5 easy “hacks” to get your salon found on Google
Google is the first place that most of us turn to when we’re searching for businesses, hands down. You probably know from experience that almost every time, your search begins there.
And for businesses like ours, there is a huge opportunity to get found if we play the “Google game” right.
However, I guarantee there are things your salon could be doing to rank higher. Heck, there are still a ton of things that I personally need to do for Sunnystorm Marketing to get found more on Google.
The problem is, Google SEO (search engine optimization) can get pretty overwhelming, pretty fast. I know that Google might seem confusing and there are so many different ways to rank, that you might have given up.
You might think there’s nothing you can do to change how you rank on Google, so you’ll just wait and see what happens.
Take it from me: you do not need to be a technical wizard to rank well on Google. When I first started my website, I knew next to nothing about Google.
But now, just 2 years later, my website gets hundreds of visitors every day of salon owners searching for things like “hair salon Instagram ideas” or “how to use Facebook ads for a spa”.
It’s not rocket science. But if you ignore certain things, you’ll be hurting your business. Fewer people will find you online, and you’ll be missing out on potential clients who would LOVE what you do… but simply don’t know you exist.
So, if your salon already shows up first when someone searches “hair salons in Chicago” or “best facial spa in houston”… you can go ahead and skip this blog post. My feelings won’t be hurt.
But, if you know that some of your competitors are ahead of you, and you’re willing to put in a few hours to jump them in line, rank higher, and get more salon clients from Google, then let’s jump in.
These ideas are not difficult at all, and will only take a small amount of time with huge results.
Get 10 five-star Google My Business reviews
Time needed: 1 hour
Google My Business is a extremely important way for local businesses (with an address) to rank on Google. And what you do with your GMB profile makes a difference on where you show up - both on Google Maps and on the regular Google search results.
I’m sure you’ve noticed that the salons around you that rank well when you search them on maps have something in common: They usually have lots of 5 star reviews!
Remember, it does take time to build up to that, so don’t feel like you need to get 30 5-star reviews immediately. However, the businesses that have loads of great reviews and the high rankings that come from it, typically have a process.
They have regularly things they do in their business on a daily, weekly, and monthly basis to get great reviews constantly. If you want your salon to appear high on maps, you need a process, too.
Here are some ideas to help you with getting more stellar reviews:
Provide exceptional customer service. This one in a no-brainer, but also a very in-depth subject that I can’t go deep into - otherwise this blog post would be 80,000 words long! However I felt like I should mention it because you simply can’t build up a strong online presence if your customer service sucks. #sorrynotsorry
Send automated/regular followup emails after every client comes in, asking if they’ll leave you feedback on Google. This one is very easy to implement but so few salons are doing it! Usually, just asking nicely with a quick email saying how much you appreciate their review is enough!
Hold a competition with your staff members to see who can get the most 5 star reviews (if they’re mentioned by name). This give team members an incentive to provide amazing service, and also to talk with their clients about leaving a review. You decide what the prize is, but make sure it’s lucrative enough to get results!
Once a week or once a month, reach out to your top clients who had an amazing experience, send them a personalized email or text message thanking them and asking for reviews. This is a nice way to let them know how much you appreciate them, and asking for a small favour that will help you a ton.
Share your Google reviews regularly on your website, emails, Facebook, Instagram etc. Sharing more of them shows how much you appreciate reviews, and makes your clients more likely to leave you a review in return when they see them.
As you can see, there are several things you can put in place this week that won’t take a ton of time, but will help your salon’s Google My Business profile get more attention and attract more clients.
If you want more ideas for improving your Google My Business profile, check out my blog post here.
Write an optimized website description in Google
Time needed: 10 minutes
Have you Googled your business name recently? If you haven’t, go ahead. Search “Sarah’s Spa, Toronto” or whatever your business name and city name are, and see what shows up.
What you’re seeing in Google as your website description, is what dozens of people are seeing every single day when the come across your website.
Does this description do your business justice? Is it done with intention, or is it accidental? Does it give a great impression of your business and make people want to click?
If not, don’t worry. Your website description is very easy to change, but will make a big impact on your Google search presence.
Not only does it simply get more people to click if it looks and sounds nice, but Google tracks what percentage of people are actually clicking through when they see your site, and may reward you with a rankings boost.
If you were looking for lash extensions, which of these websites would you click on, based only on their Google description?
So what exactly should your description say?
First of all, make sure to include your business name, city or neighbourhood name, and a few keywords about what you do in the title.
Then, underneath in the description, call out a few unique things about your business. Are you award winning? A green salon? Voted best in your city? Do you specialize in a certain type of unique service?
Using 155 characters (the limit of what will show up), put together a sentence or two about your business that will get potential clients excited to click. You should also include one of your keywords (like “microblading” “spray tan”, “Balayage” etc) and you might also want to include a call to action like “Book your appointment now” or “book your consultation for free”
Okay, now that you know what you want to write, where the heck do you write it?
Whether you have a Wordpress site, Spacespace, Wix, Weebly or something else, it’s pretty simple to edit your site title and description. Here are some links to do that:
Write 5 short blog posts
Time needed: 2-4 hours
I’m sure you’ve heard of “keywords” before. Those are the words that you want to appear for when people search them on Google. Usually it’s a combination of your most popular services, and the name of your city or area.
“Lash extensions in Toronto”
“Miami spray tans”
“Nail salons Los Angeles”
It is important to have these keywords in some places on your website, so that Google knows what you’re all about. However, it’s very easy to go overboard, stuff your website text full of keywords, and have Google penalize you with bad rankings because your website looks spammy.
Instead of keyword-stuffing, here’s a great way of creating useful content that sells your services, while also helping your site to rank better:
Write several short blog posts about your services, and place some keywords in the title and text of the blog posts.
My blog posts (like this one) are the number one way that I get ranked on Google. They help thousands of people every month find my website and learn about my business!
Another benefit of writing blog posts is that you can share valuable, educational content with your email list and social media followers. Instead of just sharing photos, why not provide real value?
These blog posts don’t have to be super long. As long as they’re at least 500 words (a few paragraphs) that should be good. I recommend that you also include photos in the blog post to make it more attractive.
So, what exactly should you be writing your blog posts about?
Here are some ideas for you:
5 reasons my salon is different from your average hair salon
3 things you need to know about microblading before doing it
My journey from starting the salon to where we are now
My favourite skincare products of the season
5 local businesses you didn’t know about yet (but are sure to love!)
The surprising reason why we raised our pricing
Make sure these blog posts are helpful and educational, and not spammy. But do try to put some keywords in them in some places, so they help you to rank on Google.
If you want more ideas for how blogging can help your salon’s marketing, read my blog post all about it here.
Make sure your NAP is consistent everywhere on the internet
Time needed: 30 minutes
NAP?! What’s that?
Your NAP is your business name, address and phone number. For local businesses with a physical address, NAP is an extremely important way to get ranked.
Because lots of Google searches are location based (if you’re in a certain neighbourhood and search “nail salons” on Google maps, the closest ones will show up first), Google wants to make absolutely sure that your salon is located where you say it is.
It’s not enough just to put your contact information in once on Google My Business, either. Your name address and phone number need to be EXACTLY the same everywhere you appear online. This includes:
Your website (all pages)
Your Google profile
Have you recently moved locations? Have you updated your business name (even by one word difference) or changed phone numbers?
If so, there’s a good chance those changes aren’t reflected everywhere, and Google is confused. That’s not a good thing, as you could probably guess.
So the first thing you need to do is Google your business and make a list of everywhere you appear online. Each link, site, page, that references your business - check it. Make sure that your name address and phone number are exactly the same and correct everywhere.
If you find any discrepancies, change them yourself or send a message to the site owner asking them to update it for you.
This whole process should only take half an hour, but once you get your NAP clean and updated everywhere, you’re sure to see an increase in your Google rankings.
List your business in online directories
Time needed: 1 hour
Did you know that one of the biggest factors of where you rank on Google has to do with the websites that link to yours?
When I say “link” I mean that somewhere on their website, they include a hyperlink to your website for people to click.
And, the better regarded that website is (the more popular it is), the better it is to have a link from them. It’s like them “vouching” for your business.
The great thing is, it’s not too hard to get lots of high-quality websites to link to yours. The secret is directories: Big online listings of businesses where you can create your own profile that includes your contact info, website, and description.
Here are some of the best websites to create a listing on, that have high authority with Google:
Your Local chamber of commerce (search for your city’s)
These are just some examples, but your city or town is sure to have its own local business directories, so be sure to search “city name” business directory and list your salon there, too!
Make that in each listing, your NAP is accurate, you have a description of your business using a couple keywords, and you have a link back to your website (very important!).
This is an easy project to do once a year for your business, and it should only take an hour at most. But getting listed really does help Google to see your business as more and more “legit”!
Getting your salon optimized for Google doesn’t have to be a massive, time-consuming, expensive task. And you do not need to outsource it to someone who’s more “technical” than you.
Getting found on Google has a lot to do with the content your website has, your Google My Business profile, and where you are listed online. And these things are so easy to control and optimize, as long as you take the time to do them.
By following these 5 easy “hacks”, you’ll have more new clients finding you on Google every day. And I think that’s something that we ALL want!
If you haven’t yet, grab my newest eBook below, “One month of salon Instagram posts”! It’s a calendar plus guide where I show you what to post for the next 28 days on Instagram. If you’ve ever struggled for creative ideas, I think you’ll like it! Download it below…