About the Company: Eclectic Hair Salon
Eclectic Hair Salon of West Lafayette, Indiana, truly lives up to its name; owner Shawna McCully and her stylists want to make people feel beautiful on their own terms. The stylists believe that beauty comes in many forms, which makes “eclectic” not only their namesake but also their philosophy. Eclectic Hair Salon doesn’t just work magic on hair with cuts, colors, and styles, but with a person’s overall body by including salon services like manicures, pedicures, waxing and facials.
The Problem: Serving a Larger Clientele
Eclectic Hair Salon is located next to the Purdue University campus in the Chauncey Village shopping district. Business booms with the incoming undergraduate students each autumn, but the hair salon doesn’t retain these clients after graduation time in May. As students move away from the area, she found herself “waiting out” the summer for the return of the academic population. Even with rising popularity in the Greater Lafayette area, Shawna found that her salon wasn’t bringing in customers from the surrounding area in numbers sufficient to support a healthy rate of growth.
Part of this issue was finding Eclectic Hair Salon in search engines such as Google or Yahoo. Eclectic’s search engine presence was dismal; those in dire need of a haircut in Lafayette or new migrants to the area looking for a haircut would not see Eclectic in the top results for Google Places (aka Google Maps.)
Facing “non-optimal” campus client retention rates and lacking a presence in the Lafayette market, Shawna turned to the pros at Find8 Digital for help.
The Solution: “The Trifecta” is the Key
Find8 sat down with Shawna to specify the problem and to begin brainstorming an optimization strategy. We called upon the power of our “local search optimization trifecta” to solve Shawna’s problems. “The Trifecta” hits three key aspects of search engine optimization:
- 1. Optimizing Google Places entry
- 2. Uploading Eclectic’s business profile through business citation services
- 3. Implementing strategies to solicit business reviews and testimonials
The optimization solution began with thorough keyword research and keyword alignment with her business strategy. Keyword analysis filtered through every aspect of Eclectic’s online profiles, beginning with Google Places.
Part One of the Trifecta: Google is Where You Want to Be
97% of consumers are searching for local businesses online. Eclectic Hair Salon had an owner-verified Google Places listing, but it still wasn’t showing up in the ranks. Find8 optimized the profile by adding as much keyword-rich content as possible. Furthermore, Find8 added a video, cleaned up the business description and added additional details.
We maxed out categories, which is an important step to getting Eclectic found. Using Google’s premade categories is a start, but specifying categories with our keyword research ensures that we are targeting categories with a high rate of use in a search. Additionally, using the keyword research in the categories, we created a presence for Eclectic Hair Salon outside of hair care services. We utilized Eclectic’s wide range of services in their categories to get Eclectic included in more searches. It’s one thing to have a Google Places entry that’s verified. It’s a solid start, but still incomplete. A full, complete profile will increase visibility on Google Places, and more recently, on the social networking site Google+.
Part Two of the Trifecta: Stepping Outside of Google (and Into a Multitude of New Places)
The second part of the Find8 Trifecta was pushing Eclectic Hair Salon’s business listing through our business citations services. With this service, we pushed their listing through 400+ business directories. This is a service business owners can’t access for a reasonable price on their own. Having hundreds of listings is important for obvious reasons; it gets Eclectic through to hundreds of sites in order to get found. This boosts their rankings on search engines like Google.
Part Three of the Trifecta: Tell Me, How Was Your Service?
The third part of the Trifecta implements a new strategy to solicit business reviews and testimonials. Reviews and testimonials are vital to Google Places rankings. Not only are reviews vital to Google Places, but customers are increasingly relying on reviews before making purchases or using a business. Research indicates 92% of adults check reviews before making a purchase. That is an astounding number of people. To accommodate this trend, we implemented an automated business review system:
- 1. Eclectic Studio provided a list of customer names and email addresses.
- 2. We created a short, easy-to-use survey
- 3. Over the next three months, Find8 sent the satisfaction survey to Eclectic’s customers via email
4. This automated business review system automatically integrated these reviews to Google Places once they were completed.
An influx of great reviews bumped up Eclectic’s ranking in Google Places. Find8 will continue to send out the satisfaction surveys on an ongoing basis. It is important to maintain rankings with regular, positive reviews written by happy customers.
The Results: On Top of the Google Places Mountain
The results are outstanding for Shawna and Eclectic Hair Salon. Employing our Trifecta landed Eclectic Hair Salon in the first place Google position for the search term “hair salon West Lafayette!” Eclectic is even in the third spot for “hair salon Lafayette.”
Eclectic Salon is also findable for their other services, such as manicures, now that their Google Places page has been optimized. They receive several contacts from their website each day, and business has never been better!