Is your salon website past its sell-by date?
Looking a little tired, stale and downright dull?
Yes? Then it’s almost certainly losing you clients and losing you money.
Your salon website is your sales pitch to the world. Think of it as your virtual salon door. You want to persuade new clients to walk through your door. Not your competitor’s.
Online content must be well-designed and easy to consume or you risk losing your audience. Don’t just take it from me. Consumer research in Autumn 2015 from digital giant Adobe reveals:
of people will stop engaging with a website if the
imagery or layout is unattractive
of consumers will stop engaging if images won’t load.
Your website is your virtual salon door
In this blog I run through the common salon website mistakes to avoid and share ideas on how to convert lookers to bookers.
You only have a few seconds to make that first impression and ensure new clients walk through your virtual front door, so make sure it’s the right one.
Whether briefing your website designer, or adding content to your salon website yourself, try my checklist below.
A salon homepage that attracts and converts
You never get a second chance to make that first impression, which is why your homepage is the most important page on your website. It’s your virtual salon door and needs to work hard for you.
Take a quick peek at yours. Does it clearly answer:
- Who you are?
- What you do?
- Why new clients should choose you?
You have seconds to grab new clients’ attention. Faced by a slab of dense text, in a teensy font and dozens of marketing messages they will simply hit the back-button.
How can you make your website homepage more enticing?
- Use headings to highlight important topics.
- Numbering and bullet points break up blocks of heavy text and make it easier to scan – see how I’ve used these in this blog post.
- Keep it airy with plenty of white space and easy on the eye.
- Use striking imagery to grab attention. Videos too if you have them.
- Make it simple for visitors to navigate around. Tempt and tease them to explore your website to discover what your salon has to offer with cross navigation and links.
Let’s look at these tips in detail, see how other websites employ them and how you can use them to spice your website up.
12 website tips especially for hair & beauty salons
1. Mobile friendly is essential today
I know. I keep hammering on about this. But it’s fundamental.
Between December 2013 and December 2015:
See what I mean?
With the majority of visitors using smartphones and tablets to view your website it’s essential your hair or beauty website can be easily read on a mobile device.
Not sure if your salon website is mobile friendly?
Look at your website now on your phone. Does it rescale automatically so it’s easy read or does it become teeny-tiny and almost illegible so you scroll frantically from side to side?
You can find more about mobile friendly (responsive) websites here and why they are a marketing must-have for your hair or beauty business.
2. Less is more for salon websites
Cramming tons of links onto your web pages, packing the sidebar with adverts and littering pages with promotional messages may seem like a crafty way to keep visitors on your salon website. But it isn’t.
Heat map research shows that faced with cluttered pages stuffed way too full of options the visitor gets confused and leaves.
Grocery-giant Ocado’s website is a lesson in what not to do.
It’s a jumble of fonts, messages and colours all vying for your attention. You hardly notice the main navigation bar which itself adds to the clutter and muddle.
It’s confusing. Uninviting. And I’m not tempted to explore their site.
There’s a delicate balance between showcasing what your salon or spa has to offer and bamboozling your reader with too much information.
3. Fonts matter online
Don’t opt for a tiny or wacky font because your web designer thinks it looks cool.
With so many visitors viewing your website on mobile devices, bigger fonts are becoming more popular and on trend. We’ve just upped the font size on our website as over half my blog readers are on mobile devices. Did you notice?
A great salon website is one that is easily read and tempts new clients to pick up the phone to your spa or salon.
It converts lookers to bookers.
4. Website imagery paints a picture of your salon
Powerful professional imagery can catapult your salon website from okay to stunning.
Yet how many hair and beauty websites do you know with dated model imagery, blurred salon shots and amateurish team photos?
You are in the business of making people “look and feel fabulous”. Your salon or clinic website must reflect this marketing message. If it looks sloppy, down-at-heel and clumsy who is going to trust you with their hair colour, facial or dermal filler?
Imagery brings Jamie’s website alive
Jamie Oliver’s website is awash with stunning photography. His homepage feels alive, vibrant and fun. The images communicate his brand perfectly and you just want to click and explore.
Strong imagery doesn’t have to cost the earth. Here are my marketing tips:
- Freebie photos. These are frequently poor quality, often cheesy and you may well run into legal copyright problems. Fine for livening up your salon social or your website blog, but not on the main “selling” pages of your salon website. We need to impress here.
- Stock photo libraries. Invest time rooting around the photo libraries. We’ve just updated many of my blog images and spent hours hunting for photos that tell the right story. Most libraries offer discounts for bulk purchases or have monthly subscriptions you can dip in and out of if you’re watching the pennies.
- Professional salon shoot. My personal must-have. A photographer with a good eye can make even the smallest, darkest salons look drop-dead gorgeous. Ask your web designer to brief the photographer and you’ll get the best results for your website. I like to have a mix of atmospheric arty shots, close-ups and some with your team working to ring the changes.
5. Online and last minute salon booking
If you want to turn lookers to bookers then an online booking system on your website is a salon marketing must-have these days.
Seamless online booking is now readily available with all the leading salon software companies and it’s not expensive. It’s easy to add to your website – ask your web designer to do it for you.
Many of the hair and beauty software companies now also offer last minute and late availability options which are integrated with their software appointment booking. Or you can go to a last minute specialist such as gappt.
6. Priceless website information
Our clients’ website stats reveal the Price Guide page is the third most visited web page for most hair and beauty businesses.
Yet you’d be surprised how many salons and spas don’t have one on their website.
If you don’t have one currently online I’d make it a marketing priority.
7. Get found
Yippee, that new client has walked through your virtual salon door, liked what they’ve seen and booked.
But have you made it easy for new clients to find you?
Detailed directions not only help your client, they also help Google pinpoint you.
When I’m writing a salon website I like to include:
- The postcode for Sat Nav users, especially if you’re off the beaten track.
- Point out local landmarks – “opposite Barclays bank”.
- In London? I always mention the nearest Tube or station.
- Clear directions to the nearest car park plus sneaky time restrictions.
8. Open for business
Don’t hide your salon or spa opening hours away.
It makes far better marketing sense to shout about your late-night opening and weekend hours.
And don’t overlook the basic nuts and bolts. Ensure your phone number is highly visible, on every page and easy to find. The same goes for your online booking button.
It’s not an online game of hide n’ seek.
9. Salon offers on your website
Readers love salon offers. The offer section is always one of the most visited for any spa or salon website.
Don’t want to discount?
Offers don’t have to be discounts – think additional service, cross-selling, up-grades. But please don’t overlook this valuable salon marketing tool.
10. Website ‘Calls To Action’
Having written your offer you now need a juicy call to action.
What do I mean by a call to action (CTA)? Simply tell the reader what you want them to do next.
So many salon websites talk about their creative talents, outstanding team and stunning facilities. And then forget to tell the reader to take some action.
So include plenty of “call now”, “phone to book”, and “enter now” throughout your salon website – not just on the home page.
Choose punchy action words like “discover,” “learn” and “find” for maximum reader appeal.
11. Whoops – that’s not a great website experience
A content managed salon website is an invaluable marketing tool allowing you to add new offers, news and articles yourself.
But spelling and grammatical mistakes reflect badly on your spa or salon business. And Google penalises them too.
So, if you’re not confident about your writing abilities (or just don’t have time) invest in professional copywriting services for some compelling copy. It’s worth every penny.
Complimentary or complementary? Which is right? In this blog post I run through the top 7 hair and beauty spelling hiccups and how to avoid them.
12. Best practice for beauty and hair salon websites
Are you missing out on collecting priceless marketing information on your website?
Include an e-subscribe form on every page – it’s an effortless way to build your email database. And, as I often say, it’s one of your most valuable salon marketing assets.
Good, better, best salon websites
Your salon website is never finished. It should always be changing.
Technology, Google and your business change constantly. The best beauty and hair salon websites reflect this ever shifting picture.
Tweak, enhance and develop your salon website regularly if you want to stay ahead of the competition.
Drop me an email if you’re thinking of refreshing your spa or salon website or are looking to write and build a new one.
We’re leading hair and beauty website specialists. We guarantee a stunning salon website and straightforward advice, all at a reasonable cost, with no fluff, hard sell or drama. Have a look at just some of our salon and aesthetic clinic websites here.