When you’re a yoga teacher you probably haven’t signed up to become a web designer as well. But at the same time, having a website is important and of course you want your website to be EPIC! Beautiful, representative of your brand, easy to manage and bringing you new students and clients.
The good news is, this is totally possible, without having to pay a designer the big bucks or getting lost in the depths of WordPress and YouTube videos.
#1 Start with an Easy-to-Understand Navigation Menu
Organize your pages into categories that make sense to your users and use standard terms for your menu. Your visitors don’t want to guess where to go next and they don’t have the patience to embark on a scavenger hunt for facts.
So we call a blog a blog. Contact is contact. Keep it simple and your users will thank you for it.
#2 Apply Best Practices for SEO
SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization and it means to set up your website in a way so that it gets found in Google when someone searches for a topic related to what you do. For example, my client Hanan from Simply Yoga offers yoga classes in the town Herne in Germany. So when I designed her website, I made sure to include “Yoga in Herne” in the headline and copy on her homepage, so that when people search fot that her website shows up in the Google search results.
#3 Define Your Brand Colors And Use Them Consistently
After Hanan asked me to design her website, I created a few color boards and we agreed on a very soft and neutral color scheme and I use those colors throughout her website. I also created a style guide an now Hanan has those color numbers (the so-called hex codes) always on hand and can use them on social media or other marketing materials, ensuring that her brand has a consistent look on all channels.
#4 Provide All the Relevant Information
When people search the web, they’re seeking answers. If your site doesn’t provide the facts, the visitor will move on to the next one in the search results. That’s why for Alexa’s website I designed a page “New here?”, where her visitors find all information relevant for them when they are new to yoga, or to working with her. It includes answers to the most frequent questions and next steps to take.
#5 Tell People What You Do
Your home page is the most common entrance to your website and it should describe how customers will benefit from your content or services so that your visitors can quickly figure out what’s in it for them. I like to add three services to the homepage (four max), this is easy to grab with one view and your visitors can make a decision where to go quickly, without having to wade through tons and tons of options. Your job is to direct your visitors and make it as easy as possible to them to take action.
#6 Keep Your Copy Conversational
Despite what your high school English teacher may have taught you, nobody wants to read text that sounds like a term paper. Yawn. Write copy as though you’re speaking directly to the visitor. A friendly, informal tone is better than stiff, corporate-speak. Contractions like “you’ll” and “we’re” are fine to use online and make you appear more relatable.
#7 Add a Blog
A blog is one of the most amazing ways to connect with, find, and inspire your audience – and help you grow your business. To make sure that your blog doesn’t look outdated even if you post only occasionally, don’t include the publishing date and also get rid of clutter like categories or tags. You’ll only need them when you publish a lot of content. Keep it simple!
#8 Keep Your Website Up to Date
If visitors notice that your content isn’t current, then you lose all credibility. You want to continually update your site, add to it and remove any information that is obsolete. On Alexa’s website we use the free event calendar plugin for WordPress. This nifty plugin makes it easy for Alexa to add events herself (no need to pay me or anyone else to do that) and it automatically only shows upcoming events on her website, past events are still visible in the backend but don’t show up on the homepage anymore.
#9 Use Social Proof
We are wired to respond to so called “social proof”, or word of mouth recommendation. If someone that you know, like and trust says, “This is awesome! You gotta try it!” then you are way more likely to give it a whirl. Student testimonials are a powerful form of social proof. When your visitors read praise from other people – and the praise feels real and genuine – then they are likely to feel more confident about purchasing a workshop or retreat from you. That’s why I like to add between three and four selected testimonials (no need to overwhelm your visitors) right on the homepage.
#10 Add Call-to-Actions
Once your visitors land on your site, do they know what to do next? They won’t know what pages to view or actions to take if you don’t provide them with some sort of direction. If the next step is for example for people to get in touch to book a session with you, tell them how to do that instead of letting them search for the contact form in your menu, like I do here on Alexa’s website: