hair salon

26 Things Hair Salon & Barber Shop Owners Are Doing Wrong On Their Websites

1.  Not having a website.  Not having a website is simply unacceptable in this day and age.  With mobile phones and computers being a standard item in most homes in the U.S., and the Internet connecting everyone, regardless of location, having a website to brand your business, communicate the services you offer, and cultivate a relationship with your customer base is simply a smart business move.  If you do not have a website, your top priority in marketing your business should be to get one.

2.  Not prominently displaying a phone number on your website.  A phone number is one of the first signs of credibility.  If you visit a site you’ve never visited before, and know nothing about the company, the first thing you do is start to look for signs that the company actually exists and not some fly by night operation.  A phone number subconsciously communicates to visitors, “this place is legit”.  Furthermore, it gives them the information they need to reach out to you if they have questions or want to make an appointment.  People shouldn’t have to dig for the information they need to do business with you.  It should be readily available and in plain view.

3.  Not showcasing your best work on the home page.  Someone looking for a beauty salon, are most interested about the quality of your work.  Showing your best work on the home page, instantly let’s them know that your business is a place that they would consider doing business with; assuming all of their other requirements are met.  Show samples of your work on the home page with a link to your full portfolio nearby.

4.  Not having a portfolio.  This goes hand in hand with #3.  The home page samples should grab your visitors attention.  The portfolio should real them in.  Your portfolio should showcase a variety of your work; giving visitors an idea of your versatility of hair styles and range of services.

5.  Not having a mailing list.  It is a well-known internet marketing principle that it takes an average of 5-7 exposures before a prospect will become a customer.  Based on this concept, you simply must establish a communication channel with your visitors on their first visit in order to continue exposing them to your services.  This is typically done by placing a mailing list opt-in form on your website, and offering some sort of incentive to entice people to subscribe to your mailing list.  This incentive can be something like 20% off of their first hair appointment, free highlights, a free sample of your own brand of hair care product, etc.

Mailing lists services are typically 3rd party subscription based services, such as Aweber, that allow you to compose and send an automated sequence of emails, as well as one-time broadcasts.  The sequence emails are perfect for communicating regular services, while the broadcasts are perfect for sending limited time offers.  It’s really not much different from your typical email composition interface, but with the ability to send to a bulk list of subscribers.  The opt-in form is generated within the dashboard of your email provider, and a code is provided that you can copy and paste into your web page to display the opt-in form.  The business relationship you can establish and develop with your customer base via a mailing list service is invaluable.

6.  Not stating the demographic serve.  Hair salons and barber shops can be very specific to a particular demographic market.  For example, I have dread locs.  I can’t just waltz into any hair salon and say, “tighten me up”.  I go to a loctician who specializes in dread locs.  If you specialize in a particular style and or ethnic hair type, you should state that on your website.  Otherwise, people will either assume you do or you don’t, which can lead to disappointment and dissatisfaction in either case.

7.  Not listing your services.  People are visiting your website for a reason.  Now is the time to sell, sell, sell.  You should have a page listing all of the services you provide.  Don’t leave anything out, and provide as much detail as you can about each service.  If you start to get the same question over and over again, that is a sign that it needs to be addressed on your website.  If people don’t see it on your website, they may assume you don’t provide the service and move on to your competition.

8.  Not having your company name, address, and phone number in the header of every page.  This is crucial for local businesses.  These details are a ranking factor in Google’s search engine, so it is not just important for your website visitors, but for your ability to be found in Google’s local search results.

9.  Not having a map of your beauty or barber shop’s location.  Like name, address, and phone number, maps help enforce your physical location, so having a map helps to strengthen you position in Google’s local search results.  It also provides a good user experience (which is also a ranking factor) by making it easier for them to pinpoint your location relative to theirs.

10.  Not having location data in the meta data.  Search engines use the information in your meta data to decide what to display in their search results page.  Therefore, it is also a ranking factor, so it is important to include your name, address, and phone number in your meta data, which will help you appear in local search results.

11.  Using stock photos to represent your work.  Stock photos are okay for certain content and certain types of business, such as an ecommerce website.  However, a hair salon/barber shop is a service based business, and each service provider is different.  Stock photos do not communicate to potential customers the quality of your work, which is what they are interested in.  Therefore, you should never use stock photos as a representation of the work you do.  In the hair industry, that is like plagiarizing.  Always showcase your own work.

12.  Having too many colors.  In web design, it is best practice to stick to 2-3 colors in your web design color scheme.  More than 3 colors becomes distracting, and can make you appear unprofessional or amateurish.  To keep the focus on the fabulous work you do, keep your website limited to 2-3 colors.

13.  Having loud colors.  Bold is one thing, loud and tacky is another.  Your website design can push the limits, but going from one extreme to the other is a bad idea.  People willing to pay for beauty tend to be very visual and cosmetically sensitive.  Extremely loud colors can cause prospective customers to question your taste and cause them to be turn them off.

14.  Having hard to read font.  Font that is too small or in a font style that is hard to read is a good way to lose customers.  People are on your website for information.  If your website does a poor job of communicating with customers, it will mean a loss of business for you.  Make sure your website appeals to every visitor by making information readable to the  average person by sticking with optimal fonts like Arial, Open Sans, Verdana, Times New Roman, and Courier.

15.  Not having testimonials.  Testimonials are another feature that gives credibility to your business.  Hearing the positive reviews of other customers helps ease the concerns people often have when trying out a new hair stylist.  Of course, this means you have to be on your game, because people are quick to leave negative reviews.  The great thing about internally managed testimonials pages is that you can choose which testimonials to display on your site.

16.  Not having a blog.  One of the key functions of a site is to develop a relationship with your customer base.  A blog is a way for you to show the world your expertise by providing hair care tips.  Blogs can also be used to communicate exciting news about your business or special offers.  In fact, it can be used in conjunction with your mailing list by providing a landing page with additional details for special offers.  A blog is usually branded with a date and time stamp; making it more like a journal.  It’s perfect for keeping readers up-to-date on current happenings in your business.  Plus, search engines love blogs that are rich with helpful content, so it’s a great way to attract new business.

17.  Not offering your hair care products online.  If you have your own brand of hair care products, and are not offering them for sale on your website, you could be missing out on a consistent source of revenue.  People change hair stylists all the time.  Don’t assume people will keep coming back and buying your products when they come into your shop to get their hair done.  People may move away, or perhaps they don’t like your work, but love your products.  The point is, people should be able to buy your products; even if they decide to stop getting their hair done at your beauty or barber shop.  You have a consumable product that people can buy over and over again, and it is in your best interest to make it easier for them to order from you.  Your products should also be promoted in your mailing list.

18.  Not having a call to action.  In marketing, a call to action is the simple prompt of telling people what you want them to do.  It’s very logical, but not always intuitive to folks who haven’t studied marketing.  A call to action can be a simple message like, “Call to setup your hair appointment, or “Book your appointment online”.  You are simply instructing your website visitors to take the desired action.  Each page will have it’s own unique call to action.  For example, the home page might have a call to actions to view your portfolio.  Your product page might instruct visitors to buy your hair care product.  A services page may instruct visitors to make an appointment, A testimonial page will ask people to leave you a review, and a contact page will prompt users to call or send a message.  Some pages might even have multiple call to actions.  For example, the end goal is to get people to make a hair appointment, so a good practice is to have that call to action in the header of your website; where it will appear on all pages.

19.  Not having a logo.  A logo is a critical part of your brand.  It is something that separates you from other hair salons or barber shops, and allows you to distinguish yourself and become immediately recognized by your customers.  Your website is where many of your customers will be exposed to your brand for the first time, and where they will continue to be exposed to it with each visit.  It’s important to get a logo that is simple, not too detailed, and can be blown up or shrunk down without distortion.  It should also be cool!

20.  Not having a mobile responsive site.  The number of mobile users has been steadily increasing.  Most websites receive more than 50% of their visits from mobile users.  Because of this, your site needs to look good on desktop, as well as portable devices such as tablets and mobile phones.  Mobile users have very specific needs.  They don’t have the same ease of use as those using desktops.  Therefore, your site needs to accommodate mobile users by making it easier for them to engage.

21.  Placing crucial information in the footer or hard to find places.  Important information such as your phone number, portfolio, products and services should be placed above the fold.  That is, near the top of the page, before they have to start scrolling.  People can be lazy and short with patience.  If they have to sift through your site to find things that they expect to be readily available, they will leave without hesitation.  Give them what they want, right away.

22.  No social media buttons.  Social media offers an alternative way to establish the line of communication with your website visitors; when they don’t want to subscribe to your mailing list.  You should be on social media sites like facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Twitter, and Youtube.  You don’t have to be on all of them, but it’s good to active on at least 2-3.

23.  Not having multiple communication channels.  Not everyone is comfortable picking up the phone.  Some of your customers might prefer to email you.  It is important to offer several ways for your customers to get in touch with you.  At a bare minimum, you should have a phone number and an email form that allows visitors to send you an email.  Additional communication channels might include, social media, live chat, blog comments, or a community forum

24.  Website backgrounds that are too dark or too bright.  Ideally, it is best practice to have a white background with dark font, but if you do decide to explore alternative design options, just be sure the background is not too dark or to bright.  Furthermore, whatever you choose for the background color, the font should be a good contrast.  Sites that are hard to view, don’t get read.  People will click away.  You’ve been warned.

25.  Not advertising booth rental options.  If you offer booth rental at your salon or barber shop.  Advertise it on your website!  How else are people going to know about it?  Don’t wait for them to ask.  Let people know you have booths available, how many you have available, how much it costs to rent, what equipment and supplies they will have access to as part of their rental agreement.  It might even be a good idea to provide rental application that they can either download or submit online.

26.  Not having appointment booking capability.  Having the ability to accept appointments online makes for a good user experience; making it convenient for your customers to book an appointment.  Furthermore, it encourages people to book appointments in advance and helps you better plan your days.  Most appointment booking scripts allows you to take a deposit, which helps eliminate no call, no shows.

If you’re site is breaking any of these rules, and is in desperate need of a makeover, let Untouchable Web Design give your site a make-over and make your business more presentable to potential clients.

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