One very happy hairdresser

Back in January I met a lovely lady who was new in town and who had just opened her hair salon in the town I live in, Somerset West. She was doing incredible specials to get people to come to her salon and get to know her. This marketing strategy worked quite well of course. Everybody was keen on trying it out.

When I met her I suggested to set up a Google Places Listing. Now the thing is, she’s a hairdresser, and a brilliant one at that, she does not necessarily need to be good with things on the internet or even marketing in general. But, she does need an online presence and she was keen to try anything.

A full blown website is overkill for her, but still, she needs to be found online. Enter Google’s new way of displaying local search results and suddenly she can have what I call a “Yellow Pages ad on steroids”. I took a couple of photographs, got all her details and went to set up her listing with optimized keywords and special offers.

Azure Hair salon Goople Places listing


The first month nothing happened, it takes Google a little while to put the listing into its search results. By the end of the second month Google had finally indexed her listing properly and pop she started to show up on all the keywords I had carefully chosen and which were relevant to her business.

Now she’s in the third month of her listing and 15 people have already found her because of that listing! A couple of those were part of a wedding group, were out-of-towners, didn’t know a hairdresser in town and simply “googled” the term. My guess is they chose her over the other two listings (none of the other hairdressers have caught onto this yet, good for her, she gets all the business) because her listing shows lovely activity images and it has current specials, making the listing more valuable. Never mind the great massage you get while shampooing (following rule no 1 of business success: have an awesome product).

ROI – Return on Investment on a Google Places Listing

As the saying goes, the proof is in the pudding. Since she asks every client how they heard about her (very good practice!) she knows 15 came from the listing. On the backend I can see that over the lifetime of it – 5 weeks of being indexed and showing up – she had 655 impressions (people seeing a search results page with her listing among all the other results Google serves up) with 38 actions (people actually clicking on the link). And out of those 15 made it actually into her shop and got a haircut.

That gives us a 5,8% click through rate – which is enormous in internet terms and a 39% conversion rate – just as amazingly huge.

Not a bad deal at all

– considering that the listing itself cost her NOTHING and my services to set it up are R450. She made that back a couple of times already with this fantastic ROI. Needless to say, she’s one very happy client – and I have great hair :)

Google places map with red dotsI keep telling everyone I come in contact with and who runs a business to set this up. Particularly in South Africa not many businesses have caught up and there are many industries where you have a clear advantage over your competition, simply by being there early.

People are already searching for your product and service – do they find you?

Even if you run a home office and don’t want your address seen, you can still have a Places listing as you can tell Google not to show your actual address but rather a service area.

If you’re not sure how to go about it but have the time to set it up yourself, read through this page it will give you the steps on what to do to set up a Google Places listing for yourself. Otherwise just give me a call or book a meeting and let me do it for you.

Update 14 April 2014:

In today’s world no business can be without an appropriate Google Places listing, website or not. Google has migrated those listings into their own social platform Google Plus and a business’ places listing can be transformed into a Google Plus Page. If you want any chance at all to be found online in a local context on Google you cannot not have such a page or listing.

Generating leads with Social Media