Guest blog: How to build an online presence for your salon

This week's guest blogger is Claire Morris, a writer for beauty industry uniform supplier Harveys of Oldham. Here, she breaks down the basics of creating an online presence for your salon.

If you work in a salon or spa, it’s easy to get caught up in a busy schedule of appointments and not think of ways to expand your business beyond your usual clientele of regulars and passers-by.

Many salons still don’t have a presence on the web, or if they do, they keep activity to a minimum.

Promoting your salon on the internet can seem an unnecessary waste of resource if your business is already ticking along nicely, but failing to utilise this channel to its full potential could in fact mean you’re seriously slowing down the growth of your beauty business.

Here’s an overview of the key aspects you need to consider:

Choose a platform

Before choosing a CMS for your site, you’ll need to consider what you want the website to do. Do you sell the products you use in your salon? If so, you might want to consider incorporating e-commerce software into your site to enable you to sell these online too. Magento would be the best choice for this, as it makes setting up and managing an e-commerce platform simple.

On the other hand, if you want to use your website as an area to share information about your services and host a blog to provide valuable content for your clients, a CMS such as WordPress is ideal and allows you to easily upload and manage files.

Target your audience

You need to make sure that the design of your site will appeal to the kind of client you’re trying to attract, as well as being clearly connected with your brand (e.g. using recognisable colours, logos and imagery).

Are you a busy city centre salon focused on express treatments with an audience of mostly young-middle aged women? Then make sure your site reflects this. Running a relaxed spa retreat, however, you might target a wider audience: groups of young women, older couples or family groups. In this instance, your site should reflect a broad audience. Choose a look that will appeal to a large demographic and is easy to navigate, this way, you’re ensuring your site will be useable for the large audience you want to attract.

Is it responsive?

Many people now browse the web on mobile devices, so your site needs to be responsive in order to be viewable to audiences across any device. Also, Google has started using mobile-friendliness as a ranking factor in its mobile search results, so if people are searching for your services from a mobile device and your site isn’t responsive, you won’t be ranked very highly, meaning that potential customers might not find you.