As a yoga teacher and web designer, I often find myself cringing when visiting studios’ websites.
A website is your online storefront, and it deserves respect, thought and investment as your main tool for bringing clients to your studio.
One of my pet peeves when visiting a yoga studio website is when I have to download a PDF to view their timetable. Does that annoy anybody else? What about not being able to find parking information on the site? Or whether a class is suitable for a beginner?
With this in mind, here are seven tips to help make your studio website inviting and easy to use:
First and foremost, it’s important to show the world that you mean business, that you’re professional and that you know what you’re talking about. Nothing says this more than having a clean, professional and visually appealing website design. You don’t need to spend thousands of dollars to achieve this; there are many options available, including user-friendly website templates which are more affordable than having a website designed from scratch.
Ensure that your site design is consistent with your corporate identity, which means using the colors and style of your logo.
Have you ever turned up to a yoga studio expecting to see a space similar to the one shown on their website, only to find it is dramatically different? Use photos of your studio, rather than stock photos that show a glamorous setting in Bali or New York. Viewers of your website want to see the real thing—at least I know I do.
If you don’t like your current photos, hire a photographer to take some new ones for you. Chances are that one of your friends is a budding photographer and will help out in exchange for some free classes. You’ll never know until you ask. Remember, your website is one of your main marketing tools, so it’s important to look professional and show off the space you have created.
Refrain from having your class timetable as a downloadable PDF. This is my pet peeve! Your class schedule should be incorporated into a page on your website with a clear and visible link on your home page. Keep your timetable up-to-date and easy to read to minimize the risk of people showing up on the wrong day or at the wrong time. Disclose the teacher’s name, as well as the style and duration of each class.
4. Teacher Bio & Photo
Another frequently-visited page is likely to be your teacher profile page. Viewers like to be able to read a little bit about the teachers at your studio and to see a clear photo of each teacher. Rather than posting teacher photos in complicated asanas, opt for headshots that allow visitors to get a feel for their energy.
5. Informative Content
Think about all the questions that you get asked on the phone, via email and in person about your studio. Some questions will keep popping up; the answers that you keep giving out are the basis for a lot of your website content. Provide information about parking, what to wear, what to bring to a class, if classes are suitable for beginners, etc.
Better yet, create a FAQ page for all the common questions and answers about your studio. This will reduce the number of phone calls and emails you receive, giving you more time to concentrate on other areas of your business.
6. Fresh Content
Keep content fresh and engaging, especially on the home page. The best way to do this is to have a blog incorporated into your website, with a blog feed on the homepage. This blog feed could be posts about your upcoming events. Whatever your method, Google looks favorably on fresh and engaging content.
Be sure to include keywords in the titles. Keywords are words that people most often use to search for your services, such as “yoga classes brisbane.” If you are unaware of your keywords, ask a web designer or search engine optimization (SEO) specialist to research them for you. If you’d rather have a go at searching these yourself, use Google’s Keyword Planner.
All marketing materials need a call-to-action; websites are no different. A call-to-action is an objective you want the visitor to complete, such as signing up for your newsletter, liking your site on Facebook or registering for a workshop. It is a way to keep the visitor connected to your studio, so that you don’t lose them forever, never to return to your website (or studio) again. Be clear about what your website’s call-to-action is and make it visible.
Remember to keep your audience in mind when working on your website. Reflect on what it was like for you just starting out in the yoga world, the questions you had about going to your first yoga class and what drew you to your first yoga studio.
All will flow from there.