If you’re looking for ways to ensure a constant stream of new clients come to your salon or spa then it’s worth investing a little bit of time on your search engine optimisation (SEO). A sure-fire way to be “seen” online is to get your business featured as one of the three listings on Google Maps for salons or spas in your town. While there’s no exact science to this – it varies depending on search term, competition and proximity to search (location) – there are some factors all high-ranking websites on Google have in common.
10 techniques that will get your salon or spa on the digital map:
1. Claim your Google My Business listing If you haven’t already, go to business.google.com to claim your listing. If the Google My Business page already exists, but you don’t run it, click “Own this business? Claim it now”.
2. Complete your page with detail Include as much information as possible. Write an introduction, include your opening hours, and make sure to mark all the categories that are relevant to you.
3. Upload photos in all the available sections This is important. Use high-quality images with descriptions and include your town’s name in some of them.
4. Get reviews You need plenty of reviews to gain traction and you’ll need to respond to them professionally – even negative ones.
5. Add posts to your page You don’t have to do this every time you post to social media, but find a balance that works well for you – somewhere between weekly and monthly. Be sure to add customer photos at the same time.
6. Be consistent with your NAP Make sure you always write your businesses name, address and phone number (known as NAP) the same everywhere online. You’d be amazed how often salons and spas use different versions of their name in different places.
7. Claim your listings on other review sites Start with Yell, Yelp, Freeindex and Yahoo Local, but look around to see which other listing sites matter in your area.
8. Add bookings if they’re available to you Google has some partners – see google.com/maps/ reserve/partners – that let you have online booking directly from your listing. These include Treatwell and Shortcuts.
9. Build your local reputation Generate local links across the web by teaming up with other businesses in the area, such as charities, schools and local media. This could be a piece of editorial, guest blog, podcast, competition and/or sponsorship.
10. Take a look at your competitors’ listings Is there anything underhand or untoward on their listings? If so, and only if so, you can report it to Google by suggesting an edit.
Finally, be patient and keep an eye on the Google My Business Insights in the dashboard to monitor your progress. SEO improvements usually take up to 12 weeks to really take effect.
Kate Woods is owner of Salondipity, which provides online resources and training to businesses in the beauty and hair industries.