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Web Design \ OCT 22nd 2018

Step-By-Step Guide: How to Create a Showstopping Salon Website

If you dream in nail colors and ombre highlights, then this one’s for you. We know running a beauty salon is no easy walk in the park. Between the physical work involved in helping the rest of us here look our best and staying on top of every business transaction, there’s a lot of sweat (alongside the hairspray and leave-in conditioner) that goes into keeping your salon up and running. Creating a website that is as fabulous as your hairstyling skills is essential for getting the word out about your shop and offering your clients the most convenient customer experience.

We get that you would probably rather be spending your time doing what you love most: visualizing all of the possible ‘afters’ you can create from everyone who walks through the door. But the process of designing a site is actually quite painless, and you’ll feel the impact that benefits like enhanced publicity and the convenience of an online scheduling tool will have on your business. Plus, your eye for good style already gives you a headstart on the process. Whether you are a hair or nail salon, a barber or a massage spa, read on for the step-by-step guide to launching your beauty salon’s very own business website.

01. Do your homework

Spend some time browsing the sites of salons that have a similar focus as yours (especially ones based nearby). Take notes of what you like about their pages, from the style to the content. Is it obvious where to go if you want to book an appointment? Can you find out enough basic information about the services offered, such as price and length of time, without having to call or send an email to learn more? What gives each of these websites legitimacy in your eyes? Your list of dos and don’ts will be invaluable for tapping into the minds of potential clients as you design your own site. Keeping their perspective in mind will help you offer the best customer experience in town before clients even walk in the door. For more ideas, you can always turn to the Wix templates for examples of websites whose presentation puts them at the top of their class.

Hair Braids Salon Template

02. Structure your sitemap

A sitemap is like the skeleton version of your website. It’s an outline of all the different pages you want to include, and how they each connect to each other. For example, the homepage usually sits at the top, with pages like your bookings, service page, and contact form following underneath it. Or maybe your salon offers a range of treatments – like hair, nails, and cosmetology – and you want to break things up a bit. Reflect this sequence in your sitemap by indicating a pathway that leads from your homepage to a general service page, and then to each of those three separate pages.

However you choose to structure your sitemap, a general rule of thumb to keep in mind is that a visitor shouldn’t have to click more than twice to navigate between one page and any other one on your site. Essentially, don’t let visitors get lost in a forest of pages. Keep the connections simple and clear. Anyone visiting your site will thank you for it, plus Google takes this as a super good sign when considering how to rank you on their search engine page results. Once you have your map down, you can start drafting the content for each piece.

If you’re feeling at a loss for what pages to include in your outline, here’s our baseline recommendation for giving your clients the who, what, where, when, and why of your biz:

Homepage: The foundation of your site, this page has an important role to play in greeting site visitors and helping them instantly understand and connect with your salon. Prominently place the name of your business and a tagline or short description to clearly communicate what your business is and the value you add. This is also the spot for a well-placed and high-quality image or two to immediately grab your visitors’ eyes. This page is like the visual equivalent of your 30-second elevator pitch so keep it interesting, yet concise.

Service pages (The what): What you offer clients is the meat of your business, so your website should reflect that. Outfit these pages with all of the relevant details a browsing potential client would look for, like the class description, an enticing image, location, class duration, and more. And if you’ve sold the appeal of that new sugar scrub treatment or gel manicure super well, you’ll be left with a client who’s itching to reserve their spot right then and there. Don’t miss out on this momentum by making site visitors call or (gasp!) come in person to reserve a time. With an online scheduler like Wix Bookings, you can direct online viewers to reserve an appointment through a call-to-action link on your service page, like ‘Book Now’ or ‘Get Stylish Today.’ We’ll get into how you can put this into practice a little later on.

Organic Skin Care Booking Template

An ‘About Us’ page (The who): Let your personality and story shine through here to give customers a sense of the person, or people, behind the relatively anonymous website they’re visiting. This is a great moment to emphasize your business’ values, and introduce your all-star team. When done right, this will help win the trust of potential clients and start helping them feel at home with your parlor before they show up for their pedi. You can pick up more best practices for writing a knockout ‘About Us’ page with this guide, like how to weave in your shop’s unique ‘voice.’

Contact section (The when and where): Don’t play hard to catch with your clients. Maybe it works in some rom-coms, but not with potential salon patrons. Dedicate a page to displaying all relevant contact information, links to your social media accounts, and a map of your location. Pro tip: stick your phone number and email in the footer of your website, along with a Social Bar, so potential customers know how to reach you at any given moment on your site.

Testimonial page (The why): Want to hear something that will blow your mind as a business owner? 85% of consumers trust reviews they read online as much as a tip they get from someone they actually know. That right there is why this page is so important to feature on your site. To collect those glowing praises of your biz, follow up with clients (you can always send them a quick email using the Contact List Wix Bookings compiles for you) after their visit and ask for two minutes of their time to write about their experience. A time-savvy source for collecting reviews is integrating content from sites like Yelp and Facebook directly onto your site.

Remember, your website doesn’t need to read like a chapter book. If you don’t already identify as a minimalist, it might be time to start cultivating that love of nothing but the essential. Of course, you need to provide enough information to intrigue your audience and give them enough information to make an informed decision about whether to book with you. To tell if you’re going beyond that, though, ask yourself the following question: ‘If I were a potential customer, would knowing this next piece of information I’m about to include make or break my desire to make an appointment?” If the answer is no, then you can toss that tidbit into the metaphorical trash.

03. Choose an exquisite website template.

You want your site to have the same impact on its viewers that your blowouts have on strangers on the street. If that reaction wasn’t clear: w-oh-wow. And thankfully, there’s no need for a computer science degree here. Browse through hundreds of pre-made health and wellness templates to find the one that aligns with your vision for your business’ aesthetic, as well as what you need your site to be able to do functionally. The best perk of these templates is that they serve as a strong building foundation for the structure of your site, yet you still get the creative freedom to customize it to your liking.

And remember, Wix ADI is always there for you if going the template route is feeling like too much. The artificial intelligence tool will create the website of your dreams for you in seconds. All you have to do is answer a few questions about your business details, give some input on questions like your favorite colors, and your website will be there waiting for you, like your very own Pumpkin Coach.

Nail salon website template

04. Design your site

This one is right up your alley as a beauty professional. Not only will selecting your color scheme and backgrounds probably be lots of fun for you, as you get to turn the website-building process into a playground for your design dreams, but it’s also a chance to send a message to your clients that you take style seriously. Yes, we know we learned in kindergarten that we’re not supposed to judge a book by its cover, but how many of us are actually good at living by that saying? The same goes for potential customers checking out your website. If they aren’t impressed by the visual look of your pages, they definitely aren’t going to trust your establishment with their physical appearance. We know web design isn’t everyone’s thing (and definitely doesn’t reflect on your styling talent!), but don’t let that risk losing wary clients. Here’s what you can do to get your website ready for the runway:

Create your own logo: If you’ve already created a signature visual stamp for your shop, then go right ahead and display it proudly on your site header and set it as your favicon (that small icon that appears on a tab in your browser). If you haven’t gotten around yet to joining the logo club, you can always easily create your own dashing logo with the Wix Logo Maker. Having this element is a major ingredient for building a recognizable brand identity, plus it serves a dual function on your website: by linking all of your logos back to your homepage, you’ve just improved your site visitors’ quality of navigation.

Mix in those colors: We won’t pretend to be experts in mixing hair dye, but we imagine the logic behind it is not so different from choosing the right colors to adorn your website. You want the selected colors to be visually pleasing, not too overwhelming or distracting from the content (A.K.A your client’s face), and, in many case, to send a specific personality message about your client. The same goes for your website. Choose a color palette that is consistent with the vibes of your salon, and also is not so loud that it takes away from the essential content of your site, like the services available and where you’re located.

Pick out the right font: There are so many drool-worthy fonts out there, it can be hard to resist the urge to try them all out. But please do. The guiding principles behind choosing the best fonts are the same as for color selection: look for fonts that communicate your salon’s identity and score high on readability. The most important rule to know here is that you should never (ever) use more than three fonts. Create a ‘family’ of a primary, secondary, and accent font – and stick to it. It will create a flawless look for your website that is cohesive and consistent. Your readers’ eyes will thank you for it, believe us.

05. Accept online bookings and payments

Your success as a business depends on your ability to seamlessly accept client appointments at any time of day. But of course it’s totally unreasonable for you to sit by your phone all day waiting for it to ring. You have nails to manicure and eyebrows to wax! Plus, we imagine you’d also like to sleep for a bit each day… That’s why taking advantage of an online scheduling tool like Wix Bookings right on your website is a total must-do. Gone are the days of updating multiple calendars, taking appointments by hand, and missed leads. This scheduling tool lets you do the following (and more!):

  • Accept online bookings 24/7 from any device
  • Manage staff calendars
  • Sync your Wix and Google calendars
  • Offer group classes and membership plans
  • Store and edit customer information
  • Accept secure payments and deposits – all commission free – and send customer invoices

To continue exploring these features and understand how they can benefit you, keep on reading.

Wix Bookings schedule

Run your schedule, don’t let it run you: Speaking of calendars, we know keeping yours organized can be one of the most challenging parts of running your own business, not to mention coordinating the schedules of any additional beauticians you might employ. If that sentence describes your life, listen up for this life-saver: with Wix Bookings, you can set your own staff hours and then align the in-app calendar you’ve just created with your GCal. Suddenly, any appointment made on your salon’s site will show up in your personal calendar, and any private event you have slotted out on your Google calendar (like the hour you need to pick up your kids or a weekly staff meeting) will ensure that no clients can book you during that time. And don’t worry – they will not be able to view the content of your private calendar, just the fact that you’re busy during that time. Say goodbye to awkward double bookings.

You can perform this same move with your employees’ working hours and calendars, as well, eliminating the need for you to manually merge everyone’s schedules or create different booking systems for each person. Clients will love the ability to book directly with their cosmetologist, nail artist, or hairstylist of choice, and you will love how all things schedule-related are synchronized and stored in one place. That’s the kind of peace of mind that is invaluable to small business owners, and that Wix Bookings creates.

Win over new clients: We live in a world of convenience. Therefore, your ability to make easy usability a selling point in your business will go a long way in converting someone from being curious about your salon into a regular face. Wix Bookings can help you out with that, allowing people to book with you from any device (mobile, tablet, or desktop), at any time of the day, on any day of the week. With each new booking, you’ll get an email notification, so you can stay on top of it all. Additionally, you can configure ‘Automations’ to deliver instantaneous emails or chat messages to current or soon-to-be customers based on specific actions they take on your site, like registering for a profile on your site or submitting a Contact Form. This is a great way to share your enthusiasm for their interest without actually having to type out the same greeting message over and over. And of course, once you’ve attracted a new client with your winning engagement, invite them to download the Wix Mobile App, which will allow them to book, pay and manage their booking on the go.

Before you hit ‘Publish’ on your new masterpiece, you’ll want to sign off on your hard work with a tagline that makes sure everyone knows it was you behind the stunning design. In the world of websites, we call that a domain name (something like MyStunningWebsite.com). Ideally, this should be your salon’s name. However, if your name doesn’t relate at all to your industry (for example, ‘Olives’ could be anything from a cosmetology clinic to a pop-up martini bar), then make sure to add in a keyword to show what your business is all about. It gives potential clients a heads up about what you’re all about, and it’s helpful for Google when they’re selecting what sites they want to display to people searching its pages for their next beauty appointment. For additional guidance on choosing the right domain name to match your site, you can read through this guide. Once you have yours finalized, you can also use it to acquire your very own custom email address. Besides doing wonders for your brand recognition, having your own dedicated email will help you keep all business communication management under one roof.

06. Nail your SEO

Have you ever wondered how you can get your website among the first few results that show up on Google when someone searches for a business like yours? There are actually concrete steps you can take to help make this happen, known as SEO (search engine optimization). Wix SEO Wiz will help you develop your strategy by equipping you with a fully customized checklist for turning your website into golden SEO material. It will focus on factors like a stellar domain name (like we talked about above – check!), sprinkling keywords that are relevant to your salon type throughout your site’s metadata, and accompanying images with alt text. That sentence might have had you like ‘whaaat?’ so let’s break those ideas down quickly.

The right keywords are phrases of between three and five words that ‘answer’ the search you could imagine a client making when looking for a salon like yours. Something like: ‘hair highlights’ ‘Madison, Wisconsin.’ If you’ve emphasized in enough places in your site’s content that you are a Madison-based hair salon that does highlights, there’s a fairly good chance Google will think you’re a good bet for a high-ranking display. The most critical places to drop those magic phrases are in the SEO page titles and descriptions. You can also throw those words into your alt text, which are image descriptions meant to help Google understand what’s on your page, since they can’t process pictures.

Those steps above were ones all website should be taking. However, as a small business, there’s another way you can squeeze some more SEO juice. It’s called local SEO, and the idea behind it is that, as much as it sometimes seems like everything has migrated online, there really are businesses (like beauty salons!) that people still search for specifically in their area. By quickly registering your business with Google My Business, you can give the search engine a heads up that your business exists and where it’s located, so they can direct searchers to you. Make sure you also feature your location prominently on your site: you can put your address, if applicable, in the footer, and a map in your contact section.

07. Optimize for mobile

This one is super easy because, guess what? All Wix websites are automatically converted into a mobile version, without you even having to lift a finger. A sleek mobile website is essential as the number of consumers researching and making purchases online is growing all of the time. Some mobile best practices include simplifying your site navigation and reducing the amount of content you share to the bare essentials. But one thing you don’t have to worry about is the logistics of clients booking from their tablets or phones. Wix Bookings comes prepared to accept bookings from any device – and that includes mobile ones.

Beauty salon website template

08. Gather feedback on your site

Before you roll out your site to the masses, send along the URL to trusted friends, family, and colleagues to let them user test the site. Take it from us, you’d much rather hear a link is broken from your parent than a frustrated client. Ask your fan group to watch out in particular for spelling, spacing, and navigability. Consider assigning a different service to each person whose help you recruit and asking them to follow through with making an appointment from start to finish, so you can ensure each booking option is functioning as planned. No site is ever 100% done – there is always a new feature to add that makes web visitors’ lives more convenient, or a new way you can phrase a description to clarify what you mean. That’s why it’s so important to have a loyal team who will give you honest feedback and identify these areas for improvement.

09. Spread the word on social

You’re done! You’ve hit ‘Publish’ and now you want the world to see. Make sure to post your site’s link in the biography box of every social media channel you’re active on. You can help people travel the other way, too, by adding in a Social Bar and Instagram Feed right onto your website. Also, by including Wix Bookings, each of your service pages comes outfitted with its own unique URL. This is great publicity news because not only is it helpful for superb SEO, it also allows you to individually promote each one and target exactly the right audience on your social networks or via email campaigns with Wix ShoutOut. So let’s say you’re creating a promoted post on Facebook for your new sheet face mask treatment, you’ll want to insert the link that leads viewers straight to its respective service and bookings page, instead of your salon’s homepage. It’s more than just making things convenient for your potential customers – it actually increases the chances that they’ll follow through and sign up, instead of losing patience as they navigate through multiple pages of your site to find what they want. Starting sharing today, and watch those bookings come rolling in.

Don’t keep your beauty secrets to yourself. Create a professional website for your beauty salon and start booking clients online!

By Joanna Kramer
Community Writer, Wix About the Wix Blog

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