Google and other search engines (like Bing) are essential to anyone's business success. Customers like you have called in to ask about Vagaro's SEO so we've put together this handy guide for you. Keep in mind, however, that Google and other search engines are very much like ordinary people. Focus on doing what will help your customers and your search engine traffic will grow.
First of all let's talk about the term "SEO" that you may have heard or read about. It stands for Search Engine Optimization. A quick rundown of what it does: it is a set of tactics that can help you rank higher for queries when a potential client types (or speaks) terms into Google or other search engines.
Before we get to the tactics, keep in mind that there is no guarantee in getting to the top of any search engine's organic (non-paid) results. No company, software, agency, employee or tool can guarantee any result.
However, there are many things that can help you do a better job of being found.
Keywords are the words that people put into a search engine when looking for something. Sometimes these words are abbreviations, slang, or very simplistic words. Think about how you look for something and what words you use. Those are the words you want to use throughout your Vagaro listings.
Note: Do not repeat the same word(s) over and over. This looks spammy to Google and your page is less likely to rank.
If you are looking to get more business through Google search, there are some things you can do to increase your chances of being found.
Firstly, you should fill out the description of your business. Use words in the description that you think people will search in your local area to find a business like yours. Also, make it a well-thought out, unique several paragraphs. Describe your business fully and thoroughly. This will build trust with brand new customers and help them get to know you.
Here are a few questions to help you think about what to write:
- What makes you unique?
- What's special about your business?
Fill out your services or classes and describe them thoroughly. What makes your version of the service different than other stylists, massage therapists, estheticians, fitness professionals, etc.? Describe the process in such a way that even new client would have a firm understanding of what to expect from your service.
Your Service Providers
Vagaro recognizes that there is a special relationship between each service provider and client. For your service providers, each one should have unique descriptions about why a customer should book with him/her in their bio. Tell a unique story for each provider so that a new customer feels comfortable choosing a good match for the service and the provider that works for them.
Good content and user experience is important to search engines and to customers. One of the best ways to illustrate your expertise is by adding photos of your best work to your portfolio. Check out our photography best practices here. We also encourage you to photograph your venue to give your new customers a level of security before they visit your facility.
Becoming an authority in your business, in your city, and in your niche is very important to Google. The best way to illustrate this is to get reviews from your customers. Let me repeat that: GET REVIEWS! Ask your best customers to write up a short paragraph describing why they love you. These reviews must be legitimate customers who are not paid for their reviews.
Outreach is one of the most important part of your marketing efforts. Outreach is getting websites to share links on social media or to add links to their websites from relevant content on their website that land on your Vagaro listing page. Earning links can take time, but are worth the effort and can help you rank higher for terms that are relevant to your business.
Social media links are the easiest ones to earn and to place. You should always link to your Vagaro Listing website from your own Twitter, Instagram and Facebook biography. Those are the larger 3 but you should link from any social media network you are actively engaging on. Do not register a MySpace account and link from it if you are never going to visit it. The profiles you link from should be actively managed and used.
Another great idea is to have your friends and family share links to your booking pages from their social media. This should not be overdone and spammy, but there's nothing wrong with leaving a link when someone asks for a recommendation of where to get a service done.
The best links come from sites that are talking about your industry or business. Get a story on your local news site and ask them to link to you. See if there are any industry bloggers who want to write about your business or your industry and get a link from there. See if your Chamber of Commerce or other Business Clubs have websites that can link to you. (These are a few suggestions, but be creative.)
Note: NEVER BUY LINKS. EVER.
Buying links is different than ads like Google Adwords or Facebook ads which is good for business. But if anyone is offering to sell links for SEO, do not buy those links.
Where Can I Find My Vagaro Website Link?
You can use your Vagaro domain name or your private domain if you have one to list your business on the sites below. If you do not know your Personal Vagaro URL you can find it by clicking on the Settings -> Business Profile and it is under Personal Vagaro URL at the bottom.You can update this personal URL at any time, but it is better if you choose to build up the same URL over time.
Here are some ways to kickstart your link building:
- Create an account on Google Places, so Google knows where you are located, it has a link to your website and other information. Go to http://www.google.com/places/ to sign-up
- Create a Yelp account http://www.yelp.com/writeareview/newbiz
- Create a Yahoo local account http://listings.local.yahoo.com/
- Create an InsiderPages account http://insiderpages.com/session/new?header_link=true
- Create a FourSquare account https://foursquare.com/signup/
- Create a YP.com account http://adsolutions.att.com/advertise-with-us?utm_source=YPR_google&utm_campaign=YPR_%28organic%29&utm_medium=YPR_organic&utm_term=YPR_%28not%20provided%29
- Create a Facebook Business Page http://www.facebook.com/pages/create.php
- Sign in to Google+ account https://accounts.google.com/Login
- Sign up for a Pinterest account - https://pinterest.com/join/signup/
- Start a Wordpress Blog - https://signup.wordpress.com/signup/
It might make things a lot easier for you to have a Vagaro website built with a private domain so that when you are found, your business looks more professional. Below are the steps to take to do that:
- For only $10 a month, Vagaro will host a customized Vagaro website for you that you can build yourself through our Website Builder. This allows you to customize the look & colors for your site You can brand yourself and your business through this tool. If you don’t have time to create it yourself, for only $100 Vagaro offers a service to build it for you along with:
- Customized website with your own colors and graphics
- Customized Email Marketing Templates that match
- Customized Gift Certificates that match
- The second thing you can do is get your own domain name for your Vagaro website.
- Go to Vagaro Domains and register your domain name. Then email us at firstname.lastname@example.org with your login information for your domain and your business name on Vagaro so we can forward your domain name to your Vagaro website. If you need any help just call us at (800) 919-0157 x2.