Would you like a constant stream of new clients? Course you would!

So, you need to get your salon on the top three of the Google Local listings (that’s on the map) and at the top of the organic Google search results, because SEO for salons is still the most effective way to land yourself new clients.

‘You don’t say!, Now how do I go about that?’ I hear you ask. Let me explain how you can get your salon website to the top of Google, but first let’s have a little look at how search engines actually do their business.

How do the search engines work?

I don’t want to come over all techie, so if the word is in ‘inverted commas’ and it makes you nervous, just substitute it with any word of your choice (THING works well!). On the other hand, if you want to know more, drop me a line.

  1. Search engine ‘Bots’ or ‘Spiders’ are constantly crawling the web to find web pages, which it then stores and organises in the ‘index’
  2. Someone enters a search term in the search engine. This could a couple of words (often known as keywords) e.g. hair salon Twickenham, or it could be a whole term or question ‘where can I get the best balayage in Twickenham?’.
  3. An ‘algorithm’ ranks the content and shows the most relevant pages at the top of the organic listings on the search results page.

What results can I see on the search results page?

At the top you have the Google ads. I hear lots of people say ‘well no one clicks on the ads’. Not true, but that’s one for another day.

Then there is a relatively new section ‘Find Results on’. This includes directory listings and social signals.

Google ads for salons

Next there’s the Google Local Pack (sometimes known as the Google Map Pack), which shows three salons in the town. About 30% of clicks will be on one of these options (more on mobile).

SEO for salons - local listings

Finally there is the organic results, which Google sees as the pages that best fit your search. These organic results get 40-50% of the clicks, but the top result here gets an average of 32% of the total clicks on the page.

SEO for salons - organic results

If you look at the results above, you’ll notice that the salons that appear on the Google Local Listings aren’t always the same as the ones that appear in the organic listings (although they can be if you have a well-rounded seo strategy for your salon).

How do you get your salon on the Google Map?

If someone tells you to ‘do X, then Y and Z you will definitely get to the top of the rankings’ they are over promising. There is no exact science and it varies depending on the search term and the competition and the proximity to the search (e.g. the location).

BUT there are some key strategies that high ranking sites have in common. If you want to get your salon onto the Google map and have a constant stream of potential clients, I suggest you try them too.

  • Claim your Google My Business Listing.
    If you haven’t already done so, go to business.google.com to claim your business listing.
    If the business listing already exists, but you don’t manage it, go into the listing and choose Own this business? Claim it now.
  • Complete your Google My Business page with as much detail as possible
    Write an intro. Include your opening hours. Mark all categories that are relevant to you.
  • Upload photos in all the available sections
    Remember to use photo descriptions that include your town’s name.
  • Get reviews
    You’ll need plenty of reviews – you also need to respond to them professionally (even any negative ones).
  • Add posts to your page
    You don’t have to do this every time you post to social media, but find a balance that works well for you (somewhere between weekly and monthly). Be sure to add customer photos at the same time.
  • Be consistent with your NAP
    Make sure that you always write your businesses name, address and phone number the same online. You’d be amazed by how often salons use different versions of their name in different places!
  • Claim your listings on other review sites
    Start with Yell, Yelp, Freeindex, Yahoo Local, but have a look around to see what other listings sites matter in your area.
  • Add the option to book directly if you can
    Google has some reservation partners – that enable you to have online booking directly from your local listing. These include Treatwell, Fresha and Shortcuts.
  • Build your local reputation
    Generate local links by teaming up with other local businesses, charities, schools, and media. This could be reasonably-priced editorial, podcasts, guest blogs, competitions or sponsorship.
  • Take a look at your competitors’ listings
    If they have anything incorrect that’s helping them to appear above you, you can report it to Google be suggesting it as an edit.

Finally, be patient and keep an eye on the Google My Business Insights to monitor your progress. SEO improvements usually take up to 12 weeks to really take effect.

Want to know more about SEO for salons? Next time we’ll take a look at how you can try to get to the top of Google


Whether you already have a salon website or are thinking of building one, check out my guide to the 50 ways to create a kickass salon website e-book.