Over the next few weeks we are going to be discussing ways to incorporate your salon's brand/name into the world wide wine and how to make it effective.
Last week we discussed Step 1, Creating a website and the different options to do so. If you happened to missed last weeks article and you don't already have a website make sure you go back and read last weeks article to make sure you are all caught up. You can view that article here.
Today we are going to discuses your design element. Some of the things you can not live without on your website. Some of these suggestions can be be optional depending on the type of salon or limiting depending on the means to which your website is
For those of you doing this on your own, depending on how structured and limiting your "do it your self" website company has made it, will depend on your limitations to the suggested content and ideas.
For those of you working with a web master, make sure to take notes, because you are going to want to give them insight to how you want your site designed and the content within the site.
We are going to break this up into two sections because it is a lot. So today we are going to start with the overall design and layout of the site, the home page and the menu bar of the site.
So before we begin, keep in mind today's theme: Consistency. When establishing the message and image of who and what you are, without consistency, you loose your integrity.
Lets start with the home page & website layout.
Here is a list of things you want to be aware of when creating & designing a website. Also certain things you want to have written on the homepage.
1. There needs to be a consistency to your brand: This stems from the color scheme, the logo and the energy that is captivated through the imagery posted on the site (for example: A fashion forward salon might have shots of a really avant-garde hair shots or a spa like salon should have soft elegant imagery.)
2. The literature listed on the site should be consistent with the message of your brand. There should also be a message that is personal to future and present guests. For instance explain where your salon falls into your local market. Once again if your salon is fashion forward, position your self that way, but do so in a personalized way. Do not write in generic terms. Create your verbiage in a way that speaks to people like a conversation as apposed to talking at someone. Tell your guests what it means to be fashion forward and express to them why your salon helps them to express their style. Do not be generic, be original and be inspiring to your guests. This will require some originality and some creativity from your part. But do not get discouraged. Take this very slow and think about it. This is very important so take your time and really position yourself with integrity. We are hairstylists, being creative is what we do!
3. The site should be very easy, user friendly and clean. Do not clutter with an over abundance of information. Keep the pictures clear and consistent. Tell a story with the imagery. Having a site with lots of literature and imagery can confuse and distort your salon's image, not to mention make it difficult for visitors to map their way through your site. When building your site think about yourself as a future guest. Sometimes as salon owners we like the idea of captivating all markets so we saturate our site with an overwhelming amount of information about the services we offer. What actually happens is when your site has multiple themes or messages the true message, your brand, has a tendency to be lost.
An example of this might be a website that has some really great images of sexy simple hair, then a message talking about how they do progressive hairstyles and then also having imagery of a super smooth keratin treatment model and talking about A keratin treatment special. Another solution to this would be to create a consistent imagery to the types of styles you create and a separate section for the monthly specials which would take the visitor to an alternate section of the website. This helps to not only make it easier to monitor your traffics interests, but also to keep a much more clear message of your brand.
4. It is imperative to give your guests an insight into what is going on in "your world." The best way to give your guests a view of what's going on in your salon is to keep them connected to your social media networks. Here is a list of things to make sure to incorporate into your website and some ways to get started.
a. Flicker or Photo Bucket: Using either of these or an alternate photo sharing site, incorporate a slide show of pictures of your salon. This gives people a little preview of your salon and captivates a visual energy of the vibe of your salon. ** Make sure your pictures are professional looking. It is not enough to just "do" pictures. It is imperative that they are consistent to the brand.
b. Twitter: Allow your guests to have access to your latest twitter feeds. This gets three things done at once. It keeps your guests in the know, it allows you easy access to keep your guests in the know & most importantly it gives a way to keep your guests interactive.
c. Facebook: Link your Facebook site via your website. You can do this in multiple ways. By incorporating it into the menu bar of your website or incorporate Facebook via a Facebook logo displayed on your site. Personally I have my Facebook linked through the menu bar on my site. I feel Facebook is a must have for salon's and the most interactive outlet between you and your guests. It needs to be a spotlight of your internet strategy. We will absolutely be getting to Facebook later on in our series. At this point you just need to link it up!:
d. Blog: Link your blog via your site. You can do this in the same manner as your Facebook. We will learn more about blogging and why it's important for you to have a blog in your world in later postings.
e. You tube: If you have videos, which you should. give your guests access to these videos, do so in the same manner as the blog and Facebook. Also if your having your site created by a web designer have them incorporate the latest videos onto your homepage or even better an introduction video to exactly what your salon is about, think about it like a commercial!
Now lets take a look at the menu bar, next week we will break down the content of each of these pages:
This is a list (in order) of what I recommend you put on the top of your site in the menu bar & of course why.
Home: This is a pretty much given. You want easy access back to the home page, the point to which the visitors came.
Services: This is very important to list this second. This is what we "sell." When people are visiting your site they are going to want to know what you charge and what you offer. Make this easy access. By listing second you are doing that.
About Us: Visitors want to know who you are. Give them easy access to bios, facts and fun information about your salon.
Specials: You do not want to put the specials right in front. Make sure you give your visitors easy access to what they are looking for right away, i.e; services and bios. It is imperative to have the services and about us prior to the specials. I think you can also have the specials all the way to the right of the menu bar and to incorporate a specials spot some where strategic on the home page.
Media (videos, pictures, etc.): This is where you will post everything media related. It is nice to give access to your social media on the homepage, however you will also need a place to hub it all.
Calendar: Give your guests access to what is going on at your salon. Hosting an event, having special promos? Let them know!
Optional: Facebook, Twitter, Blog, Etc.: If you choose to place these on the menu bar this is the spot you would do it. Basically after all the key information.
Contact Us: I prefer to place this last. Make sure your visitors have learned about your site prior to giving them the opportunity to contact you. It is ideal to have your guests know who you are before getting to know you. What a great way to make an impression!
This concludes today. Remember Next week we will be breaking down the pages, so stay tuned!!!