SEO 101:

The Stylist Search Engine Optimization Basics

Let’s consider your career for a hot sec.

Whether you’re running an entire salon, renting out a suite, rocking a booth somewhere, or working in a more traditional setting, you’ve got one big thing going for you—you’re basically a kickass small business.

As a small business, it’s your job to market yourself—yep, even if you’re working somewhere that handles some of the marketing for you. You want a flourishing career that’s all about your skills, your talents, and your goals, right?

Well, that means putting in the work to let people know what you’re all about.

How does that happen, exactly?

Three magic little letters.


If you’ve heard the term before and you’re feeling tempted to drop your shears and run for the door—fight it. If it’s the first time you’re hearing about SEO, don’t let what we’re about to say deter you.

SEO is an absolutely crucial piece of your small biz puzzle. When you do it right, it’ll drive more potential clients to your website than any other type of marketing you could possibly imagine.

Why, exactly?

Because SEO harnesses the power of search engines like Google, Bing, and beyond.

We know, we know—it’s techy and it sounds time-consuming.

And *spoiler alert* it will probably take some time to get the hang of it. But SEO is an absolute must for a burgeoning or seasoned cosmetologist. 

No matter where you’re at in your career, investing in SEO is guaranteed to be the thing that brings in that next-level success you’re seeking.

So, let’s dive in.

We’re going to drop a little 101 knowledge on you to get your feet wet in the SEO world. No, it won’t be everything you need, but it should be the foundation that’s necessary to start building up a whole heck-of-a-lot of knowledge.

Ready? Let’s crush this SEO chat.

What is SEO for Cosmetologists?

SEO actually stands for search engine optimization.

To really boil it down, search engine optimization is a strategy implemented across your online presence (your blogs, your social media, your entire website) that helps your site to show up as one of the first few searches when someone types in a relevant keyword.

Think about it this way—what happens when you google “best hair salon in New York”?

A few different salons probably pop up, right? Are those salons popping up because they’re legitimately the best? Because they’ve been the most highly rated?

All of those things are possible, sure, but it’s most likely because they’ve done a killer job optimizing their website for that key phrase, “best hair salon in New York.”

And that’s a good thing, right? Because ultimately, the salon that shows up first on a Google search is most likely going to be the one that someone clicks on.

Does that mean they’ll absolutely choose that salon? Honestly, it’s impossible to tell—but getting that first or second click is a major win for your exposure, and that’s something you want to win. Trust us.

Why Does SEO Matter?

You’re probably wondering something along the lines of, “OK, so, better SEO means that more people will see my website, click on it, and browse around. That matters, sure, but why, exactly?”

Because you’re a small business—your sales (AKA your customers) matter.

Think about it this way. Let’s pretend (and we probably don’t have to, right?) that you’re the best stylist in your state. You run a kickass business, the locals know it, and you make pretty good money. But you want to expand, make more money, and provide your services to a new market.

If you decide that you’re the best and you can rely on word-of-mouth recommendations, you probably won’t have much luck beyond your ordinary market. Why?

Because being the most talented doesn’t matter if no one has ever heard of you.

The better visibility your website has in search results, the more likely it is to get you the attention you’re seeking—and that attention has all the potential in the world to attract your prospective customers and even maintain your existing ones.

Without exaggeration, SEO is the pinnacle of marketing strategies. It has the highest ROI, can be entirely free, and can make the largest impact, too.

Things like social media marketing are important, too, don’t get us wrong, but SEO can bring you immensely powerful organic results—that means you don’t even have to pay to improve your marketing, if you do SEO yourself, you can amp up your business for free.

Seems like a pretty important strategy, right?

How You Can Kickstart Your Stylist SEO Game

If you’re not getting the results you want from your website, it’s entirely possible that your SEO game just isn’t up to par—don’t let that intimidate you.

SEO is a slow, grueling process sometimes, but once you get the hang of it, you’ll be able to update and optimize as needed. (Oh yeah, surprise, SEO is always changing—it’s definitely not a static, one-time thing).

Our advice for getting started with SEO?

Take a good, hard look at your current website. Yep, it’s time for an SEO audit.

Here are a few things you should be taking stock of:

  • Have you ever done keyword research? A lot of SEO optimization surrounds the right keywords. Make sure you’re picking industry-specific terms that people are actually searching for in your area. Our advice? Consult with an SEO specialist or invest a lot of time into understanding keyword research so you can really do this right.
  • Is your website responsive for mobile devices? If it’s not, search engines are not going to be big fans of your site.
  • Time your website loading speed. If it takes more than 3 seconds, you’re going to want to fix whatever is causing the slowdown. Make sure you check all of your pages.
  • Do you have internal links on your website? Google and other search engines love that.
  • Is your website generally pretty easy to navigate? AKA, do you have a sitemap? You don’t, search engines won’t know how to index your site, and that’s not going to help you out with SEO points.

Obviously, this is just a starting point. There are tons of ever-changing factors that go into SEO.

If you can start thinking of it like a fun, marketing puzzle, it probably won’t drive you too insane—but even if it does, try to remember that it’s actually incredibly important. Trust us, your cosmetology biz will thank us in the long-run (and hopefully you will, too).

Feeling pretty invigorated by the SEO chat? We sure as heck hope so. Listen, SEO is one of those things you’ve got to learn if you want your career to really bloom.

Whether you love it and totally geek out over it or you hate it and hire someone on to tackle it for you, it’s an absolute must, so we highly recommend you don’t slack in this department.

Looking for more sound advice like our SEO spiel? You’re in the right spot. 

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