In most cases your website is your first impression to your potential client. It’s not only a place to gather information about your business, but also to showcase your brand. A clinic that focuses on laser hair removal for instance would have a very different website than a holistic spa would.
I’m really excited to have had the opportunity to speak with Brooke because she has built a very successful business building websites for spa industry professionals.
In our Q&A Brooke gives us a pro’s insights on what makes a website great in our industry:
Daniela: So how did you get involved with designing websites for spas in the first place?
Brooke: Well, I’ve been a web designer for a long time, but it was actually through my fiancé that I found my niche in the spa industry when he opened up a waxing salon in Scottsdale, Arizona.
He didn’t have a background in the spa world, but he’s a marketing guru and he saw the financials of waxing and how lucrative it can be, so he knew that if he could bring clients through the door and have rockstar aestheticians to re-book, than he could build a successful business.
By watching him through every step and going to aestheticians forums, I started to see why he found the spa space to be a great opportunity.
I would go to these forums get ideas and see what aestheticians were doing and one day I decided to tell my fiancé's story of how he built Sugar Me Wax from the ground up purely through online marketing. I put myself out there to be to answer any questions and immediately after the forum got 50 emails in my inbox, so I was able to see firsthand a true need for marketing know-how and having a solid and professional-looking website for their business’ foundation.
That was March 2015 and he now has three locations in Arizona, and through that experience I decided I would start focusing on building websites in the spa space.
Daniela: I know that most will agree that having a beautiful website is important to their business, especially being in our industry, but what are some of the other benefits? For example, would having a beautifully designed site help with SEO compared to just an average site?
Brooke: 100 percent yes! For example, when my fiancé first started Sugar Me Wax, I was really busy at the time and I think he was a little afraid to ask me to make his website, so he had a friend build a Wordpress site that he used that for a little while and about 5 months later I re-designed it and gave it a complete overhaul.
The difference was incredible is in his rankings. Google wants to make the user experience as top-notch as possible, so if your site isn’t mobile-friendly, well-designed both visually and structurally, and doesn’t use the keywords that make sense for what someone would be searching for, Google is going to put other sites that fit that criteria above yours.
One of the things we immediately noticed when with the new website was that with the old site, average time a visitor spent on the site was 30 seconds and about a week after launching the new design, his Google Analytics showed visitors staying on the site for an average of 2 minutes and 30 seconds.
And that makes a huge difference, because once Google sees more people spending time on your site, they recognize that site as more relevant, which means your site is going to climb higher on Google’s search pages.
Daniela: In your opinion, what are the most important things to include on a website for an aesthetician or spa?
Brooke: First, you have to start out with a good brand. For example, with Sugar Me Wax we wanted to show that we’re a place where women can be comfortable and come to get pampered. So our site is very bold and bright and we show real women on our site, not just models. It’s so important to have that strong brand and concept backing your business or else your online marketing efforts won’t work for you.
You also want to prioritize how easy it is for a user to navigate your website and create a nice flow through the information on your site. This also includes having your contact information and “Book Now” buttons in multiple areas throughout your site.
You’ll notice on all my sites, the services pages have a “Book Now” option along with multiple other place on the site, which gives the customer or potential client a direction to go in, make it easy for potential clients to actually become clients!
Daniela: Touching on that branding bit, I couldn’t agree more, it helps your audience understand who you are. For example, a med spa would have a totally different look and feel than a holistic spa because you’re attracting different people. So making your brand and the visual aspect of your website in-line with who your company caters toward, as well as the language is so crucial.
Brooke: Absolutely, the copywriting plays a huge role. You have to cater to your audience by showing and telling them things that will resonate with them.
Thank you so much to Brooke for taking the time to chat with me, I really appreciate her insight and expertise and hope you take these insights in to account by looking at your own website and examining areas where it could be improved.
Take a look at some of the before and afters of Brooke’s designs to see how big of a difference great design can play in your business.
Here is a before picture of a website:
And here is an after of the same site:
Huge change right?? The after is not even comparable!
Brooke also designs websites "from the ground up" so she often works with her clients to create mood boards and brand concepts.
Here are a few images of a spa she helped develop a site for from scratch.
To see more of Brooke's work or to contact her visit her website at www.brookeleawood.com