Why Your Salon Needs to Rank in the Top Three Search Results
SEO is complex, but the reason behind its importance is incredibly simple: your business needs to be found in order to be chosen. And how are businesses found nowadays? Search engine results.
People are coming to Google with their problems, and you want your site to be the solution. This might mean creating informative content about hairdressing to cement your salon as an authority in your local area. It might mean promoting special offers in response to customer demand for a particular treatment. In either case, you probably already realize how critical it is to maintain an active online presence so customers can find you.
That said, it’s not enough to simply be an option online. The gulf between ranking first in the search results and ranking fifteenth is immense. In fact, even appearing on the first page is not always enough. You need to be in the top three results. Here’s why.
You Won’t Be Considered Otherwise
Blunt but true. It’s now common knowledge that appearing on the first results page is essential, with an overwhelming majority of users never scrolling past those first ten items. (Adding to the already extensive documentation of this trend, a recent Moz survey found that only 7% of respondents browse past the first page.) However, not all spots on the first page are equal. The top three spots get around 75% of clicks.
It’s easy to imagine why. When customers are searching for a salon, three options can already be a lot to consider when you factor in the time it takes to look at photos, reviews, and prices. After a few tries, they will probably find a salon that has exactly what they’re looking for. Unfortunately, even if you offer the same services at the same level (or higher), customers won’t consider you if you don’t rank highly on Google.
Organic Ranking Builds Credibility
Beyond the logistics of your site appearing on the first page, ranking high is also significant for your reputation. Technically, it’s easy to get exposure—just buy ad space on Google. The only problem is that users don’t trust advertisements nearly as much as organic results. The efficacy of PPC is ultimately dependent on what you’re offering. If it’s a product you can display in Google Shopping, you might have more luck. But when customers are looking for local businesses like a salon, they click on organic results. Given that searching for the right salon can be a lengthy vetting process, it’s understandable that users don’t jump directly to the first ad they see. Young people in particular are used to wading through marketing sludge and picking out authentic information.
In visitors’ minds, ranking high organically is a bit like a five-star review. Especially since good SEO often means low bounce rates and links from authoritative sources, it suggests to customers that other users have found your offerings valuable and encourages them to check out your business themselves.
It Helps You Stay at the Top
Speaking of credibility, another key benefit of ranking in the top three organically is that it enables you to sustainably build clout in your industry. Paid advertising will buy you a short time in the spotlight, but it won’t translate to long-term success in search results. Admittedly, SEO is a lengthy process; it takes several months of work to rank in the top three, and even then you will need to keep making adjustments. However, once you start ranking highly for several of your relevant keywords, searchers will begin to perceive you as a leader in your niche.
For instance, if you are among the first results for both “hair salon [town/city]” and “balayage [town/city],” customers will get a strong impression of your position in the local hair salon community, as well as a sense of your particular skill set.
Putting in continuous effort to establish yourself online has the potential to translate into staying power, as your site gains traffic, reviews and more.