It’s true that mobile apps are the dominant force in digital today. But it’s also true that your website matters just as much. With advanced technology that doesn’t require coding, launching or re-launching a website has never been easier to execute. A polished site is, after all, your digital résumé. But what your site looks like is only half the strategy for attracting new clients. Here are six proven tactics to ensure that when you build it, they will indeed come.
- Discover Your Keywords Think of the words you use when you search Google, Bing or Yahoo, and create a similar list to describe your services. Check it against popular terms from Google Trends or Moz’s Keyword Explorer. “You may refer to yourself as a ‘hair professional,’ but that term only gets about 200-500 searches per month,” explains George Freitag, a local business specialist for Moz, an SEO product company that helps businesses master online search. “On the other hand, the word ‘hairstylist’ gets 9,000-11,000 searches.” Then customize the words with your location (e.g. Seattle hair stylist).
- Create A Marketing Budget Once you’ve established which words you should invest in, determine your budget for online promotions. Start small ($150 or less) and test your advertising on Facebook one month, and Google ad words using CPC (cost per click), the next. The results from both will let you know if you should increase or decrease your budget moving forward.
- List Your Salon on Directories Kate Buck, Jr., the co-founder and CEO of Social Media Pro, recommends being listed on at least 50 of the top online directory and review sites. “It’s not as shiny as social media, but there are services that you subscribe to where you can submit your business for little to no fee,” she explains. “Local directories are one of the tools most overlooked by businesses.” The yellowpages.com, Better Business Bureau and your local Chamber of Congress are some of the places she recommends.
- Centralize Your Content Designate your website as the central home for your social media content by adding a feed. A social media feed pulls all content from your pages based on hashtag(s). Every time you update content on your social media platforms, the content will change on your website. Google will read the photos, product mentions and text posts as new content, and content that changes daily helps to establish your site as a legitimate source for search.
- Make Your Site SEO-Friendly SEO means “Search Engine Optimization.” Think of SEO as the roadway for your site to be seen by the masses. This is where your gift of gab comes in handy. You know that keyword list you created? Make sure the content you write on your social media posts, in your About Us and Service descriptions, has a healthy sprinkling of those same words. Use them in the title of your article as well. This will allow your posts to show up organically in searches. Finally, tag your photos. Instead of naming your JPEG with a number, give it a keyword name so it too will show up in online searches.
- Mobilize It Did you know that 60 percent of the time most people spend online is on their mobile device? And about 90 percent of people use their mobile device to specifically look for local information. If your site is not mobile-friendly, it’s time for an upgrade. Switch to a responsive design, which allows the site to reduce or expand based on the viewer’s screen size. “Google gives preference to mobile-friendly pages for searches on mobile devices. If someone searches for a business on their phone, and there are two pages just as relevant and popular, the mobile version will win,” says Freitag.
Many thanks to our program sponsors Matrix, Redken, Pureology, L'Oréal Professionnel, Baxter, Decleor, Essie, Mizani and SalonCentric for making this Digital Supplement possible.