How to make your hair & beauty business stand out online

Looking to give your salon's online profile a boost? Digital marketing expert Jonathan Birch explains what hair and beauty businesses can do to get noticed online.

Jonathan BirchThe hair and beauty industry is an increasingly competitive sector, with the number of salons in the UK almost doubling between 2008 and 2017 (Statista). And, while it's great that there's such a lot demand for beauty and grooming services, it also means that your clients now have more options available to them than ever before. In such a saturated market, you'll need to find a way to stand out from the crowd if you want to attract their attention and secure their loyalty. 

In the digital age, customers are more likely than ever to discover your business through online search engines like Google, or via social media. So, given the intensity of the competition, you really can't afford to ignore your salon's digital presence. In this article, I'll share four top tips that you can use to make sure your hair and beauty business stands out online. 

Make sure your website does your salon justice 
It goes without saying that a beautifully presented salon will help to attract more walk-ins off the street. The same is also true for your website: it's essentially your digital shopfront, and for customers who find you online, your site will be the first impression that they ever have of your business. So, I'd strongly recommend auditing your site to see if it's up to standard. In a sector that is all about style, it's only natural that your website should every bit as elegant as your salon, so make sure it's impressively presented with plenty of high-quality imagery.

Your website is essentially your digital shopfront, and for customers who find you online, your site will be the first impression that they ever have of your business, so I recommend auditing your site to see if it's up to standard.
In addition to this, you need to focus on user experience. Search engines are more favourable to sites that make it easy for users to find the information that they need, so doing this can actually improve your rankings.

Your site should also be fast-loading and responsive, as customers are more likely to 'bounce' back to the search results page if your site is slow. And, as over 50% of all internet traffic comes via smartphones these days (Statista), it should be mobile-friendly, too. If you think your site could use some work, I'd definitely make this a priority over the coming months. 
Use social media to connect to potential customers 
Prospective customers are also likely to want to look up your business on social media before paying you a visit. For salons, visual-led platforms such as Instagram can be a particularly useful tool in the hair and beauty sector, as they allow you to show off a portfolio of work, and you can also use them to engage directly with your clients. So, if you haven't already, sign up for Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook and make sure you post stylish, on-brand content regularly. You can also use industry specific hashtags to help your posts get more engagement. 

Use Google My Business to target local searchers
If you're looking to attract customers from the nearby area, then you need to make sure you appear on Google Maps and other local search features. Fortunately, it's very simple to get your salon to appear on these tools: all you need to do is create, and complete, a Google My Business account. Doing this will make sure that essential details about your company, like your location, range of services, and opening hours, appear on Google search and in Maps. 

Plus, by completing your profile, you'll make your business look more trustworthy and reputable, which will in turn help to drive more traffic (and more potential clients) to your site. If you can, I'd also recommend including a few pictures of your past work: listings that include images get 35% more clicks through to their sites, according to Google, so this can really help to boost traffic. 

With the hair and beauty sector getting more competitive by the day, it's certainly worth spending some time and money on your online marketing. Simple steps like improving your website, optimising your My Business listing, and post regularly on social media can help to drive traffic to your website, which should in turn help you secure more clients. 

Jonathan Birch is Creative Director at SEO and digital marketing experts, Glass Digital, and over the years, he's created and overseen online marketing strategies for a huge number of high-profile business in almost every industry, including the likes of House of Fraser, Wyevale, and Terry de Havilland.