Choosing the Best SEO Keywords for Your Salon

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Brad Shorr
Brad Shorr
Content Strategist and Writer
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There’s no getting around it — any SEO campaign, no matter how brilliantly executed, stands or falls based on the target keywords.

If your salon has selected the right keywords, you’ll get more and more organic website traffic from Google as time goes on. But if you choose the wrong keywords, nothing will happen. Nothing. So how do you go about choosing the best SEO keywords for your salon? Here are the keys.

Study your competition

Do some Google searches for common keywords someone might use when looking for a salon or spa. Are the organic results dominated by a few big, national competitors? If so, you may find it difficult to make headway, since you’ll be up against companies with five- or six-figure SEO campaign budgets. If this is your situation, you will be better off with “long-tail” keywords — keywords that are more specific yet highly relevant to your services. For instance, “spas in Sydney” may be impossible to compete on, whereas “tranquil day spas in Melbourne” may be very promising.

Make sure SEO keywords have sufficient search volume

Long-tail keywords are great, but they must have enough volume to generate a critical mass of website traffic. For instance, if you have a keyword with 20 searches a month, you probably won’t get enough traffic from it to have an impact on your business, even if you rank No. 1.

Keep in mind, though, long-tail keyword volume has a cumulative effect. An SEO campaign targeting one keyword with 20 searches a month makes no sense — but a campaign targeting 500 such keywords might.

Keywords must be relevant

Some businesses go very much off course by selecting keywords that are popular and that they can rank for — but aren’t particularly relevant to their business. This practice infuriates Google search engine users. When people click on a link in organic search results, they expect the webpage to be exactly what they had in mind.

In the salon business, it may be tempting to target an SEO keyword such as “bridal hair styling services”, when the salon doesn’t really specialize in that, or even really offer it. The best approach for SEO is to target keywords that match with what your specialty really is, and that best reflect the ambience and customer experience of your business.

Use locations in keywords

As a provider of SEO services around the world, we deal with location subtleties all the time. Your salon probably attracts clients from a fairly well-defined geographic area. Incorporating locations (cities, suburbs, counties, regions, neighborhoods, streets, etc.) in your target keywords helps improve relevance (see above) and may give you a chance to compete against those big companies that may not have targeted specific locations in their keywords.

Invest in keyword research

Luckily, there are a lot of online tools to help you research all of these variables. One we like to use is Keyword Explorer. It’s user-friendly and can give you a good start on developing a set of target keywords. Just be aware that no keyword data, not even Google’s own data, is 100 percent accurate. This is another reason why having a healthy basket of target keywords is a more promising approach to SEO than putting the whole budget into a few keywords.

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