So, you’re a yoga teacher or you run a yoga studio and you need a new website. Maybe this is your first website. Or maybe you already had one built by a friend or recommended designer, but it’s now out of date and no longer reflects what you offer. Or you find it difficult and frustrating to edit it yourself.
So, you know you need a new website, but where do you start? Do you try and build one yourself? Do you try and find a cheap and reliable web designer? Or do you invest in the future of your business by partnering with a yoga marketing expert, who can not only help with your website, but with your other marketing activities too?
Of course, we think you should go for the third option! But let’s dive a little deeper and we’ll explain why…
Option 1: Build a website yourself
Ok, so you might be really strapped for cash or on a tight budget. Let’s face it – most yoga teachers aren’t exactly rolling in it! You’ve heard there are some decent free or low-cost website platforms out there (think Wix, Weebly, Squarepsace and the like) and you know other people who’ve done it themselves. So, how hard can it be…?
Well, the question isn’t actually how hard is it, but how hard is it to do well? If the internet is an ocean, then yoga websites are like plankton. There are hundreds of thousands out there, all trying to survive in the vast watery wilderness of the world wide web (can you tell I’m a fan of alliteration?)
It sounds intense and the truth is, it is intense. A year ago there were more than 6,000 yoga studios in the US alone. Yoga has become big business and there are now more styles of yoga than you can count on your fingers and toes combined, being taught in almost every location in the world, by a rapidly increasing number of teachers and studios. So, how do you even get noticed in this vast yoga ocean?
The good news is there IS demand to keep up with supply. According to the International Yoga Federation, around 300 million people practise yoga in the world. Now, that would be a lot of traffic to one website! The trick is to figure out exactly WHAT your yoga niche or unique selling point is, WHO your target audience is, and HOW you’re going to reach them to help make their lives better. Basically, you need to catch the right people’s attention. And the way you do that is through your website.
First, you need to decide which website platform is right for your yoga business. Then, assuming you’ve chosen the best platform (that’s WordPress by the way!), you need to decide which page builder you should use for your new site.
The next step is to create a sound website structure or, more specifically, learn how to structure your yoga website so that your students and visitors can quickly and easily find what they’re looking for.
Once that’s all in place, you should research the best linguistic tools and writing tips in order to create compelling content for your website. Of course, for a yoga business, images are very important, as they help to convey your message in a visual way and resonate with your potential students. So you’ll need to learn how to use great images on your yoga website.
Finally, being a yogi yourself, you’re probably keen to help the planet any way you can, so you’ll want to discover how better performing websites can save the planet and optimise your site accordingly.
And if you want to learn from a fellow yogi’s mistakes while you put all this into practice, check out Dan Jones’ post I made these beginner yoga website mistakes so you don’t have to.
Option 2: Hire a web designer
OK, so option 1 feels like a lot of hard work, right? And you probably don’t have the time – or the inclination – to do it all yourself. So, your next option is to hire a web designer.
Sounds simple, doesn’t it? You find a designer you like, agree to their terms, tell them what you want and they create it, right?
Wellllll…. maybe. But probably not. The thing is, you’re a yoga expert and they’re a web design expert. So, you don’t know much about web design and they probably know nothing about yoga. This means there’ll be little or no consideration given to the right strategy, messaging or content for your particular audience.
What you need to consider when hiring a web designer
If you’re asking a web designer to create your yoga website for you, these are some of the elements that both you and they will need to consider in order for it to be a success:
- Beautifully designed logo with meaningful strapline.
- Significant consideration of the user journey for your particular yoga audience.
- Clear and sensible site structure/navigation with the user journey in mind.
- Compelling messaging that resonates strongly with your potential students.
- Carefully crafted, easy-to-understand copy on every page.
- Striking images that work in harmony with your copy.
- Flexible website that’s easy to edit yourself and adapts to your changing needs.
- Simple and concise domain name that works well for your organic SEO (search engine optimisation).
- Web pages that are ‘share-ready’ and optimised for organic SEO.
- Safe and secure hosting provider with watertight backups and updates process.
What you won’t get from a web designer
As we said earlier, when you work with a web designer, you tell them what you want and they create it. This might sound appealing to some, especially if you have very particular ideas, or a certain relationship with control (the word ‘freak’ might not go amiss here…) But that’s not always a good thing.
Where did your ideas come from? What are they based on? Do you know from experience that if you use this image for this page, or display that content in that particular way, you’ll attract more of the right people to your website? No, probably not. Sometimes you need to relinquish control and let the experts do their thing.
However… (and this is a big one)… although you’re assuming a web designer is an expert, they’re undoubtedly NOT an expert in your yoga business. So, just so you know what to expect, here are a few things you probably WON’T get from a web designer:
- Know your audience: A web designer won’t know your audience the way a yoga marketing expert (like us) will. Unless of course they’re actually a yogi themselves.
- Consider the journey: A web designer will generally be focused on making a pretty website based on what you ask for. They won’t consider the journey your visitors actually need to take through the site; just how to make the pages look nice.
- Resonate through your messaging: A web designer will take the content you give them and simply drop it into the site. They’re unlikely to help you get your messaging right, refine your copy, choose words carefully that help to describe what you offer and WHY, give you feedback on your content, or even check your copy for typographical or grammatical errors.
Option 3: Partner with a yoga marketing expert
Aah, so by now you’ve realised that building a website yourself is too much like hard work, and hiring a web designer isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. So, your third and final option is to partner with an expert who doesn’t just know a helluva lot about marketing, but whose team are all active members of the global yoga community too. Good choice!
What you’ll get from us
If you decide to go with this option and, more specifically, if you decide to go with Wildheart Media, to design and build your new website, then here’s why we think you’ve made the best choice.
We know yoga
One of our biggest strengths is that we’re all yogis ourselves. Our team members are all long-term practitioners and our founder, Guy, teaches yoga too.
Because we know and understand the yoga audience so well, we only build websites for yoga businesses. Of course, yoga in its wider sense isn’t just about what you do on the mat. So, we also work with clients who embody yogic principles, run wellbeing businesses, and help people to improve their lives off the mat too.
We know the challenges yogis face
We know you don’t want to feel like you’re selling yoga. And we know yogis don’t like being sold to. So, we help our clients overcome the hurdle of the dirty word (that’s ‘marketing’ in case you weren’t sure).
We also help our clients overcome the curse of knowledge and package what they offer in a straightforward way. It never ceases to amaze us how much the curse of knowledge can get in the way of you being clear and easy-to-understand to your audience (no matter how clear you THINK you’re being).
We consider your goals and purpose
Before we even start on the design and build, we pay careful consideration to the purpose of your website. Who are your specific target audiences? And what goal does your website need to achieve?
For most yoga businesses, the main purposes of your site are to promote your classes, workshops and schedule to your existing students, and to attract new customers. Your existing students need to access your schedule quickly and easily, or find out when your next workshop or retreat is. Potential new customers need to understand what problem you solve, how yoga can help them, and how you’re going to make their lives better.
We’re all about consistency
One of the key things to consider when creating a new website – which won’t even be on the radar of many web designers – is consistency.
Once you’ve clarified the messaging that you know will resonate with your audience, it’s so important that this messaging is seamlessly woven throughout your logo, branding, site structure, user journey, calls-to-action (buttons and links), and main content on your website. Not to mention throughout your other digital marketing activities, like your blog, podcast, email marketing and social media, as well as your physical marketing materials, such as posters, flyers and business cards.
We build partnerships with our clients
Unlike a web designer, we don’t just give you exactly what you think you want, or tell you what to do. And if we hit an obstacle we don’t just chuck it over the fence at you either. We prefer to work closely and collaboratively with our clients and build long-term working relationships.
We’ll work with you to understand your yoga business as deeply as we can, so we can help you choose the right design, the right images and the right messaging for YOUR business. If we don’t agree with some of the design and content choices you’ve made, we’ll let you know and explain WHY we think an alternative could work better.
We add extra value where we can
We’re able to keep our costs so low (compared to most web design agencies) by offering fixed-price packages. This means there’s a standard set of tasks we’ll work to when building your new website – which of course includes all the elements listed under, ‘What you need to consider when hiring a web designer’ above, plus much more. Any further requirements that fall outside of our standard package can of course be agreed as additional consulting work.
On top of this, we like to add extra value where we can. As well as offering lots of advice and guidance along the way, we’ve also created the following free guides to give you extra support when you buy one of our packages:
- 3 parts of a logo: to help you understand the 3 parts that make up a good logo and why it’s important that they all work in harmony with each other.
- How to write a business one-liner: to help you write a concise and compelling sentence that sums up what you offer and how it makes people’s lives better.
- Yoga photography guide: to help you or your photographer take the best yoga photos and avoid those classic bums-in-the-air mistakes!
What else you need to consider
Hopefully by now, you have a good idea of the options available to you when creating your new yoga website (and which option is clearly the best). But, what else do you need to think about? And should a website even be the first thing on your list?
Well, quite frankly, no it shouldn’t! If you want to get the best results from your new website and ensure it becomes your best sales tool (if that sounds too salesy, think ‘your best way of sharing yoga with more people’), it should actually be No.3 on your list.
Before you can start creating the most effective website for your business, you need to know WHO you are, WHY you exist, WHAT your messaging is, and HOW you differentiate yourself from that vast ocean of other yoga businesses. So, here’s the 3-step process we think you should follow:
- Brand Strategy Package: If you can’t define or communicate what you stand for, then no-one else will get this either. You need to create a clear message for your business so people understand your WHY.
- Logo & Style Guide Package: A great logo makes your business instantly recognisable. There are 3 essential parts to a logo, which need to work closely together – the brand mark, brand name and strapline. If you’re not sure what your strapline should be, then you definitely need help with your brand strategy first, as this will help tease out your messaging and your strapline will flow effortlessly from there. Whether you’re just starting out, or your brand needs a refresh, it’s important to get your logo in sync with your brand strategy. This package will also define the colour palette and typography of your brand, which will then determine the look and feel of your new website.
- New Website Package: Great! Now you’re ready to get going with your new yoga website as per option 3 above 😉
Of course, no new website would be complete without SEO (search engine optimisation). Your new website might look beautiful, and even resonate strongly with your audience, but how is anyone actually going to find it?
Our SEO Package works really neatly alongside our New Website Package, as it includes in-depth research on the keywords people actually use to find the kinds of yoga services you offer. Topic research gives you ideas for popular blog content you could create, and competitor analysis lets you know where the gaps and opportunities are in your particular yoga niche. We then bring this all together by skilfully crafting the SEO data (meta titles and descriptions) for your website based on our research findings, to ensure your web pages start ranking higher in relevant search results.
Don’t just take our word for it!
To be fair, we’re probably a little biased when it comes to recommending a yoga marketing expert! As much as we like to sing our own praises, nothing speaks stronger than the actual words used by our amazing clients.
International yoga teacher trainer and Seasonal Yoga entrepreneur Julie Hanson found our Brand Strategy Package a “marvellous experience” and “invaluable” for her evolving business. You can find out more about how we helped her, and watch her video testimonial, by reading the case study.
Mike Richards, aka The Travelling Ape, signed up for our Logo & Style Guide Package after we’d completed our Brand Strategy Package with him. He “thoroughly enjoyed the process,” the final logo “surpassed all of his expectations,” and “it has made him excited to take his brand to the next level”. You can read more on his client profile page.
Deborah Woolf, co-founder of Anahata Health Clinic, a busy yoga and wellness studio, bought several packages from us, including our New Website Package. She found working with us “a pleasure,” felt “guided through the process with care and attention, even to the smallest details,” thinks their “new website looks fantastic,” and says her team “now feels totally empowered and supported in their ability to update and change their shiny new website”. Read the case study to find out more and watch our before-and-after video.
Ready to go ahead?
If you’re ready to get started on your journey of creating the best website to grow your yoga or wellbeing business, why not book a free consultation with us.
At the very least you’ll get plenty of valuable free advice about your marketing (aka yoga sharing). And it could be the beginning of a beautiful friendship – with the yoga marketing expert your business so badly needs.