Search Engine Optimization (S.E.O.) is an online marketing tactic to improve a website's position within a search. Which doesn't really seem necessary for clients who know and love your salon now does it?
However, think of the swing clients, or fresh, new clients who have just moved to the area. When they search "Hair Salon Madison, WI" or "Hair Cuts L.A." you want to be the at the top of that Google search result! Think of it as similar to top of mind awareness for your salon...in today's world Google does much of our thinking for us, so if your salon is at the top of Google's mind, you're at the top of the clients mind as well.
Now, S.E.O. is not the simplest of topics to understand, so I'll just scratch the surface of the deep wide world of S.E.O, but I'll give you a little fuel to start your fire.
There are two main categories to explain S.E.O. organic and paid.
Having good organic S.E.O will result in your salon ranking in the top of a Google search for your salon name, or services in your area. You can also manage what search terms that you would like to rank high for and cater your S.E.O. to those terms as well.
For example: If you searched Modern Salon in a Google search, Modern Salon magazine is the very first result. Organic search results are based on something called the Google Algorithm, which is an equation that decides what order the search results will appear in. The equation is filled out by robots that search the web for "answers" to your Google search questions.
Recently Google changed its algorithm to a more human experience. Now the algorithm is said to preference content rich sites that provide answers, facts, and fresh new information. Search Engines also look for important, legitimate sites to link back to your site as a source. The more outreach to other sites, the higher you will climb on the search ladder.
Search engines also value social media. Social media will help your search because your content will be constantly updated, and full of the keywords that make you important to the salon industry.
Paid search results are not completely considered search engine optimization, but it is a way to better your search rankings. To do this, search for websites by keywords. Then when a user searches that keyword, a paid website will appear at the very top of the search in the yellow boxes, or on the side of the organic search listings.
Because S.E.O. can be an overwhelming and confusing concept there are many agencies that specialize in getting your page to the top of Google search. However, if your salon does not have the budget for a fancy professional strategy, there are some best-practice do-it-yourself options that anyone can tackle.