It is common for people to get anxiety or nerves before walking into a new yoga studio for the first time. Where are the locker rooms? Which direction do they turn to get into the studio? What if someone wants to stop by the boutique — where is it? No one wants to look lost or confused and risk embarrassment.
That’s where Google can help.
It is common for people to use Google Tours or Street View to figure out where they are going, but businesses can also take advantage of these tools and help students find their way through their studio. Joel Herd, a partner at MPower Yoga in Baltimore, Maryland, hired a professional to come in and photograph the studio so they could take advantage of a Google Maps tour.
“We didn’t plan on this when we first opened, but it turned out that we had a friend that was certified to photograph Google Tours,” said Herd. “He told us about it, and since we offer one of the best yoga spaces around, we thought it was a good idea to let people see it before they came in to experience it, in person.”
A virtual tour can be added to your studio’s Google+ Local page once photographed, and will be displayed through the Google Maps interface. Image links to “See Outside” and “See Inside” will then appear when a potential student searches your studio on Google.
First impressions hold a lot of weight, and by incorporating a virtual tour you are essentially giving the first impression to a student long before they walk in the door of the studio. In a study done by Google, they found listings with photos and a virtual tour are twice as likely to generate interest. In the competitive yoga industry, this is important.
“For students that haven’t come in to take a class yet, I think it gives them the ability to become a little more comfortable with their first visit,” said Herd. “The first class at a new studio and in a new community can sometimes be a little intimidating. Our aim, in everything we do, is to make MPower the most comfortable place it can be for everyone.”
You can search for a professional photographer trained to capture this unique style on Google’s Street View page. Once they do this, you can embed the tour on your website as well.
Having that comfortable atmosphere is imperative to a student’s longevity with your studio. As a potential yoga student, it is a nice feature to be able to see what it feels like to be in an environment, and this feature on your website can help.
“I think having this function on our website allows a student to already feel a little connected to our studio even before they come in,” said Herd. “They can know their way around before they’ve even set foot through the door.”