In this complete SEO and content marketing guide for salons, we go over exactly what you need to do (with examples) to increase website traffic and conversions for your local salon. Learn about how Google works, how to identify content marketing ideas, and how to get more salon leads.
This guide contains everything we know about SEO for hair salons. We constantly update this article to help local salons with their SEO and content marketing. For your convenience, we’ve broken it up into a table of contents.
Table of Contents
An Example of How SEO for Hair Salons Works
We want you to understand why search engine optimization is so important for hair salons, and other beauty industry businesses while also establishing ourselves as a credible source on the topic.
We are a marketing agency for hair salons and offer comprehensive SEO services that can help salons dominate their local market and generate leads for new clients.
This is how we do that with SEO.
Consider the list below of 62 hair salon and spa keywords for one of our clients.
These keywords have another column that displays the average number of monthly searches made in Google for those terms just in the Grand Rapids, MI area.
The total monthly search volume for all of these keywords is 8,080 per month.
None of these keywords include the brand or hair salon name and each of them when searched, will show a local business in Google’s search engine results page (SERP).
This means that in any zip code for Grand Rapids, in any given month, about 8,080 searches for hair salon services are made and those searchers clearly don’t have a hair salon in mind yet.
spa near me
sugaring hair removal near me
back waxing for men
back waxing near me
bikini wax near me
botox near me
brazilian bikini wax
chest waxing near me
dermaplaning facial near me
dermaplaning near me
eyebrow waxing near me
full set lash extensions near me
hair removal wax
hair repair treatment
haircut for women
juvederm fillers near me
lash extension fill
lash extensions near me
lash lift and tint
lash lift and tint near me
lash tint and lift near me
lazer hair removal cost
lazer hair removal near me
leg waxing near me
massage near me
men's back waxing near me
mens haircut near me
mens haircuts near me
microblading eyebrows near me
microblading near me
popular mens haircuts
pregnancy massage near me
shellac manicure near me
sugaring hair removal
wax hair removal near me
waxing hair removal service
women's haircut near me
Now, replace Grand Rapids with your city and your services. It’s going to change the volume, but I think you get the idea.
A lot of people are searching for a hair salon and spa services locally and they don’t always search by brand names.
They search very specifically by the service they are looking for, not just by searching “hair salon near me.”
What does this mean for your hair salon?
It means that you need to make sure you have a dedicated page on your website for each one of your services in order to best match the user’s intent.
What is user intent?
User intent is what a user online intends or wants to find online when they type their search term into an online search engine like Google.
Let’s use the keyword “microblading” as an example to describe user intent.
In Grand Rapids, that single term alone gets searched about 390 times per month. That doesn’t include other variations like “microblading eyebrows,” which gets searched about 110 times per month.
When you search either of those terms in Google, you will see Google’s “map pack”:
This shows local businesses near you.
Google is smart. They have a good understanding of what microblading is because there is a lot of content out there about microblading.
But, when someone searches for microblading it’s important to ask, “what exactly are they looking for?”
The above image is a visual representation of all the questions that people ask in search engines that include the word “microblading.”
That’s a lot of questions.
Google knows that people ask these questions. Google also wants to offer the best search results to their users. They want to provide the most trusted local authority on microblading.
The only way you can be seen as the local authority is by having helpful information about microblading on your website.
While we can assume most people are looking for a hair salon when they search “microblading,” we can’t be sure and neither can Google. But, if you offer great content that covers the topic and the possible intentions of the person searching for microblading on your site, you’ll be in a great position to rank higher.
This is why it’s crucial to have a page on your site for each one of your hair salon services. Read on to learn more about how to position your hair salon website for more organic traffic.
Why SEO for Hair Salons?
Search engine optimization is one of the best digital marketing channels that hair salons have to generate local leads.
When people search for hair salon services locally, you know they are actually ready to buy. Compare that to social media or email marketing where you don’t know when someone will be ready for a manicure.
Here are some of the top reasons why hair salons need SEO:
Customers come to you.
While you can promote your manicures or other salon specials on social media and other channels, the best customers are the ones that come to you when they are ready to make a purchase. SEO allows them the path to do that.
It’s a great long-term investment.
SEO, unlike paid ads and forms of traditional marketing like print advertising, is also a great long-term investment. If done right, what you do today for SEO can help you bring in new customers for months or years.
SEO helps inform marketing.
SEO can and should inform other areas of marketing that you invest in. Since SEO hinges on having great content, that very same content can be used in social media, email, and other channels.
How to Market a Hair Salon
Marketing for hair salons isn’t easy. We could write a novel on the subject and there would still be a lot we didn’t cover.
Salons offer a very personal experience because of the human to human interaction.
Think about it. You are paying someone to touch your head or your hands or your feet. As the hair salon owner or stylist, you also have to be pretty good at working with a lot of different kind of people.
You’ve got to do everything you can to make the humans sitting in your chair feel comfortable there.
That starts before they’ve even stepped foot inside your salon.
Marketing is about empathy and understanding. Many will tell you it’s about persuasion or offering promotions.
The best marketing for hair salons is the kind that speaks to the human and feels personalized.
Using Customer Empathy to Do Salon Marketing
We tell every customer that we work with to learn to develop empathy for their customer.
This is crucial for hair salons and beauty businesses.
In order to successfully execute any form of traditional or internet marketing, you need to know more and care more for your customer than your competition.
Search engine research can help you do this and help you understand why it’s important.
By using a tool like SEMRush you can research the questions people ask Google related to the services you offer at your hair salon.
This should inform what you content you actually put on your website to bring more qualified traffic to your website for each service.
Let’s go back to the microblading example again and take a look at more SEO keywords:
As you can see from the image above, there are a lot of different ways that people include the word “microblading” in a search.
4,369 to be exact.
The image above shows the top questions asked about microblading and the average monthly search volume in the United States.
A lot of these questions are important to answer on your website and in particular, on your microblading service page.
Do you think that everyone in your city that searches for microblading services knows all the most frequently asked questions about microblading?
No. They don’t. That’s why it’s important for your business to have answers to these questions.
People often search for the service provider first, and then look to the service provider to answer all their questions. This is why Google cares that you have answers to these questions even if it is true that your customers can just Google the generic questions like, “what is microblading.”
Google knows there are a lot of questions about microblading online. They also know that if you are a local salon that doesn’t have a lot of answers to these questions then your site isn’t going to be that helpful to users.
If you don’t answer a lot of those questions, how can they trust that your site offers helpful information?
This is why SEO keyword research is so important. If you don’t know what people are asking, it’s hard to know what to include on your website. If you don’t know what to include, you typically don’t write a lot and that means you’ll have little online visibility.
If you put yourself in your customer’s shoes and ask the questions (or use keyword research to explore) that they would ask of your services and then those on your website, you’ll be off to a great start empathizing with your customer.
SEO Strategies and Tactics for Hair Salons
What is SEO for Salons?
SEO or search engine optimization for hair salons is the process of getting quality traffic to your site with the intent of converting that traffic into a new client lead. For the most part, the tactics behind SEO for hair salons aren’t that different than any other local service. However, there are a few important tricks to consider.
Reviews on Google and other third-party review sites are extremely valuable signals of trust for your local salon. Just look at this screenshot for the keyword “pedicure grand rapids”:
The “map pack” (which shows three local businesses) is the top result. Do you see how each one of these local businesses has great reviews and the word “pedicure” is bolded in someone else’s review? This is a clear indication of the value of having great reviews of your salon. Google looks at the exact words people use in their reviews to validate that local salons are actually trusted.View this guide on generating great reviews in Google.
Optimizing Google My Business. Google My Business is your free business profile on Google. It’s what you see to the right of the search engine results page on Google when you search by the name of a local business:
Google My Business allows you to reply to reviews, manage your business information, add photos, make posts, and even message customers and allow customers to schedule appointments.
Google My Business is a must for hair salons. If you haven’t claimed your free profile, do it right away and fill in as much information as possible.
Below is an SEO checklist of tactics you need to know and consider for an effective SEO campaign.
On-Page, Off-Page, & Technical SEO
SEO can be broken down into three general categories; on-page SEO, off-page SEO, and technical SEO.
On-page SEO is mainly the content on your page. Keywords, titles, headings, meta descriptions are all SEO signals that are on a page of your website. Search engines want to make sure the content is relevant to the search term or keyword. Relevancy plays a big role in on-page SEO for salons.
Off-page SEO is everything from other web pages that help a particular page on your site rank. There are several factors, but the biggest are backlinks or links from other sites to your site. It’s crucial to have a good volume and good quality or relevant backlinks to validate your trust and authority.
Technical SEO is, for the most part, all under the hood of your website. It’s making sure your website is developed so that it is crawler friendly, has an SSL certificate, loads fast, etc.
Meta Titles and Descriptions
Meta titles or page titles are the titles of each individual page or post on your website. These are not necessarily visible on the page, but they are visible to the search engines. You have control over this title and what it says so it is crucial that you optimize these titles to stand out.
Meta titles are one of the most overlooked, but powerful SEO tactics salons have to rank higher. Look at the title below from a local salon:
The area in red is your meta or page title. This is something you have control of from your website. This a bad example of a page title and likely is causing this site not to rank as high in Google. It only includes the name of the salon. An optimized title would have some of the following components for optimizing for the keyword “hair salon near me.”
The city we are located in.
The keyword “Hair Salon”
The name of the salon at the end, not the beginning of the title.
If we were to rewrite this meta title, we might write:
Hair Salon in Grand Rapids, MI | SALON NAME
Feel free to get creative with meta titles. These can even include a call to action like, “Schedule a Free Consultation.”
Meta descriptions or page descriptions are another HTML attribute that provides a summary of a page or posts content. These can also be optimized for the search engine results page, but Google will often manipulate them for certain search terms. See the image below in red. Google has highlighted the words “salon” and “Grand Rapids” since those words match our search.
No matter the industry, an effective SEO strategy hinges on really good keyword research and then careful content planning. It’s no different for salons.
It’s important to know exactly what potential clients are searching for related to your services and to understand how often people are searching for your services.
We always start by building a big list of keywords and look at the national keyword volume. By looking at how people search for salon services nationally we can determine the best keywords to focus on locally.
Below is a screenshot of some of our keyword research using SEMRush:
As you can see there are a lot of different ways that people search that include the words “women” and “haircut.”
Keyword research is the art and science of looking at how people search and how often they search for it.
Good keyword research involves investigating what the intent of the user is for each keyword. People can use the exact same words, but be looking for something different.
Understanding possible intent helps you to determine what you need to include on your site to rank highly for each keyword.
To perform keyword research we use a tool that allows us to put in a broad term like “women’s haircut” to start getting ideas for how people search.
There is a lot of monthly search volume for “short haircuts for older women” for instance.
When you search that query in Google, you won’t see a local hair salon come up (at the time of writing this). It’s mostly images and ideas for styles.
But, this keyword and these search engine results should still be important to your local hair salon.
This means it would be helpful to have some content on your website about short haircuts for older women. This could be a blog post with images and styles.
Google’s algorithm is getting better and more personalized all the time. While we can’t say for sure this is how it works or will work in the future, we do believe it’s possible. Imagine this scenario:
Woman searches “short haircuts for older women” in Google and gets ideas for her new style.
She then searches “hair salon near me.”
If she is logged in to Google, they will understand based on the first search that she:
Is likely an older women.
Is interested in short haircuts.
Is now looking for a hair salon.
If that’s true, then it’s extremely important that your salon website has content about short haircuts for older woman. That way, your website best matches the intent and profile of the searcher and not only their one single search, but their search journey.
Do you see how fun (and complex) keyword research for hair salons can be?
Keep in mind that keyword research is never over. It’s important to continually investigate the way people search for your services or the topics your target audience is interested in to inform your content and SEO strategy.
Page Load and Mobile-friendliness
Your page load time is crucial not only to SEO but your potential customer’s experience. Google will promote sites with a faster page load speed if it enhances the user’s experience. This is especially important when loading over mobile devices, which are often being used on 3G and 4G connections with slower download speed.
Keep the size of your images and other large media minimal and work with an experienced web developer to optimize your site for speed.
Your website needs to be mobile-friendly. Your target audience is searching for you on mobile devices and with Google’s mobile-first indexing, you can’t ignore the importance of a mobile-friendly website. Mobile-first indexing is essentially Google stating that they are prioritizing mobile-friendly sites when people search on their mobile devices.
Your website design is important to the user’s experience and has implications for your search engine optimization. If your potential customers can’t easily find what they are looking for, you may miss out on new potential clients.
What makes for a great salon website?
Beautiful images of your salon.
Images and bios of your stylists and employees.
Copy that is written for your customer not about you.
Easily accessible contact information.
Booking and appointment scheduling.
A page dedicated to each one of your services with helpful information.
Mobile-friendly and loads fast.
A blog with helpful content related to your services.
When it comes to web design for salons, less is more.
Link building is the process of acquiring backlinks or links from other sites to your website. This is really important for local beauty salons and hair salons to build your expertise, authoritativeness, and trust locally.
Moz has a list of local citation websites for beauty salons (which can be used for salons in general). These are websites that will typically list your business for free.
Although your customers may not find you often on these sites, it’s great to have your business listed there for credibility and should help give your site a little SEO help.
Utilizing your social media channels, you should be promoting the content you publish on your website. If you have identified demand for the content you are investing in producing, it can be beneficial to share it and stay relevant and top of mind with your target audience.
We recommend sharing snippets and links to a mix of articles that you write on your own site and that others write that your audience would benefit from. Don’t share content that is self-promotional. Share content that is helpful to your ideal client.
If you are a local salon it’s important to consider Local SEO. Local SEO helps you optimize your site for a local audience. If your target audience is physically close to your location, it’s important to add some additional tactics to your SEO strategy.
There is a lot to cover with local SEO, but for a quick reference make sure you:
Create a Google My Business account and optimize it by adding the products and services you offer and making sure all your business information is complete.
Mention the areas you serve on your website and possibly even create a web page for each location. Create a “service-area” page and then list all the surrounding cities you serve. This helps add context to the search engines so they know who to help when they search “near me” or one of the cities you serve.
Make sure you are listed on other local citations like your local Chamber or other local businesses or news sources.
Content Marketing for Salons
Why do we bring up content marketing on a guide about SEO? Because a successful SEO strategy for salons is dependent on content.
The beginning of any effective content marketing strategy for salons begins on a foundation of a thorough keyword research process, which is also the foundation of great SEO.
Our keyword research process for hair salons is below.
How to Identify Content Marketing Ideas
Talk to Your Customer
Your customer is who you are marketing to. How do you expect to get good results from marketing if you don’t talk to them and listen really well?
Customers may only get a haircut once a month or get a pedicure a couple of times a year, but they live with their hair and feet every single day.
What insight can you provide them (for free) that comes second nature to you?
You work with hair every single day and most likely help people style their hair in different ways. That’s great content!
One hair salon customer we’ve worked with offered a free 10-week up-do tutorial email series. Every single week, the subscribers were sent an automated email that had a video and a step by step guide for styling their hair in a new way.
Conversions on their website doubled.
There was over a 60% email open rate every single week.
This kind of content marketing is perfect because each tutorial could also be published as a blog post. It’s also incredibly valuable for building your brand. It isn’t “salesy”. It is a value add.
Salons offering content like this can convert more website visitors into store visits. Imagine being able to offer your potential customers who haven’t met you yet an engaging email series for weeks that they look forward to. It’s powerful and creates raving fans.
Consider the Venn diagram below:
Your goal is to identify quality content that is attractive to your ideal customer that you could create.
The pain, problems, or questions your potential or even current clients are asking should inform your content strategy.
Do Keyword Research
If you’ve read this guide, you’re probably starting to think I’m sounding like a broken record.
We can’t emphasize enough the importance of keyword research. It’s something you should do regularly.
Too often, people create and post content without evidence that people actually are demanding it. Keyword research is evidence of demand. It’s proof that your customer actually wants that content.
By focusing on writing quality content on all the questions, topics, and subtopics people search for, you’ll begin to dominate the search engines.
Create a Shortlist
As you use a keyword research tool, create a shortlist. These can be high-intent, low-intent, short-tail, and long-tail.
High-intent keywords are those that clearly indicate the intention of the searcher like “hair salon for men near me.”
Low intent keywords are those that are less clear and often have a “short-tail” or fewer words like “hair.”
Add any that seem relevant for now. You can chisel them down later. The point of creating a big list is to get a good overview of your entire potential market and you can create a content plan based around all of your keywords.
Consider Content Types
Content is not just written copy and your target customer doesn’t want to just read.
Content is anything your audience interacts with. For salons, that’s certainly images and videos.
Since your service is incredibly personal, it’s crucial to use video and images on your website so that website visitors can come as close to experiencing your physical location and stylists as possible.
Our SEO Services: Websites That Increase Traffic & Conversions
We create salon websites and execute SEO & content marketing plans that increase traffic and conversions.
Attracting website traffic can be a challenging and daunting task. There are a lot of moving parts to your website. It’s a living organism that requires constant attention and maintenance. And then you have to think about quality, fresh content that you can contribute. Writing great, authoritative content takes time.
But, it can be worth the investment to your salon with the right SEO strategy and content marketing strategy.
Evidence-based Salon Marketing
At Avalanche Creative, we create evidence-based, highly executable search engine and content marketing plans for salons. Our process takes the mystery out of the question, “should I invest long term in SEO and content marketing?” and provides a bullet-proof plan for how to execute salon SEO and content strategy that drives more traffic, more qualified leads, and builds your brand authority.
We are an SEO company that specializes in SEO for salons. Our SEO services mitigate the risk of a bad investment in search engine optimization. We do this by researching and planning more thoroughly than anyone else. We make sure your SEO and content marketing plan is truly investable.
Types of Salons We Can Help
Waxing and Hair Removal
Frequently Asked Questions
How do you market yourself as a salon?
Get a website and create great content for your target audience.
Create a Google My Business account.
Get on social media.
Develop an ongoing marketing strategy.
Offer first-time specials.
Create a service-page for each one of your services.
How can a salon get more clients?
There are many ways for salons to get more clients. Some of the best ways include: