Entrepreneur Erica Robinson is in the process of marketing her Harlem-based yoga studio, Asali Yoga. She has a Facebook page, a Twitter account, an e-mail newsletter, and even credits Groupon with helping her attract customers to her studio. But none of that information is on her current home page.
She realized that a more professional website was needed, but she was concerned that her existing customers liked the simplicity of her site and didn’t want to lose that.
Maisha Walker, a 17-year small business Internet marketing strategist, reviewed www.asaliyoga.com and thought that though it had great potential, it focused too much on what her existing customers were used to (even to the point where it hurt the brand).
“The site has potential to serve old customers and attract the new customers Asali needs to grow,” says Walker, who also founded Message Medium, a website design, development, optimization, and Internet marketing firm.
Here’s how Walker helped Robinson transform her site into a customer attraction tool in just one week.
1. No logo = less trust The lack of a logo and unappealing images make the site seem less professional, which in turn makes it harder to connect with new customers. Compelling images can be the most powerful elements of your website when used properly.
2. Blog-style layout & navigation One of the biggest problems with a blog style layout is that there are so many links on the left sidebar that at first glance it’s a little overwhelming.
3. Text heavy This is a very easy mistake especially for do-it-yourself Web builders, says Walker. “Don’t underestimate the importance of the ‘less is more’ rule. If you have a lot you need to say, break it up with images, bullets, and headings.
4. Hidden resources Your home page is prime real estate for directing visitors where they need and want to go. There are many items within this business that visitors should know about, but the retreat takes up the entire home page.
5. Static URL When you click on the different pages of the site, the URL www.asaliyoga.com never changes. For example, if you visit the “Classes Page” instead of www.asaliyoga.com/classes/ you get just www.asaliyoga.com. This is terrible for SEO (search engine optimization), but it also means your visitors can never bookmark or share a page.
1. Better logo Message Medium created a horizontal version of Robinson’s existing logo. Consider vertical and horizontal versions, as well as color and black & white, for different spaces and formats.
2. Simpler navigation The new navigation can be read easily. It is also separated into categories with drop down menus. This way visitors can choose the category they want and then see more detail.
3. Less text All non-essential text was eliminated on the home page and replaced with enticing images.
4. Hard-working home page The slideshow design features three to five rotating images. Each section has a call to action, directing the visitor to a separate page for the details they need.
5. More visibility The static URL was fixed; now each page has a unique identifier. The location of Robinson’s studio and links to Asali Yoga’s Twitter and Facebook pages are prominent in the header. Now her fans and future customers can easily find and connect with her whether they’re in the Big Apple or halfway around the world!