For a long time I had a “free” website (with a few optional extras that I paid every month for). It looked quite pretty, was functional in the fact that if someone had my web address it had all the information needed on it. It took me hours and hours of tinkering and cost me a reasonable amount over the years, but just did not show up anywhere on search engines. Which in the end really defeats the whole object of a website. If it doesn’t get high on search engines (ultimately gaining you new clients) then all you have is a glorified online leaflet or price list!
I thought I couldn’t afford a professionally made website, but ultimately, how much money did I waste on the “free” website, which got me zero new clients? In hindsight not a cost effective way of marketing at all, so don’t make my mistake. Eventually I saw the light (my partner insisted I get one and helped me find my “website man”). He made me a gorgeous website, adding keywords, some SEO’s and “backstage stuff” that I don’t even begin to understand! I put together all the wording, got photo’s and videos together, and thought of relevant keywords. Once the website went live I then added my new address to all my social media, any free ads I could find and linked to other business pages. Over a space of 3-6 months this all got me to the first page on Google, which was the ultimate aim. How Google works is changing and shifting all the time, so this isn’t a fool proof plan, but it worked well for me. If you find a good website designer, who also takes care of the SEO’s, then you can leave a lot of it to them, the professional.
If you think about it, your website is like your shop front ( which you don’t have working from home) it gives potential clients a glimpse of your salon, treatments and personality through the design you choose. Think about the people you are hoping to appeal to as potential customers. If you are intending to break into the ever expanding male grooming market would a pretty french boudoir theme be most appropriate? Maybe not but if you are a nail technician specialising in nail art it could be perfect. Make sure its easy to navigate and that all the links work (it puts people off if they have to look for something). Every few months change a few things on your website, Google see’s this and knows that your still active. Speaking of which I need to add a few testimonials, change a couple of photo’s and tweak my treatments page. There’s always some thing to add.