As a business owner, you know having a website is essential to growing your studio business. But simply having a site because you know you’re supposed to does not mean the universe is going to magically send you business because you’re checking it off a list of small business necessities.
What you really need, to drive business to your studio, is a website with thoughtful intent–– intent to make your brand’s online experience as easy, engaging, and simple for the user as possible.
That being said, there are three main issues that present challenges to having a successful studio website. In this article, we will discuss those issues and how to solve them.
When users come onto your site, they’re looking for solutions to their problems. Their problem, in this case, is finding the right yoga studio for them. So overall, the content on your site needs to persuade users that your studio is right for them.
This is where many studios immediately fail with their websites because they misconstrue the concept of “persuading users” as “selling to users.” Don’t get us wrong–– sales copy certainly has its place, but it should be noted that this kind of copy serves a very specific purpose and isn’t necessarily appropriate in the context of your website. It comes off inauthentic. Faux. Spammy. And this kind of language can turn people off to your brand quickly. We live in the Age of Information now which means that pushy language no longer creates conversions. You need language that educates and paints a picture of your unique offerings.
Another issue that can plague studio websites is the lack of essential information. And we mean the absolute bare essentials:
Sites that are missing this information are majorly missing out on business because they fail to supply the most basic of information.
But all that being said, your lacking content is likely only a symptom of the greater problem. The real problem is that you as the studio owner are not providing enough value. You need to be able to address the pain points and the needs of the customer–– even if that just means being perceived as friendly and welcoming enough as a studio.
Start by ensuring your site has the bare essential information that allows your users to connect with you. This is an easy fix that you can do yourself. However, when it comes to offering engaging and unique content that makes your studio stand out, it’s often best to hire a content writer who can thoughtfully marry your voice with your message. While you may able to explain well what makes your studio different, that doesn’t necessarily mean that the right people will be able to resonate with your explanation. Having a professional step in will extract website content that efficiently connects you with your audience–– and that matters far more than any SEO-driven or algorithm-driven argument for quality content.
Many business owners make the mistake of creating a website that they like rather than creating a website that works for their users. Let’s be clear on one thing before diving into specific site functionality issues: your website is not for you, it’s for your target audience. Remember that from a holistic perspective, your potential customers may see a good website experience as synonymous with a good studio experience.
Now let’s get into some specific issues that result from not being fully considerate of your user’s experience…
Your users expect your website to load fast. 47% of consumers actually expect a website to load in 2 seconds or less. And this is important because 79% of users who don’t like the experience on your website are less likely to ever return to your site again.
These days absolutely every business needs their website to be accessible and functional across all screen sizes, devices, and browsers. Be it a desktop screen, a tablet screen, and Android screen, or an iPhone screen, your website needs to adapt and work smoothly on each. Sites that are even the slightest bit mobile-unfriendly will be penalized by the almighty Google gods and totally knock your potential for greater exposure online. Considering that nearly 3 out of 4 mobile users say they’re more likely to revisit mobile-friendly sites, mobile-friendliness is not a concept you want to take a gamble against.
Your website isn’t just a digital brochure–– it serves a greater purpose in your business. Every page and every section of your site should serve some stage of your sales/conversion process. You ultimately want your site to drive users to action, and sites that do not do this tend to lack one major thing: clear and strategic calls to action. A good indicator of whether your site is serving your business revenue or not is whether it’s driving conversions. If it’s not, then you need to re-evaluate the strategy behind your site.
Mobile-Friendliness–– Similar to load time, there are tools to test the mobile-friendliness of your site. Google’s test is the most reliable and also has suggestions for improving the adaptability of your site.
Conversion Strategy–– It may behoove you to get the insight of a (human) professional on this one who can provide you with specific strategic advice for the tactical utility of your site.
The studio owner’s conundrum: you need class management software to run your business, but you can’t afford to have class management software that doesn’t make signing up with you easy as pie.
Imagine this scenario: Your users make it all the way through your sales funnel and now they’re ready and willing to be converted into a paid customer but THEN… your software makes it difficult and ultimately discourages them from signing up. What a waste of effort on your part all because your software is crappy.
You need to be sure your studio management software/CRM actually integrates with your site and makes the sign-up experience absolutely seamless. fitDEGREE does more than just display your schedule online, it also offers full integration with your website and offers your students all of the functionality they have on the app that they have on your website.
Imagine another scenario: Your current students are attempting to pay for classes or just simply be educated on the programs you offer but then the software is unreliable so it discourages your current students from completing the action they set out to complete via your software. There’s nothing more frustrating–– from both the user end and the back end ––than having to deal with unreliable software.
While there’s no such thing as 100% bug-free software, the studio management software you use with your site needs to prove it’s mostly reliable and have stellar customer support service to address times of unreliability.
Do your research and be diligent about your comparison-shopping when it comes to purchasing Studio management software to integrate with your site. Seek out glowing reviews and referrals of software that also provide features that enhance the user experience. fitDEGREE is a studio management software that provides a simple experience–– both on the front end and back end, a branded mobile app, and your own dedicated personal customer service rep.
Don’t pour all this time into your website only for it to be a deterrent to business. Ensure that you address all three of these website issues with the solutions we’ve outlined.
It seems like every day, there is a new tool or app that makes social media easier for small businesses and entrepreneurs to take advantage of. These apps make it possible for almost anyone—with a bit of vision and dedication—to put together a brand's social media plan and execute it like a pro.
If you are serious about growing your yoga business, you need to be ready to harness the power of referral marketing. So how exactly do you do that? It’s not always as simple as just asking your customers to spread the word about your studio–– you need to motivate and incentivize people to help you grow your studio.
In the fast-paced and busy lives we live, it can be easy to slip into a routine and lose sight of the things we're grateful for in life. Studies have shown that being able to consciously note what you’re grateful for and actively practicing the habit of thanking the people in your life can improve your mental and physical health. As a yogi, you’re aware that yoga isn’t just a practice of the physical body–– it’s a practice of the mind, body, and spirit. Every time you step onto the mat, you’re engaging in an energetic lesson that goes beyond just your muscles and breathing–– it’s a practice that can spark gratitude. And as many experienced yogis can attest, when you put out love and gratitude into the universe, it comes back to you.