Is your website the attractor factor it should be? I’ve helped design websites for estheticians and solopreneurs for the past few years, and I’m always amazed at how unique and creative the process can be. It’s your prospects first impression and invitation to experience Brand You. Yet for many entrepreneurs their website functions as little more than a waiting room brochure - passive and ho-hum.
Think about it – the web is essential for the spider to survive. It not only has to attract its prey, it has to keep them literally stuck while spidey makes dinner plans. There's an “ick” factor here, but you get the point.
Your website has three main goals: (1) to attract potential clients to schedule services, (2) purchase products, and (3) educate (and entertain) them so you’re positioned in their minds as the go to expert. Remember your website is a living, breathing entity representing the essence of you and what you stand for.
Check out these 7 practices for maximizing your web’s effectiveness.
1. Make Your Site Visually Appealing
Visuals are the first thing client’s notice. Make sure your spa branding and ambiance come through on your website. Your photos should be good quality, use colors and fonts and design that matches your brand.
2. Be Mobile-Friendly and Responsive
Remember that most of your site's visitors will be on their phone or tablet, so the spa's website must be easy to navigate. Regardless of how a client is viewing your page, a mobile-friendly site is critical. Note that how your site looks on a computer or laptop is often not the same view from a mobile device or tablet.
3. Simple and Clear
Marketing 101 says: A confused mind walks away. A cluttered, overcrowded, or disorganized web page will frustrate visitors and cause them to check out. This applies most importantly to the homepage but should carry through to every page.
A simple and clean layout allows you to direct prospects to where you want them to go and keep them engaged. People tend to notice pictures first, then color (like logos or buttons), followed by larger fonts. Keep your calls to action clear, concise, and highly visible.
The pages on your site depend on the types of services you offer. Do you specialize in waxing, acne, or anti-aging? Are you strictly skin care, or do you have other services?
Make sure your services are easily found – especially the ones that generate most of your income. (The 80/20 rule applies here: 20% of services offered generate 80% of a spa's income.)
Remember, it’s BOTH content on the pages and how the pages are laid out that will generate positive interaction with potential clients. Make sure your page arrangement is leading your clients to the desired action (buy a product or schedule an appointment or consultation).
4. Establish the Right Pages
The absolute minimum should include the homepage, contact, services, and an about me/staff page. And always, always, include some type of signup box to capture emails, preferably with a free giveaway like an article or ebook, a one-time discount on products or services or special offer. Email marketing can be very profitable and it’s free.
Homepage. Often, the first thing a potential client sees on your website is the homepage. It needs to give the viewer a quick overview of who you are, the personality of your business and how you can benefit them. Think of it as a snapshot of your business. It must entice them to stay and tour your site. Gaining this can be critical, challenging, technical and vital for success.
Staff. If you have a printed brochure, that information should be included on your website. Introduce your team, providing their profiles, pictures, and strengths. In addition to good head shots, think about adding pictures of them working with clients.
Services. Give details about the types of services offered and be descriptive.
Reviews. Allow clients to post reviews on the spa and the services they enjoy. There is nothing like a happy client to attract another.
Contact. Clients need to know where you are located and your hours of operation. They also need to know if they must call for an appointment or if they do it online. If they have questions, they need a number to call.
Policies. A clinic and appointment policies page help establish expectations.
Education. Articles to educate your clients can also be helpful, especially as a blog. How-to or demonstration videos showcase your talents and engage a future client. You are the expert. Establishing your credibility and expertise is an ongoing process.
Sign-up. An often-missed link is finding a way to collect information about the person that looks at your page. You can include a simple sign-up area on your homepage, that either offers them a coupon or subscribes them to your e-newsletter. Their contact information gives you a way to add them to your mailing list or to follow up with them, perhaps with an e-mail note thanking them for visiting and inviting them to your spa.
5. Check your analytics.
Check your site reports (called analytics – available on the dashboard of your site) to see how many visitors you’ve had to your website during a certain period (7 days, 30 days, 3 months, etc.) and what pages they visited. If a page isn’t getting many views, it may need to be revised. The reports also show you how many visitors acted on your website. Did they sign up to your email list? Have they booked appointments or visited your blog page? This information can help you plan online marketing based on your strengths.
6. Highlight Your Specials
Studies show that people browse longer when there are specials or discounts on products available—so display them prominently! Make it clear what the savings are (in dollars), and always keep them up to date.
7. Post Content
This will educate Google about your site. Every time you post content (articles, blogs, new photos, add pages, etc.) you give Google more information to boost SEO (search engine optimization) so clients can find you easily. Include keywords (words that define your business and what you do) organically in your content.
Consider what kind of content your clientele would want. They're looking for your expertise, whether it's skin care ingredients or mindfulness tips. Blog posts, downloadable articles and ebooks, video demonstrations or a tour of your spa – it all counts!
If designing websites just aren’t your thing – and let’s face it, they probably aren’t - make your life a lot easier and hire professionals. Don’t try to do it all! You’ll be more productive focusing on your strengths and talents as an esthetician and spa professional. I’d love to answer questions if I can – shoot me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.