Did you know Google is the biggest search engine in the world with over 70% of the search market share? In the US alone, there is an estimated 45,000 Google searches for the term “salons near me”. So, there is no surprise that business owners invest thousands of dollars to reach potential customers on Google before the competition does.
The dilemma? The extravagant cost of Google Ads and limited funding to invest in Search Engine Optimization. Instead, enhance your search visibility for free on Google with the simple and sustainable solutions laid out in this article.
Given that the vast majority of searchers are looking for a nearby place to get their beauty fix (fast), your salon ranking within the first page of Google is one of the best ways to ensure a steady stream of new customers each month.
Primary, let’s learn how location-specific searches operate in Google.
How do Location-Specific Searches Work in Google?
Did you know when you search for any keywords suffixed with “near me” Google provides results based on the IP address of the searcher? Due to this algorithm, results fluctuate depending on the location of the searcher.
For these particular searches, Google doesn’t solely supply the traditional “organic” rankings. The search engine also provides a map with embedded locations at the top of the results page.
Organic search refers to results of a search engine that is not impacted by paid advertising,- hence the word “organic”.
When a potential customer makes a location-specific search, an interactive map is generated as well as a map displaying embedded locations of relevant businesses. Additionally, Google presents a list of 3 local salons just below the map and directly beneath that, organic results are displayed.
Given that Google displays both the map listing and organic results on its first page subsequently, we explored variety of tactics for your salon to rank on the first page of Google.
Ranking in Google Maps
The top three factors that influence which results appear on Google map for a location-based search include:
- Your Google My Business profile
- Citations you have of your salon’s name, address, and phone number in directories
- The click-through rate of your listing.
In the next section, we will learn how to optimize each of these.
Optimize your Google My Business profile
A complete and sophisticated Google my Business profile is essential for enhancing your searchability potential.
For instance, when an individual makes a location-based search, the Google map result is embedded with links to the Google My Business profiles of relevant businesses.
Therefor, a Google My Business profile is the absolute bare minimum to enhance your Google Map visibility. If you have not yet created a Google My Business profile do so here, pronto!
Keep in mind that Google provides priority to profiles that are complete and up to date versus those that are partially complete. Particularly, the following are important fields for your beauty business to fulfill:
Your opening hours (holiday hours etc)
The services that you offer
Links to any booking platforms you use
Any deals or discounts that you are currently offering
Photos of your premises and team
Want more? Get discovered and booked on Google with the Google Reserve opportunity.
Citations of your Name, Address and Phone Number
Google is engineered to observe popular online directories and “double-check” details for accuracy in its map listing. Therefor, your salon being listed in the popular directories will only have a small overall effect on your visibility on the map for local searches.
Instead, Google wants to see your business as a single, consistent entity across all the directories. It inspects this by matching your business name, address and phone number between the different directories and confirming the information against your Google My Business profile.
The address field is where most inaccuracies occur. For example, Google considers “24 Hartley Road” and “24 Hartley Rd” as two different locations and such imprecision are more common than you might decipher. To avoid diminishing your map visibility, examine all your data on the world wide web for accuracy and reform.
It’s prominent for your data to reconcile when filling out your directory submissions. What you assume is helping you, could actually be harming you.
Maximize the Click-through Rate
Click-through rate refers to how often a listing is clicked on in comparison to other listings that appear for a particular search term.
If users repeatedly click on a certain result more often than others, this signals to the search engine that a higher click search means a better quality credential for that query versus its competing links.
When a user clicks on the map for a location-based search, a list with all relevant local businesses appear to the left of the map. In this list, the Google reviews of each business are made visible.
Its no secret that potential consumers click on listings that have a good amount of reviews, particularly reviews that are positive. Collecting Google reviews will therefore, push you up the list of businesses that appear on Google. Provide exceptional customer service and encourage clients to review your business and even offer them incentives like a Starbucks gift card.
Note that the amount of Google reviews you have does not directly impact your position on the map listing. It only does this indirectly through positively impacting your business’s click-through rate.
Ranking your Salon in Organic Search
Ranking your salon within the organic listings is a bit more comprehensive and should be planned as a long-term strategy.
A competitor’s analysis is effective to understand what needs to be done to rank in the organic listings for the term “salons near me”. Primary, scan the internet to see how many salons are close to your vicinity and how optimized their websites and content is. Bigger brands are generally harder to dislodge than smaller ones. However, to give yourself the best possible chance of ranking for this term, you should do the following to give your website a good foundation:
- Make sure that your name, address, and phone number appear on your homepage and embed a Google Map of your location on your website
- Have at least 300 words of copy on your homepage (ideally over 500 words)
- Have separate pages for each service that you provide and sync a booking widget on each page/ service category
- Make sure to include a chosen keyword in your page title and at least once in your body copy. If you are targeting “near me” searches make sure that this keyword is “salon in [your location]”
Link building is also an essential part of search engine optimization. This involves getting links from third-party websites to your own site. Since we live in a competitive digital world, it is highly effective to offer online booking and scheduling to enhance your chances of getting discovered and booked. In addition, Yocale’s notification and appointment confirmation texts can reduce no show’s by 86% as many of our spa clients experienced.
An effective link building strategy for a salon would be to contact local beauty bloggers and Youtubers and offer them free treatments in exchange for a review. If you live in a decently sized city, there will almost certainly be these influencers nearby.
When an influencer writes their review, encourage them to link back to your website.
Prominence in Google Maps depends on a lot of small factors that when taken by themselves seem insignificant. However, combining these factors and making sure they are modernized consistently will thrive results in the long run.
Always keep in mind that Google’s goal is to present users with the best result for any given search. Any relevant data that signals to a search engine that you operate a high quality salon in your local area will help increase your visibility in the Google Map.