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This article is for educational purposes and does not constitute legal, financial, or tax advice. For specific advice applicable to your business, please contact a professional.
You’ve gone through the initial stages of opening a salon, from writing a business plan to getting licenses and permits. Whether you included a line item for your website in your budget or you’re taking a DIY approach, establishing your online presence is an essential tactic for marketing your salon and driving bookings.
Digitally savvy clients expect that they can interact with your business on their own terms, any time, anywhere. In a survey conducted by Wakefield Research for the Square Future of Beauty report, 30% of customers say they would avoid a salon with no website to view services, while 29% of consumers say they want automated systems to schedule, reschedule, or cancel appointments.
Potential customers often do research online before they select a new salon, and your website is an opportunity to own your narrative, share client testimonials, highlight stylists’ work, and make it simple for people to learn about your business and book an appointment.
Here are seven steps that can help you build out your salon website.
1. Register your domain
If you don’t have a website, you need to purchase your domain. Some website-building platforms allow you to claim a domain, or you can use a separate domain registrar. Your domain could be your business name if it’s available, your personal name, or something that aligns with your salon brand and location.
A good domain name should be short and easy to share. Avoid using numbers, hyphens, underscores, and symbols that are difficult to remember. Connect the domain name to keywords tied to your business. If your business name isn’t available, consider an alternate domain extension, such as .salon, .nyc, or .hair.
You could also include the name of your town or neighborhood in your domain, which can help your business appear in local search results. Be sure to check search engines and consult with legal counsel to ensure that you don’t run into trouble by choosing a domain name that may be confusingly similar to another business’s brand.
2. Pick a website builder
There is a wide range of approaches for creating business websites, from self-hosted services to booking platforms that make it easy to build a site with no coding required.
Square Online helps you grow your business with a professional, beautiful website. The easy-to-use site builder allows you to integrate your appointment software so clients can browse services and book online 24/7. You can also sync up your point-of-sale system if you sell beauty products as part of your business and want to sell online.
Here are some tips to help your salon business website stand out.
- Put yourself, your team, and your offerings front and center.
- Show your work in action.
- Make booking an appointment simple and easy to find.
- Tell your story.
- Think through the online client experience.
- Make effective use of white space.
- Establish a color palette to simplify design decisions.
- Let your design speak for your brand.
- Use images that showcase the lifestyle of your target consumer.
- Stick to a clear message.
- Highlight client testimonials and reviews.
3. Build out your website pages
While you can customize your website to your specific offerings and needs, here is a list of essential pages or features for salon businesses to get you started.
- Home page: Make it clear who you are, what types of services you offer, and what makes your salon unique.
- Services: A page detailing the services you provide is another important website section that can encourage visitors to schedule appointments, especially if they’re able to book each service directly. Think of this page like a menu, allowing clients to easily glance at the option they’d like to order up, saving them time before they walk into your spa or salon — and during the appointment itself.
- Online store: For many businesses that provide services, selling retail can be an effective way to bring in more revenue. Along with selling hair and beauty products used at your salon, this is a good place to promote branded merchandise and gift cards. Take the time to invest in detailed product descriptions and photographs to help engage and entice customers. Square offers Photo Studio solutions that help enhance your offerings.
- About page: Use this page to tell the story and mission of your business. This is a great place to let your personality shine.
- Contact: Tell clients where you’re located and what your hours are. Share your email address, phone number, social media accounts, and any other relevant information to get in touch.
- Social media feed integration: A social media section on your website is a simple way to connect customers with your brand and give a peek into what they may experience, which can ultimately lead to more sales.
- Blog: Keep your website fresh and create content that is relevant to your business and areas of expertise. Consider a page for updates and posting content about your business, community, or industry.
- Testimonials and reviews: Highlight what clients have said about your business, including client-approved photos, reviews of specific types of services, and details on what makes your business appealing.
- FAQ: Give clients a simple way to learn key information about your business in one place. This is also a good place to outline your health and safety protocols.
- Booking and buy buttons: These are clickable buttons that enable your clients to pay for your services or products on any website page quickly and easily. You can use it for single sessions, subscriptions, or discounts.
4. Implement best practices for search engine optimization (SEO)
For salons looking for new business, ranking in search results helps prospective clients find you and can increase your credibility with them. You can find a full SEO guide for small businesses here. Tips include:
- Pick a short and memorable domain name.
- Do some keyword research. Which search terms do you want your website to appear in from search results? How competitive will it be to rank in those searches? You can find a lot of useful information directly on search results pages, or you can explore free keyword tools.
- Create descriptive URL slugs related to your page content, which can help you with link-building and social sharing.
- Create a custom title tag for every single page and post, and include one keyword that is relevant to the content on the page in your title tag.
- Write meta descriptions — short pieces of text that summarize the content of your page — that are compelling and include relevant keywords and important terms, such as brand names.
- Take advantage of an internal linking strategy to build authority and create easy site navigation.
- Set up and optimize your Google My Business listing. Square has partnered with Google to simplify linking your profile to your online store, which can help your business appear in local searches.
5. Create a content plan
Having a content-rich site with a blog is one of the most effective techniques to attract an engaged audience online and rank well in search results. A strong content library with beauty tips and trends can help entice new clients to check you out as you grow.
- Here are some tips to get you started.
- Post fresh, engaging content regularly — 40- to 500-word blog posts three to five times a week.
- Figure out the most relevant topics for your present and prospective clients. Look at what’s trending and post your own spin on it.
- Think of the questions people are typing into search engines that are relevant to your business and create content to target the answers.
6. Promote your website
Once your website is up and running, let people know about it. Post on your social media accounts, and consider running a promotion for the first wave of clients who book a session. You can also use your customer directory to craft an email newsletter with your updates, latest offerings, and new blog content.
And don’t forget about word-of-mouth marketing. As you engage with clients in person, let them know about your website and what it has to offer.
7. Track your website metrics
Just like you use your internal dashboard to track the success of your services, you’ll want to use an analytics tool to check in on the health of your website. How much traffic is your website driving? How much of it comes from search? What are your most popular and least popular pages?
Square Online has a reports page that can help you answer these questions as you grow your web presence.