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Online Yoga Industry
by Dr. William Sen | CEO and founder of blue media

Online Yoga Industry Declining in the US

And Yet Opportunities Are Still Missed

Contrary to the general belief, the Online Yoga business in the U.S. market is not increasing but decreasing.

The BLUE MEDIA SEM/SEO team was approached by one of the large brick and mortar yoga businesses to conduct a research: the goal was to determine either it was worthwhile to diversify to online yoga by providing online yoga videos with subscription plans. The results were astonishing. Although the interest and subscriptions were in decline overall for online yoga, the current market players such The Yoga Collective, Ekhart Yoga, Gaia, My Yoga Works, Yogaglo, and many more seem not to be able to fully capture the U.S. market, yet alone the international market. Basically they were only able to capture 21.1% of the U.S. traffic and leaving a huge door open for second movers to strip off the target audience.

A Word on Brick & Mortar Yoga Studios

Let’s talk about the yoga business including brick and mortar locations first: The yoga market overall is more competitive than ever before. The bounce rates are getting higher as many customers want to try out the other yoga studios. It seems, there is a yoga studio everywhere. The user finds its local yoga studio when it conducts a search on Google. Our research revealed that less than 5% of the yoga studios actually utilize the GEO Location intelligence Google is offering since September 2016 (we talked about this in our article “How to Implement a GEO Funnel to a Website“). This feature allows local businesses to be visible depending of the location of the user. However, if you the business doesn’t utilize the GEO funnel on the website, no matter how hard the user tries – the yoga studio won’t be visible – this is where most studios lose and the competitor wins.

Different Typologies of Online Yoga Business

They are different type of online yoga businesses in the U.S. market.

  1. Diversified Yoga Studios
    Online Yoga Studios which have diversified their business to online video section. It is a promising strategy as these studios already have a place to film, qualified teachers, and the knowledge to provide high-quality videos.
  2. Online Yoga Only
    Websites providing only online yoga such as The Yoga Collective, Ekhart Yoga, Gaia, My Yoga Works, Yogaglo. That includes websites that also offer free online yoga videos such as DoYogaWithMe
  3. Online Fitness Businesses with Online Yoga
    Businesses where online yoga is only one of many deals among online pilates, weight loss exercises etc. such as Cody and BooyaFitness.
  4. YouTube Channels
    Monetized online Yoga Video channels through YouTube mostly ran by individuals with a high monthly revenue trough AdSense such as Yoga With Adriene, usually with more than a million subscribers.

Is the Online Yoga Business Increasing?

The Yoga Alliance has released a study in 2016 saying that Yoga Equipment and accessories rose from $6 to $16 billion over the past four years. 30% of Americans assumable say, they are likely to try yoga for the first time in the next 12 months – that’s 80 million Americans. One of the problems about this study is that it talks about 2012 to 2016 and it’s not one up-to-date anymore. However, the yoga industry changes quite fast. The other problem is that the study doesn’t consider or talks about online yoga, which should also include the user behavior, user interest based on their search and and the search engine visibility of yoga studios.

When we look at the online yoga business, it doesn’t so well after all:

Online Yoga Market Decline

Worldwide the interest online for yoga is in decline 5.7%. Europa by the way is neither declining nor increasing – let’s have a quick look on the the two biggest markets in Europe: Germany is at about 2% increase, and UK is about 1% decline. When we look at other strong English spoken countries: Canada is is at about 60% decline.

And unfortunately, the main target audience United States, has lost 46% of interest when it comes to online yoga in the past 5 years.

Research on Online Yoga 

Our Search Engine Visibility Research 2017 reveals that the big players such as Yoga Download, So Much Yoga, The Yoga Collective, Yoga With Adriene, and My Yoga Works have only be able to achieve 21% of the Google visibility. That means, 78.9% of keyword opportunities and user demand is still not being fulfilled. Also, the SEO market has a yearly potential of $14.7 M, while all players have so far be able to cover only $3.1 million (not considered gaia.com):

Online Yoga Market

Let me also explain what SEO value means. If you were to spend Google AdWords for the keywords you are ranking organically, you would have to spend $243,000 – this is what the website is worth per year from an SEO perspective. The Search Volume is the number of search volume these players capture every year from the Google Result Pages.

The market worth overall is 14 million dollars. And if we sum up all the competition, only $3,1 million are being utilized at the moment.

What does this mean? It means that a potential user looking for Online Yoga actually doesn’t find what it’s looking for, because the Online Yoga Websites don’t have enough visibility on the web for these competitors. Around 80% of the users are being directed to magazines, forums, blogs, social media, YouTube videos, and many more other sides rather than getting enough offers from these online yoga businesses.

The war for audiences

The problem in the Online Yoga market is, every player is fighting for what’s left and new markets and audiences are not coming in anymore. They are only about 500 top Tier 1 keywords in the online yoga business. 

What needs to be done

If these market players were to capture more traffic and interest from the users, a holistic online marketing approach with a bigger SEO inclusion is needed. A holistic approach means, that no matter which campaign within a marketing effort is being triggered – blog post, facebook post – it has to be scaled with a defined process – so every marketing channel of a company can benefits from each other.

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CATEGORIES Search Engine Marketing Search Engine Optimization
About the Author
ABOUT THE AUTHOR Dr. William Sen CEO and founder of blue media

William Sen has been an SEO since 2001 and is a Software Engineer since 1996, and has been working as an Associate Professor in Germany for the University of Dusseldorf and Cologne. He has been involved in developing custom SEO tools, large website and software projects. William has a PhD in Information Sciences and has worked for brands such as Expedia, Pricewaterhouse Coopers, Bayer, Ford, T-Mobile and many more. He is the founder of blue media.

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