Find your digital voice

Find the voice you want to use throughout your digital media communication.

Will you be professional, friendly or fun?

Whatever you choose, keep it the same.

  • When finding your voice, you should always use good grammar and spelling.
  • Avoid anything that could be found offensive.
  • AVOID UPPERCASE SENTENCES, IT IS AS IF YOU ARE SHOUTING AT THE AUDIENCE
  • Your voice represents your brand and how you want to be seen by your audience. It's important to clarify how you want to be perceived in order to create a consistent message.

1.   DEFINE your brand - this will ultimately define your voice

2.   DIFFERENTIATE yourself from your competitors

3.   LISTEN to your audience and how they communicate

4.   INSPIRE by being bold

5.   ENGAGE your audience with your communication

Basic Facts about Social Media Platforms

BASICS/ FACTS

 

Facebook

 

world’s largest social network

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1 billion users worldwide

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users can post, comment and share content

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2.5 billion pieces of content shared a day

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attract new clients and keep in touch with existing customers

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build up brand loyalty

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share expertise

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advertise exclusive offers

 

Twitter

 

bite-size updates

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140 character messages

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560 million active users

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share news updates, links or one-liners

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follow your suppliers, customers and influencers

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interact directly with your customers and upload photos

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use Twitter hashtags

 

Instagram

 

sharing platform for photos and short videos

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over 150 million monthly users

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subscribe to brand pages

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view popular pictures and videos across the network

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search using keywords and hashtags

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apply filters

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feature your clients and advertise competitions

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share photos and videos across other platforms

 

Pinterest

visual discovery tool

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simply share and create image collections

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20 million active users

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create and share boards

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pin’ different ideas to boards for visual inspiration

 

Other social media platforms:

LinkedIn: business orientated social networking where you can still advertise your services

Google+: social network by Google that allows brands and users to build circles

Tumblr: micro-blogging platform that allows users to publish text, images and other content

Reddit: social news and content network

Set up your social media according to your needs: choose who you want to target and set up a plan of action asking yourself the following:

  • Should I keep the Social Media I currently have?

  • Who do I want to target and which Social Media are they likely to use?

  • How many hours can I realistically put aside for Social Media?

  • What content can l generate?

  • How can I generate it? (videos, stories etc?)

 

Once you have answered, create the grid:

 

WHO DO I WANT TO TARGET?

WHICH MEDIA DO I WANT TO START/CONTINUE?

WHAT CONTENT CAN I CREATE?

WHEN CAN I CREATE IT BY?

WHO CAN HELP ME?

WHICH CAMPAIGN WILL I USE?

WHICH MEDIA PLATFORMS DO I HAVE?


Now you have assessed your social media, you are ready to create your campaign.

Managing your Customer Reviews

Generating reviews for your business is a great tool for creating brand image and popularity.

How you manage your reviews can make potential customers decide whether they want to book with you or not.

So how do I monitor and respond to reviews?

Respond in real time

An answer within 24 hours is usually the norm but do respond quicker if you can.   Your customers know you are a “hands on” industry so they are more lenient. However, the quicker you respond the better, we have become very impatient as a nation!

If you need to investigate then let the customer know publicly but then keep the customer informed offline. 

  • Show you care

Avoid impersonal template responses as they are heartless. People prefer a personal touch.

  • Respond publicly but take the dialogue offline.

It's important to engage on a 1 to 1 basis as you can't be sure where the conversation is going. Best to show the others you care and are dealing with it, but deal with it privately.
 

  • Be calm, positive, and remain professional at all times.

If it's a bad review, empathise with the customer but don’t state whether they're right or wrong: “I am sorry to hear you had a bad experience, let me call you to discuss this further as we don’t like anyone to leave unhappy…..”

  • Put it right – acknowledge what went wrong and fix it.

It's better to know about the problem and do something about it than to allow your customer to remain unhappy.  News of bad customer service travels further than praise for a good service experience, so it's worth taking action. Take the time to address unhappy customers and do everything in your power to remedy the situation. It's not only worth keeping their business, but you will also avoid any negative word of mouth exposure. After 3 complaints you are entitled to wonder whether you're the right business for them!

Follow up

Going the extra mile takes satisfaction to a new level. Whether it's a good review or not, how satisfying to be acknowledged by a brand. A good old fashioned phone call: “Mrs Smith, thank you so much for your lovely review, I have left a note on your file for your next visit I have a great sample for you to try”. How nice is that?

  • Don’t worry if you don’t have a perfect review rating

The main thing is to listen and act on what customers. Like anything else, reviews need to be managed. Customers don’t mind if the place they want to book has a few bad reviews.  The important point is how they are dealt with and the overall rating. If you manage your reviews well the likelihood is you'll build a loyal customer database because your customers will feel they are listened to.

Website trend

Once you have the foundations of your website, you can gradually build up the layers over time.  This will generate greater impact for your customers who will not only spend time on your site but hopefully spend money.

There are trends regarding websites you might want to follow, and it's easy to implement them:

  • Before and after photos

are a good way to show off your brand and skills. However, do pay attention to detail. For example, if you're creating a picture of a beautiful haircut, do ensure the cut off hairs are swept away or are not in shot. Or if it's a photo of before and after eyebrow wax, make sure the subjects skin has recovered from the redness that can sometimes occur.  

  • A blog

is a great way of pushing your SEO with all the keywords you'll be using. However, do ensure if you start a blog you're updating it regularly otherwise it does look abandoned. Follow the brands or salons you aspire to, the competition winners within your industry so you have an idea of what they are doing and what makes them popular. Find your voice and be unique.

  • You can have a section with offers and promotions 

these are always a good way to attract clients but should not be prominent as it will seem like your brand only functions that way. Ensure they are found on a tab but not at the top of the website.  Be discreet.

  • Retail

it's a good idea to create a retail area within your website for customers to make a purchase.  Alternatively, if you don't want to go down that route, perhaps an education tab where customers can read about the products you sell. If a customer looks for a certain brand on Google, you have a greater chance of being found.

  • Partnerships

creating a partnership with a local business is worth shouting about, sharing a link to each other’s websites can generate a flow of new customers to your website and vice versa.

It is worth constantly visiting other websites to see what you like or dislike.  Also ensure you keep yours up to date.

It's also important to create a website that's compatible for mobiles.  Mobiles and tablets are now used more than laptops. 

Encourage conversion

1. Trial and Error

By using analytics tools you can work out when your audience are  most receptive to your posts and what type of posts are the most successful depending on your goals.

Which posts are creating conversion? What time of the day is best to post for you? What posts are  gaining you followers? Which posts are creating interaction?
 

2. Customer journey      

A really simple way to increase conversion is to think about your customer's journey.

Go through the different ways in which a customer might find you and think about their journey when booking an  appointment.

Think of the following when trying to get a customer to book online:

  1. A customer comes across your social media or is already a fan but a recent post appears on their feed.

  2. The customer wants to book a blow dry but before they do so they want to check when you’re open. By having your opening hours and address on your Facebook profile you’re giving the customer all the information they might want without them having to search for it.

  3. The customer is drawn to the Book Now button on Facebook which some systems can operate.

  4. Similarly with Instagram, you can now create bookings.

 

3. Reduce barriers for booking        

The easier you make the booking process the more you'll create conversion. 

If your customers are unsure or have questions about the  service/times you are open/address etc they may just start looking  elsewhere.

Ensure you're always encouraging bookings with clickable buttons and adopt the 3 clicks method. Any more than 3 clicks to get to book the appointment and the customer gets bored.

 

Facts about Customer Reviews

  • Don’t underestimate reviews

Reviews encourage customers to book.  This is how Treatwell has built their business - by getting customers to leave reviews. Just like TripAdvisor, Top Table or Last minute.com, the customers like to make up their own mind.  

  • I don’t want Bad Reviews!

Constructive reviews identify areas for improvement and drive better practices (83% of business leaders cite customers as the biggest driver of change and the pressure point for change). Consider them the eyes of your business - they will tell you the good the bad and the ugly! Isn’t it better to know? You are then able to correct the problem.  Even if the complaint is unfounded, other customers will judge you by your response. Reviews also are a way to assess your team, if a member of your staff has constantly bad reviews or none at all, you can manage that situation better with concrete evidence.

  • Customers who receive great service after a negative experience become brand advocates

It's often forgotten that this industry is run by people for people. Therefore things can go wrong, it’s human nature. Customers don't always speak up on the spot but will do so by means of a bad review.  Turning around a customer who leaves a negative review can be one of the most satisfying aspects of running your business.

Show how much you value their custom by offering a goodwill gesture - something you're happy to give.  That customer will then become your biggest fan.

  • Customer reviews are great for generating engagement

That amazing treatment Mrs Smith is raving about? Use these great reviews to engage with your clients and lure them in. Put them on your website, Social Media or even in your salon.  This can be by means of window display, mirrors, frames etc. You could even create a book. Great reviews need to be shouted about.

  • Fast response

Managing them within 24 hours has to be the norm. We understand that it's difficult in the service industry but it's important you make it a priority. 

5 Tips to create an effective digital media strategy

The aim of a digital media strategy is to put out a consistent message and stay on brand across all platforms.

To get the most from your marketing, it's important to follow these steps:

1: DEFINE YOUR CUSTOMERS

Answer these questions:

What defines my existing clients?

How and where to find new clients?

Who are my influencers?  

Where can I create a buzz beyond my salon?

To put out the most efficient message to clients on your database, it's important to ensure your communication is aimed at the correct demographic.

2: ANALYSE YOUR DIGITAL PLATFORMS

Social media:

Analyse which platform your target audience is likely to use. It 's important to know that managing 1 or 5  social media platforms is not much more time. However, you must ensure the posting is regular otherwise it won't be taken seriously and you'll be unable to generate loyalty.

Email Campaign and text messaging:

Emails are an important aspect of your communication, if your social media communication is consistent then you can afford to send your email campaign every other week, but this would be a minimum.

Assess how often your audience will be happy to receive text messages. Once a month is a good momentum, usually a short targeted offer for a quieter time is efficient. 

Website:

Ensure your communication is reflected on your website in order to be consistent. An offer, new treatments etc.

3: MARKETING IDEAS

Now you're ready to think of ideas for your marketing activities and create the targeted communication you know will engage your audience.

Sometimes we run out of ideas - how about asking your team, customers or friends? They often come up with innovative ideas and think outside the box.

4: TAKE SOME TIME OUT TO BUILD AND UPDATE YOUR STRATEGY

The marketing calendar is a flexible tool allowing you to respond to upcoming events whether they be sudden or planned.

The key to the strategy is to ensure you have your main activities planned ahead.  Be flexible enough to create other ones as and when they are needed. 

It's important to take time out. Personally, I work per quarter.  Everything is planned ahead by taking a couple of days out of the business. I then review weekly what is happening around me and whether I need to implement other things within my activities.

If you cannot afford to take time out every week, every other week will be a necessity as consistency will build your audience.

5: FOLLOW UP

Any activity you generate must have some kind of follow up. Analyse whether it has worked or not. Often when you ask: "How was the offer?" The answer is, "Yes it went fine." Define "Fine."

The truth is that everyone's perception of an activity doing well is varied and nothing is clearer than black and white numbers on the page.

Ensure that every activity is monitored so you can adjust it or do it again if you want. Every platform you are using has an analytic section.

Stick to the plan of action you've set to ensure the message is not confusing. The simpler the message, the better it is received.

The whole point of your strategy is to ensure clarity across all your platforms.

Remember, too many messages KILL the message.

Build your followers from your clients

Look to your clients to start building your followers. Social media is about retaining as well as attracting new customers. You or your members of staff should be mentioning your social media to your customers. Explain that they can follow you online for exclusive discounts and offers.

Push your social media logos and your hashtag within the salon and anything you may send a customer away with. For example, mirror stickers, window stickers, receipts, leaflets, recommend a friend cards, loyalty cards.

Give them £5 off their next treatment for following you on the social media platform you're trying to build. Invite them to follow you to enter a competition. Ask them if they're likely to post a picture of their new locks on Instagram - if so maybe they could tag you.

Ask your customers if you can take a picture of them and upload it onto social media, the chances of them following you and reposting the image is high!

You can also invite your clients to leave you reviews on Facebook.

 

To summarise: Build your followers from your clients:

Incentivise both staff and customers

Social Media links everywhere

Encourage your customers to tag their new haircut/product

Encourage reviews

 

How to create an effective digital media strategy

To get the most from your marketing, it's important to follow these steps, The aim of a digital media strategy is to put out a consistent message and stay on brand across all platforms:

1: DEFINE YOUR CUSTOMERS

Answer these questions:

What defines my existing clients?

How and where to find new clients?

Who are my influencers?  

Where can I create a buzz beyond my salon?

To put out the most efficient message to clients on your database, it's important to ensure your communication is aimed at the correct demographic.

2: ANALYSE YOUR DIGITAL PLATFORMS

Social media:

Analyse which platform your target audience is likely to use. It 's important to know that managing 1 or 5  social media platforms is not much more time. However, you must ensure the posting is regular otherwise it won't be taken seriously and you'll be unable to generate loyalty.

Email Campaign and text messaging:

Emails are an important aspect of your communication, if your social media communication is consistent then you can afford to send your email campaign every other week, but this would be a minimum.

Assess how often your audience will be happy to receive text messages. Once a month is a good momentum, usually a short targeted offer for a quieter time is efficient. 

Website:

Ensure your communication is reflected on your website in order to be consistent. An offer, new treatments etc.

3: MARKETING IDEAS

Now you're ready to think of ideas for your marketing activities and create the targeted communication you know will engage your audience.

Sometimes we run out of ideas - how about asking your team, customers or friends? They often come up with innovative ideas and think outside the box.

4: TAKE SOME TIME OUT TO BUILD AND UPDATE YOUR STRATEGY

The marketing calendar is a flexible tool allowing you to respond to upcoming events whether they be sudden or planned.

The key to the strategy is to ensure you have your main activities planned ahead.  Be flexible enough to create other ones as and when they are needed. 

It's important to take time out. Personally, I work per quarter.  Everything is planned ahead by taking a couple of days out of the business. I then review weekly what is happening around me and whether I need to implement other things within my activities.

If you cannot afford to take time out every week, every other week will be a necessity as consistency will build your audience.

5: FOLLOW UP

Any activity you generate must have some kind of follow up. Analyse whether it has worked or not. Often when you ask: "How was the offer?" The answer is, "Yes it went fine." Define "Fine."

The truth is that everyone's perception of an activity doing well is varied and nothing is clearer than black and white numbers on the page.

Ensure that every activity is monitored so you can adjust it or do it again if you want. Every platform you are using has an analytic section.

Stick to the plan of action you've set to ensure the message is not confusing. The simpler the message, the better it is received.

The whole point of your strategy is to ensure clarity across all your platforms.

Remember, too many messages KILL the message.

Customer reviews mantra

Reviews are possibly the most important tool that you have for your business.

Customers habits have changed and reviews have become extremely influential with regard to the decisions customers make.

It's true that nowadays we make decisions based on what we have read about the business we want to invest in, whether it's a holiday, a restaurant or the Hair and Beauty industry.

Customers have more freedom than ever to make up their own mind. Most of the time people want to see the bad reviews and judge the business as a whole. How did the business respond to the bad review?  Was the complaint a reasonable one? 

So managing your reviews should become one of your daily priorities.

I invite you to print this Mantra for reviews:

  • POSITIVE REVIEWS = GREAT FOR DRIVING REVENUE

  • NEGATIVE REVIEWS = GENERATE BEST PRACTICE

  • MY PRIORITY IS TO ENCOURAGE MY CUSTOMER TO LEAVE A REVIEW, WHETHER IT IS FROM MY BOOKING SYSTEM, SOCIAL MEDIA OR A GUEST BOOK

  • IF YOU CAN TURN AROUND A CUSTOMER THAT HAS A NEGATIVE EXPERIENCE THEY WILL BECOME A BRAND ADVOCATE

  • COMMUNICATE AT EVERY OPPORTUNITY (SOCIAL MEDIA, EMAILS, MENUS ETC) YOUR OPINION MATTERS

  • GET YOUR TEAM ON IT = THEY ARE GREAT AT ENCOURAGING THE CUSTOMER TO LEAVE A REVIEW

  • GOOD OLD FASHION PHONE CALL = CALL THE BEST TO THANK THEM AND THE WORST TO MANAGE THEM

  • WHEN ON HOLIDAY = GET SOMEONE RESPONSIBLE TO DEAL WITH REVIEWS, INACTIVITY IS NOT ACCEPTABLE

  • MANAGE YOUR REVIEWS = 24 HOURS REPLY IS THE NORM

 

Create Goal Related Content

  1. You will always have more than one goal when it comes to social media and if you don't then you should. Certain posts attract certain things so you should post with your goals in mind. Within your marketing plan you would know what services you want to push at certain times and when you might have quiet spells. You goals might change throughout the year or change focus slightly. Seasonally it would change as in the run up to the holidays you would want to be pushing waxes and pedicures, party season might be spray tans and blowdries etc.

  2. If your goal is conversion, showing behind the scene pictures, up close pictures, candid pictures of a product, customer photos will help to convert a browser to a buyer. Reassuring them that other people have bought and showing them some content they haven't seen before. You caption should be in line with your goal. 

  3. If you want to get your followers interacting with you (which in turn creates new followers) then post something that invokes a reaction. Ask a question or an opinion. Get them to tag their friends. 

  4. If you’re wanting to create a brand image, most of these pictures cross over with the creating followers and conversion images. You might just want to be slightly more relaxed about the captions/wordy content.

  5. A good mix of all 3 types of posts create a fully rounded social media strategy covering all bases. No one wants to see continuous sales posts or continuous standard white background product shots. They want to fall in love with a brand and find out things they wouldn’t have otherwise.

Summary:

Define your Goals through your Marketing Plan

Interact with your customers

Find your audience

Always have your goal in mind

Influencers on Social Media

1.    Looking to influencers can be a great way to grow your following but also a great place to look for inspiration. Follow people related to your industry and look at what they post, how they post it, their tone of voice etc. Follow those you most admire.

2.  Interacting with influencers is a great way to get your brand picked up by them. They’ll enjoy reading comments on their pictures or replies to their tweets from a brand in an industry they love. If they reply to you, their followers are more likely to follow you in return. Getting a retweet from a big twitter influencer could mean a few hundred new followers.

3.   Influencers aren’t just bloggers or people, they are other brands. Collaborating with other brands is one of the best ways to gain followers and potential customers. Who is in your local area? A bridal boutique? Why not offer to do the hair for models at one of their events or shows? This can be in exchange for one or all of the following: a mention on social media, a mention in their email,  your card being included when they give theirs out at an event, or a personal recommendation to their brides to be who may be looking for a hairdresser.

4.   A lot of bloggers or social media influencers will work with you for free or in exchange for perks - e.g. a free manicure. Use Google, Instagram or Twitter to find a blogger who lives in your area.  Read some of their blogs or tweets. Follow them on a few platforms, comment on a picture or tweet them. Then when you come to email them they should already have seen your name. Make your email personal, there's nothing worse than a blanket email to bloggers.

 

Summary:

Follow, interact and work with your influencers

1.    Follow those you  most admire

2.    Look at influencers that have a large following

3.    Find a way to collaborate

4.    Encourage interaction with your brand

Analyse your social media campaign

There are so many tools available for your business help create and grow a successful social media campaign. 

There are third party tools for scheduling such as Hootsuite, Buffer, Tweetdeck.

Facebook has its own native scheduling tool. It all depends what you prefer and what outcome you're looking for.

There are also tools to measure success. Some of the scheduling tools have analytics built in or you can use things like Twitter Analytics or the native Facebook analytics tool.

If you have a website, you should be using Google Analytics to track all traffic. With this tool you can track your social media traffic and set up goals for conversion. You can track how long social media followers are on your site and how many of them book an appointment online.

 

Summary:

Utilise the tools available

Create a successful campaign

Look into Hootsuite, Buffer, Tweetdeck or Facebook

Measure success

Use Google Analytics to track all traffic

Use Google Analytics to assess your Social Media followers habits

Optimising online conversion

By using the analytics tools you can work out when your audience are most receptive to your posts and what type of posts are the most successful.

Which posts are creating conversion? What time of the day is best to post? Which posts are gaining followers? Which posts are creating interaction?

A really simple way to increase conversion is to think about your customer journey.

Think of the following when trying to get a customer to book online:

  •  A customer comes across your social media or is already a fan but a recent post appears on their feed.
  • The customer wants to book an appointment but before they do so they want to check when you’re open. By having your opening hours and address on your Facebook profile you’re giving the customer all the information they might want without them having to search for it.
  • The customer is drawn to the Book Now button on social media or website. All you need to think about is finding a call to action button where you can direct customers straight to the online booking facility.

If you reduce the barriers a customer has in booking you will optimise conversion.

If they're unsure about the service, times you're open or your address etc then they may just start looking elsewhere.

Go through the different ways in which a customer might come across you and think about their journey in booking an appointment.

  

Summary: 

OPTIMISING CONVERSION

1.    Engage your customer.

2.    Define the customer journey on Social Media

3.    Reduce barriers

 

5 "MUST HAVE" for Facebook

1.    Opening Hours - When looking you up online customers will want to see your opening hours. You can add this info to your Facebook business page by going to the “About” tab and clicking edit by “Hours”

2.    Call to Action Button - Facebook allows you to have a custom call to action button within your header image. This is a prime spot for capturing your customers and directing them to book an appointment with you. You can add your online booking system or website for example. 

3.    Address and Map - Another reason people will look for you online is to find your exact address. You can add this to your Facebook page on the about section. You will also get an map with a pin drop so your customers can see where you are at a glance.

4.    Phone Number and Email Address - Make it easy for customers to contact you with any questions they have. If a customer has to search for too long for a way to contact you, they may just give up.

5. Reviews - Allowing reviews on your Facebook page, gives customers the opportunity to shout about you. It's the perfect place to collect testimonials and enables you to reply and share reviews. Everything will then be visible on your Facebook page enabling customer's to make an informed decision with regard to booking.

Your website - The basics

Your website is another shop front as well as being the voice of your brand. 
Imagine that when the customer enters your site, he/she is entering your world - they will form an opinion very quickly.

At a conference with Google and Redken, the following was observed:

  • 40% of customers will leave your page if it takes more than 3 seconds to load

  • Once the page is loaded, it will take no longer than 5 seconds to form an opinion

  • 88% of customers will leave your website following a bad experience

Baring these facts in mind, take a look at your website - ensure you're grabbing your customers attention and getting them to convert to either a sale or a treatment booking.

Above the fold is the upper half of the front page of a newspaper where an important news story or photograph is often located. If you apply this to your website, social media or emails, what would you want the customer to see before he/she scrolls?

Here are a few guide lines for creating your website:

Do:

  • Put your contact details at the top of the page bold and large

  • If you have a booking widget through your online system, it should appear instantly as you open the page to entice customers to BOOK NOW

  • Put your address on the first page but not necessarily above the fold

  • Ensure there are not too many tabs, be precise in your description, we don’t like to read too much!

  • Put a link to your social media on the top of your page to entice customers to follow you instantly

  • Videos are becoming more popular, a very good way for clients to enter the world as you see it.

Don't:

  • Put offers and promotions above the fold.  There's a risk of devaluing your brand as soon as the page is loaded

  • Have too many tabs, remember people get bored quickly

  • Display low quality images

It's a good idea to check some of the brands you like in order to get as many ideas as possible, even if it's from a different industry, brands you admire and love!

Remember most of the time, the simpler the better..