A website is still one of the best marketing tools available to showcase your business services and products, and convert lookers into bookers. But perhaps not in the way you think…
Nearly every business has a website, but how many of them are really focused on the customer?
Our customers and clients matter, and we know you feel the same about your customers and clients. However, showing this on a website means more than just saying the words ‘you matter to us’. Which sadly, most website owners seem to think is enough.
When websites first came into our lives around the 1990’s they were generally created by techies to show off to other techies. As internet popularity grew and access became easier for everyone, companies began to see the potential having a website could have for their businesses. However, they were mainly bigger versions of a Yellow Pages ad (remember those?), not customer focused or friendly.
Then the 21st century hit and suddenly websites were simply places to stuff keywords for search engine optimisation (SEO). Once more the poor old customer wasn’t thought about or catered for. The ‘aren’t we great’ adverts continued on.
And while to – some extent – this is what a website is for, we know now that a website is no longer primarily even about you or your business.
Today, a website needs to be about your customers and about fulfilling their needs and ‘pain points’.
But old habits are hard to break, and not all businesses know how to make that transition from an extended Yellow Pages ad website, to a customer friendly and focused one that draws potential clients in.
So let’s go ahead and take a look at how we do it.
The four key questions
These should be answered in the first seven seconds of someone looking at your site:
Who is this website for?
What does your business do?
Why should potential customers care about your business?
What do you want the visitor to do now?
Make sure your headline, sub headline and call to action answer the above questions. And make sure this is done above the fold.
Above the fold
Attention spans are short and getting shorter. That means you need the critical information you want your potential customers to see, right there in the centre of the screen ready when they click onto your website.
Above the fold, refers to the space on your website that the browser opens up at. It’s the first thing your customers will see before they have to scroll.
Making your customer have to scroll to find vital information is a dangerous game, and one you’re probably not going to win. Hook them in with a winning opener that answers the four questions above, then they’re more likely to stick around and possibly even scroll down.
Of course, you’re not going to get all of the information you need on your website above the fold. That space is just for the vital information you want to be quickly seen. You still need more information, or ‘copy’, throughout your website.
Make sure the copy is written in a way that is customer centric, talks about ways of helping the customer, includes more ‘you’ than ‘we’, and is personable (we’ll come back to that in a sec).
Your logo should be at the top left, with navigation limited to the essentials. Cluttering your main menu with too many options will cause confusion and put potential customers off. Your phone number (ideally a tracking phone number) should be clearly visible and your main call to action (BOOK NOW etc.) in the top right.
Call to action
Without overdoing it, you need multiple calls to action on your website that can be easily spotted, encouraging the potential customer to complete the action. Whatever your aim (click here, book now, contact us, call now, etc.) it needs to be clear and compelling.
Make it personal
Your website needs some personality. Business speak barely even works anymore when your customers are businesses, you need to add some tszuj and sparkle to make it personable and relatable, and somewhere that your potential customers want to be.
Add videos that show the fun side of your team, that answer the four questions above, that showcase your wonderful business, that answer client questions, that solve pain points.
The more engaging your videos, the longer someone will watch them. The longer they’re watching them, they’re not ‘bouncing’ away from your site (which also helps with google rankings).
Images on your website need to be real and to have been taken at your salon – professionally. Shaky phone photos won’t cut it. If you must use stock images, try to avoid the overtly obvious stock images though.
The aim is to showcase your work and what your team can do, they must also fit with your copy (if you’re talking about ways to look after curly hair and there’s a picture of someone with straight hair, you’re missing the mark). Remember, the images you use will determine the type of audience you attract.
Above all, make sure the vibe of your salon comes through in your images, videos and copy, give your site have some soul.
Showing off has long been seen as a bad thing. But in order to build trust with potential customers, you have to get over that and start shouting from the roof tops about your brilliance in a way that isn’t directly you saying it.
Add in all the accreditations and awards your salon has received, accreditations and awards speak for themselves. Have a customer review and testimonials page with your latest lovely feedback.
Pepper these in through other pages too, a small testimonial here, an award mention there. It can’t hurt and lets the visitor know that others are loving your salon already.
Thinking differently about what your website needs to be (i.e. not an extended Yellow Pages ad) and working on making it customer focused through the points above, will absolutely make a difference to your business.
Get this right and you’ve a much stronger chance of seeing customers through your marketing funnel, reaching towards your salon chairs and spending money with you.
If you need a little extra help with improving your website and bringing some personality to it, BOOSTmySALON is here to help. Get in contact with us today!
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We help hair & beauty salon businesses become more successful by implementing the right marketing and business systems that communicate effectively, to the right target audience. Our aim is to attract more customers to your salon, providing extra sales and INCREASED PROFIT to the salon owner.
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