The internet is not a fad, and it is only going to be playing a bigger role in our business and personal lives. That is why EVERY salon needs a website. Not just a pretty looking website that your 14 year old nephew created for you, it needs to be designed to convert visitors into paying clients. So while that homespun website might have worked in the past, consumers are becoming more plugged in and much much more savvy in the digital world you need to stay up with if not ahead of the best practices and stay at the forefront of the digital environment. So here is my five suggestions to create a web presence that will drive paying customers to your business.
1. Mobile responsive design.
Mobile is just more than kids sending snapchat’s to each other. It’s the evolution of the internet! Everyday more people are making the leap to smartphones and the mobile web. Facts are 91 percent of Americans own a mobile phone, and 56 percent of adults own a smartphone and they are spending more time with their mobile devices, be it phones or tablets than ever before, infact web traffic from mobile devices is up 133 percent! Presently 15 percent of all online sales come from a mobile device and that is expected to jump to 25 percent in the next 3 years.
2. K.I.S.S. Keep it simple sweetie.
When a customer comes to your website they are looking for a few things, price, information or maybe to book an appointment. Keep the process simple, don’t make it complicated, have your prices at the top of your menu, if you offer online booking make it simple and not requiring too many steps to complete. Mobile devices are not as easy to navigate as a desktop computer so keep it intuitive and simple.
3. The age of Twitter attention spans.
Research done by the University of Hamburg shows that people are not stopping on websites for long. 17 percent of all pageviews for a website are 4 seconds or under. That is not much time to grab the attention of the visitor and make them want to stay and find out more about your business. For the first time visitor to your website, less is more. Distill your frontpage content down to only the most important information. If you have 4 seconds, that’s about 593 words, keep your copy short and sweet.
4. Get a basic understanding of SEO.
The thing that drives traffic to your website is Google, and like the most fickle of women Google changes it algorithm on what seems like a whim. Using something like Google webmaster tools to keep an eye on what is happening on your site and learn to tweak it based on the behaviour of your visitors is a must. There are other voodoo tricks to SEO but they are best left to an expert or until you become more confident in your own skills.
5. Install Google Analytics on your site.
Google Analytics gives you a great overview of the traffic to your website. The most important thing you can find here is where the traffic from your site is coming from. By knowing if it is Google, Facebook or another source that is sending you the most traffic you can tweak your marketing strategies to make the most of it. It is pointless to be spending time putting stuff on Pinterest when Facebook is sending you the visitors to your site, and if people are searching for you in Google you might consider Adwords to increase your traffic.