At the start of the year, SALON TODAY published a blog post that offers guidance on writing your salon’s marketing plan. It shares the importance of setting business goals and then determining the marketing tactics that can help achieve them.
That’s sage advice; for any company to succeed, its business objectives and marketing strategy must have alignment.
Like many spas and salons, you likely have increased sales and revenue on your list of goals. To accomplish that growth, you will need your marketing efforts focused on attracting new clients and helping your business stand out from the competition.
Many factors affect your business's ability to do those things, including the visibility of your business online. Building a robust online presence is critical for strengthening your brand. Search engine optimization (SEO), although considered by many as one of the less appealing aspects of marketing, is a critical piece of the equation.
3 SEO Tips to Help Your Salon Attract Attention Online
SEO is a complicated discipline that often requires the assistance of experts to ensure your efforts advance rather than set back your company’s placement in online searches. However, you can help improve your business’s visibility online by taking a few steps on your own.
Pay Attention to Online Directories and Review Websites Make sure your salon is in all the right places on the Internet. Having a presence on Yelp, Citysearch, TripAdvisor, salon and spa industry directories, and local travel and tourism directories will help people looking for your services find you. Often, online directory and review websites rank higher in Google search results than salons’ websites. Also, secure your business listing on Google My Business. According to Google, “Providing and updating business information in Google My Business can help your business’s local ranking on Google and enhance your presence in Search and Maps.”
The online reviews that your guests write about your salon can also help your business website appear more prominently in search results. The 2017 Local Search Ranking Factors survey by Moz shows online reviews are among the top factors that influence a website’s ranking. Provided you’re not violating a review site’s terms of service, consider encouraging customers to write honest reviews of their experience at your salon. Yelp prohibits businesses from asking for reviews, but other websites may allow it as long as you follow their rules.
Bonus tip: Wherever your business appears online, make sure your company name, address and phone number (NAP) details are consistent and accurate. SEO experts that specialize in local SEO believe Google uses that information to assess if a business is legitimate. If your NAP info lacks consistency across the Web, you run the risk that Google might show incorrect information or exclude your business from search results.
Embrace the Beauty of Social Media
If your salon is social savvy, you can improve its visibility and expand your audience.
The 2017 Moz survey I mentioned earlier also found social signals to be one of the top search ranking factors. Therefore, the more active and engaged you are on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Google+ and other social media platforms, the more you’ll improve your chances of getting found online.
Social media activity provides another potential SEO boost, as well. When you post consistently and interact with your followers, they are more likely to see and share your content. That can lead to valuable virtual word of mouth and generate more traffic to your website.
Make Sure Your Website Is More Than Just Good-Looking
Follow on-page SEO best practices to help search engines understand what your web pages are about, and determine whether they will prove helpful to people conducting online searches
- Use keywords and phrases (in your titles, headers, text body and image alt tags) that people are likely to use in their online searches for salon services. You can do some keyword research on your own by using tools such as Google AdWords Keyword Planner, SEMrush’s Keyword Research tool and Moz Keyword Explorer.
- Format content to provide a logical hierarchy of information by appropriately using headings (H1, H2, H3, etc.), bullet points and numbered lists.
- Link to other pages of your site when they will help website visitors by providing additional relevant information.
- Write interesting meta descriptions that contain your target keywords.
Where to Learn More
For the latest updates on search engine optimization, add blogs Search Engine Journal, Moz and Yoast to your reading list. It's vital that any SEO efforts you take into your own hands follow current best practices. Otherwise, the results can be less than attractive for your business's online performance. To ensure you're on the right path, consider enlisting the help of a reliable SEO professional or firm for assistance.
Dawn Mentzer is a contributing writer for Straight North, one of the leading Internet marketing firms in Chicago that provides SEO, PPC and web design services. As a solopreneur and freelance writer, she specializes in marketing content — and collaborates with clients nationally and globally.