You’ve heard the saying, “You never get a second chance to make a first impression.” The same holds true for your business. Is your spa or salon creating the kind of first impression that will attract new clients?
No doubt you’ve spent a lot of time and effort to make your spa or salon look and feel appealing to your guests. But first you have to get them in your door, and now more than ever, local consumers are engaging with your business online before they ever visit you in person. Research from event promotion company Eventility shows that 97% of consumers now search for local businesses online, 72% trust online reviews, and 61% of millennials turn to social media for social planning. If your salon or spa’s web presence is lacking, you’re missing out on a huge opportunity to connect with potential clients.
Here are a few key factors that play into your salon or spa’s first impression online.
When was the last time you searched for your salon or spa by name? If your business doesn’t show up on the first page of results, it might be time to invest in some SEO (search engine optimization) help. Take note of which other pages turn up in the results as well—review sites, social media profile pages, competitor sites, listings sites—so you know which sites consumers might be looking at and what content is being shared about your business there. Lastly, run an image search for your name to see what kinds of results turn up. While it’s impossible to control images posted by your clients, your professional salon and spa photos should appear as well. If they don’t, take a look at the alt tags and titles to make sure your business name is included.
When prospects arrive at your website, it should be engaging, informative, and representative of the culture of your spa or salon. Your business philosophy should be clearly communicated so that consumers can get a sense of who your business is, not just what services you offer or what your prices are. Make sure that your business’s name and logo and a link back to your home page are easily accessible on every page of your site in case viewers come in on a specific subpage.
Over 80% of searches are now originating on mobile devices. Is your website built responsively to display on smartphones and tablets, or do you have a separate mobile site in place? If not, you run the risk of driving mobile viewers away by annoying them with content that renders poorly on their device.
Social media is becoming a major discovery engine for local consumers, and your salon or spa’s profile pages are another key component of your online presence. Every profile page should reflect the same logos, branding, service information, staff photos and bios, and tone as your website and other communications so that your brand message stays consistent. This is especially important if you offer bookings straight from your social profiles, as viewers most likely will never click through to your website. You should also make sure that the content you’re posting on your social channels is relevant to potential customers as well as current clients.
Review sites and apps such as Yelp, Foursquare, Citysearch, Google+, and TripAdvisor are also driving local business discovery. Just as with social, it’s critical that the service, staff, and business information displayed on your listings pages matches what’s on your business website, as many readers will make a decision to book or come into your spa or salon directly without clicking through to your site.
You should be monitor your reviews constantly so you can keep a close eye on your reputation. One of the easiest ways to keep track of your mentions is to set up a Google Alert for your business name and any variations. Any negative posts regarding your business should be addressed immediately, in an apologetic, not defensive, tone. While negative comments are impossible to avoid, responding quickly and in a consistent manner will do a lot to overcome any potential hesitation from prospective clients.
Today’s consumer wants to receive and give feedback anywhere, anytime. Make sure that you encourage direct feedback from clients via your website, social media channels, and email, and respond quickly when feedback does come in. Whether a complaint or compliment, clients want to know that you hear them. Potential clients will definitely pay attention to reviews of your business, but they’ll pay even more attention to how you respond to customer feedback.
About the Author
Lisa Starr brings over 30 years of industry-specific experience as a consultant, educator and writer to Booker through GOtalk. Lisa also works for Wynne Business, a leading spa consulting and education company. Among other things, Lisa’s expertise lies in business operations and finances, sales and marketing, inventory management, human resource development, and business process improvement. She is a well-known speaker within the trade show circuit and is a frequent contributor to industryFollow on Google Plus Follow on Twitter More Content by Lisa Starr