The world of spas and beauty salons is a highly competitive space. As an owner or marketing team member, you already know that. It’s all about standing out from the crowd and snagging those leads that lead to new business bookings. When it comes to standing out from the competition and building a great brand reputation, the future of your marketing must embrace digital strategies.
Having an excellent website design that is specifically focused on the best practices of the spa and beauty verticals can help your company shine and capture those leads that contribute to an increase in bookings. There are specific best practices that apply to both the beauty and spa industries. Additionally, there are specific best practices that apply to any service-based business. Integrating these best practices into your website design and search engine optimization (SEO) strategy will help you succeed and stand out from the competition. First, let’s look at some of the common challenges that are facing the overall spa and beauty industries today.
Marketing Challenges Facing the Spa and Beauty Industries
The spa and beauty industries are facing a variety of new challenges as the industry only continues to become more competitive and digital marketing becomes more essential. Many marketers work specifically in the beauty niche and see common issues facing owners that seem to crop up no matter how big the salon or city. Below are some of the top challenges that spas and salons face when marketing their businesses.
- Cutting corners when building websites
- Stale content: website is left stagnant, lowering chances of higher search rankings
- Salon owners that forget to include basic contact or location integration
- Not integrating Google Maps or click-to-call buttons.
- No digital integration of tools people have come to expect, such as being able to auto-schedule an appointment online
- Losing digital marketing benefits with a website or platform that is difficult to manage or provides a negative user experience
- Using cheesy stock photos in marketing collateral, digital or otherwise
- Poor digital customer experience
- No value proposition included in marketing campaigns
- Not adapting to social media as a legitimate marketing tool that receives real results
- Wasted marketing dollars paying to be on “listing sites” that don’t provide traffic and website referrals. Most searchers prefer higher-quality sites with better Google rankings
- Continuing to pay for high-end advertising that costs hundreds when social campaigns cost pennies
7 Essentials for a Best-In-Class Spa and Beauty Website
Gauge the Amount of Megaphone you Truly Need
When it comes to website design for your salon or spa, the first step in great design is to gauge the amount of megaphone you actually need to provide visitors with. For example, there are many WordPress templates that have been specifically designed for spas, salons, and beauty companies. These are highly professional templates. Don’t let the word template fool you. These have been designed by the best of the best. Therefore, ask yourself if you truly need a custom-designed website with all the bells and whistles that a website for, say, a healthcare system would need? Or are you better off with a simpler template that still offers you everything you need to provide visitors with a seamless, high-end user experience that gains new leads and more bookings for you? Don’t get caught up in the flash of a custom-build website, ask yourself what level of design you truly need to get a gorgeous website.
Define your Unique Selling Proposition (USP) Throughout the Site
When it comes to salons and spas, there is certainly NO shortage of options. Even the smallest towns have multiple salons. You need to establish a definitive reason or reasons exactly why your site visitors should choose to come to your business instead of selecting a competitor.
This is called a USP and it is basically an established, definitive piece of content that outlines the following:
- Who you are
- Why you are passionate about your business
- What services you offer
- Why your services are BETTER than your competition
- Once you’ve established your USP, you need to get it down on paper. This will affect the website’s design and content strategy. Then, drench your website with content that reiterates and goes back to that USP. This will become a unique part of your website as well as other marketing materials, ads, and social media.
Keep Content Simple and To-The-Point
In addition to a site being too busy, too much content will overwhelm your site visitors. Additionally, when you have such a mass of content, it all loses its importance and winds up running together. Think about what you look for when you are looking for services like a haircut, color, massage, manicure, etc. You’re looking for basic information like location and hours, services provided, reviews, and more. These are basic things that should be featured prominently and easy to find. People aren’t coming to your website to read a 500-word biography of the salon owner or learn about the history of acupuncture, that is what your blog is for.
Make your Site Design Image-Heavy
Along with keeping content simple and your site sleek, focus on making your website image-centric. Every woman or man wants to be attractive and well put together, that’s why they go to salons and spas in the first place. Showcasing these types of photos encourage site visitors to make the call and schedule an appointment to gain similar results.
Utilize a balance of professional photos and everyday photos of happy customers. These can be as simple as incorporating an Instagram feed that showcases successful haircuts, styles, colors, or happy spa clients with testimonials. Don’t forget to include a photo of the exterior of your business on the location page.
Offer Add-On Value: Create an Irresistible Special Offer and Watch your Bookings Soar
As mentioned before, the industry is extremely competitive when it comes to the spa and beauty markets. Offering something of add on or “extra” value is an exceptional way to attract new customers. Many times, people are hesitant to offer something because they fear it doesn’t show the true value of their services. Yet, even the highest-end salons and spas know the value of making prospective customers feel special and get excited with an irresistible special offer. Offer them something extra. Some examples include:
- Percentage off or minor discount for first-time clients
- Referral perks for existing customers
Keep It Sleek and Seamless
Delivering a poor user experience and non-sleek design are two major design faux pas that can cause your prospective leads to bounce (leave) your website and immediately seek out a competitor. Keep it clean and don’t overwhelm site visitors with a rush of too many colors or make the design too busy. As a rule of thumb, your site should have a maximum of three colors integrated. You should try to use a main color that pairs well with your logo (or is the same as your logo) and two accent colors. Consistency is key.
One major element that hurts design for websites and salons is a lack of whitespace. Keep in mind that whitespace doesn’t necessarily have to be white, but don’t make it something crazy like lime green. Today, more than 50% of people visit websites via a mobile device. This number is even higher for service-based industries like restaurants, lawn care, and, of course, salons and spas. Remember, your colors are a key part of your brand.
Include Reviews throughout the Site and a Dedicated Page or Widget for Reviews
People trust reviews and testimonials from real people just like them. Integrate review snippets throughout the site and leave a tab or sub-tab for lengthier reviews. You can also include these longer reviews on your blog with photos, if possible. Seeing a real human that is smiling and satisfied makes the review much more impactful.
You will also want to get the most out of the reviews you collect by repurposing them across a variety of marketing channels. For example, an exceptional review can be shared on your social media platforms, used in an email blast, used as a pull quote on a physical piece of marketing collateral like a mailer, and anyplace else you think that sharing your customers’ great reviews is appropriate.
Get SERIOUS About Search, Especially Local Search
While not design-related, you can ignore the fact that there’s no point in investing time, energy and funds in a truly amazing website if no one can find it. Many people find new salons either by word-of-mouth referrals or simply searching on something like “best salons in Atlanta” or “top-rated spas in Des Moines.” Optimizing your content, images, and backend at the bare minimum will help your website get found and increase your bookings and new leads that come from organic search.
Remember, if you are a salon or spa based in Atlanta, why would you waste marketing efforts and funds marketing to people searching for services you offer in Des Moines? As a local business, you actually have a strong advantage over national or global businesses when it comes to search rankings. There are many things you can do to optimize your SEO strategy to capture local searchers looking for your services.
Key takeaway: putting the time and effort into your salon or spa’s SEO strategy is essential to having a best-in-class website and gaining more bookings.
Conclusion: Build an Exceptional Website for your Salon or Spa
These best-in-practice strategies and best practices have been proven to get the phone ringing off the hook or the online scheduling of appointments growing like wild. In today’s digital world and the competitive beauty industry, there is no room to be complacent with your website. Great design, a seamless user experience, and marketing strategies like retargeting campaigns are the wave of the future. Don’t let your salon or spa get left behind. Embrace the latest and greatest marketing strategies.