As a salon owner, you’ve got plenty to think about. Most significantly, keeping your prime real estate—aka your salon chairs—at full occupancy. This, as you know, is not easy. You’ve held promotions, you’ve hosted open houses, you’ve advertised both in print and online. You’ve worked every angle on social media, gone to hair and bridal shows, listed you salon across the web, circulated digital and print coupons and more. But your salon and your talented stylists aren’t getting the attention they deserve. You’ve checked off every box on your marketing to-do list and have no clue as to what you should be doing that you aren’t.
Here’s a tip: Check your smartphone.
Really, do it. Type in your URL and wait for the lightbulb to go off. Because if your salon website isn’t truly optimized for mobile viewing, that could be the answer you are seeking.
“My site IS mobile-friendly,” you say. Well, maybe it is, but that’s not the same thing as being fully optimized with a responsive web design that looks and acts exactly like your desktop version. No pinching to zoom, no misalignment of images, no jumbled and squished text.
Think about the last time you searched for a product or business and landed on a site that frustrated your eyes and your fingers. You immediately jumped off and never went back. If your site has any of the negative characteristics cited above, it is very likely that you are losing access to potential clients searching for hair salon services in your town. Not only are they not inclined to stay on your site, Google also is taking a stance against sites that make it difficult for users to quickly find information by declaring user-friendliness as a key ranking signal and giving special preference to the sites which are compatible to all devices. The ‘why’ is simple: Consumers would like mobile websites to have the same content, features and functionality as a standard website.
So what’s the difference between ‘mobile friendly’ and ‘responsive’ anyway?
Because both terms relate to mobile functionality, it is easy to misinterpret the two. At its most basic, a mobile-friendly site is a copy of your website that has been optimized by the web server where it is stored and that has a different domain name (e.g. mobile.salonsearchparty.com). This second URL compromises your search engine optimization efforts and also creates a whole separate site to update and maintain.
By contrast, a responsive salon website uses the same URL as your main site, which has several SEO benefits, and looks the same whether you are viewing it on a smartphone or tablet. This maximizes the overall user experience, as responsive sites can easily be navigated with one hand and users don’t have to pinch to zoom in or get frustrated mishitting navigation tabs and links. Responsive sites are generally very minimal in design and light on flashy additions such as graphics and videos, which can slow its loading. If you’ve noticed that sites have become icon heavy, this is one of the reasons why.
You can easily confirm if your site is responsive or not by placing your cursor on the right side of your screen and squeezing left. The content should shrink and realign as you get closer to a screen that is vertical and looks close to that of mobile phone’s. If your navigation and content is all over the place, it is not responsive. And if you really want to put your site to the test, take the Google challenge now.
The best salon owners understand the need to stay ahead of trends. Salon marketing is no different. You don’t want your stylists sending clients out in yesterday’s hair styles, so why would you accept a website that is stuck in time and costing you potential business?
Need some more convincing? Check out these stats:
- Nearly half of consumers say they won’t return to a website if it doesn’t load properly on their mobile devices. (The Social Media Hat)
- 70% of mobile searches lead to action on a website within one hour of when the search was conducted. (iAcquire)
- 59% of consumers use Google every month to find a reputable, local business.
- 50% of all mobile searches are conducted in hopes of finding local results. (Search Engine Watch)
- By the end of 2105, local mobile searches (85.9 billion) are projected to exceed desktop searches (84 billion) for the fist time. (eMarketer)
- 70% of mobile searches result in action being taken within an hour as opposed a week for desktop. (Mediative Labs 2012)
- 61% of mobile searches result in a phone call. (Google)
Need an affordable, responsible salon website? Contact us today to learn more about our affordable salon marketing solutions.