Previously in the Art of Marketing Your Yoga Business series we’ve looked at how to structure your yoga website, whether you should be blogging as a yoga teacher and how to grow your yoga community with email marketing. In our last post we also introduced our trident approach for attracting more students to your yoga events.
These are all great ways to grow your yoga business, but there’s one important piece of the puzzle missing – measurement. You can build an awesome website with compelling landing pages and interesting blog posts, fire off engaging emails and post enticing social media updates, but if you don’t know how any of this is performing, then you’re merely shooting in the dark.
In fact, if you’re not measuring it, then it’s not marketing.
So, in this post we share some effective ways of tracking whether your yoga marketing is working. And if it isn’t, how you can improve it. Measuring your marketing can get pretty complicated, but don’t worry – this post gives you everything you need to get started making sense of the numbers!
Let’s dive in…
Making friends with Google Analytics
Google Analytics is incredibly useful for tracking all kinds of data on your website. Even learning the basics will help GA and your site to become the best of friends 🙂
Let’s take a quick overview to help you navigate the most important areas.
When you login to your GA account you’ll be shown your dashboard, or homepage.
This gives you a handy overview of various analytics, such as number of visitors, most visited pages, where your users are in the world, what time of day they visit, and what devices they view your site on. Here’s what this looks like in the Wildheart Media GA account:
The audience tab gives you detailed information about the behaviour, demographics, interests and devices used by the people who visit your site.
If you’re just starting out with GA, we suggest just sticking to the Overview for now until you’re ready to dive a little deeper. The Audience Overview shows you how many people have visited your site over a certain period, whether they’re new or returning visitors, how long they stayed on your site, how many pages they visited and what the average bounce rate is.
What’s a bounce rate? A bounce is when someone visits your site and leaves again without visiting any other pages, i.e. they land and then ‘bounce’ off again. A high bounce rate isn’t good, as it indicates people didn’t find what they were looking for. Perhaps the information that led them there was misleading, or they simply made a mistake in landing on your site. So, the lower the bounce rate, the better. Ideally, you’re looking for a bounce rate of 50% or less. Why? Because you want people to visit more pages on your website. The more pages they visit, the better they will understand what you offer.
The Audience Overview is a quick and easy way to get an idea of the general health of your website, so we’d recommend checking it every month. If you only look at one report in GA, make it this one!
Here’s a section of the Audience Overview in the Wildheart account:
The Acquisition section shows you where your web traffic has come from. This includes organic search (people clicking through from a search results page, e.g. Google), direct (people typing your web address into their browser’s address bar), referral (links from other websites), email and social media.
If you’ve paid for any advertising using Google Adwords, you can also dig deeper into those analytics here too.
There are 2 acquisition reports we’d suggest checking regularly:
This allows you to see at a glance where your visitors are coming from. In our own example below, you can see that the vast majority of traffic to our site (68.1%) comes from organic search. This is great news for us, as we put a lot of work into SEO (search engine optimisation) on our site and this shows that it’s working:
Social Network Referrals
Here, you can break down the social metric into specific channels to see which networks are working better for your yoga business. In the Wildheart example you can see that Facebook is by far our best network, with more sessions, page views and pages visited per session, plus a much longer time spent on site, than either Twitter or LinkedIn:
The Behaviour section drills down deeper into your website, showing you which pages, including blog posts, have been visited the most. This is a very useful indicator of the most popular content on your site.
We’d suggest using 2 of the reports here:
Site Content > All Pages
This shows you the most popular pages on your site, regardless of where people have come from to get to those pages. In the Wildheart example below, you can see that our homepage has the most overall visitors and page views, which we would expect.
However, the next most popular page is actually one of our blogs posts, 5 reasons why you should use MailChimp for your email marketing. The average time spent on this page is 6 mins 32 secs which is very high. We can also see that 5 out of the top 10 pages are blog posts. This is encouraging for us, as we put a lot of time and effort into crafting original blog content, and it helps us see which topics are the most popular.
Site Content > Landing Pages
This shows you the most popular landing pages of your site, i.e. the first page people land on when visiting your website. This is usually the home page, however, you can see in our example below that our most popular landing page is actually the MailChimp blog post mentioned above. Out of our top 10 landing pages, 7 of these are blog posts, which again is great news for our blog:
Tracking your own yoga marketing
So, now that you’ve made friends with Google Analytics and know your way around the basic reports, let’s see how we can put this into action for your own yoga marketing. We’ll divide this into 4 main areas:
- Web pages
- Blog posts
- Social media
- Email list growth
1. Web pages
As we saw above, you can use the Site Content metric under Behaviour to check how your top 10 web pages are performing.
A homepage that performs well is important for your organic search. And organic search is essential for attracting new visitors to your site, especially if you’re a yoga teacher or studio in a fixed location: this is called Local Search. How is your homepage performing, compared to the other pages on your site? If it’s not doing so well, perhaps you need to review it:
- Can visitors get an idea of what you offer, as a yoga teacher or studio, within the first 3 seconds of reading your homepage?
- Are there clear links taking them to other pages of your site, e.g. classes, workshops or schedule?
- Are there too many confusing options on this page, making it unclear what you want them to do next?
- Do you have large images or fancy design elements that are slowing the page down and resulting in a loss of traffic?
If there’s a page that isn’t performing so well, you might want to review its importance. Do you really need this page? Can you update or refine it to make it more useful? Or, again, promote it across social media or email?
2. Blog posts
Using the Site Content > Landing Pages metric under Behaviour, you can see whether your blog posts are good entry points to your website and how well your blog posts are performing generally. This is crucial to your yoga marketing strategy, as it will give you an idea of the kind of content your website visitors are interested in, and give you ideas for future blog topics.
For example, if a post you published about how to get started with yoga as a beginner was very popular, how about writing more posts for beginners, or even a whole series of posts? If your visitors were particularly interested in a video you posted featuring a yoga asana demo, try creating similar videos and see if these perform just as well.
It’s no use writing about topics you think people will be interested in – with Google Analytics by your side, you can start to know what they’re interested in, and tailor your content accordingly.
When checking the metrics for your blog posts, it’s also worth noting whether the most popular posts are older or more recent. If some of your older posts are performing well, then they’ve become what we call evergreen content. This refers to content that becomes more valuable over time. Often, you cannot predict which blog posts or web pages will become evergreen, but if they do, it’s a good idea to keep any facts or information updated, and keep shouting about them on social media and to your mailing list.
3. Social media
When we talk about measuring social media, we’re really talking about using GA to see how well your social media networks are sending visitors back to your site. Remember that the primary aim of your social media marketing should be to drive traffic back to your website.
It’s very difficult to measure performance in social media itself, because social media is too caught up with vanity metrics.
What are vanity metrics? These are metrics such as likes, follows and shares that exist across all social media channels.
In terms of measuring your marketing, vanity metrics are not that useful. They might make you feel good, but they’re not a real indicator of how your yoga business is doing, because they don’t translate into actual customers. For example, you can’t tell from the number of likes or shares a post gets how many people have actually signed up to your class or workshop.
Vanity metrics do tell you something about your position in the yoga market, as well as the general awareness people have about your yoga business. They’re certainly not worthless, but we’d suggest measuring the more important metrics first; then, if you still have an appetite for it, start measuring your social media activity too.
When you look at your Social Network Referrals under the Acquisition section of GA, you’ll be able to see which of your social channels are working better for you. Depending on the results, you might decide to put all your focus into one main channel, or stop using a channel if it’s not doing much for you. With social media, it’s important to use networks you enjoy and feel comfortable with.
From what we’ve seen, most yoga businesses have a Facebook page and get good results from this. Instagram is becoming more and more popular, particularly as yoga lends itself well to photo and video content. For the same reason, video platforms such as YouTube and Vimeo are increasingly used by yoga businesses. Twitter seems less popular for yogis, but is still widely used. And LinkedIn is probably the least used channel for yoga, as it’s seen as more of a professional, corporate network.
4. Email list growth
For the final piece of the puzzle we need to step away from Google Analytics, but only for a moment! It’s important to monitor how your email list is growing because, as we saw in our previous post, email marketing is the best way to grow your yoga community.
Most email marketing providers have built-in analytics so you should be able to get at least some basic data, whichever platform you use.
If you use MailChimp, you can view the open and click through rates of each email by going to your Campaigns tab. But did you know you can also see how well your list is growing?
When you land on your dashboard page (click on the Freddie icon in the top left corner to get back there), and scroll down, you can see an audience overview showing you how your list is doing. The filter allows you to toggle between the past 7 days, the past 30 days or the past year. You can see in the example below that this yoga studio’s list has increased steadily from 1,046 subscribers in January 2017 to 1,452 in December 2017:
If your list is not steadily growing, what can you do to help it?
- Have you researched what kind of content your audience is interested in?
- Are you sending out regular emails containing accurate information with no errors?
- Are you giving away a valuable piece of content in return for people’s email addresses? This could be a PDF practice guide, a yoga asana wall chart, or perhaps an audio meditation.
Keeping on track
It’s important to keep on top of your analytics, so you can track how your website is performing. You can set up a simple diary reminder to check your GA account once a month, but the best way is to send yourself a monthly email report. Here’s how:
- Select the metrics you want to include in your report, e.g. Audience Overview.
- Change the date range to last month and tick the option for comparing to the previous period:
- Then click Share from the top right menu options.
- Here, you can set up the details of your email, including recipient (yourself plus any colleagues separated by commas), subject, attachment format (we suggest PDF) and frequency (we suggest monthly on the 1st).
- Under advanced options you can set the expiry date of the report for 12 months time. You can also write a message in the main text area.
- Once you’ve saved this, if you want to edit any of the details, or add more reports, you can do so by going to Admin, i.e. the cog icon in the bottom left corner of the screen.
- Scroll down the right hand menu and select Scheduled Emails, where you’ll be able to access and edit your email report.
- To add more reports to the same email, select your new metrics, e.g. Acquisition Overview, and this time when you click Share you’ll see an option for adding to an existing email:
- Select the monthly email you just created and click Save.
- You’ll now receive an email on the 1st of each month attaching the PDF reports you created, so you won’t need to remember to check your GA account manually.
Analyse, tweak, repeat
The important thing to remember with measuring your yoga marketing is that it’s an ongoing process. Just like your yoga practice, it has no end – it’s about the journey, not the destination.
You should regularly analyse your data – even if it’s just a quick look at the overview report once a month – and then relate that back to taking action on your website and marketing. Is there a tweak you can make here, or an improvement there? Then check again next month to see if it’s made a difference.
It’s also worth saying that content marketing takes time, so don’t be disheartened if you don’t get great results right away. As long as you keep publishing those engaging blog posts, sending out those compelling emails and social media updates, and checking your analytics to see what is and isn’t working, your yoga business will gradually grow and flourish.
How Wildheart can help
Our packages for yoga businesses cover everything from your logo and website, to your blog, email marketing and SEO (search engine optimisation). We also offer bespoke packages and hourly consulting rates, so if you need help setting up and managing your Google Analytics account, or any other aspect of marketing for your yoga business, we’re here to help.
There are just 2 posts left in the Art of Marketing Your Yoga Business series. In the penultimate post we’ll be asking “Do you need to make videos to run a successful yoga business?” Don’t miss it!