With web building costs running into thousands of dollars, it is a lot of money to spend on something if it isn’t going to get clients streaming in through the door. Yet again and again, salons do it and then sit back and wonder where all the new clients are. If this is you, know they are out there, they just can’t find you.

The answer is Search Engine Optimization, which starts with understanding what key words your prospective clients might use when looking on search engines like Google. What you’ve got to remember is that Google, and all the other search engines, prioritize sites by matching words used to search to the websites that they believe are the best match. But how do you choose keywords?

Start by brainstorming keywords with your team and friends. Create a list that’s as long as possible – nothing is a wrong keyword at this point.  

Try typing some of these keywords into the search bar to see what other search terms come up in the auto-complete options.  This helps to expand your list.

Try using websites such as www.soovle.com and Google Adwords Keyword tool to come up with a larger list of potential keywords. Google Keyword tool will also give you great information about each keyword – ultimately helping prioritize.

Don’t forget brand keywords, such as your name as well as any products and services that have strong brand names that clients may be searching for.

When searching for a business, most people will search for a place within a reasonable distance from their location. So, don’t forget to include location in your targeted terms.

Consider what services you specialize in.  For example, ‘eyelash extensions salons’  (searched an average of 1,600 times a month) and ‘spray tanning salons’ (searched an average of 8,100 times a month). So if you are exceptional at hair extensions, don’t forget to target those searching for that specialty.

Also, remember that when researching businesses people will be typing in plural terms. For example, ‘Salons in Los Angeles, CA’ rather than ‘Salon in Los Angeles, CA’

When you have exhausted your list, you need to analyze which keywords are going to get you the best results and aren’t attracting the wrong crowd. For example the most popular keyword is – salon,  of course – attracting more than 6 million searches a month. But is this the right keyword for attracting the right traffic to your salon? Most likely, this will attract a lot of what’s called ‘junk’ traffic. Just because it’s used in a lot of searches, doesn’t mean it’s being typed in while trying to find a new salon.

Picking the right keywords will help increase your ranking, but so too will where and when you position them throughout your site. Need help with your salon SEO? BeautyMark Marketing brings beauty expertise to help salons and spas embrace online marketing.