Is your salon highly visible online locally? Have a quick look now. As a local business, ranking highly on search engines for your locality is crucial to the success of your marketing. After all, your local community is where the majority of your clients and potential new ones hang out.
5 Top Tips to ensure Google lists your salon on local search
1. Start with Google My Business
Google is the most important place to be listed in local search, so let’s start here. You may have heard of Google+ Local and Google Places. Google also launched Google My Business which combines the former Google+ Local and Google Places. In Google’s own words, “Google My Business connects you directly with customers, whether they're looking for you on Search, Maps or Google+.”
If you haven’t secured your Google My Business Page you’re missing a salon marketing trick. The good news is it’s free and fairly straightforward. Simply follow the steps here: www.google.com/business/
#TopTip: Complete your Google My Business registration thoroughly. Don’t be tempted to skip sections. To rank well on searches it’s essential to fully complete your salon’s profile.
Check you’ve completed:
- your business name, address, phone (often abbreviated to NAP)
- business categories (you can choose more than one)
- upload photos and videos (if you haven’t got any then get snapping fast)
- your salon opening hours
- write a short piece of copy to about your business to entice readers to click.
2. Listings in other online business directories
If you want to rank well for your town or city, then the more “citations” you can get the better. A citation is simply a mention of your salon name and address on another website. Citations are usually found on directory sites such as Yelp or ThomsonLocal, but are also found on local business websites like the Chamber of Commerce and local press.
Getting citations is a fairly manual process for a salon owner, but worth doing. Target yourself to one a week, or even one a month. I’d start with:
The registration process varies between the directories, as does the time for your citation to appear.
#TopTip: Use a consistent name and address across your salon website, Google My Business and all other listings.
Let’s say it’s Snipz Hairdressing on your website. Stick to this across all your registrations. Don’t use slight changes such as Snipz Hair or Snipz Hair Salon. Google will think they’re two separate businesses and rank you lower on searches.
3. Online reviews boost local rankings
Now you have your Google My Business and other online listings you need to generate online reviews through them. You’ll find more on this in my another NHF blog here.
Online reviews are free salon marketing tools which:
- Help your local ranking. If all things are equal, the salon with more Google reviews is likely to rank higher for a local search.
- Paint a vivid picture of your business for potential new clients and add to your credibility
#TopTip: Never post a fake review or ask family or friends to do so on your behalf. If you’re caught out Google may suspend your listing or give you a penalty by lowering your rankings.
4. Paint your town red
Networking offline locally is good for drumming up new business. It is also a simple way to boost your local online profile too.
Building reciprocal website links with other local businesses sends the right ‘local’ signals to Google helping you to rank higher in searches. When you’re promoting your salon with another local business always post your joint offer on both websites and link back to each other. It’s win-win for both of you.
5. Content marketing
Add plenty of good quality content to your salon website regularly and consistently, monthly at the very least.
Google makes it clear content marketing is critical to local search engine optimization. It rewards website owners who are committed to writing and publishing articles, news and hair and beauty tips consistently, with higher local ranking. Blog articles can be used on your social media too, so you get plenty of marketing mileage out of them.
Alice Kirby – Lockhart Meyer Salon Marketing
HOW THE NHF CAN HELP YOU...
- Alice Kirby of Lockhart Meyer Salon Marketing in partnership with National Hairdressers’ Federation has produced ‘Your salon marketing plan for 2016’, a step by step guide to create a successful plan to grow your salon. Members of the NHF can download this guide for free in the NHF Shop.
- Take a look at our other marketing blogs available to you and your business