Understanding and Using SEO – Technology – SalonToday | Mega Mediakw

Your website and online listings are living, breathing digital tools that showcase your business to potential new guests every day. To maximize your online presence and continuously drive traffic to your salon, understand how Search Engine Optimization (SEO) works is important.

We know SEO can be an overwhelming topic, so we caught up Imaginary Marketing, who has created SEO-friendly websites for hundreds of salons that rank on page one of Google. Here, Lauren BakosIM’s Creative Strategy Director, shares proven best practices for creating and maintaining a successfully optimized website and localized SEO presence.

3 ways to the first page

“First, it’s good to understand that there are three types of search results,” says Bakos. “There’s paid SEO (the ads), local SEO (the map or Google 3-pack), and organic SEO (the listings below the ads). Ads are obviously pay-to-play and are often discredited by consumers. So let’s focus on regional and organic. Bio is all about your website. Local is all about your online presence elsewhere.


Getting and staying on page one of Google search results takes consistency and dedication, says Bakos. It will take time to improve the quality and quantity of your site’s content, but it is necessary.

91.5 percent of Google searchers never scroll past page one.

Not sure how your salon is doing? Google “hair salon near me” or “best salon near me” to find out.

(Make sure to use the Google Preview Tool for unbiased search results.)

Once you determine where you stand, it’s time to focus on improvements. Bakos breaks it down into three key areas: the way your site looks on the internet (on sites like Google Business Profiles, Yelp, Facebook, etc.), the way your site is built, and the content of your site.


Focus on local search first. Google reports that 46% of searches have local intent (people searching in a city or “near me”). So showing up for them is crucial to getting new guests in your chairs.


“The most important piece of the puzzle for landing on the map is making sure your business is represented correctly on Google. Google business profiles are responsible for 25% of the algorithm to get on the Google map‘ Bakos says.

Other websites are also relevant to the 3-pack. Claim your business anywhere – on Yelp, Google Biz, Facebook, etc. With the click of a button, most websites will walk you through the process of claiming your business.

During claiming, make sure your name, address, and phone number match EXACTLY wherever your business is listed. Are you at 1244 Highway One? Then you should never be listed as 1244 Hwy 1. Consistency is key and will help you build credibility with Google.

You also have options when it comes to other companies.

“Every time someone links back to your site, it gives you credibility,” says Bakos. “Start with the big fish – look for important sites that link to your site. This will help you build your rankings.”

For example, if you’re a member of a mall, make sure your salon is listed and linked to your website. Member of the Chamber of Commerce? Get a link to their website too. And if you get press, ask to link to your mention on your website.

If you partner with another local business to raise funds, ask them to add a link and do the same for them. Cross-promotion also works with your product and tool manufacturers. Find out if they have a salon search and ask to be listed.



“Before Covid, 70% of salon traffic was new visitors. Post Covid, 95% of traffic to salon and spa sites was new visitors.”

The way your website is built is the first step in improving your organic Google rankings. Do you have a modern design and technology? Is your website responsive on all devices?

“Coding and technology are changing rapidly,” says Bakos. “You should consider getting or updating a new website every three years. Be sure to do an audit, talk to developers, and make sure your site is responsive to everything Google is doing right now.”

And if you’re not mobile-friendly, you’re not in the game. 65-70% of website traffic comes from mobile devices– Google will penalize you if your website doesn’t work on phones and tablets.

You should also test the speed of your site (try it for free here). Bakos says, “You will be penalized if you are slow – the faster your site, the better. Compress images and videos to be web-friendly before publishing them.”


Fresh, new content on a regular basis keeps your website ranking high. “If Google sees nothing changing on your site, it will assume your site isn’t relevant,” says Bakos.

But once you’ve set up your service menu, “About” page, stylist bios, booking, etc., not much changes on a weekly or monthly basis.

Enter blogging.

“You have to blog consistently — at least once a month, but more is better,” says Bakos. “Use keywords in headlines, rename images, and use strategic themes.”

Access your areas of expertise such as balayage, men’s haircuts, curly hair, bridal, etc. on blog topics. Don’t forget to include keywords like “chicago aveda salon” or “best salon in chicago”.

Keywords can also be problem solvers, like “gray coverage” or “frizzy hair”.

Bakos suggests that your team write down the questions customers ask most often and then answer those questions in blogs.

“And every file you upload should be named with relevant keywords, including photos and videos and downloads, like a PDF of your service menu,” she adds. “Google can’t read an image – only the name of the image, so it’s important to rename these files with keywords.”




Posting on social media platforms and linking to your website is good for your SEO.

Bakos says more is better on Instagram — post once a day, or more often if you can. On Facebook, she recommends three to five times a week. “But you have to promote every Facebook post,” she says. “The more people see it, the more credible the post.”

And don’t let your 20-year-old stylist convince you that Facebook is a thing of the past. It’s very lively and does well with women aged 35 and over who are the salons’ main clientele.

“There are things Facebook can do with ads and boosted posts that Instagram can’t,” says Bakos. “Facebook is still relevant.”

“Many salons don’t have the time, energy or expertise to invest in SEO. In some markets, it’s easy to get to page one very quickly because nobody else is trying.”

Use these tips and tools to get your site to the top and remember: never stop blogging!



feeling overwhelmed? These tools will help you get started.

  • Analytics: Visit analytics.google.com to ensure Analytics is installed on your site. Then see what your audience is doing and set benchmarks for growth.
  • Mobile friendly: Check how mobile-friendly your site is here.
  • Ad preview: Click here to preview a Google search results page and see if your ads are showing. Bonus: you can see the top players in your market when you use the ad preview tool.
  • Need more help? Contact Imaginal Marketing.

This article originally appeared on AvedaMeansBusiness.com. Visit the website for more useful information on salon governance.

For more information on SEO, see these articles:

Strategies to increase your salon’s video SEO

This is how you turn your website into a customer magnet

How the shutdown may have affected your Google ranking

For reprint and license requests for this article, click here.

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