The success of any hair salon depends on getting bums on seats. However, with so many salons around, this can be easier said than done. Today, the first place anyone wanting to find a new stylist is going to look is online and this makes the salon website an indispensable part of your business. For any salon wanting to upgrade or even create their first website, here are seven features we think are essential.
1. Mobile-friendly design
In the 2020s, more people are going to look for a hair salon using their smartphones than on any other device. This means that if you want your website to work effectively for those people, it will need to display correctly on a phone’s small screen. Unfortunately, not all website themes are designed to work in this way, so make sure that when you are creating your website that a responsive (mobile-friendly) theme is used.
Responsive themes are important because they adapt your website to work on all devices: phones, computers and tablets. They adjust the layout of the content and resize images, forms and buttons to make sure that every user can access the site regardless of device. Without a responsive theme, over half of all your visitors may be unable to read your content and you could lose lots of new clients as a result.
2. High-quality gallery
How can customers that don’t know your salon find out how great you are at cutting, colouring and styling hair? The obvious answer is to create a style gallery or portfolio of your best haircuts and put them on your website for potential customers to see. Some website themes come with portfolio pages and gallery tools built-in, but you can also add them with plugins or even, with the latest WordPress versions, using its full site editing features.
All you need to do then is ask customers if you can take a photo to use on your site (telling them how fab their new hairstyle looks always helps!) and then upload them to your website. Make sure the images are well lit, high quality and show your talents at their best and you’re bound to attract new customers.
Besides images of your hairstyles, make sure to show photos of how great your salon looks, any specialist equipment you use and those all-important friendly images of your team.
3. Key content
There are questions everyone wants to know before they book an appointment and without the answers, they are unlikely to go ahead. Putting that key information on your website, in a place where it is easy to find, will make sure those questions are answered.
Things to include are information about your stylists and their experience, the range of services you provide and what you charge for them, your opening hours, location and nearest parking.
4. Online booking engine
Installing a booking engine on your website solves problems and provides opportunities. If there’s no one to answer the phone, a simple message on your answering machine directing them to your website can prevent that caller from finding another salon. Similarly, if someone is unable to make a telephone booking during the working day, a website booking form lets them do it at a time most convenient to them.
What’s more, when you take the customer’s name, email address and mobile number, you’ll be able to send them friendly reminders of their appointment so that they don’t forget and you don’t lose out because they don’t turn up.
5. Social proof
Reviews and ratings have become a common feature of 21st Century purchasing decisions, whether people are choosing a movie to stream or looking for a holiday resort. This is equally as true for hair salons. Before new customers make a booking, they will look to see what other customers have to say about you and what ratings they have given you.
While getting great reviews is down to you, it is important to make sure that visitors can see them on your site rather than having to visit a third-party website. To do this, you can embed third-party reviews, such as those from Trustpilot or Facebook, on your own pages.
Customers inputting information into online booking forms will want to know that your website is a secure place to do this. Make sure you have an SSL certificate (available for free through eukhost) as this will encrypt the information users send and ensure your site is labelled as secure, with the padlock icon, on browsers. At the same time, using a web host that defends your server with robust firewalls and intrusion and malware prevention, and provides free daily backups, reduces the risk of cyberattacks and helps you recover your site quickly if the worst happens.
7. Fast and reliable hosting
Modern consumers, armed with superfast hi-tech devices, don’t expect to wait around for websites to load or for responses to their interactions to hang. Search engines, like Google, don’t expect they should either. If your hosting is slow, this means potential customers will abandon your site and look elsewhere and just as disastrously, Google won’t rank your website as highly, so fewer people will get to see it.
For these reasons, look for a hosting plan where the servers use high speed, high-performance technology, like the super-fast SSD storage and Intel Xeon processors at eukhost.
People of all ages increasingly make use of the internet to find their ideal hairstyle. To cater for their needs, modern hair salon websites need to be mobile-friendly, provide the right images and information, offer online booking and social proof, and be fast, secure and reliable.
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