About That Website . . .
By ASCP Staff
When was the last time you looked in a phone book? When was the last time you even saw a phone book? The phone book had its day, but those days are long gone. Where do you look when you want to buy a house, get a mani-pedi, or purchase any product or service? You’ve got it . . . Google! It’s become a household word. Your clients are just like you. When they look in the mirror and see breakouts, realize their face looks like a road map, or their leg hair is long enough to make Bigfoot envious, they will look online. The internet is part of our everyday culture.
Your spa might be on a busy street corner and have a big, beautiful neon sign, but how many potential clients will never be on that street? They’ll never see your thousand-dollar sign. Instead, when they are searching for a local esthetician or waxer, they’ll search on Google. If you don’t know it by now, you need to have a strong online presence. Hopefully, you have already created a website, but if you haven’t, make that a priority this week. It’s time to shine online! If you do have a website, some of these tips may help you turn “surfers” into clients.
The homepage of your website is the most important page because potential clients are window shopping online. A potential client landing on your homepage is just like the potential client walking by who glances in your spa window. What do you want the potential client’s first impression of your place to be—clinical, soothing, classic, calming, upbeat? Is it inviting enough to make them want to come inside? If they are rushed for time and don’t have time to dive deeper into your website, your homepage should have your contact information—and a “book now” button—clearly visible and prominent. I’m sure you’ve experienced visiting a website and you end up looking everywhere for an email address or phone number. It’s so frustrating! Don’t make potential clients have to work to get in touch with you. They may not bother and will move on to a different esthetician’s site.
Now that you’ve made your homepage amazing, potential clients will want to enter your website for more information. Make sure they can find what they want. What do they want? The first thing they’ll look for are the skin care services you offer. They may want a facial, but they could also be interested in chemical peels, microdermabrasion, waxing, or a number of other skin care services. They may also be interested in an esthetician who specializes in acne or rosacea. Make sure you list all services you provide and any area of skin conditions you specialize in.
They will want to know what hours your business is open. The working client will be looking for evening appointments, or a busy stay-at-home mom can only come in on the weekends. Have hours flexible enough to accommodate for different lifestyles. Some estheticians hesitate to put service prices on their website but put yourself in the clients’ shoes. Would you want to book a chemical peel if you had no idea how much it was going to cost? I wouldn’t. It might be $100 or it might be $300! If they do book the appointment without asking for a price, you don’t want your client to have sticker shock at the end of the service. They will most likely never return. This doesn’t mean you have to lock yourself into an absolute price, but even a general ballpark price will be appreciated. You could explain on this page of your site that there may be some price fluctuation depending on variations to the service.
Then show off the amazing results you have given your clients from your services! Show them the diminished lines and wrinkles you’ve achieved with your older clients using chemical peels, enzyme masks, and microdermabrasion. Show them the grade 3 acne client that now has clear, blemish-free skin. The before-and-after pictures will give a potential client confidence that you’re the esty they’ve been looking for. They will feel comfortable after seeing examples of your expertise before they ever even enter your treatment room. Show your clients what you’re capable of and get them excited to meet you.
Make the Experience Great
When you visit another business’s website and had a great experience, what made it great? Were you able to book an appointment online with your dentist when you lost a filling at midnight instead of having to wait until morning to call them? If you don’t offer online booking, you should seriously consider adding this function to your site. Clients love the convenience of booking online and not having to pick up the phone and search for a phone number. They can also book a service with you any time, day or night.
You could also offer helpful aftercare instructions for your clients online. Yes, of course, you’ll give them aftercare instructions to take home after a chemical peel or dermaplaning service, but the client might lose the information and hesitate to bother you with a phone call. If they can find the information online, they will appreciate it. Do you have consultation forms for new clients that can be completed and submitted online? That saves time during the appointment for both you and your client and gives you time before they arrive to review what the client’s current skin care regimen is and what the major concerns about their skin. It will also help you form an idea of a treatment plan, and what products would benefit them the most.
One more important consideration is client testimonials and reviews. Share client testimonials on your website for virtual word-of-mouth marketing. You could even ask your current clients who love what you do for them if you could shoot a short video of them on your phone. Then create a client testimonials page on your website. Very powerful marketing!
Now it’s time to do everything possible to direct traffic to your website. Link your social media accounts to your professional website. List your business and link to your website on local online directories. Blogs are an excellent way to help your website climb the search engine rankings and drive traffic to your site. You should post a blog at least three times a week—and not just promotional info; use this space to educate your readers. Swap links with other local businesses’ websites. Run social media contests in which your clients share a link to your website to their social media followings, and if they do, reward them with an add-on service or a bottle of their favorite eye serum. The goal is to have your online presence be popular enough to drive clients to your brick-and-mortar business.
A social media presence is very important, but a business website sets you apart from the crowd as a professional. A website can be a client-generating gold mine. Don’t miss out on potential clients and opportunities by not having a website.
How much does it cost to set up a website?
Luckily, there are many options to set up a website for free. Here are some options for you to check out:
- Associated Skin Care Professionals (ASCP): If you’re a member of ASCP, you receive a free website with many choices of templates that are specific to skin care and instructions on how to add photos, videos and more. www.ascpskincare.com
- Wix: Includes free access to tools and features. www.wix.com
- Site 123: Includes royalty-free images for all users. www.site123.com
- Square Space: Includes powerful ecommerce tools for small businesses. www.squarespace.com
What makes a good website?
- It should have a clear purpose.
- It should be visibly pleasing.
- Make navigation easy.
- It should be functional and useful.
What should I NOT put on my website?
Most people find the following very annoying:
- Automatic sound/music
- Huge images
- Animated banner ads