Yoga Industry in the U.S.
Yoga Industry Research 2019: Opportunities and Risks
by Dr. William Sen
Recently, one of the physical yoga businesses engaged the services of the BLUE MEDIA Marketing team to carry out a research. The goal of the research was to check if it would be wise to take their business online by introducing yoga videos with online subscriptions.
The results we found from the research are quite interesting. The truth is the general interest in online yoga and the subscriptions have been on a steady decline. In fact, yoga outfits operating on the internet such as The Yoga Collective, Ekhart Yoga, Gaia, My Yoga Works, Yogaglo, and others were not able to fully penetrate the U.S. market.
The statistics showed that the top players in the online yoga industry were able to capture only a little above 20% of the entire demand and traffic that exists for yoga videos. There is a huge opportunity out there for outfits with better strategies to reach and engage a huge chunk of this traffic.
Yoga Studios in the U.S.
Yoga practice is a physical sport, but just like other businesses, yoga businesses leveraged the internet as a tool to reach more people beyond their physical location.
The yoga business is a very competitive business and the competition is growing as each month passes. While it is difficult to get new yoga customers, existing yoga customers are leaving one studio for the other. And if you look around you, you will find a yoga studio almost on every corner in every city in the United States as of 2019.
What we noticed however, is that a very significant chunk of these online yoga studios are not using GEO Location intelligence on their websites, even though Google has made this feature available since September 2016 — this feature was extensively described in our article “How to Implement a GEO Funnel to a Website“).
The GEO Location feature can be used to show businesses in the Google search results to users. Without this, users cannot find the business, and in this case, they cannot find the yoga studio online.
Types of Online Yoga Businesses
Various online yoga businesses operate in the U.S. Let us examine them below:
- Expanded Yoga Studios
These are examples of Yoga Studios that have taken a part of their business online and they offer classes in online videos. They already have a physical place where they film with qualified yoga teachers. Their videos produced are usually high-quality videos.
- Online Yoga Only Studios
This category of websites engages clients online alone: there are many examples of such studios and they include The Yoga Collective, Ekhart Yoga, Gaia, My Yoga Works, and Yogaglo. Some websites offer free online yoga sessions such as DoYogaWithMe.
- Online Fitness Businesses and Online Yoga
These Businesses incorporate online yoga and other fitness trainings such as online Pilates, weight loss exercises and many more. Examples are Cody and BooyaFitness.
- YouTube Channels
Yoga is also taught online in YouTube channels, which are also money streams for the people managing the channels. They make all the money mostly through Google AdSense. Examples are Yoga With Adriene, a channel that has over one million subscribers.
The Truth about the Online Yoga Business
A study released by the Yoga Alliance in 2016 showed that Yoga Equipment and accessories sales shot up from $6 billion to $16 billion from 2012 to 2016. Statistics also showed that 30% of Americans would agree that there are chances they could have their first yoga experience within the next 12 months — that 30% amounts to 80 million Americans.
As it is 2019, a lot has happened since 2016. And the yoga industry has shown that it is highly dynamic. The Yoga Alliance study however did discover online yoga and user behavior, interests, and the presence of yoga studios on Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs).
This is what we found about the online yoga business:
Around the world, the interest in yoga is declining by 5.7% as of 2019.
The figures we gathered for Europe showed that it is not decreasing or increasing.
The examples of the two giant markets in Europe confirms this. In Germany, there is an increase of 2%, while the UK’s decline is around 1%. For other English-speaking countries besides the U.S., Canada showed a decline rate of even 60%.
The United States, which was the focus of our research, returned a decline rate of 46% as of 2019.
Online Yoga Research Results
When we checked for Search Engine Visibility, it showed us that the likes of Yoga Download, So Much Yoga, The Yoga Collective, Yoga With Adriene, and My Yoga Works, which are big names in the industry, only take up about 21% of the visibility in regards of Yoga on Google.
This leaves us with an unfulfilled chunk of nearly 80% search inquiries not being utilized.
The demand is there but there are no body to answer their demands. The entire SEO market was capped at $14.7 million, but all the big players combined could only account for $3.1 million (excluding gaia.com):
This is what the SEO value means. Suppose you decide to spend on Google Ads for the keywords and you want to rank organically, your budget will be exactly $243,000 — this is the website’s annual SEO value. That’s the entire search volume captured by these players annually on Google.
Out of the 14 million dollars’ worth of the market, including all the players, the entire reach is only utilizing $3.1 million.
This means that when users search for Online Yoga, they would not find useful information because the Online Yoga websites are not readily present on the web.
The users end up being directed to other yoga competition with presence on the internet such as yoga magazines, yoga forums, yoga related blogs, social media, YouTube videos, and several other sources.
Struggle and Fight for Audiences
Within the online Yoga landscape, the online yoga shops have resorted to struggle for the scrapes. Since they are not getting new visitors, there is a big struggle for the existing visitors. This is in fact difficult because the yoga business has only about 500 keywords that can be used to influence searches.
What Should Be Done?
These online yoga operators need to attract a significant portion of the online yoga traffic that is still out there and is not being utilized.
Whether it be a blog post, a better website content strategy, the entire marketing must be embedded in a thorough SEO strategy tailored to the Yoga Business.
If you want to know more about Yoga SEO, contact BLUE MEDIA.
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