SEO, or search engine optimization, ensures that when potential clients type keywords into Google (or another search engine) that align with your salon’s services, your business appears high in their search results, helping you to stand out. We’ve made SEO easy for you by putting together this checklist to help improve your salon’s online performance, extend your reach and boost the number of successful connections with customers.
Provide current, relevant, and informative content
Content is king with SEO. Google wants to make sure content is educational, not salesy, and gives extra points for content that isn’t stale or outdated.
- Ensure that your content is relevant and of value to your salon’s customers. Your site can be the place to read all about this year’s hottest hair trends or popular nail art.
- Don’t limit yourself to a blog. Search algorithms prefer a variety of content types (for example, infographics, FAQs, videos and downloadable guides).
Make your website secure
- Work with your hosting provider to ensure your website is secured with the proper SSL certificate - otherwise known as https. Purchase a certificate through a reputable certificate provider such as godaddy.com, comodo.com or verisign.com. Often it’s easier to get an SSL certificate through your current hosting provider for a minimal cost. Https provides your customers the assurance that any information they are submitting to your website will not be intercepted by 3rd parties and is important in SEO ranking.
Keywords: Find your niche
- Select the most attainable keywords to use in content across your site.
- Conduct a little research to find what your local competitors are ranking for or to identify gaps in the market that you can fill with your salon’s keywords. Check out free tools like Google Trends to support your keyword research.
Make it mobile-friendly
Clients are using - and searching with - their mobile devices. Be sure their mobile experience is as seamless as possible.
- Make sure your website displays correctly on these smaller screens. Search engines are starting to ding businesses without mobile-friendly sites, listing them farther down in results.
- Verify your site is mobile friendly with Google’s test here.
Keep your website loading quickly
Search engines factor in site speed in results rankings.
- Use a tool like Google’s speed test to see how your business’s website compares to other websites in your space.
- Check out and apply any specific fixes offered by the speed test to help you improve.
Use alt text
Alternative text (aka alt text), used for image descriptions within HTML code, is another important component of SEO.
- Make sure that all of the images across your website have alt text that’s an accurate description of the image.
- Don’t try to stuff keywords in. Focus on describing your image as specifically as you can in 125 characters or less and add a target keyword that naturally lends itself to the image.
Boost your external and internal links
One of the biggest factors in organic ranking is the business’s link signals, or the other websites that link to your site. Google wants to know what pages should rank well, which requires your site to include internal linking.
- Get other relevant and high-quality sites to link to your site - through cross promotions, partnerships or simply requesting links - to really up your SEO game.
- Add internal links to your content. As an example, if you have a comprehensive page on blowouts and write a new blog post that discusses holiday blowouts, you’ll want to make sure to include a hyperlink in your new blog post to the blowout page, which is the “winner” designed to rank.
Engage with your audience: Respond to comments and reviews
A whopping 91 percent of people read online reviews, and 85 percent of them trust these recommendations as much as one they’d get directly from a personal friend.
- Respond and engage with your audience through online reviews to form connections and show that you care about clients’ positive experiences. Even negative reviews offer you a chance to improve a client’s experience ‒ and your SEO.