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Listen to “YMS E5: 5 Important Parts of Yoga Studio Websites” on Spreaker.

This post originally appeared on the Huffington Post.

We all know if you want to have a thriving business, you pretty much need to have a website. It doesn’t have to be a fancy website, but you need to have somewhere people can go to get more information about you.

People are much more distrustful of businesses and service providers that don’t even have a simple landing page. I know that if I’m looking for a business I’m far more likely to use the one that has a website than the one that doesn’t. A website gives the customer an idea of what to expect.

The yoga industry is no different. If I’m going to go to a new studio, I’m far more likely to go to the one that has a web presence. I don’t like feeling like I’m going into a business without any idea of what it’s really like.

Using your website to boost credibility and engage visitors isn’t as hard as it might sound. There are 5 parts of your site you need to pay attention to, and once you get those down, the rest can be a lot easier.

1. Your About Page

Your about page is one of the most read pages on your website. New students want to know your story. They want to know who you are, what you’re all about, and what makes you different from other studios.

A good about page needs to have your story, and an image of you — the business owner. If you run a brick and mortar yoga studio instead of just an online studio, you should also have images of your studio. This helps students paint a picture of what to expect.

It’s helpful in your about page to include why you came to yoga. What started you on this journey? Was it mobility issues? Weight loss after pregnancy? Try to cultivate that emotional connection.

If you’re registered with Yoga Alliance or have any other professional certifications, your about page is a good place to put them. Even if you have them elsewhere on the site, this ensures people who end up on your about page first will see your certifications.

2. The Contact Page

This one may seem like common sense, but I can’t tell you how many times a contact page is overlooked. A contact page lends incredible amounts of credibility. Sites without contact pages tend to look more like a fly-by-night business that won’t be around much longer.

Your contact page needs to have your email, and for brick and mortar studios, your address and phone number. This is also a good place to put your social media links.(Your social media links should also be elsewhere on the site.)

Many people opt for a contact form instead of an email address. I’m a believer in making both available to website visitors. A contact form will make it that much faster for people to get in touch with you. They don’t have to open their email and type in your address. They just fill out the form and send off the email.

But not everybody is comfortable with using a contact form, so I also advocate including your email address.

3. The Footer

Often the most overlooked part of your site is the footer. The footer is a tiny little area all the way down at the bottom of the site where most sites have their copyright information. But given the way people usually skim and scroll through a site, having useful information at the footer can improve the user experience.

Aside from your copyright information, your footer is a good place for:

  • Social media links
  • Your email address
  • Links to other parts of the site that aren’t important enough for your main navigation
  • Any disclaimers about affiliate products

Your footer doesn’t have to be compelling — far from it — but don’t simply throw up your copyright info and let it be. People looking for more information that they are unable to find will often look in the footer hoping to find answers.

4. Your Classes Page

Students need to know what types of yoga classes you offer, how often, and how much they cost. This page is where you do that. Many studios embed a scheduler that looks like a calendar and just has the time and the class. It’s not uncommon to see “8:30 vinyasa” and that’s it!

Students need far more information than that, especially new students. You don’t want to be turning away new students because you didn’t inform them properly. Some new students won’t know what Vinyasa even means. Consider including short class descriptions for each of your main styles.

Also worth considering is that some new students will be nervous they’ll be ignored or not get in depth instruction if the class is too busy. For those students it’s nice to indicate what classes are best for total beginners who want to get more attention from a teacher.

So some things you need to include on this page are:

  • The primary style you teach
  • Whether or not all classes are open level
  • Your rates
  • Your private sessions
  • Links to the teacher bios

5. An email list opt-in

Whether you’re embracing content marketing and blogging on your site or not, you should at least be embracing email marketing. When you email students on a semi-regular basis you’re building Top of Mind awareness. This can be useful for bringing students back who have been taking some personal time, for cultivating your community, arranging community events, and simply being of service.

You should have multiple opt-in opportunities throughout your website. In the very least you should have one on your homepage. Also consider putting one on your about page and your classes page. Give visitors multiple opportunities to join your list so they can build a stronger connection with your studio.

Just these five areas of your site can make a big difference in the user experience, and can go a long way to legitimizing you in the eyes of new students. Your mission — should you choose to accept it — is to sit down in front of your website and implement at least one of these changes in the next 48hrs.

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