6 important elements to a successful website

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Do I really need a website for my salon business?

Yes you do.. OK, but it just needs to be a page with the salon address right? No.. Your website is your virtual salon window. We have talked before about how important the look of your actual salon window is in a previous BLOG. The look of your website’s virtual window is just as important. Open 24 hours a day, 365 days of the year, it has the potential to elevate your salon business to new heights and secure more clients and sales.

Did you know, a whopping 81% of people will look for and at your website before they dare step a foot in your salon? You only have a few seconds to grab their attention and persuade them that you are the destination and solution provider for their hair care requirements.

Your website is your first impression, and you never get a second chance to make that first impression, so make it count. Think about the websites that impress you, that gained your business, that have you going back; I can guarantee you they’ll have something more striking than just an address on.

As technology, client habits and the salon industry itself, continues to evolve, you need to make sure your website keeps on top form. That way, you know you’re giving exactly what your existing clients expect from a website, and are appealing to newcomers, your soon-to-be clients.

The more popular your page is, the more views you have, the more you are mentioned online by happy customers, the more authoritative your page becomes. Why is this important? Because the more authoritative your page appears to Google, the higher up the search results your site will be. You’re aiming for that top spot. 61% of all Google search result clicks are in the top three positions. #1 captures 33%, #2 captures 18%, while #3 gets 11%. It goes downhill pretty quickly from there, so if you’re not on the first page of search results, you need to be working hard to BOOST it up.

It may seem rather a daunting process to start with, but it’s like anything, once you’ve got your head around it, it becomes a lot easier to manage. So. Where do you start? What elements do you need to consider for your website? What makes a website successful today? Let’s find out:

1)If your website isn’t responsive, your website isn’t being looked at

  • Responsive means a website that ‘responds’ to the screen size that it is being looked at on. For example, when you look at The National Lottery site on a computer and then look at it on your smart phone, the way in which the site is displayed will adapt. The content will move around and some won’t even display, it changes the look to make it easier for a user to use it on a smaller screen. More and more people are using mobiles for all their social and purchasing habits. So having a site purely made for a computer screen will switch off many potential clients, simply because they have a hard time navigating your site on their smart phone. If you aren’t keeping up with the times online, they’ll likely assume your business – as a whole – doesn’t keep up with the times either and will go elsewhere. Also, Google now penalizes sites that are unresponsive, making it harder for those pages to rank highly or even get on the first page in the search results. And when that happens, there’s not really much point of having a website at all.

2)The design of your website is key.

  •  We only have about eight seconds to grab someone’s attention, which means a clean and simple approach is the way to go with your site. Less is best. Make sure your homepage clearly shows potential clients what you are about, what you do and why they should choose you over your competitors. Choose your words, font size and copywriting carefully. One suggestion, steer clear of comic sans! If you want some advice on the design of your existing site, need help planning your new site, or aren’t confident in your writing abilities for the copy of your site, then let the BOOSTmySALON team give you a helping hand with an audit and recommendations for a better client website experience. The design, or at least certain elements of your site, needs to be updated regularly to keep it fresh, current and appealing. We are in the fashion and style industry after all, so a poorly designed, tired, unattractive and overly complicated website will turn people off. Professional images and photographs that are current and on trend will reflect your professionalism and marketing message. Do you need a photographic hair collection for your marketing, website, PR or awards? The BOOSTmySALON team can help you get the unique and professional photos that you need to get great looking results.

3)How clear are your ‘call to actions’ (CTAs)?

  • Having clear and well-placed CTA links and buttons will BOOST your site’s effectiveness and usability. It’s all very well letting the viewer passively browse through your pretty site because it’s nice to look at, a source of inspiration even, but that’s not what you want from your site. You need them to take action. To book an appointment. To buy products and vouchers. To sign up to your email mailing list. Your salon’s contact details such as email links and telephone number should be clearly in the footer of every page so as soon as they decide that your salon is the one for them, they can easily and swiftly contact you. Include Google maps and directions and your opening hours. Online booking is a must for any salon website as more and more people will use this facility especially as they can book out of hours. Have sign up forms for newsletters or to receive discount vouchers as this will help you grow your email marketing list of subscribers. Popup adverts have their use but be careful as Google will penalize websites that use them for mobile use and they can be irritating for a pleasant viewing experience. Use them wisely.

 4)One of the most visited pages on a salon website is the price list and services page.

  • Including this page on your site is a must and allows the visitor to see the options and services available so they can make a more informed decision. Making your pricing structure visible will not scare off potential customers, if anything they will see that you are open, honest and professional in the way you run your business.

 5)THE most visited webpage on a salon site is the offers page.

  • One thing that will get clients coming back to your website and to your salon is offers. We all love a bargain, and by regularly updating your offers page with exciting new deals for products and services, you will ensure your clients are coming back repeatedly to see what you have to offer. If it’s good enough to tempt them, having that clear and quick to use CTA will close the deal. Offers don’t always have to be straightforward discounts either, they can be value added offers or upgrades; think about what you’d want as an offer and you can’t go wrong.

6)What’s the point of a website if you can’t then market to your visitors directly?

  • A landing page or squeeze page that has the sole purpose of obtaining the visitor’s contact details – email address, first name and last name as a minimum – will help you to grow your email marketing database for future use. We’ve all seen these kinds of pages that pop up asking for our email address, how many do you sign up to? Not many I bet, but the ones you do sign up to would have peaked your interest somehow. Again that’s what you need to be thinking about with this kind of page, what would make you sign up? Also, if you use Google AdWords to advertise to get people to your site, then by adding a unique URL – that’s NOT to your homepage – and matches the heading of the landing page, will get you more clicks and conversions. For example, your Google AdWords description and link states ‘25% off for new clients’ and the heading of the landing page is also ‘25% off for new clients’; Google is very favorable to this connection and will encourage more traffic to your website. Not using Google AdWords? Ask the BOOSTmySALON team to help set you up. You are likely to get a better engagement rate from your social platforms if you direct clients to a landing page and not just to your homepage. Encourage visitors to sign up or subscribe to the email list in return for a voucher, discount or e-book of hair and beauty information.

 

Those are the main six elements or starting points that you will want to focus on for your website. But of course there’s always more you can do to make your website more effective:

  • About us page – to outline your unique selling point, mission statement, salon values and philosophy.
  • Team pages – with bios of their experiences and personalities.
  • Testimonials – on your landing page shouting about your expertise and reassuring potential clients to book with you.
  • Gallery images of your work, salon and collections.

A last tip from us would be, make it easy for yourself.

We would recommend you have a content management system (CMS) for your website like WordPress which allows you to have full control and to make changes and add information at any time. Otherwise you are likely to have to rely on web developers to make those changes for you, and then charge you for the privilege. Before we go any further, I would just like to state that we are not employed by WordPress in any way, we just think they make looking after your own website a breeze. Here are a few reasons why:

 

  • Using a CMS like WordPress means you can add an array of plugins (software that extends functions or adds new features to your site) that you can download to support your website objectives.

 

  • All your social media accounts and share buttons can be easily linked to your website and with your Google Search Console, tags can also be added for monitoring specific visitor activity.

 

  • You can add your Google analytics and Facebook Pixel tracking codes for detailed visitor information and re-marketing, helping you to maximize on conversions and client bookings.

 

  • You can add tracking telephone numbers to your site. This helps in knowing exactly how many direct calls you get from your website to your salon phone line. Of all the direct calls from your website, 90% on average are people wanting to make bookings, while the remaining 10% are people wanting to know about directions or prices. Say you get 30 calls a week from people that have visited your website, that means roughly 27 of those phone calls will be for bookings. If your average bill net of VAT is £50, then you will be bringing in around £1,350 in future sales from your website per week! Or £67,500 a year.

 

This figure alone should tell you how important your website is to your business. So, when you are paying a web designer £1,000+ for a well-designed site, you can see exactly what good value that initial expenditure will be and what a great return on investment you will see from it.

As I said earlier, if you’ve not embarked on setting up a website before there’s a lot of jargon and processes that make it a daunting prospect and probably seem like magical wizardry with the endless possibilities to improving your site and maximizing on client conversions. But you don’t have to do it alone, or maybe you simply don’t have the time, help and expertise is only a contact away in the form of the BOOSTmySALON team.

We love building hair and beauty websites and guarantee a stunning salon website at affordable pricing. We even do payment plans over 12 or 24 months.

 

Get in touch on 01344 834 989 or email if you’re thinking of refreshing your salon or spa website or are looking to write and build a new one and want a bit of advice.

 

For further tips on growing your salon business, be sure to read our other blog posts, or for a one-to-one session with BOOST in which we can show you how to increase your stature in the industry, gain more clients, and to take advantage of the right kind of marketing opportunities for your business; contact us for a FREE no-obligation business and marketing audit.

 

Happy BIZness

Carey

 

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