When it comes to attracting potential clients for your spa, there are some big mistakes you could be making that are turning them off. Last week’s post discussed a common problem you’re making with your spa’s branding and how to fix it.
This week, it’s time to talk about the member of your staff who’s pulling the least amount of weight: your website. Think about it: your website works 24/7. It doesn’t get holidays off, it never sleeps, and it does so much work without asking for a raise. But it could be a big problem if you don’t know how to use that power to your benefit.
You may have the most beautiful spa and amenities for days. Your therapists are talented and your services make guests swoon when they hear about them. However, you’re having a hard time sharing these services and very few people actually hear about them. It’s most likely because of your spa’s website.
In the second installment of our four-part series, we’re sharing what your website is (and isn’t!) doing that is causing potential clients not to come to your spa. Then, you’ll learn a simple fix for this mistake. Pretty soon, your spa’s website will be one of the most valuable members of your team.
Before we jump into that, let’s have a basic SEO lesson.
By now you should know that SEO means Search Engine Optimization. Google (and other search providers) indexes all information on websites by crawling through them and making note of the words used. That way, if a person searches for “2018 summer spa specials,” Google can serve up all websites containing that phrase.
However, Google can’t see what’s on a picture. It can’t read any text you’ve placed on top of it. Instead, it uses cues from the title of the image and any alt text you’ve included with it. So, if Google sees a JPG image called “services.jpg,” that’s all it knows to index.
Even if that JPG image had “2018 Summer Service Specials” written in big, bold font across the top, your website wouldn’t come back in a Google search result because Google doesn’t know there’s relevant information on the image. Your beautiful spa would be virtually invisible to me if I didn’t already know about it.
Google can’t display results for something that isn’t SEO’d. In fact, I’m more likely to see specials from the last few years from the spas around the world who actually put those specials as text out there across the Internet.
Mistake: Not having your menu and specials in an easily accessible, SEO-friendly format on your website
Today, there is simply no excuse for not having a mobile-friendly, easily-accessible, SEO’d website. Technology has progressed to the point where most users are turning to mobile devices to browse, well, everything on the internet. And for that reason, everything on your website must be accessible on a responsive screen. Google itself says you must have a mobile-friendly website! Now will you listen?
Web designers can easily add beautiful, informative content into a framework that will display on multiple screens, browsers, and devices. A responsive website will display exactly as it should across all devices (tables, laptops, desktops, smartphones, etc) and eliminate client frustrations, like not being able to see something on a tiny smartphone screen.
The biggest mistake I see on spa websites? Having your entire service menu in PDF format, in an online magazine format, or including specials as an image. You might be thinking that this isn’t such a big deal, and can’t really be a mistake. Let me tell you, as a passionate spa-goer who likes to know what I’m getting into, this is a very big deal! It drives me nuts!
First, if I am on my phone and trying to find a spa treatment to book, reading a menu as a pretty PDF that’s formatted for print does not make it easy for me to read, and therefore frustrates the heck out of me. Why would spas want to frustrate potential guests? Of course, no one intentionally does this. The disconnect happened when the designer or agency didn’t care enough to insist that the menu be mobile-friendly and nobody thought about it from a guest’s perspective.
Second, including specials or any other treatment information in an image format is a huge no-no from an SEO perspective. Your services won’t be found because the search engines cannot read the image. If they can’t read the images, they skip over it and go to the next site.
How to Fix It
Pull all the info out of those PDFs and JPGs and put them into a responsive format online. Make sure you put them up at least a few weeks in advance so your site is being indexed and followed by search spiders. It sounds creepy but really, it’s not and you need to do this in order for spa-goers to find you and what you do.
Use Google’s Webmaster Tools to submit a new sitemap of your site when you make a big update. This will alert Google to the update so it can crawl through your site sooner rather than later.
The Key Takeaways
SEO, SEO, SEO!
First, write out all pertinent information about your spa on your website. If it’s typed on a picture and that picture is placed on a page, move that information to a page on your site. You want Google to crawl your entire site. This will serve you up in searches to potential guests who are looking for the exact thing you offer.
Second, look at how your website displays on a variety of devices. You want your website to be responsive and mobile-friendly. If someone can’t easily see what’s on your website, they likely won’t take the time to try to read it.
Let us know that you’re committing to updating your website this week to make sure your information can be found by search engines!
Next week, we’re talking about discounts to attract first-time guests, particularly through deal sites like LivingSocial and Groupon.