What can salons do to rank on page 1 of Google?

In the time that we are living in, it can be tough for salons to attract new clients. While referrals still play an important role in bringing in clients, an increasing number of prospects are nowadays searching for salon services online. In fact, there are more than 4,600,000 online searches for hair salons in the US.

Whether someone is on their phone looking for a eyelash extensions closest to them, or searching from their computer for the best balayage in the city, people are using Google to fill their beauty needs. It is therefore a MUST to optimize your website in order to appear on the first page of Google search results.

The only challenge is that you have to take into account several factors to improve your rankings. In this complete local SEO guide for salons, we go over exactly what you need to do (with examples) to increase website traffic and leads for your beauty salon. We’ll be learning about how Google works, how to identify digital marketing ideas, and how to get more salon customers.

It doesn’t matter if you’re a hairdresser, nail technician, or other aesthetician — the salon SEO strategies I’ll share with you today work just as well for tanning salons, hair salons, nail salons, barbershops, wellness spa, or other beauty salons.

Have a website

The first stage to increase your search engine presence is to have a website. This is the place where most of your prospects will check information about your business — so if you don’t already have a website, you need to get one ASAP. I know there’s been some talk regarding if salon’s really need a website or if it’s enough to have a booking site. But if you’re trying to rank in Google, there’s no question you need a website today to build your visibility.

Luckily, it’s super easy (and affordable) to create a website nowadays. If you have the money, you can of course get someone *cough*me*cough* to setup a website for you with unique branding and is SEO-optimized. However, given the low cost of website builders available for salons today you can easily create one yourself.

If you want to try to diy your website, I highly recommend Squarespace or Showit, both which will allow for drag and drop customizations. If you’d rather purchase a template where you’d simply swap out the images, try Envato’s template for salons using WordPress.

Install Google Analytics & Google Search Console

The only sustainable way to understand how your site is performing is to track the results. I always recommend using both Google Analytics and Google Search Console to measure the success of your SEO. If you are just using one over the other, you might not see the whole picture. But with the two linked, you can use queries to find out the pages you want to rank for or even the opportunities for improvement. GSC tells you the keywords that your customers are using to find you and how they are ranking on Google. On the other hand, GA collects information from the clickstream; it tracks on-site metrics. 

If you’re looking for an easy way to setup Google Analytics & Google Search Console for your website (and you’re on WordPress) try the Google Site Kit plugin. All you have to do is login and it’ll do the rest for you. No need to mess with your template coding!

Make sure your website is mobile-optimized

Today, the majority of people are using their smart phones when browsing the web. Because of this, Google released Mobile-First indexing which ranks your website based on the mobile version, NOT the desktop version. So if Google see’s that your website is mobile friendly – meaning that it shrinks to a user’s screens – Google will push your salon’s website higher in the search result. If you wind up building your salon’s website using a reputable website builder, this will likely already be taken care of for you.

Have a speedy website

Did you know that 40% of consumers will leave immediately if it takes longer than three seconds to load? (source) Speed is not only important for user experience, but it also matters when it comes to searching engine rankings. Unfortunately lots of beauty websites are bogged down by huge images. Test your website with GTmetrix — this site will give you a list of images on your page that can be resized to a smaller, faster size. Once you’ve resized your images to no larger than you need them, optimize them with a plugin like ShortPixel to compress the image down further.

Make a list of keywords

Your “keyword list” is an important project to work on, and something you’ll refer to often with your search engine optimization. Since customers will find your salons using specific keywords, you must choose the ones that best represent your business.

seo for salons
Start your keyword research with Google’s autosuggest. It will give you alternative keyword suggestions similar to or more granular than the keyword you typed.

Your keywords could look something like “Hair dresser Portland”, “Hair stylists in the pearl” etc “Best facial SE Portland”, “The best facial in PDX” etc.

You could have about 2 – 3 foundational keyword phrases around each of your services to start with. These are the main search phrases that describe your salon. To build on this, try to be more granular by using long-tail keywords.

Need help with keyword research? Download my free SEO Starter Kit to learn which free tools you can use and how to ultimately pick the best keywords using keyword metrics.

Optimize your website using your keywords

Once you have a list of relevant keywords, you want to use them in the right places. Apart from using these keywords throughout your content, it is also good to have them in your page titles, alt tags, headers, and meta descriptions.

Keep the title no longer than 60 characters, otherwise it will get truncated in Google’s search results. And keep your important keywords in the beginning. A good starting point could be something like “Hair Salon & Color Specialists in Portland, OR | Twig Salon”.

Google deems what you included in the headers as important, so your keywords shouldn’t be missing there either. My On-Page SEO eBook goes over other key aspects to keep in mind such as keyword density and meta tag best practices.

Make sure your SERP listing looks good

Google’s search results consists of hundreds of SERP listings. You can improve your SERP listing’s click-through rate in this competitive space by utilizing your titles and meta descriptions. Try to keep important keywords in the beginning of your titles and try not to go over 60 characters. Your meta descriptions should act as a mini ad, so make sure they are engaging and don’t go over 155 characters.

seo for salons
GOOD: The title has some important geo-modifiers and keywords, and the meta description summarizes what the business is about within the recommended 155 characters.
seo for salons
BAD: The title isn’t being fully utilized with important keywords nor did they have a meta description, so it’s just pulling the text on their website.

Create a business blog and regularly write articles

Blogging regularly helps you stay connected with your audience, but it can also show Google that you’re creating relevant content. Google wants to see that your website is “active”, and blogs are a great way of doing this. Not only is blogging impactful for SEO purposes, but you can also repurpose it to use in other forms of your marketing. For example, you can share your new blogs with your email subscribers, include it in an Instagram story, or you can inform your followers with a post on Facebook.

What should you write about? Think about the most common questions you get asked and answer it in detail. If you need help generating questions, go to Answer The Public for 100s of questions people actually search for.

Hot Tip: A lot of these questions are important to answer on your service pages, but a blog can be a better format for more granular topics like “haircuts for older women”.

Google wants to see signals that your salon is located where you say it is, and a great way of showing this is by including your contact info on every page of your website. Putting your NAP in your footer is a great way to ensure that users (and Google) know your location. Name, Address, and Phone Number (NAP) are often overlooked by digital marketers, but they are incredibly useful for local SEO.

Make sure your NAP is consistent on directories

Besides, putting your NAP on your website’s footer, the next most important thing is to ensure that the information is accurate and consistent across all online platforms, including local directories. Keep an eye out for old businesses that were at your address, and mark them closed if you find any. You can either do a Google search for your business name and manually find where you’re listed, or you can run your website through a scanner like Moz Local that will find them for you.

Create a Yelp

Yelp is one of the most trusted review websites, so if you don’t have a profile on there yet, make one. If you are already on Yelp, claim your profile asap. To improve your chance of clients finding your salon, start optimizing your Yelp profile. In short, include all information in your listing, include a ton of beautiful client images, and respond to reviews.

portland salon yelp

Create a Google My Business

Google My Business is critical to all local businesses. In fact, it can be more important than email marketing, social media, and listing on directories. You see, most customers learn about a local business online more than anywhere else. And when a search query indicates the searcher is looking for a local business, Google will pull up 3 featured local businesses into their “Local Pack” – smack in the middle of the page. Through GMB, you can share photos of your services, provide business information, and interact with your customers by responding to reviews. I’ve seen GMB profiles generate 100’s of monthly website clicks, directions-to-business, and phone calls.

seo for salons

You can create or claim your salon’s Google My Business profile here.  

Get reviews from your clients

7% of your rankings in Google is determined by your reviews on Google, Yelp, and Facebook. Reviews help you in two major ways: reassure the search engine that you are a legitimate salon and helps convince your potential customers to try your services. While you may have profiles on several review sites, Google My Business reviews contribute the most to improving your local rankings. So, you should invite your satisfied customers to write a review on your Google My Business Page. 

Responding to your reviews, both good and bad, will also help build trust amongst viewers, making them more likely to book with you, and more likely to leave a review of their own.

Wrapping up on SEO for salons

There are many other methods you can adopt to improve your SEO rankings, but the above will give you the best results. Your beauty salon needs to be well optimized for local searches in order to rank on the first page. Hundreds of searchers are looking for a local hair salon, nail studio, or spray tan in their city. Will they find you?

Let’s recap the actions you can take to improve your website on Google:

  • Have a fast loading, mobile-responsive website
  • Mark up your website with keywords that people use when looking for a salon in your area
  • Ensure NAP details are cited consistently and correctly on directories
  • Claim your profiles on important directories like Yelp & Google My Business

What action will you take today… maybe start by registering for Google My Business?

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Our SEO Services for Salons:

We create websites for salons and execute SEO & content marketing plans that increase traffic and conversions.

Attracting website traffic can be a challenging task. Depending on where you are located or what services you offer, the necessary optimizations to your website will differ. Plus, you have to consider creating fresh, quality content to contribute to your blog. Writing great, authoritative content takes time.

But, it can be worth the investment to your salon with the right SEO strategy and content marketing strategy. Since Maita Marketing specializes in SEO for salons, we’ve research the industry more thoroughly than anyone else. We provide fool-proof plans for how to execute salon SEO and content strategy that drives more traffic, more qualified leads, and builds your brand authority.

Types of Salons We Can Help

  • Hair salons
  • Nail salons
  • Beauty salons
  • Spas
  • Tanning salons
  • Waxing and Hair Removal
  • Massage Services

Interested in learning more? Contact us today, and we’ll reach out to your with a general plan and quote — talk to you soon.

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