In addition to encapsulating nuggets of info on the blog and linking it to the full story on other websites as Mae does, you should look to link to professional websites with interesting fashion and beauty information that enhance your blog.
“For example, I recently started featuring a new straightening service and I linked my blog to the manufacturer’s site, which gives more detailed information,” Suttles says. “Those who are interested can click through for more info, while those who aren’t can continue on with the blog.”
But there’s another important reason to link, stresses Butera. “Links are like a vote of confidence and search engines rate a site as more valuable when it has more links. While you don’t want to go overboard with it, you also can create a personal blog on a social site like MySpace.com or Facebook.com and link that back to your salon blog.”
Just as a magazine article is more exciting with stimulating photos, graphics and type treatment, blogs are better with some added visual impact. Blogging services help by providing visually interesting formats and making it easy to import your own images. For example, Mae recently blogged about a professional class she and a coworker taught at a beauty show and included images from the show. Suttles maintains a separate blog on his website just to show published work of the Noland Suttles staff.
Here’s another perk of using photos—and even videos: Butera it can help readers find your blog more easily through a search engine than using words alone.
You can put your message out there, but how do you know anyone’s reading it? Most blogging services offer methods by which you can measure visitor traffic.
Mae reports she’s had 27,000 hits to her blog, and while she gathers readers from all over, the majority are clustered in her area. She also knows the most popular search phrase leading readers to her was “hair color trends” and “how to curl hair with a flatiron.” Suttles also says thousands have visited his blog, and the highest average time spend on his blog was nine minutes.
You can supplement this information with internal measures to determine what impact the blog is having on your salon. Daili asks every new client how they heard about the salon. She was pleased to discover that of the clients who were not referred by another client, 80 percent found the salon through the blog. A coupon incorporated onto the blog offering 10 percent off any salon service also helps the salon track impact.