen/Jack Barclay, Berketex Bride, Envirobusiness, and Grace Foods and have won awards for their work in site development and Search Engine Optimisation.

White Hat Media maintain their high standards and an extraordinarily high quality of work by hiring the best people they can find and looking after them well. This team, along with their personal and ethical approach keeps them at the forefront of their industry and their clients very happy.

http://www.whitehatmedia.com


About The Gym Group
The Gym is a 24 hour, seven day a week exercise facility dedicated to providing access to health and fitness facilities at an affordable price. Approximately 40% of The Gym’s current joiners to date are first time Gym users, compared to the norm of 10-15%.

The first site in Hounslow has been built with an innovative lighting scheme and all of the equipment’s electronic components, with the exception of the treadmills, are self-powered. The unique online joining process requires no paper forms or filing, adding further to the environmental credentials of The Gym.

The Gym offers a large pool of personal trainers and high levels of security with 24 hour pin number access to the club. In contrast to the usual 80%+, only 45% of members plan to arrive by car, with 32% arriving by foot and the rest intending to cycle or use public transport.

The Gym has been supported by investment from Bridges Ventures, a venture capital company with a social mission, which has so far invested £1m.

John Treharne, CEO of The Gym, has extensive health and fitness experience. He set up Dragons Health Clubs in 1991, floating the business in 1997 and sold the extensive mid market family club chain in 2000. He is a past Chairman of England Squash and played Squash for England.

http://www.thegymgroup.com
http://www.bridgesventures.com

Published on: 12:00AM on 8th October 2008