By Katie Lundin
Whether you sell make-up, haircare, or skincare products, run a beauty salon, nail bar, barbershop, or spa… as a beauty industry insider, you know that looks are important.
This is especially true when it comes to the way people judge websites.
How a website looks is important. In fact, seventy-five percent of people judge the credibility of a business based on its website.
If your beauty website looks bad, it’s turning potential clients away.
Here are 4 proven techniques to help your beauty website win more customers.
1. Showcase your unique brand
Just as you help your clients to look the best version of themselves, your website design must showcase your brand’s unique identity.
This is especially important for new beauty businesses. If you’re putting together your business plan while preparing to start a new beauty business, don’t overlook the importance of creating a strong visual identity for your business.
After all, clients don’t want to look like everyone else. They want to showcase their own unique self. And, they look to see if your beauty business stands out in unique ways and offers something special and different.
For example, if your website uses a generic template and looks like thousands of other salons, nail care, or makeup sites, people won’t be able to differentiate you from your many competitors.
In fact, this is true for every aspect of your company’s brand identity, including your business name and your company logo. Both must be unique if you want to build a brand that stands out and attracts great clients.
The differentiating factors that make your business unique must be visible so that your clients and prospective clients (the people who are naturally attracted to your brand’s mission, aesthetic, and personality) can identify you.
A well-designed website will show what makes your beauty business unique and attract those clients.
And don’t be deterred by the price of custom website design. Some beauty business owners worry that the cost of website design can be prohibitively high.
It’s true that many design companies and agencies charge thousands of dollars for their services. But this isn’t universally true (crowdspring’s custom website designprojects start at just $899, including all fees).
● Work with a strong design team to develop a brand-informed logo. Then use that logo as the guide for your website’s visual design and all subsequent visual branding.
● Prioritize customization – avoid generic web design templates that don’t allow you to customize.
● Choose fonts (no more than 2-3), colors, graphics, and photos, that evoke your brand’s personality.
● Include content on your website that speaks with your brand’s voice. Be sure to let your personality shine through.
2. Design your website for fast load speeds
As we emphasized in our guide on how to start a business,
Your website is one of your new business’s most important ambassadors and a crucial component of your marketing and branding strategy.
Between seconds 4 and 5 of your website’s load time, 20% of viewers have already left your site.
Not only that, the faster your website loads, the higher it ranks with search engines. So, the easier it is for people to find.
3. Make it easy for guests to book appointments
Are you a make-up artist, stylist, barber, or cosmetologist?
Then you need an integrated booking system for your website.
Service-oriented beauty businesses rely on bookings. But, managing your schedule takes time away from the tasks that actually get you paid – like cutting hair, applying makeup, or performing facials.
And guests have come to expect to be able to book online. The cat’s already out of the bag.
So, if your website doesn’t support online booking, it’ll look inferior to your competitors who do offer that convenient feature.
On the other hand, if you’re the first salon, nail bar, or barbershop in your market to enable people to schedule appointments online, you’ll have a natural advantage over your competition.
And, there are free salon-booking software apps! So, the cost isn’t a barrier. There’s no excuse not to impress potential customers with the convenience of online scheduling.
● Check out these tried and true online booking options:
○ Fresha – This free online scheduling tool (formerly known as “Shedul”) is packed with features designed specifically for businesses in the beauty and wellness industry. There is also a paid version, but Fresha’s free service can definitely stand on its own.
○ Schedulicity – Schedulicity is another powerful online booking software. This service offers a la carte pricing that allows you to customize your service so you’re only paying for the features you need.
○ Timely – Timely claims to be the world’s smartest online booking software. You can test their claim yourself with their free trial. Once your trial is over, you can continue with Timely for low monthly rates tiered to grow with the size of your team.
● Choose an online booking service and integrate it with your website for easy, automated bookings.
● If you don’t currently sell custom-branded beauty products, consider adding your own unique line. Many manufacturers will let you private label their productsand you’ll just need to create custom packaging design to showcase your own unique brand.
4. Show your style and skill with photos
Concrete examples are more powerful than vague promises.
Every beauty business claims to make people look good. But, including pictures of your work (or people wearing your products) on your website shows that you can really deliver.
And, beauty is subjective. Your products or services aren’t for everyone. They’re for the people who share your aesthetic.
Posting pictures that showcase your brand’s unique style will attract customers who share it. So, you’ll gain, and retain, more customers.
So, incorporate photos into your website that demonstrate your skill and your style. Show potential clients that you can be trusted to make them look and feel beautiful.
● If you’re a freelancer, create a gallery showcasing your best manicures, hair color clients, or make-up applications. (And always ask permission before sharing any photos of your clients.)
● Do you run a salon or spa? Then dedicate a page to each team member and include a gallery of their best work.
● If you manufacture beauty products, encourage your clients to share pictures of themselves wearing your products on Instagram with a custom hashtag. Then embed a widget into your website that automatically displays those photos.
● Allow customers to upload pictures with their product reviews.
If you want to be the next Sephora or Glossier, you must have stellar branding. And, that includes a professional, custom website that shows the world what your beauty brand is all about.
Katie Lundin is a Marketing and Branding Specialist at crowdspring, one of the world’s leading marketplaces for crowdsourced logo design, web design, graphic design, product design, and company naming services. She regularly writes about entrepreneurship, small business, and design on crowdspring’s award-winning small business blog.