We’ve seen it proven time and time again — the Internet is one of the world’s, and a business’, most powerful tools.
Websites not only ease the burden of a business owner’s inevitable day-to-day tasks, but they also have the ability to enhance customer experience before a new or returning student even steps foot inside of your yoga studio.
However, not all small businesses take advantage of a strong web presence. A 2016 survey conducted by business-to-business research firm Clutch found nearly half of all small businesses do not have a website.
“Small businesses have a very high potential for online success, but they will only reap the benefits by developing and sustaining a strong web presence,” the report read.
Yves Corbiere, the owner of Kula Yoga studio in Fayetteville, West Virginia, said even though her studio is small, as someone who also works in IT, the importance of a functional website is not lost on her.
After deciding it was time to take their already established site to the next level, Corbiere said she turned to Weebly, a website development platform that makes designing your own homepage fairly simple. Through easy step-by-step directions, even the most novice computer user can create a stunning and user-friendly website.
One reason Corbiere wanted to up their website game was monetary. “It was time for us to use PayPal to take online registrations,” she said. Through Weebly, she could easily insert code into the site that accepted that form of payment.
In addition, Corbiere added when developing a website, studio owners should aim to keep it easy to modify, so other employees can navigate the back-end of the site and make changes if necessary.
This will take some of the burden off of you as the business owner. If you’re the only one that can make a change to the site, this limits how much the website can be updated. “Don’t post announcements if you can’t keep updating them,” urged Corbiere.
Tracking how your students use your site is important as well. Many businesses use Google Analytics, a free website tracking platform that provides powerful insight on the number of visitors, what particular pages of your site are getting viewed the most, and much more.
Corbiere said on her website, there’s one piece of information people search for at a higher rate than any other feature: the class schedule. “If you can’t do anything else with your website, [at least] put your schedule on your homepage and keep it current,” she said.
In Kent, Ohio, One Love Yoga and Boutique manages its website by utilizing a resource they already use to manage other aspects of the studio: MINDBODY software.
According to MINDBODY’s website, the software’s branded web tools, “Let your customers view your MINDBODY schedule, book and pay directly on your website. The tools also update your schedule in real time and give it the same look and feel as your website. Plus, they’re mobile-friendly, so your customers can book from anywhere, on any device.”
If you use Karmasoft to manage your studio, it too has features for managing your online class schedule. According to Karmasoft’s website, the Live Schedule feature allows you to, “Create and post live class schedules on your website with teacher photos and social media links.”
With these features in mind, be sure to contact your studio management software to see if there are additional website-enabled features you aren’t utilizing.
April Huth, the owner of One Love Yoga and Boutique, added the look and feel of your website should complement your physical studio. She draws inspiration from other websites as well. “From looking at other people’s sites it seems the trend right now is more of a clean background, a lot of white space, some images and maybe one or two colors,” she observed.
Huth said the feature she updates the most is the website’s landing page, where she tries to make the most pertinent information easily accessible to anyone looking for it. She also ensures to provide links directly to the schedules for each of her studio locations.
“Most people that are going to the site are probably going to see the schedule, so having it right there so they don’t have to click around too much is helpful,” said Huth.