Hmmm… website… a must have now!!! You will have to have a website…
Most people will look for yoga on the internet and you have to be there… they could be just searching for yoga, for meditation, they could be looking for you if they’ve done one of your classes elsewhere and they liked it, maybe someone recommended you but didn’t have the details… the list is endless… 95% of the people will find you through the internet.
So, I was economically challenged when we opened our first studio and could not afford the $400 that other people were charging for the creation of a website.
What I did is bought a book about websites for beginners, writing code! I taught myself and did my own first website… I felt so proud…
Watch my tutorial ‘3ix Hosting and Domain Name’ to get your website started.
Once you have your domain name and your hosting, you will be able to manage your website through cPanel (Control Panel). To access cPanel is a bit complicated, so I’ve made a tutorial to help, IT’S IMPORTANT YOU WATCH IT!
And with this next tutorial you will learn how to get your own Custom Email account linked to your website ‘Creating and Forwarding a Custom Email Account’. This tutorial will also help you redirect your new email account to the one you usually use.
No need to write code anymore!
However, now it’s not so hard. There’s no need to know how to write code to build a website, and you can probably do it on your own and save a lot of money. There are so many tools online. My favourite site to build a website is WordPress. It’s a blog-style site and it’s easy to manipulate and feed and add and change… It has heaps of templates and plugins to choose from. This website was done on WordPress.
Watch the tutorial ‘Installing WordPress on your New Website’ to start building your website. Trust me, it’s easier than you think.
Search engines like Google, Bing or Yahoo find websites built with WordPress easy to ‘crawl’ and therefore your business will start ranking and get more and more views. ‘Ranking’ means a high position on the list of websites found on an internet search. The top website on the list has the better ranking.
All of these search engines ‘crawl’ the websites, trying to find good authentic sites to promote, there is a lot of rubbish out there nowadays, so you want your website to be easy for them to find and rank, so it has to be able to read easily your content.
If you are on a budget, like I was, give it a shot!
Here’s a brief tutorial on how to login to WordPress, it is simple but not easy to find how:
Images and photos from the web
Using photos and images is important, as long chunks of text are very tiring to read. You can use images and photos from the Internet, but be very careful of copyrights, make sure that all the image you use are not only free but also royalty free.
I get most of the photos from them.
I also make an effort to build a stock of my own photos. Now even our phones have really good cameras. Whenever we are in a new beautiful place I pose for a photo.
I have also asked my students if I can take photos during our classes, events and workshops. Now I have built a whole range of stock yoga photos for different uses. Plus they are the real thing!
SEO practices and ranking in the search engines
The next thing to learn once you have your website is to start ranking in Google, Yahoo search, Bing, all search engines.
The first thing that search engines do is make sure that you are a true business with a true service… Make sure that you add the proper tags to everything that you post (texts, images, photos, videos, titles, etc.)
And the tags are relevant and true.
Next, search engines will give you a better ranking if you have support from other sites (they are called backlinks). What this means is that you will need a Facebook page, Instagram, YouTube, Twitter… whatever else you can think of, that can link back to your website. If you can write articles for other sites and back link them to your website, that would help too.
Another really good backlinks are online local directories… Find out in your area about yoga associations, directories, council support, newsletters (even school ones), etc. you get the hang of it.
At the beginning I used to pay for directories and health sites, not anymore, there’s heaps of free ones out there, take your time and find them.
I reckon there’s a minimum of information that you must provide, so at least you should have the following pages on your website:
However, you can also add a blog, an ‘about’ page with the names and brief curriculums of your teachers, media (videos of yoga classes), and also a gallery of photos, and a page about events, workshops and retreats, etc. Remember that you can start with the basic and grow your website over time.
When you write content, remember to talk about the benefits of your classes, yoga, studio, person and not just about the characteristics of yoga itself. Your audience wants to know what they are going to get out of it and if it’s worth their money and time.
Speak the language of your students, you can be very casual in your content, there’s no need to be super formal, or use mystic-cryptic language that most people don’t understand.
KEEP EVERYTHING UPDATED!
Keep track of all your online presence and make sure that – to the very least – your timetable and prices are current and correct.
My website changes a lot, because now that I know how to do it myself. Whenever I get tired of my online image, I change it! However I do have in mind my corporate image and I stick to it.
Important about the design of your website
- It has to look good in smartphones and tablets; it’s pretty easy to do this in Word Press, as most templates will have the ‘responsive content’ option to adjust the design in smaller screens, some even do it automatically.
- Think of the experience people are getting from it: Is it easy to search, look, find and browse? Is it user friendly?
- No clutter
- Maximum of 3 colours
- Neat and easy to read font, small case… as much as possible
- Important buttons and content at the top and accessible in all pages