Does a hair salon need a Website? In short, Yes. Stop reading!
In 1975, Ricci Burns’ hair salon was fully booked; not a Website on the planet! Has ‘it’ changed so much in forty-one years? Well, I think perceptions of how we do things have changed.
I’ve been working on website promotion techniques since 1994; in August 2004 I founded UnsignedBandPromotion, focusing on website promotion for independent bands…
It’s my strong opinion that if an individual musician or band wants to ‘make it’ on the music scene and make a living from their music, the most important area to get right is their musicianship and stage act (Music and Performance). Fundamentally, how good at ‘doing it’ are they? This is their Core Essential, and the best indicator of whether they are going to make it or not. Nine times out of ten, if they are having trouble getting noticed and making money out of their music, then they probably can’t ‘do it’.
I believe the same is true for hairdressers, if you can’t do it then you’ve got problems (a salon is only as good as its worst hairdresser). A website isn’t going to save you. That’s the power of the grapevine.
On the other hand, if you Can Do It, the word will spread like wildfire and you still won’t need a website! That too is the power of the grapevine.
However, on the High Street, like in the pubs, clubs and venues, there’s plenty of competition and that’s why hairdressing salons need a Website! Every little advantage helps. It’s also what your clients expect, they don’t want to phone up, or call in for holiday opening times etc.
Additionally, without a website, your salon will still be listed on any number of shitty directory sites, making you look like douchebags to potential clients – If you haven’t got a website, search Google for your salon’s name, and see all those dumb-ass listings!
Get More Website Visitors
One of the common UBP questions I get asked is, “How do we get more visitors to our website?” Obviously it’s one of the biggies, as soon as you get a website you want to attract visitors; here are some ideas:
- First, you must understand the people who you want to visit your website. Create a Target Client Profile – without one you are totally screwed. Think about your clients’: geographical location, age, gender, occupation, attitude, general personality, life-style choices, habits, loyalties, needs, knowledge of your salon, and the sources of where they may get information about you and your salon from. Also think about the different networking platforms.
- Create a basic promotional plan. Simply ask yourself: Who is my target audience/client? Who can help me spread the word? Where is the best place to go (e.g. social media) to connect with my target audience/client?
- About 70%-ish of your Web traffic will come from Google – a lot of the traffic, unfortunately, could be Web crawlers and fucking Spambots and mean nothing! To help cut the crawlers and increase the client requests (or hits), you need words. Search engines use TEXT to find you. Find the top 12 keywords / key-phrases that best describe your Salon – e.g: Business Type (hair, hairdressing, beauty salon…), Location (Chelsea, London, Postcode), Fashion and Lifestyle Choices i.e. reflecting the demographic factors (habits, attitudes, tastes…) that define your target client. Include the keywords and key-phrases throughout your website. When I say website, also think blog posts and product pages.
- Everyone in the website promotion business talks about Website Content – I won’t labour the point. However, a blog is the easiest way to create new and entertaining content that will attract visitors. Write 300-500 word articles (include images, especially of YOUR hairstyles), talk about your fashion/style philosophy…
- One cracking image of a client could easily attract twenty extra visitors from that client’s social media circle; include photographs of clients, but for god’s sake don’t pressurise them. I LOVE the idea of a client selfie wall, then all the promo comes from the client – URL wallpaper anybody!
- Put your salon on the map! Geographical Location and Geo-Targeting is a fairly big subject and a full blog post in itself! However, see: Google My Business Help Center – it’ll help you to target local traffic – sign-up and your salon will be included on the search results map!
- I don’t want to go all search engine optimizationy on you, but choosing the right set of keywords for your salon’s website is vital to achieving your objective. If I was looking for a new hair stylist, I would go Google and search for: Hairdressers Windsor Berkshire or Hair Salons Chelsea London – What would you search for?
Include your full postal address within your website’s footer, and generally, promote your location from your website – encourage the long tail to wag. Anticipate and second-guess what your website’s visitor will be searching for.
- On Twitter, follow other local hairdressers followers. But, only follow them if: They have a full and expressive profile, for instance: no lazy egg-head twitter avatars – a real avatar is a must. A Username that’s identifiable. They ‘should’ (it’s not essential) be within your catchment area. Have a Bio (and recent tweeting record) that gives an indication that they’re a real person. It’d be brilliant if they have a link to a blog.
- Okay it’s time for an idea. You need a Hook. Make an instructional video, for example, how to do a simple three pin chignon. That’s called a hook, a reason to visit your website; it could be a voucher for a free fringe trim or treatment. Tell everyone on social media, clients etc., about your hook and ask them to share – BINGO! More visitors to your website! And the pay-off? Try to think beyond your emailing list if you can!
A Few Webmaster Resources
- ColorHexa color encyclopedia – information and conversion [*handy]
- creativecommons make a copyright license
- dmoz Open Directory Project
- css validation [w3]
- Fagan Finder URLinfo [*handy]
- Google Adsense
- Google Analytics
- Google Webmasters
- Google Blogsearch Ping
- HTML 4.0 Reference
- Open Source Web Design
- page rank [pagerank] [*nice/ handy]
- PageRank Tool Page Rank Checker is a free tool
- phpbb PHPBB open source bulletin board package [a bit techie]
- TAW [disability access] [*notable]
- Varian Dreamview
- W3C HTML Validation [*notable]
- Web Reference
- Web Standards
- WordPress.com get a free blog with amazing features.
- WordPress.org download to host it yourself.
Does A Hair Salon Need A Website?
Yeah, I think so.