Transcript: The Most Common Mistakes Yoga Teachers Make on Their Websites

Susanne Rieker: Today I’m diving in and sharing the most common website mistakes that yoga teachers are making, and of course I talk about how to fix them!

It’s time to make your website shine so that your dream students know that you are the perfect teacher for them from the moment they land on your homepage.

Do you have a website? If yes that’s great, that’s an amazing accomplishment already!

But maybe you’re wondering sometimes – could your website perform better? For example, why are so few people signing up for your workshops or retreats through the site?

I’ve done a ton of website reviews over the last years and there are a few things that popped up over and over again, people are making a lot of the same mistakes.

So, today, I want you to start learning from the mistakes of others and make sure you don’t duplicate these very common blunders on your yoga website.

Mistake 1: Not telling your visitors what you do

On your website you should tell your visitor right away what you do and why they should work with you.

This is probably the biggest offender. Why? Because once your page loads, your users will form an opinion in 1 second and decide if they want to read on or hit the back button.

You can get everything else right, but if a user can’t make a justified decision on your website, they’re going to leave.

I actually made this mistake on my website, too. In my header, I used the headline “Growing your business should feel awesome, not overwhelming”.

Well, this didn’t really say what I do, right?

And I just changed it a few weeks ago to “Hey there, I’m Susanne. I help yoga teachers create high-converting websites and build online businesses.”

And below that I have a button “Let’s get started”.

So it’s better to be clear here instead of being creative. I mean you can be both, but it needs to be super clear what you do.

If you want to learn more on how to find that clarity, I recommend the book “Building a Story-Brand” by Donald Miller. It’s really, really good and it helped me a lot in crafting my message. Definitely check it out, it’s also a really good read, and I include the link in the shownotes.

Mistake 2: Too Much Clutter

Less is more with your website. When you give people too many options, they’ll feel overwhelmed and end up doing nothing.

A good website should make the experience for your visitors effortless. To do this, you want only the most important information to be presented on your pages.

Your job is to determine what’s the best need to know information that will convince your audience to stick around for more, so they can take the next step that you want them to take.

Let’s put this into action:

On your homepage, instead of displaying your whole background, all your trainings and what brought you to yoga, write a short welcome text, just a few sentences, where you describe who you are and what you do.

Next offer your visitors some options how you can help them:

For example, class schedule, book a private session and upcoming events

Now, if you’re offering a lot of different services, I know this can be challenging.

I still recommend that you try to narrow it down, so you don’t have more than 3 to 4 options to choose from on your homepage.

The goal is it make it easy for your visitors to grab what you do and how you can help them, without overwhelming them with too much information and unnecessary options where they should click on.

This applies to your main navigation menu as well.

Don’t overload your navigation menu with categories and sub-categories, you should try not having more than 7 topics in your main navigation.

Not everything needs to be part of the navigation menu. Blog posts or categories for example don’t need to be in there.

What I find really helpful is asking a friend if they think your website structure makes sense.

Sometimes we are just too close to what we do, and we can profit from some outside perspective. What makes sense for you might be completely incomprehensible for someone else.

Mistake 3: Your website has font sizes that are too small and not reader-friendly

One of the most common website flaws is text that’s too difficult to read, either because of a very small font size or a text color that doesn’t have enough contrast to the background.

Have you ever found yourself squinting to read the text on a website? Maybe not when you’re very young, but when I show something I design to my mum and it’s the first feedback I get.

Body text should be at least 14px, I use 16px on my website, and I also recommend that all body copy should be in a Sans Serif font so it’s more compatible and reader-friendly across device types and at small sizes.

Sand Serif fonts are for example Arial, Helvetica or Open Sans, and they are normally easier to read on computer than serif fonts like times new roman.

Another common mistake is not enough contrast between your text color and your background.

For example a font in a light grey on a white background can look great from a design perspective, but is it still easy to read?

Or using a patterned background or a busy photo and text on it, here the text is almost always difficult to read and I wouldn’t do it for any longer or important texts.

If you’re unsure, you can’t go wrong with using black text on a white background.

So, really try to look at your website like a visitor who sees it for the first time. If you have to squint to read your website’s text, it’s time to have a discussion with your web designer.

Mistake 4: Your website is too impersonal

Maybe you are reluctant sharing too much personal information online – I get it, I really do.

I actually made this mistake myself. On my first website I had some beautiful stock images and nothing personal. I cringe when I think about it. I really didn’t know what I was doing.

It was looking pretty, very professional, but it didn’t bring me any business. Why? Because I didn’t give people a reason to connect with me.

Having a great design alone isn’t enough.

Especially today. People are craving connection, authenticity, they want to get to know the real you. Otherwise, why should they trust you and buy something from you?

You are not a big brand like Lululemon who can spend millions on advertising to build their brand.

You ARE your brand.

And that’s why you need to put yourself out there!

So use up-to-date images on your homepage – invest in a photo shoot if you have to.

Welcome people to your page and introduce yourself with your name.

Extra points if you add a video so people can get to know you even better.

This also applies to blogging. I’ve seen too many posts from yoga teachers that could have been copied 1-to-1 from a yoga textbook.

When you’re writing about something, don’t just write down the facts, instead make it relatable. Share a story about your experience, translate it into the modern world or how something helped you in a certain situation.

It needs to be personal! Write as if you were having a conversation with your best friend, not lecturing a room of your YTT students.

And this also applies when you are a yoga studio! Introduce your teachers, let them write blog posts and share on social media, create a community that people want to be a part of.

That’s why your students come to your classes, not because of the size of your room, and your website needs to represent that spirit as well.

Mistake 5:  Your website is too complicated

You have to keep it simple! If your website has way too much going on, it will distract your viewers from your content and services.

You can be creative, but there’s a fine balance between being whimsical and simply being confusing. Getting too complicated can be a big turn off for your visitors.

For example, in your navigation menu you don’t want people to have to guess what you mean – instead use names for your pages that are common and known, such as about and contact.

Next give your visitors specific actions that explicitly tell them what you want them to do. Do you want them to sign up for your email list? Then say that. Do you want them to check out your services so they can book you? Then tell them to do that. Make it as simple as possible for them to get to the information they need.

If you don’t have clear call-to-actions (like buttons that ask them to sign up), then you’ll risk losing potential students or subscribers because they won’t be compelled to take it a step further from just browsing your website to actually taking action that supports your goals.

Mistake 6: Your website isn’t mobile-friendly

Okay, you already know this, right? I mean, we all look at our phones all freakin day long.

If you still think this doesn’t really apply to you, I want you to go and check your analytics.

You can check your Google Analytics to see how many people visit your website from a smartphone. In my case, it’s nearly 50%!

Not having a mobile-friendly website is one of the most common website mistakes, and is one problem you need to solve ASAP if your website still isn’t.

So what does mobile-friendly mean?

What you want to have is a website that’s responsive. Responsive means that the content on the screen automatically rearranges according to the screensize. So on an iPhone pictures might be above the text instead of next to it, the menu looks different and other things.

In most cases you can easily check this when you simply change the size of your browser window on your computer. When you make the window smaller and the content rearranges, your website is responsive.

But even if everything rearranges and looks good on first sight, you need to check your website on your phone, and you might have to optimize a few things.

For example, if you use background images, make sure that text on top is readable on your phone and that the image isn’t cut of weirdly.

When you use Avada, the WordPress theme that I recommend and teach to use in my course Blissful Websites, you can create different content elements that are shown on mobile versus on tablets or desktops, and for example use a different image here.

This gives you a lot of creative power. If you don’t have this flexibility, simply try your best optimizing your content for all devices.

Mistake 7: Your website isn’t secure

Not having a secure website is like waving a red flag for both search engines and cautious website visitors.

Secure means that you have a SSL certificate and your URL starts with https instead of http and shows a little lock in the bar with your domain name in your browser window.

And no, it doesn’t matter if you don’t have an ecommerce site or if you’re not in the EU. If you ask for any personal information—from email and phone number to first and last name—your site needs to be secured, no matter where you’re based.

If not, Google will push your website further down in the search results and we don’t want that, right?

Also, when you’re from the EU, it’s necessary if you want to comply with the GDPR guidelines, which you should.

When you don’t have that yet on your website, get in touch with your hosting company and tell them you want an SSL certificate. Their support should be able to help you set it up.

That’s it! These are the top mistakes that I see yoga teachers making with their websites. With a few easy tweaks, you can easily avoid these mistakes, so you can be sure your website is working FOR you!

So this is your homework: sit down and have a close look at your website and see what you can improve.

Do some website house cleaning!

A lot of time we put our websites live and then forget about them, but if you invest just a few hours and implement those changes, I promise it can totally impact your bottom line and your business in a big way.

So don’t forget your website at the bottom of your to-do list, move it up and get going so that it is something that is helping you generate profit in your business and is actually helping you serve your audience.

Now I want to add a bit of self-promotion here:

If you’re ready to start with your first website or redesign your existing website, be sure to check out my Blissful Websites course! In the course I’ walk you through ALL the steps of designing a website that’s beautiful, yet strategic without having to spend thousands of dollars on hiring a website designer.

Go to susannerieker.com/blissfulwebsites to learn more. I’ll also add the link to the show notes.

And that’s it for today! I hope this episode was so helpful for you, until next week.