How to Increase Your Salon Bookings Online

Online booking has made salon management a breeze. It enables salon owners to automate tasks such as creating databases for client info, sending marketing emails and SMS to clients, advertising add-ons and extras, and performing repetitive inventory management tasks. An online booking system will also enable clients to confirm on their own the availability of slots in a salon and that eliminates double bookings. It can send out reminder emails to clients to prevent no-shows and late coming. Generally, online booking saves money and time, boosts customer experience, and increases revenue for salons. All these are reasons why every ambitious salon owner today has invested in salon booking software.

That being said, having software in place doesn’t necessarily mean your online salon bookings will increase. For starters, you have to first make it visible to the target customer; let everyone know that you have a functional hair salon online booking system. While at it, ensure that the system is functional and easy to use. That’s how you boost your salon’s online bookings. Let’s expound further on this by highlighting 4 ways to increase your salon bookings online.

1. Advertise your online booking page

If you don’t have a dedicated booking page already, now is the time to create one. Its absence is already costing you way too many business leads. But setting up your online booking page in your functional hair salon software is just a small part of a huge puzzle called online marketing. You have to nail your online marketing in order to shine a light on the booking page. You can do this by:

  • Include a “book online” message in your Facebook profile, preferably on your cover photo, or in your Instagram BIO description.
  • Add a link to your booking page on all your online marketing materials.
  • Add a “Book Now” button on all your website’s landing pages and social profiles, accompanied by a strong call-to-action on each page.
  • Regularly send the booking link directly to clients by SMS, email, or social media direct messages.
  • Edit your voicemail greeting to include a call to action for callers, asking them to try out your online booking system.

2. Invest in local SEO

Almost every one of your potential clients is looking for service providers like you on Google. If they cannot find your salon there, it would be naïve for you to sit and wait for them to show up at your online booking page. Improving your Google ranking earns your salon website unlimited online traffic; people you can easily convert to paying clients if your website is engaging and informative enough. That is where local SEO comes in. Local SEO narrows down Google search results to specific locations. It is the reason why you instantly find businesses near you when you type, for example, “restaurants near me” on Google.

Local SEO will make your business visible to your online “foot traffic”. And because you will be competing with salons in your area for local Google rankings, your SEO efforts can bear fruits in as little as a month.

How can you use local SEO to increase online bookings?

i. Use the right keywords

There are two main types of keywords that you need to leverage: Buying intent keywords and research intent keywords.

Buying Intent keywords improve your salon’s visibility to Google users who are already searching- and ready to pay- for your services. A good example of these keywords is “Best hair salon in San Diego” or “Open salon near me”. Someone searching for such info is most likely ready for a hairdo, which makes such keywords the best for quick conversions. Be creative with them and include them in all your online content.

Research intent keywords appeal to potential clients who stumble upon your content when researching hair-related topics. These clients probably don’t need your services right now, but the very fact that they are curious about hair and beauty means that they will need your services sooner or later. Examples of such keywords include “what are the latest hairstyle trends”, “Best hairstyle for hair type X”, or “Why is my scalp so dry?” Research intent keywords are slow in driving traffic or conversions, but they improve the visibility of your blog posts and website as a whole.

With your keywords driving traffic to your blog or service pages, it is up to you to place your “Book Now” button strategically for all to see.

ii. Leverage Google My Business

Your Google My Business profile will always rank higher than the rest of your content if you optimize it well. How do you optimize it?

  • Ensure that the description on your profile emphasizes that yours is a hair salon that offers X specialized services in location Y and can be reached on phone number Z.
  • Include images of happy customers and employees (with their consent, of course) in your profile.
  • Ensure it is clear when you are open and the hours/days you are closed.
  • Update any available/upcoming offers or discounts.

3. Encourage happy clients to market your booking page

Positive online reviews add a layer of authenticity to your salon’s online reputation. They boost your SEO efforts and improve conversions. That’s why you should implore your loyal clients to regularly write positive reviews for your salon on as many online platforms as possible. Remind them to mention in their reviews how easy it is to book appointments with you and to include your booking link in every review.

Another way loyal customers can help you market your salon’s booking page is through user-generated content. Convince them to take videos and photos in your salon or when they freshen up after visiting your salon, and to then include a link to your booking page when they post that content on social media. You can return their favor through discounts and/or free complimentary services.

4. Improve customer experience to encourage rebooking

If your services are exceptional, clients won’t have a problem booking their next appointments while still at your salon. You can encourage rebooking by:

  • Training your team the art of overselling without being annoying. Teach them how to build rapport with clients and how to take advantage of clients’ happy moments to bring up re-booking conversations.
  • Come up with seemingly natural questions for leading clients towards rebooking. You can say to a client, for example: “You might need another haircut in 4-5 weeks to keep your hair looking perfect. Would you prefer the 4th or the 5th week?” If they agree to pick one option, you can go ahead and recommend that they book the next appointment right there and then. Offer to do it for them if necessary.
  • Train your stylists to walk their clients to the door. Leaving a client with the receptionists isn’t wrong, but then it doesn’t cultivate strong personal friendships. It is easy and organic to ask a client friend for marketing or rebooking favors.
  • Be consistent in your follow-up marketing. Always call, email or text clients to remind them how much you appreciate them and to offer hair-related advice whenever they need it. At the end of each call or email, remember to mention why they need to rebook your services.

Final word:

Online scheduling can considerably increase your hair salon’s online bookings. However, you have to get your online marketing right first in order to attract online audiences to your “Book Now” call to action. Everything boils down to the services you offer and the conversations you have with your clients.

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