SEO for Hairdressers
Traditionally, beauty salons and hairdressers would rely on passing traffic and local word of mouth for their business. Recently, the business has become ever more competitive; an easy level of entry to this marketplace has meant there are new treatment centres and hair salons opening every single week, maintaining a constant squeeze on established businesses. It is now becoming normal practice for beauty salons, treatment rooms and hairdressers to have their own website, and the investment and time required to set up your website indicates that you have identified the value of being online. However, most salons leave it at this, and do very little to promote their site online, with very few investing in SEO for hairdressers.
Bearing in mind that nearly 70% of all purchasing decisions start with a search online, it is absolutely vital for the long term success of your business that you do all that you can to achieve a high position in the search results, and that the search terms you do appear for are of value to you. Continuing our series on SEO for industry, today’s article will focus purely on SEO for hairdressers and should give you a very good introduction to what you can do to attain a higher ranking on the search terms that will make a difference to your business.
SEO for Hairdressers – Claim your property!
Before you go ANY further, the most important things you can do to enhance your online presence are to claim your pages on the local search pages in Google, Yahoo, Bing and (if one exists) FaceBook. It is vital that you use the EXACT same information on all of these sites, and that each of them contain a link to your own website. What this does is firstly it protects you from rivals claiming your business pages, but secondly (and more importantly), it allows you to establish credibility. Finally it also allows you to start getting some incoming links to your site. These links will form the backbone of your SEO for hairdressers strategy, each link acting as a signpost to your business for the search engines to follow. Needless to say, if you would like help claiming your Google places listing (or on any of the other search engines or FaceBook), or would like more advice regarding SEO for hairdressers, then please do not hesitate to contact us.
To understand the importance of claiming these web properties for your business, it is important to appreciate the way in which your customers are using the internet. Smartphones are now incredibly prevalent, and the results of local place listings feed directly in to the results that people find whilst they are on the move. Using the Google Maps app on an iPhone, if I were to plot a route to ‘Hairdressers, Ipswich’, Google Maps immediately sends me about 0.6 miles north to Old Foundry Road. If you know Ipswich, you will know that the town centre has a large number of hairdressers – in fact there is one 4 doors away from our office, and you might assume that Google Maps would send me to one of these. Alternatively, you may presume that a large chain like Toni & Guy (who are in the town centre and closer than the option delivered to us) – who also have the marketing budget for a dedicated and ongoing SEO for hairdressers campaign. However, instead of any of these possibilities, I am sent to John Oliver’s on Great Colman Street. Does this mean that they have invested thousands into their SEO for Hairdressers?
This might seem like very strange behaviour on the part of Google Maps, but if we look at WHY this particular hairdressers has achieved this result, then we can begin to understand ways in which your own business can benefit and generate extra custom. Firstly, John Oliver’s has claimed their Google places page – they have taken control of their own listing – as well as on a huge number of local directory sites. This, by itself, has ensured that they are able to attract local walk in visitors. However, if they were also to actively encourage their visitors to use online review sites to leave feedback on their experiences, then this also feeds into the Maps algorithm and allows small businesses to compete on a level playing field with their bigger competitors. Because each individual location is treated as a separate entity when it comes to reviews rankings, a salon which is consistently getting good feedback on its service will be rewarded with a higher ranking on Google Maps – and, as an indirect by product, it will also get higher rankings on natural search results as well.
A winning start to your SEO for Hairdressers
So, you should now have a very simple hitlist of things you can do to increase your website and business visibility online:
- Claim (or setup) your business page on Google Places
- Claim (or setup) your business page on Yahoo! Local
- Claim (or setup) your business page on Bing Business (N.B. Bing Business is not yet live in the UK, but should be coming VERY soon)
- Claim (or setup) your business page on FaceBook
- Register your business in any and all (preferably FREE) online local directories you can find
- Claim your business page on Qype, welovelocal and touchlocal
- Actively encourage your customers to leave reviews on these sites.
- Respond to customer feedback – this shows that you care about your customers (and also allows you to add more content to their reviews)
Doing all of the above should take you less than a few hours, but will deliver clients to you for many months to come. If you would like to take your SEO for hairdressers to the next level, or would like assistance completing the above points, please drop us a line.