Local SEO Guide for Yoga Studios: 5 Steps to Higher Google Rankings

/Local SEO Guide for Yoga Studios: 5 Steps to Higher Google Rankings
Local SEO Guide for Yoga Studios: 5 Steps to Higher Google Rankings 2017-11-12T10:14:21+00:00

Yoga studios often have difficulty attracting new students. One major challenge is that when someone decides to begin yoga classes, she typically runs a Google search and contacts the first studio or two on the results page. To build your student base, you need to reach that critical top spot.

We will guide you through our proven 5-step process to move your studio to the top of the list. But first, let’s take a look at why local SEO is essential for all yoga studios.

3 Reasons Yoga Studios Should Invest in Local SEO

1. Google Replaced the Yellow Pages:

Until quite recently, a great way for yoga studios to find new students was to place an ad in the Yellow Pages and wait for the phone to ring. Times have changed, though, and today a full 97% of people search for local businesses online. Google is the undisputed leader of the search market.

2. Free Traffic:

Advertising is still one of the largest expenses that many small businesses face. If you boost your Google rankings, you will have a steady stream of free traffic just waiting to be converted into paying students.

3. Swift Results:

For national and international companies, it normally takes 6 months to a year to see much improvement in Google rankings. As a yoga studio, though, you have a major advantage. Your competitors are only the other yoga studios nearby, not those located halfway across the country. And many of them have not yet begun to harness the power of local SEO. This means that a targeted campaign can easily land you on the first page of Google local results in as little as 30 days!

Step 1: Select Your Keywords

Begin by simply listing the keywords that best reflect your services. For example, you might choose “power yoga”, “yoga teacher”, and “prenatal yoga”. When you have a fairly complete list, sign up for a free Google AdWords account.

There is no need to create or pay for an ad campaign, but an AdWords account lets you use the free Google Keyword Planner. This tool lets you input your chosen keywords to find out how much traffic they produce, and provides suggestions for related keywords that you might not have considered.

Now you are ready to narrow down your keyword list. All keywords fall into 1 of 2 general categories:

  • Buying Intent: Buying intent keywords signal that the prospect is imminently ready for your services. For example, someone who searches for “ashtanga yoga training Albuquerque” is likely looking for a class to join.

    Focus primarily on your buying intent keywords, because they will drive the fastest results. Feature them on your homepage, and create service pages based on them.

  • Research Intent: A prospect searching for research intent keywords is simply gathering more information. He might be interested in taking yoga classes someday, but not immediately. For example, someone searching for “what is vinyasa yoga” is probably exploring the various types of yoga.

    Give research intent keywords a lower priority in your campaign, as they take some time to drive conversions. Don’t get rid of them, though, as they are highly useful for blog posts and FAQs. These posts serve as your introduction to prospects who might remember you when they are ready to sign up for classes.

Step 2: Optimize Your Keywords

With your final list of keywords in mind, you are ready to optimize for them in 2 places—your Google My Business page and your website. Here is what you need to know:

Google My Business

Your Google My Business page is a mini-website that appears in the “Map” section of Google local listings. It offers a quick overview of your company and improves your overall web presence. It can even drive a fast rankings boost, since it is much easier to rank highly with a Google My Business page than a traditional webpage.

Be sure the page is fully and accurately filled out, paying special attention to these elements:

  • Verification: First, you must claim your page and submit it for Google verification. This step is complete when you see a checkmark and the word “Verified” next to your company name.
  • NAP: Your business name, address, and phone number(NAP) must be both accurate and identical across all of your web listings. Tell Google that your business is local by listing a local phone number instead of an 800 number.
  • Categories: Google states that categories must describe services rather than results. For example, besides Yoga Studio, you might choose Pilates Studio and Meditation Instructor, if you provide those services. Try to list 3 to 5 categories.
  • Description: Your description is a short overview of your studio that ends with a call to action. It should be between 100 and 200 words long, and formatted similarly to: {Name of Studio} offers professional {yoga instruction, or similar} in {Your City}. {Provide some information about your background and/or why students love you.} Call {Phone Number} today for 10% off your first class!
  • Hours: Your studio hours must be correct and consistent across all of your web listings. If you offer classes outside of your customer service hours, share that information in a separate paragraph.
  • Images: Images can improve customer engagement, and show your prospects that you teach great classes. Add a few photos of your studio, your teachers, or your classes in action. Your images must have a sharp focus, be sized between 10KB and 5MB, and have a minimum resolution of 720px x 720px. We also recommend replacing the generic Google My Business background image with a branded image.

Website Optimization

Begin by optimizing your homepage and service pages, also known as your “core” pages, for your buying intent keywords. Later, you will optimize your FAQs and blog posts, known as your “content” pages, for your research intent keywords. Here’s a quick guide:

  • Homepage: The title tag is the most important piece of your homepage. It serves roughly the same purpose as a book’s chapter title, and should be 50 to 65 characters in length. Try this format: Yoga Classes in {Your City} | {Name of Your Studio}.

    The next element is the 100 to 150-character meta description. Your meta description briefly notes your primary services and ends with a call to action. Try to approximate this format: {Name of Studio} offers quality {yoga and Pilates instruction, or similar} in {Your City}. Call {Phone Number} today for 10% off your first class!

    The H1, or visible headline, must be both concise and descriptive, and should include your primary category. This format works well {Yoga Studio} in {City, State}.

    Finally, write 500 to 1000 words of page copy. Make sure it is tightly written and edited, and incorporates your primary keyword in a natural way. Provide a bit of background on your studio, briefly describe your core services, and end with a strong call to action.

  • Service Pages: Create a separate service page for each core services, optimized for a buying intent keyword in the same way as your homepage.

Step 3: Compile Citations and Links

With your local SEO campaign’s structure in place, you can start to find citations and links. Both increase your online reach while boosting your Google rankings.

  • Citations: A citation is simply a listing of your business NAP (name, address, and phone number) in a web directory. Try general national directories (yellowpages.com and Facebook), general local directories (Chamber of Commerce website), and targeted directories of yoga studios. Make sure your NAP is identical across all listings.

    Although there are many free directories, some only accept paid citations. Before you pay, take a look at Google Analytics. There is no reason to pay for a site that will not drive traffic and conversions.

  • Links: Inbound links from high-quality, authoritative websites are crucial to reaching the highest Google rankings. Develop relationships both in person and online with companies that offer complementary services, such as personal trainers or spas. Then ask to trade web links. Use a tool such as the Moz Open Site Explorer to show you where other local yoga studios find their links.

Step 4: Request Reviews

Online reviews serve 2 very important purposes: they help to convince prospects to sign up for your classes, and they tell Google that you have a legitimate business. All reviews can help, but the fastest rankings boost will come from Google My Business page reviews. Send an email to your satisfied customers with a link to your Google My Business profile, and ask them directly to write a review. If you do this frequently, you will build a constant stream of reviews.

Step 5: Track Your Results

You will only know if your local SEO campaign is working, and which areas still need improvement, by tracking your results. You can analyze your data in many ways, but these 3 are the most important:

  • Rankings: Google presents customized search results based on previous browsing behavior. Therefore, you must use a tool to see your true rankings. Ask your webmaster to install the free Google Search Console (previously Google Webmaster Tools), and take a look at your results at least once per month.

    If you want a more detailed analysis, try a paid tool such as the one available from RankRanger. This tool allows you track your webpages and your Google My Business page, and provides automatically updated ranking data from all of your SEO campaigns.

  • Traffic: Google Analytics is arguably the best tool to track your website visitors, known as traffic. You can see your overall traffic, the traffic for each webpage, and the percentage of traffic that comes to you through Google search. Read your reports at least once each month, with an eye towards discovering any long-term trends.
  • Conversions: A conversion is any specific action that you want your prospects to perform. As a yoga studio, you might want prospects to contact you for a 10% discount on their first class. Google Analytics lets you track conversions from the phone as well as the web, see which of your services drives the most conversions, and learn which of your webpages have the lowest and highest conversion rates.

Ready to Start?

Now you know why a major key to bringing in potential new students is a local SEO campaign. Work your way through each step in order, making sure that you finish a step before going on to the next. Here is a recap of the 5 steps:

  1.    Keyword research
  2.    Keyword optimization
  3.    Citations and Links
  4.    Reviews
  5.    Tracking

Want Help with SEO?

At Main Street ROI, we specialize in helping yoga studios attract more local customers through Google. If you’d like help with your SEO, contact us for a free quote.

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