This process is something to works with not just Salons but most local businesses will rank fairly easy from doing this. As a business you want to do things that normal businesses do. You want to perform these things randomly do they look natural. The other thing I preach is to do this consistently over time. Slow and steady wins the race. Most of the time a local business doesn’t have a ton of tough competition. You are only competing with a few other local businesses. That is the reason this works. Other small businesses don’t usually have a big budget or a marketing agency on retainer. They are usually busy running their businesses. The times that it is tough for you when it’s new is if your competition has been operating a reputable business for a long time. You should know that this won’t happen overnight. IF you try to do too much too fast that will trigger google filters and land your site with a penalty. There is a lot of talk about the Google Sandbox. Really this is nothing you should think about. If you follow these steps over a few months and keep at it a little every day or even a little once a week you will see results soon enough. Let’s be honest. If you are one of the top 3 then you get listed in maps and if you have a good maps listing with nice reviews then you are going to get plenty of traffic.
Step 1 – Keyword Research
SEO (search engine optimization) all starts with doing keyword research. As a small business a maps listing in the top 3 should be your goal. So start with claiming your business. Get your GMB profile (Google My Business) filled out. Be sure it’s complete and upload at least one image for each service you offer. Upload your logo and your store front. Upload an image of your reception area. . Then make a list of the keywords that people search for. The searches for those categories in your city. Keep in mind your state local area. Also think about variations of your services, categories and city.
Note: The best way to find great keywords is too look at what your competition is ranking for.
Step 2 – GMB Choose The Right Category
Most importantly select the proper primary category. What is your businesses primary focus. And don’t forget to get as many secondary categories submitted as make sense. Don’t cheat. Do this proper. You want to look like a real business to google. Use these categories as your H1 tags on your site.
Step 3 – Site Structure
To start with you want a nice main page. You should have an about us page as well as a contact page and a service page. The service page should link to a dedicated page for each service. Keep it clean and make sure it’s easy to navigate. These we like to make orphan pages. These are little child pages about specific things that support these main pages. So if one of your services is Gel Nails. Maybe make a few pages about Gel Nails that are service specific. These are not specific to your business. There are things like what is gel polish? That wouldn’t be part of your main page navigation but rather a page that links to your service page on Gel Nails. Do the same thing for city pages. Let’s say you do an event or sponsor a little league team. Use the city a lot in that page and link it back to your home page. What this does is signal that your domain is relevant to the city you service. Again it wouldn’t be part of your main site navigation but instead it’s an orphan that links to the main page. You do this to add relevancy to your business for the specific geographic area you service.
Step 4 – Link Building
When we take on a new client we always do a professional press release. We get your site listed in lots of national very authoritative news publications. Real businesses do this. Anytime you have any new news that is relevant for a press release do a new one. If you add a new service or your business gets some kind of award. You would want to announce that.
Note: We like to add a link to our GMB listing when we do a press release.
Social Media and Web 2.0 links. One of the great things that web 2.0 properties allow you to do is add links to those orphan pages. This fills up your web2.0s with quality content and keeps them current and gets your some link juice to your domain. Most importantly have a great social media presence helps you look like a real business. Keep them all current with fresh content. Our biggest suggestion is to use them to get new clients. Post things to them that convince new potential clients that they want to try out your business. Be sure these profiles are all filled out and include your domain and maybe a google map embed so people know where to find you. One big tip for social media. When you get a great review post it on social media. That gets links to your other properties and adds more link juice to your domain.
Citations are important for Salons. These are review sites such as Yelp and YellowPages. A big part of this is reputation management. Keeping these listing up to date with recent reviews. For example you don’t want the last review to be 2015. That isn’t what real businesses have. You also don’t want 100 reviews if all the competition has 2 dozen reviews. You want better reviews relating to rank and quality content in those reviews. A good rule of thumb is to try to build a few dozen citations. These are not just the big important citations like yelp and facebook but also geographic citations. Any local directories for your city, state or region help a ton. It adds to your geographic relevance to boast the maps listings. More importantly you want industry specific citations. Directories such as findabeautysalon that list only salons.