How to Create a Yoga Website

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Online Yoga Certification Course Sample Chapter:  Below I am presenting you with another chapter from the Yoga Instructor Training E-Manual.  In this chapter I share with you my experience and knowledge from building a high traffic yoga and meditation website.  As you can see, I don’t hold back any knowledge or secrets, as my goal is not just to help you be a great yoga teacher, but to help to become a great and successful yoga teacher.

How to Build a High Traffic Yoga Website – SEO Insiders Tips

One of the most important aspects of a business today, especially a service-oriented business, that a yoga or meditation center is, is having an impressive web presence. Not only does this give a great impression of your business, but if optimized correctly, can be a great source for attracting new clients and being an additional source of significant income for you. So how do you go about building such an envious website.

Let me show you :-) .

There are many sources for getting traffic to your website, which can lead to new clients and sales, and I will indicate all the various sources for you here. But, the number source of traffic for you should be organic search traffic. This is traffic from those searching the Internet with keywords related to you your business, such as yoga and meditation. If you can win the search over then you will have taken a huge step towards a successful and lucrative business.

SECTION 1 – Traffic Sources 

As I mentioned above, let me give you a list of possible sources for your website and then I will concentrate on how to you can build a high traffic website and specifically how to win the search engines over.

Traffic Sources: 

Search Engines

Social Media

Direct Traffic

Referral

Here are a few words regarding each of these sources.

Social Media: 

Social Media can be a great source of traffic, but in general such traffic comes in a burst and is fickle. By fickle, I mean this traffic tends not to spend much time on your website or become part of your community. In addition, this kind of traffic needs a continuous time commitment on the Social Book Marking websites, and can vanish once you stop putting in the hours to generate it.

I do though suggest you build some presence on these sites as they can get your website started nicely and also, does give you some exposure for sure. The sites that are amongst the best for such traffic are…

www.stumbleupon.com

www.digg.com

www.twitter.com

www.facebook.com

www.delicious.com

www.reditt.com

You will notice I have included the Social Networking sites with the Social Book Marking sites above, as they are all require and use just about the same philosophy.

Direct Traffic: 

These are readers and visitors you have built up and now have bookmarked your site and visit it directly.

Referral Traffic: 

This is traffic you get from links on other sites which visitors click to come to your website.

Now I will move to the section of SEO, where I will also give you guidance on how to build your site as well.

SECTION 2 – Website Basics 

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is the science of how to optimize your website so that it is a magnet for search traffic, which is the number 1 source of traffic for website on the Internet today. So SEO is going to be the key to building a high traffic website.

I want to remind you here though that a good website can be very helpful to impressing clients, even if it does not get a lot of traffic. In other words, students who have seen or heard about your yoga or meditation classes, will most certainly check out your website to learn more about your service, and here a good website can make the difference between getting a customer or not. And this does not depend on traffic, so whether or not you are looking for a high traffic website, a good website is still a must. So I am going to give you some tips on creating such a website first, which is actually a pre-requisite for a high-traffic website anyway.

Build a Blog: 

I strongly recommend that if you are launching a new website, make it a using a blog technology. A blog allows you to constantly and easily update your website, thus giving search engines new material which they like. In addition, a blog lets you keep your students up to date with your postings and helps organize everything for you chronologically and easily. A blog will save you a great deal of time and effort, while at the same time appealing to your customers and the search engines.

Use WordPress Software: 

I suggest that you use WordPress to build your blog. This is free software and there are many addons (plugins), freely available for WordPress, which can enhance your blog immensely. My website, Mastery of Meditation and Yoga, is a blog and uses WordPress as well.

The one caution I will give is that if you plan of using WordPress, it helps to be computer savvy. If you are not, it is still possible, but you will have a longer learning curve. In the end though, if you are serious about having a high traffic website, it is worth the effort.

Web Hosting: 

Don’t use the cheapest web hosting you can find. Web hosting is already cheap, and paying that extra $10 a month, will be well worth it for having a reliable and top of the line web hosting company. The hosting service you choose should allow SSH access to your server, along with FTP of course. You should also be able to modify the .htaccess file and manage your own data servers. I use Pair.Com and I have found it excellent.

One more advantage of using a good service is that they will have upgrade paths available to you to handle your traffic as you grow. Read reviews regarding your service and pick the best one, not the cheapest one. The hosting I have with Pair costs me around $25 / month, and it is well worth that.

Get Your Own Domain Name: 

Don’t use the blog services where you have a sub-domain. Get your own domain name, it is not expensive and will be worth it for sure. Later I will discuss how domain name can help with SEO.

SECTION 3 – SEO Insider Tips 

Now finally we are ready to discuss the SEO details which will get your high ranking on the search engines and thus, drive organic traffic to your website. I am going to discuss several aspects important to SEO in each of the sections below, and implementing this strategy will certainly go a long way in getting your site the traffic it needs to flourish.

Before I give you this inside information though, I want to show you why you should feel confident in what I have to say. Simply look at the chart below of how my website (www.anmolmehta.com) has fared with regard to traffic growth in the 3 short years it has been online. I think that is a good indication of the value of the SEO secrets I am sharing with you :-) .

If you are unable to see the chart for any reason, you can find a similar one on my website at the following URL:

http://www.anmolmehta.com/blog/2009/10/06/mastery-of-meditation-and-yoga-passes-3-million-hits-and-growing-fast

You can see from the graph above the phenomenal growth of my blog and I assure you that the primary reason for this, is due to the SEO strategies I have employed.

I am going to break down SEO into the following aspects and go over each of these parts with you in detail below.

Domain SEO

Page SEO

Link Building

Misc Topics

1. Domain SEO 

The SEO I will discuss is to win over Mr. Google, who is the big boy in the search space. Also, if you optimize for Google, you will still get decent traffic from the other engines as well (Bing and Yahoo primarily).

Webmasters know the well-known formula that Google generally uses to determine the importance of a page and how it will do on a search result. This is the Age of the Domain and the number of links coming into the particular domain. The age of the domain, you really can’t control, unless you buy an aged domain within the yoga and meditation sphere, but there are other aspects of a domain that you should know about which would help you with SEO, and here are those.

A. Keywords in Domain: 

It is often recommended to have your most important keywords and keyword phrases, such as yoga and meditation in your domain name, but you can also do as I did and make your domain you name if you like. I went with the name, as that was the “branding” for the service that I was offering. But having done this, I always make sure I use keywords and keyword phrases in the URL of my pages. This makes up for the missing keywords in my domain name.

B. Length of Domain Registration: 

Register your domain for a long term, such as five years. This gives the search engine confidence that you are in it for the long haul and it will give you better weighting.

C. Domain Register: 

Now we are getting into the more subtle aspects of SEO. What you should do is ensure that the Register where your domain is registered has full contact information for you. This includes phone numbers, address, email, etc. This is again to get a small SEO boost. In this very competitive category, every bit will help you get the edge.

2. Page SEO: 

Once you get the domain pieces in place you, have your hosting service activated and WordPress installed, it will be time to create pages. Earlier, page SEO used be the most important piece of optimization, and although now links are, page SEO should not be ignored. It is still very important.

Here are the key pieces of page SEO.

A. Title: 

The most important aspect of you page is your title. There is debate on whether the title should be long or short, but from my experience both work fine. What is key in the title is that the keywords or phrases that you want the particular page to show up on search engines should be in the title, and should be early in the title. So don’t go for cute or clever titles go for titles with your keywords in them.

B. Page Structure: 

Next it is important to have the keywords in your page content. Here you want them distributed throughout, but with emphasis on their occurrence towards the early part of the page, and early in paragraphs. Preferably in the first sentence of the paragraphs.

In addition, you want to use the html header tags in a page, and use them correctly. Search engines love order; after all they are based on algorithms, so order your tags correctly as well. Start with the “h1”, followed by “h2”, “h3” and “h4” tags in a nice structured way. Of course, try to put your keywords in these tags so they are highlighted for the search bots (search engine algorithms that visit your pages and are responsible for indexing the world wide web).

If you can’t get your keywords in the tags, then put them in “bold” or “italics” as a minimum highlight.

C. Meta Fields: 

It is a very smart idea to use the meta keyword and meta description fields on an html page. Put your keywords in here, and make the description very attractive. Many search engines will use your meta description directly in describing your page on search results, so this is your chance to “sell” the page to the reader, so they click and come to your website.

As you start building out your website you will start to get better and better at doing this and soon it will not take you very long to create and populate these fields.

D. Insider Secrets: 

So now let me share with you some not so well known SEO tricks with regard to page optimization, which will give you the edge. Use the “alt” tags in pictures you embed in your page to give the engine more information on the page contents. In addition, outgoing links to other pages, which rank highly for your keywords, can also help. Finally, when you respond to comments for your article in your blog, repeat the keywords in your response if you can.

One warning I want to give you though is to be careful that your page does not end up reading like spam. Readers wont like that. But, you have to include SEO elements in your page to some degree otherwise you wont have any readers at all, so find that right balance, and you will soon learn the art of writing to humans and bots at the same time :-) .

3. Link Building: 

As I mentioned the most important aspect of SEO now is link building. Links are essentially counted as votes for the page and the more good incoming links a page has, the higher it will rank for the keywords it’s optimized for. You will notice I said “good” links above and let’s start with that.

Google uses a term called “Page Rank” to rank how important a page is on the Internet. From a link perspective you want to understand that page rank flow from one page to another it is linked to. One aspect of a good link is the page rank of the page the link comes from. Page rank goes from 1 to 10, with 10 being highest, so the higher the page rank of the page where you are getting the link from the more power that link will have for your page.

The second aspect of a good link is the relevancy of the page where you get the link from to the content of your page. The more closely they are related, from a keyword perspective, the better that link is for you. So you want links from similar pages, which have high page rank. This is of course easier said than done, but this is your goal when it comes to your link building campaign.

Finally, a good link is one, which has your keywords in it, when pointing back to your page. So if you have a “Beginner’s Meditation” title page, you want the link text to have that phrase in it as well.

So now that you know what a good link how is do you go about getting links for your website and pages. Here are some ways of doing it, most of which I have used successfully. One thing I will say about link building is that it is time consuming, but really for creating a high traffic website you don’t have much choice.

1. Directory Linking: 

Getting directory links is the place to start. There are three dimensions to getting these links.

A.

Free Listings: Many directories allow for free links to be submitted for inclusion. They may ask for a link back in exchange. These you can certainly do. Make sure you are picking the best category for your domain of course. Generally yoga or meditation.

B.

Paid Listing / Editor Option: There are also great directories (high page rank) where you can get a link, but you must either pay or become an editor to do so. Depending on your budget you can decide which route you want to take.

C.

Paid Listings Only: The third type of directories is the really big ones like the Yahoo directory, which will require a payment for listing. There are worth it too, when you are just starting out and trying to get noticed by the search engines.

You may wish to know if it is ok to use SEO companies to do this work for you and the answer is yes, but be careful. Doing something like directory listing is pretty clear and you can have a company do the leg work for you, but be careful of using such companies for getting links, where you are not sure where those links are going to come from. Getting links from “spam” sites, would tell search engines that you are trying to game them, and they could hold this against you.

2. Blog Networking: 

A.

Comments: The next method of getting back links would be commenting on other blogs in the yoga and meditation niche. In most cases your name will be the link. As you recall, the third aspect of a good link is the anchor text, so when you leave your comment, make sure you put your keywords as part of your name. For example, I use “Anmol Mehta | Mastery of Meditation”, to get the term meditation in the anchor text of the link back to www.AnmolMehta.com.

B.

Blog Networking: Blog networking can also be done via trackbacks and ping backs. These are links you get from other blog articles, which you link to in the body of your article. So you write an article, in which you put a link to another blogger’s article, and then the other blogger’s article will create an automatic link in it’s comments section back to your article. Pretty cool huh :-) ?

C.

Link Exchanges: The next method of link building is via link exchanges. Here you essentially email other websites and request a link exchange with them. Many webmasters will be willing, but the larger ones you may need to wait for until you have some page rank yourself before trying. For pure blogs, you make this exchange via using your blogroll.

D.

Blog Carnivals: You can use Blog Carnivals to get links to your articles as well. Here you essentially submit your articles to “Link Carnivals” that other bloggers hold. These carnivals collect links to other blogger’s articles on particular topics. So you can submit your article links to such carnivals and this is done at the following website: www.blogcarnival.com.

E.

Forums: 

Similar to comments you can also get links via making posting on forums, social networking sites and discussion boards. Often here your signature or profile can contain a link to you site, or you can put links in when you leave your message. Some forums may require you to leave a minimum number of posts before you can put links in your message.

3. Article Directories: 

Article directories are large repositories of articles that writers can submit which owners of websites and e-zines can use as free content. Essentially, the key here is to have links to your website and articles in the Author Resource area that is allowed for the articles you submit. What happens as a result of this is, that you get a link back from the article repository itself and you get a link whenever the article is used by other webmasters. The agreement of course that webmasters have with the article repositories is that they must keep your Author Resource intact when they use your article.

4. Miscellaneous Methods: 

In addition to the above well-established methods there are also many other miscellaneous methods that can be used to get back links. Here is a list of such methods.

A.

Press Releases: Here you do a press release, which sends your information to various online media agencies, thus earning you exposure and back links.

B.

Social Bookmarking: Google is now index links on sites like Twitter, so that is another way to get backlinks.

C.

Profile Pages: Also, links on your YouTube profile page or Squidoo Lens page is a way to get backlinks as well.

So there you have a lot of detailed information on how to build your website and how to optimize it for search engines. As I mentioned having a high traffic website, will go a long way in helping you create a successful yoga or meditation business and attract clients and additional income.