Stay Ahead of the Competition
February 21, 2017
The salon & spa industry is constantly growing. The United States Department of Labor predicts that the number of barbers, hairdressers, and cosmetologists will grow 10% by 2024. As competition continues to grow, it is vital to stay ahead, or at least keep up, with industry trends.
It should come as no surprise that people rely on others’ experiences when making a decision. Whether it’s shopping for a car, booking a vacation, or choosing a salon, consumers will listen to each other. Some people may just need a referral from a close friend, while others will scour the internet for reviews on sites likes Yelp or TripAdvisor.
As a business, you can manage these reviews to grow your business. Encourage clients to share their experiences. Thank reviewers for the feedback. And take the opportunity to respond to negative comments.
Search Engine Optimization
Imagine that you are new to a community and looking for a salon. How would you find and pick one? Probably one of the first things you would do is to search Google. But will you show up near the top of the results? Most people only click on the first few results, with people rarely going on to the second page of results or beyond.
Search rankings are determined by a complex algorithm. While you may need to talk to a marketing expert or website developer to make some changes, there is a lot that you can do yourself!
A crucial element in your search ranking is the content. A great way to appear in more search results is to write a blog. Talk about things that your potential clients would search for, like a list of the latest hair trends or tutorials so they can recreate certain styles.
Another factor in SEO rankings that is becoming more important is location. As you can imagine, a salon down the block would be more relevant to a person than a salon halfway around the world. To improve your local ranking, create a Google My Business account. By setting this up, you will be able to manage your presence on Google Maps and web searches.
Responsive / Mobile Friendly Websites
Google search rankings are also affected by whether your website is mobile responsive. And it makes sense: mobile & tablet internet traffic recently surpassed that from desktop computers.
With more people viewing your website from a smartphone, it’s crucial that the experience is optimized for their device. If a website requires too much side-to-side scrolling or buttons that are too small to click, viewers will simply exit the website and move on to a competitor’s.
Click-to-call is a great tool for your website. But better yet is online appointment booking. It offers clients convenience (book at any time, from anywhere, with any device) and instant gratification (immediate results instead of waiting for a phone to ring and then be put on hold). When you don’t offer online booking, you are losing potential new clients and possibly even some existing customers.
Furthermore, an online profile allows clients to keep their details up to date. They can select their default marketing and confirmation methods, view past services and purchases, and check their gift card or loyalty point balances.
With most consumers being inundated with emails from countless brands, get away from the clutter by sending text messages. Statistics show that 97% of text messages are opened, typically within 3 minutes, and 45% are replied to. Compare that to emails (which are still an important marketing tool) with a 22% open rate and 6% response rate.
While you don’t want to spam customers with messages, using them strategically will increase client engagement and satisfaction. Most people appreciate receiving appointment reminders from businesses. Text messages can be used to announce special offers, to let your waiting list know about last-minute openings, or to direct clients to a satisfaction survey after an appointment.
Phone & Tablet Apps
Mobile devices are often considered to be a distraction in the workplace, and this is no different in the salon. But it may be time to adjust your thinking.
With social media and mobile apps, your iPhone or iPad can be an asset! Take and post before/after photos! Review notes from previous visits during your client consultation. Keep pace during your appointment by glancing at your schedule.
Insight Salon & Spa Software
Stay on top of current trends with Insight Software! Set up automated email and text message campaigns, allow clients to book online with a branded, mobile-responsive site, and manage client details from your phone or tablet.
Plan your 2017 marketing campaigns with this free calendar: