Your website and online listings are living digital tools that promote your business to potential new customers every day. To optimize your online presence and continuously drive traffic to your salon, understand how Search Engine Optimization (SEO) work is important.
We know SEO can be an overwhelming topic, so we chatted with Imaginary Marketing, who has created SEO-optimized sites for hundreds of salons that rank on the first page of Google. Here, Lauren BakosDirector of Creative Strategy at IM, shares proven best practices for creating and maintaining a successful optimized site and localized SEO presence.
3 ways to get to the first page
“First of all, it’s good to understand that there are 3 types of search results,” says Bakos. “There is paid referencing (ads), local referencing (the map or Google 3-Pack) and organic referencing (lists under the ads). Ads are obviously paid for and often discredited by consumers. local and organic. Organic is all about your website. Local is about your online presence elsewhere.”
Getting and staying on the first page of Google search results takes consistency and dedication, Bakos says. It will take time to improve the quality and quantity of content on your site, but it is necessary.
91.5% of Internet users who search on Google do not scroll past the first page.
Not sure how your living room is doing? Google “hair salon near me” or “best salon near me” to find out.
(Be sure to use the Google Preview Tool for unbiased search results.)
Once you’ve figured out where you stand, it’s time to focus on improvements. Bakos breaks it down into three main points: how your site looks on the web (on sites like Google Business Profiles, Yelp, Facebook, etc.), how your site is constructed, and your site content.
1. ACCESS THE MAP
Focus on local search first. Google reports that 46% of searches have local intent (people searching in a city or “near me”), so showing up for them is crucial to attracting new guests to your seats.
“The most important piece of the puzzle to landing on the map is ensuring your business is properly represented on Google. Google Business Profiles are responsible for 25% of the algorithm to access Google Mapsays Bakos.
Other sites also count towards the 3-Pack. Claim your business everywhere – on Yelp, Google Biz, Facebook, etc. With just one click, most sites will guide you through the claims process for your business.
While making a claim, make sure your name, address, and phone number match EXACTLY wherever your business is listed. Are you at 1244 Highway One? Then you should never be listed as 1244 Hwy 1. Consistency is key and helps you build credibility on Google.
You also have opportunities when it comes to other businesses.
“Every time someone else links to your site, it gives you credibility,” says Bakos. “Start with the big fish – find the top sites to point to your site. This will help build your rankings.
For example, if you are a member of a mall, make sure your salon is listed and linked to your website. Member of the Chamber of Commerce? Get a link on their site, too. And if you receive press, ask that your site be linked to your mention.
If you’re partnering with another local business to raise funds, ask them to add a link and do the same for them. Cross-promotion also works with your product and tool manufacturers. Find out if they have a salon locator and ask to be listed.
2. BUILD A BETTER SITE
“Before Covid, 70% of salon traffic was new visitors. After Covid, 95% of traffic to salon and spa sites are new visitors.”
The way your site is built is the first step to improving your organic ranking on Google. Do you have modern design and technology? Is your site responsive on all devices?
“Coding and technology are changing rapidly,” says Bakos. “You should consider getting a new site or updating it every three years. Be sure to do an audit, talk to developers, and make sure your site meets everything Google is doing right now.
And if you’re not mobile-friendly, you’re not in the game. 65-70% of site traffic is on mobile devices—Google will penalize you if your site doesn’t work on phones and tablets.
You should also test the speed of your site (test it here for free). Bakos says, “You’ll be penalized for being slow: the faster your site, the better. Compress images and videos for web compatibility before publishing. »
3. KEEP YOUR CONTENT FRESH
Fresh and regular new content helps your site rank well. “If Google sees that nothing changes on your site, it will think your site is irrelevant,” Bakos says.
But once you’ve established your service menu, “about” page, stylist biographies, booking, etc., little changes on a weekly or monthly basis.
Enter the blog.
“You should blog regularly, at least once a month, but more is better,” says Bakos. “Use keywords in titles, rename images, and use strategic topics.”
For blog topics, tap into your areas of expertise such as balayage, men’s cuts, curly hair, bridal, etc. Don’t forget to include keywords like “Chicago Aveda salon” or “best salon in Chicago.”
Keywords can also solve problems such as “gray blanket” or “frizzy hair”.
Bakos suggests that your team write down the most asked questions from customers and then answer those questions in blogs.
“And every file you upload should be named with relevant keywords, including photos, videos and downloads, like a PDF of your service menu,” she adds. “Google can’t read an image, just the image name, so it’s important to rename these files with keywords.”
WHAT ABOUT SOCIAL MEDIA?
WHAT ABOUT SOCIAL MEDIA?
Posting on social media platforms and linking to your site is good for your SEO.
Bakos says more is better on Instagram – post once a day or more if you can. On Facebook, she recommends three to five times a week. “But you’ll have to boost every Facebook post,” she says. “The more people who see it, the more believable the post.”
And don’t let your stylists in their twenties convince you that Facebook is a thing of the past. It is very much alive with women aged 35 and over, who constitute the salons’ privileged clientele.
“There are things Facebook can do with advertising and boosted posts that Instagram can’t,” Bakos says. “Facebook is still relevant.”
“A lot of salons don’t have the time, energy, or expertise to spend on SEO. In some markets, it’s easy to get to the first page very quickly because no one else is trying.”
Use these tips and tools to launch your site to the top, and remember: never stop blogging!
Feeling overwhelmed? These tools will help you get started.
- Analytic: Visit analytics.google.com to make sure analytics are installed on your site. Then, see what your audience is doing and set benchmarks for growth.
- Mobile friendly: Check and see how mobile-friendly your site is here.
- Listing preview: Click here to preview a page of Google search results and see if your ads appear. Bonus: you’ll be able to see the top performers in your market when you use the ad preview tool.
- Need help? Contact Imaginative Marketing.
This article originally appeared on AvedaMeansBusiness.com. Visit the site for additional helpful information on running the salon’s affairs.
To learn more about SEO, check out these articles:
Strategies to Boost Your Salon’s Video SEO
How to make your website a customer magnet
How the Shutdown May Have Affected Your Google Rankings
For reprint and license requests for this article, Click here.