SEO and PPC Strategy for Hair Salons


Proven SEO and PPC Strategies for Hair Salons to Attract More Clients

Ranking at the top of Google for popular search queries pertaining to hair will have a major impact for your business.

How do you get your salon ranking better organically on Google and converting with paid advertisements? Below I share a recent SEO and PPC strategy we used for hair salon clients that you can implement for your business.

The hair industry is not the most competitive from a digital marketing perspective. This makes advertising inexpensive and SEO more impactful. 

The hair stylist featured below grew her book of business within three months after investing in SEO and PPC. In full transparency, the stylist featured holds a special place in my heart 🙂

My Marketing Experience with Hair Salons

My wife, Rayna Girson, is a hairstylist. She lived in New York City for more than a decade and had a robust clientele of over 500 devoted clients. When we decided to get married, she moved back to our hometown of Columbus, Ohio, where we live and I run my marketing agency

These are examples mainly from Rayna’s SEO and PPC successes with other tactics sprinkled in. Our agency works with many verticals, with a heavy focus on the beauty industry.

Rayna’s Salon Story

It is important for stylists to have flexibility and command over their craft and clientele, which is why Rayna decided to open her own business. The issue, which many stylists face, especially when moving to a new city is finding clients. Within a three month timespan, she accomplished the following through SEO and PPC:

  • 10% conversion rate on Google Ads 
  • All primary keywords ranking on the first page of Google 
  • Waiting list within three months of launching her business

Competitiveness for Hair Salons with SEO and PPC 

For many of the Google PPC keywords that we’re bidding on, the top of page bid ranges from $0.79-$2.51 (see below). This is very inexpensive! We work with attorney clients that see north of $50 per click. 

Why Is Advertising for Hair Salons Inexpensive? 

The average cost per click is based on how much an advertiser is willing to spend when bidding on a specific keyword. It’s a direct indicator of competitiveness on Google for both SEO and PPC. 

My theory on why there aren’t a lot of hair stylists advertising on Google is because the hair industry is heavily reliant on referrals and social media. By the time most stylists open up their salon, they have their own book of business and don’t necessarily need new clients. 

This can greatly expedite the process of building a client base and poses an opportunity for profitability.

How Advertising Can Be Profitable for Hair Salons

Most hair stylists have a recurring revenue model and charge a good amount for their craft. According to StyleSeat, highlights range from $20 to $450. According to Forbes, businesses with recurring revenue have predictable income, financial stability and brand loyalty.

For the sake of this example, let’s say the average visit to a hair salon costs the customer $175. I’m going to show you how this will lead to profitability for this business. 

  • Monthly Budget: $150
  • Average Cost Per Click: $1.50
    • Each time someone clicks on your advertisement, this is the amount you are charged, which goes towards Google. You want to make sure you have strong advertisements that convert so your campaigns are generating new clients! 
  • Total Clicks: 100
    • $150 Budget / $1.50 Cost Per Click = 100 Clicks 
    • If you had a $150 budget and your average cost per click was $1.50, you’d generate 100 clicks to your website. 
  • Conversion Rate: 10% 
    • Out of the 100 clicks that went to your website, 10 inquired about services. This means you had a 10% conversion rate. 
    • Total Clicks (100) / Total Leads (10) = 10%
  • New Clients: 3 
    • Based on the 10 leads, your salon should be able to convert at least 3 into new clients. This means you are converting 30% of leads into new customers. 
    • Why would someone not come to your salon? 
      • Pricing is not aligned with their budget. 
      • They found someone with a style they jive with better. 
      • Multiple reasons. 
  • Average Service Cost: $175
    • If you have 3 new clients and charge $175 per appointment, you would generate $525 in revenue. Since you spent $150 on advertising, your profitability is $375 ($525 – $150 = $375). 
    • Client retention is most important retaining profitability.

How SEO Can Be Profitable for Hair Salons 

With paid advertising, you pay for each click. With SEO, your placement is earned, meaning you don’t have to pay per click. This is what makes SEO so valuable. When you rank towards the top of Google, it’s very profitable and lucrative since you are not paying for each click. The goal for your salon should be to rank organically on the first page of Google!

For Rayna’s website, you can see we got her ranking on the first page of Google for the query, “Columbus Gray Hair Stylist.”

Dominating Your Niche: Strategies for Hair Stylists to Stand Out in a Crowded Market

Rayna’s specialty is balayage and gray blending. These are just two of her services offered, however, the aforementioned services drive her most profitable clients. We decided to hone in on balayage and gray blending for SEO and PPC. There’s less competition and a more lucrative client base.

It’s important for your business to determine your niche and double down on this.

Mastering Keyword Research: How to Choose the Right Keywords for Your Hair Salon

Keyword research can be used for both paid search and search engine optimization. These are the keywords you will strategically place on your site to improve your SEO. These will also be the keywords you bid on with Google Ads to drive qualified leads to your site. Picking the right keywords based on your most profitable services and combining this with your local market will differentiate your SEO and PPC efforts. 

Below are the keywords we bid on for Google PPC and sprinkle throughout Rayna’s website for SEO. You will notice how detailed we get in the keywords we’re selecting based on Rayna’s money making services. While we included keywords that are more generalized for hair salon, we see the lowest conversion rate with these. 

Action Item: For your salon, formulate a list of keywords unique for your business. You can use ChatGPT to formulate a great keyword list. 

Balayage Keywords: 

  • “Balayage salon near me”
  • “Best balayage stylist in [city/town]”
  • “Balayage specialist [city/town]”
  • “Top-rated balayage salons in [city/town]”
  • “Balayage hair stylist reviews”
  • “Affordable balayage salon”
  • “Balayage salon for dark hair”
  • “Balayage for short hair near me”
  • “Balayage and hair extensions near me”

Gray Hair Stylist Keywords: 

  • “Gray hair stylist near me”
  • “Best gray hair salon in [city/town]”
  • “Gray hair specialist [city/town]”
  • “Top-rated salon for gray hair in [city/town]”
  • “Gray hair coloring salon reviews”
  • “Affordable gray hair salon”
  • “Gray hair transformation near me”
  • “Gray hair coverage specialist”
  • “Gray blending stylist near me”
  • “Natural gray hair salon”

Highlight Keywords: 

  • “Blonde highlights near me”
  • “Best blonde highlights salon in [city/town]”
  • “Top-rated salon for blonde highlights in [city/town]”
  • “Affordable blonde highlights salon”
  • “Blonde highlights before and after”
  • “Blonde highlights on dark hair”
  • “Blonde highlights on short hair
  • “Blonde highlights for natural look”

More Generalized Hair Salon Keywords 

  • “Hair salon near me”
  • “Best hair salon in [city/town]”
  • “Top-rated hair salon in [city/town]”
  • “Affordable hair salon”
  • “Hair salon reviews”
  • “Haircut salon near me”
  • “Hair salon for women”
  • “Hair salon with [specific service or feature]”

Location, Location, Location: Why a Strategic Location is Key to a Hair Salon’s Success

Hair salons have strong local intent. Clients often seek a stylist within a reasonable distance. Because of this, it’s important to incorporate local keywords and information on your website for SEO and within your Google PPC campaigns. 

For Rayna’s website, you can see in the example below how the gray blending page is optimized for Columbus keywords within the heading and body copy.

For Rayna’s PPC advertising copy, location information is incorporated in the headlines, letting consumers know of her local intent.

Scaling Up Your SEO: Strategies for Hair Salon Chains with Multiple Locations

If your salon has numerous locations throughout a city, we recommend creating well optimized location pages. This is a simple webpage on your site that has detailed information about each of your locations. Blushing Beauty Salon in Rocky River (suburb of Cleveland) built out a location page and is ranking towards the top of Google. What’s amazing is that there’s so much room to better optimize this page on their site, such as having a strong title tag.

The Key Elements of a Successful Location Page: Tips for Hair Salons to Optimize Their Website

  • Google Maps
    • This will show your address
  • Google Reviews 
    • Show your Google reviews from this specific location 
  • Location Information
    • The more directions you provide, such as parking information, the easier it’ll be for your customers. 
  • Contact Information 
    • List the phone number and email address from the location. 
  • History on Location 
    • Is your location brand new? Has it been open for several decades? What differentiates your salons from others in this area of town? The more detailed, the better! 
  • Meet The Team 
    • Customers will want to virtually meet the stylists and staff. Including staff information on the location page makes it more personalized.

The Power of Reviews & Google My Business Optimization for Hair Salons: Tips to Attract More Local Clients

The first thing Rayna did when she opened up her new salon was create a Google My Business page. This allowed Rayna to connect with customers, post updates, list services and most importantly begin acquiring online reviews. Rayna reached out to a handful of New York clients to establish a base of online reviews on Google My Business. In my opinion, this is the most important online review website. 

When Rayna moved to Columbus, these online reviews were important. When we ran advertisements and people visited her website, naturally they conducted research and read her reviews in detail. Having positive reviews improved her conversion rate percentage, 90% of consumers read online reviews before visiting a business.

How Google My Business Can Get Your Salon More Leads

Your Google My Business page can also help you rank organically on Google. Below is an example of a Google search for “Gahanna Hair Salon.” Gahanna is a suburb outside of Columbus. You can see that salons that have a lot of positive reviews in Gahanna rank well on Google when someone is searching for “Gahanna Hair Salon.” This brings in new business for these salons, which is why it’s so important to optimize your Google My Business page.

Other Important Review Websites 

Hair stylists should solicit online reviews on the following websites and platforms listed below. 

In addition to Google My Business: 

  • Yelp 
  • Facebook 
  • StyleSeat 

Getting More Reviews for Your Hair Salon: Proven Tactics to Attract More Feedback from Customers

  • Create an email and text message template to send to your customers after they visit your salon to acquire more online reviews. 
  • Place stickers at your door to remind people to leave reviews with a QR code. 
  • Be proactive in asking your customers to leave a review if they had a good experience 
  • It’s a marathon, not a race. A couple of new reviews per week will amount to many reviews over the course of the year.
  • There are plugins and add-ons to showcase your reviews on your website. Below is how it looks on Rayna’s website.

From Clicks to Clients: How to Optimize Your Hair Salon Website for Maximum Impact

Hair stylists that have invested in a stellar website and digital presence excel. 

  • 57% of internet users say they won’t recommend a business with a poorly designed website on mobile [source]
    • The majority of Rayna’s leads come from mobile devices. This is how the majority of people are searching nowadays to find a hairstylist. Make sure your site is mobile friendly. 
  • 37% of the population are visual learners and love images [source].
    • Being a hairstylist is an image based profession. It’s important to showcase pictures on your website so people can view your style and work. Google also likes images and incorporates them into search results.  
  • Landing pages with 300-600 words is the ideal amount of content for a landing page [source]. 
    • Google loves expert written content. On Rayna’s website on her balayage page, she personally wrote the website information. This unique content differentiates her site versus competitors. This led to an increased ranking on Google within four weeks of optimizing. 

In Closing 

In sharing these personal anecdotes along with our strategy for online optimization my hope is that your salon will have a blueprint to follow for SEO and PPC. In summary, below are key areas to focus when developing your own marketing. 

SEO Tactics for Hair Salons: 

  • Formulate a keyword list 
  • Properly organize and structure your website so it’s a good experience for your customers 
  • List key services on your website 
  • Write great content 
  • Post quality photos 
  • Optimize your site for your local market 
  • Create and enhance your Google My Business page 
  • Acquire more online reviews 
  • Get other websites linking back to your site to enhance authority 

PPC Tactics for Hair Salons: 

  • Formulate a keyword list 
  • Solidify your budget 
  • Create strong advertisements 
  • Send advertisements to relevant landing pages 
  • Implement conversion tracking 
  • Monitor results

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