Yoga Enterprise

How to improve search for small businesses: Get specific

In terms of small businesses, of course, no one “won” the pandemic, but if anyone could adjust to the times, it was YouTube Yoga Sensation, Adriene Mishler, the woman behind “Yoga With Adriene”.

How Adriene exploded her online yoga business is an amazing success story for several reasons, but three stand out in particular:

  1. She did it organic, that is, she didn’t use paid advertising.
  2. In the end, she made money.
  3. She helped her audience with this.

All of this goes hand in hand, of course; But what I really love is that their strategy was so simple that any of us can do it.

I first became aware of Adriene about a year ago when we went into quarantine.

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Like so many others, I was nervous about my business, nervous about the future, ate too much, and was generally inappropriate. Then my eldest daughter told me about Adrienne’s “30-day yoga trip” on YouTube. Given that the yoga studio I had gone to had just closed (and little we knew it would be final at some point), a home yoga challenge sounded perfect.

And it was.

Like so many others, I loved Adriene’s friendly and knowledgeable delivery. Her classes were like a breath of fresh air when fresh air was so badly needed.

Adriene had been growing her online yoga empire for some time before the pandemic, but it was really picking up speed in 2020. The pandemic appeared to cement her status as a go-to person for online yoga.

It was not always like that.

Adriene and her business partner Chris Sharpe started posting their free yoga classes on YouTube in 2012 and their fan base grew slowly and methodically.

To speed things up, they decided to find out how YouTubers actually looked for yoga classes.

What they learned was instructive – for them and us.

It found that people weren’t looking for “free yoga” or “online yoga” or other similar general terms (as you might have thought, as I had thought). Instead, her yoga searches were much more specific:

  • “Yoga for Weight Loss”
  • “Yoga against back pain”
  • “Yoga for Seniors”

The light went on and Adriene got to work. She began creating, recording, publishing, and tagging yoga classes on much more specific topics. When people are looking for such yoga courses, Adriene’s free courses will of course appear and be clicked.

Yoga With Adriene had surpassed the 200,000 subscriber mark by 2016, creating a turning point. Within a few years, her channel passed the 2 million subscriber mark. Your most popular class has now been viewed more than 30 million times.

And today? Today, after the pandemic, Yoga With Adriene has nearly 10 million subscribers.

The lesson is important to anyone working to get clicks online. Instead of creating generic content and headings, look up what your tribe is really looking for (Google’s keyword planning tools can help you), then create specific content and headings that answer those specific queries.

And I bet if you do you will be giving your own sun salutation shortly.

Steve Strauss is a lawyer, public speaker, and author of 17 books, including The Small Business Bible. You can learn more about Steve at, get more tips on his website TheSelfEmployed, and connect with him on Twitter @SteveStrauss and on Facebook at TheSelfEmployed.

The views and opinions expressed in this column are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of the US TODAY.

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