What are some of your goals for your business? Is it to grow your team? Sell more product online? Improve your online presence so you can get more clients through the door? All would come in handy in this post-COVID world!
If you have some serious aspirations to get your salon SEEN by potential clients online, then you’re in the right place. We have our very own in-house Google Expert and Advisor, Naomi Cribb! Trained by Google herself, Naomi has been with the Shortcuts team since the end of 2018. Her main mojo? Helping salons, spas and barbershops across the country attract new clients and become the best version of themselves online!
Naomi comes from an extensive background in industry education, working for industry renowned brands like Ultraceuticals, Ella Bache, and The Australasian College of Health and Wellness.
Trust us when we say she’s has a wealth of industry experience combined with Google knowledge!
So we sat down with our little resident Google guru, Naomi, to chat about how you can leverage the power of Google to communicate with your clients and establish your online presence.
Q: As we start to ease out of COVID-19 restrictions, how can Google help businesses prep to reopen their doors?
N: Your clients will probably visit the first place you do when you need an answer to a question: Google! They’ll very likely be looking you up on Google to check for any updates relating to your salon and COVID-19. As with any kind of communication, it’s important to get this across ALL of your channels to make sure it reaches as many of your clients as possible.
You can add posts to your Google My Business listing that include important updates, such as changes to hours, staff, and new COVID-safe processes in the salon.
Q: How can businesses start to attract new clients to their salon at this getting-back-to-normal time?
N: Ads are your BEST friend! Ever heard the saying you have to spend money to make money? There are very few highly effective advertising channels left where you can see real, tangible results for free. But the good news is if you have the knowledge and Google Ads strategy backing you, you get the most bang for your buck.
Google Ads are a great tool to drive traffic to your salon’s website and bring in conversions AKA appointments! When used correctly, Google Ads can easily be a cost-effective and highly targeted form of marketing to bring new clients to your salon.
Everyone’s experience with Google and running ad campaigns will be different and unique to you based on a range of factors – like the website you’re driving traffic too. That’s where a consultant, like myself, becomes so valuable since we have the know-how to advise you on the best steps for your personal situation.
Q: How exactly does a Google search work in relation to salons, spas and barbershops? Is it based on location?
N: Remember the days when you used to have type into the search bar “salon near me”? Well, you no longer need to do that!
Google wants to make the user experience as easy and seamless as possible. So, Google will always provide the most relevant information based on where your client is located and what geographical setting you have associated with your ads.
For instance, if you’re a mobile business, you’d only want people to find you in the locations you service rather than a search in an international location, where you wouldn’t be available to provide your service. We’ll just have to dream about sculpting brows in Barbados!
Q: How can businesses make sure they appear above a competitor in search results?
N: I can help you with that and it’s all about KEYWORDS! Having a well-researched and flexible keyword strategy will help you rank above your competitors since Google will index your website as the most relevant result. And that’s where you want to be!
Q: What is Google My Business anyway? Do salons, barbers and spas really need to pay much attention to it?
N: Absolutely! It’s what we like to call your virtual shopfront. And this shopfront is how clients can find you on Google Maps.
Google My Business is the business profile that pops up on the right-hand side of a relevant Google Search – and is often what Google thinks is most relevant to that search. You would expect your listing to show up if it’s your salon name that someone has searched for. But if they search for “best hairdresser in Liverpool” and your listing is the one to show? That can do wonders for your business!
It’s often the first thing a new client will see when they make a Google Search, so you need to make sure it’s completely filled out and optimised for the best results and to really reap the rewards.
Q: What are some things businesses can do today to improve how they appear online?
N: My best advice? Google yourself.
Ask yourself – What are clients finding when you appear in their search results? Is a fully functioning website that’s easy to navigate or simply a Facebook page? How quickly does your website take to load on a mobile device? Keep in mind that Google is a vehicle to a final destination where your clients can make a booking: your website.
On other hand, can they find you at all? Where do you appear in the search results? Anything past page one unfortunately will rarely be seen!
The best thing you can do today to improve your business on Google is get feedback from those around you who will give their honest opinions. And remember, first impressions can either lead to a new client for you, or your competitor getting their business. Make them count!
Q: What’s the first thing business owners need to know about Google Ads?
N: The magic of Google is you really can be the answer to your client’s question. Your advertising campaigns are built to answer client questions which they have typed directly into Google!
It isn’t about showcasing your work in the first instance (although that comes in later). It’s much simpler than that… Advertising on Google is about being available and relevant when potential clients are searching for your services and are still adapting to your message.
From here, you can then add value to your overall campaign by using a number of different ad formats which visually represent your business, like Google’s Display Ads.
Q: How do Google Ads differ to other forms of advertising?
N: Rather than traditional advertising where you pay for your ads to show to a broad audience, Google advertising is designed to be more targeted and economical. You only pay for clients who click on your ad (or “engage” in marketing speak!) after finding you in their Google search results. By being much more strategic in who you’re targeting and the keywords they would be using, it gives you a higher-quality return on your marketing budget investment.
Q: A lot of businesses love instant gratification! Will they see quick results if they start running Google Ads campaigns?
N: With a well-executed Google advertising campaign is that you will of course see results! But do keep in mind that since Google is an intuitive platform, meaning it learns over time, that it will need time to understand who your clients are and what advertisements get the best interaction from them. This can sometimes take a little longer to feel like you’re seeing results. But trusting in the process has seen some phenomenal results for our clients, who even during an economic downturn, still had their ad campaigns bringing in business for them.
And that’s the real power of Google!
Want to learn more about Google and maybe even get started with your own Ad campaigns today? Naomi is your gal!