This week the New York Times ran a story that began, "Can small businesses be persuaded to pay for online advertising even if they do not sell their products or services on the Web?"
Well, hair salon owner Jet Rhys, told me the answer is, "Heck yes."
Jet, a self-described "right-brainer" didn't want anything to do with online at first. "I do hair. I've never even owned a computer." But, her young staffers kept bugging her to put up a site, so when she discovered a client worked for the Red Door Interactive agency, she decided to try it.
Clients loved the site - especially the form where they could request a phone call to book an appointment. But Jet's client base didn't grow much … until her agency began testing local PPC search ads.
They tried using local terms such as "San Diego hair salon" in Overture and Google; and since Google started offering localized ad serving (where your ad only appears for searchers in selected zip codes) they've tested broader terms such as "hair cut."
Results? Jet's business has boomed, especially for expensive new services such as Japanese thermal straightening and hair extensions that consumers tend to research online. 30% of the Salon's total appointment requests now come from the site, and roughly 50% of these are first-time customers.
Some ads have done as well as 6.25% CTR; and, Jet's average click rate is a respectable 1.09%, with 1.5% of clicks converting to filling out the appointment form.
"It's catapulted me into thinking I can never be without these buys. I'm able to take my blinkers off and see how I can grow in new services," Jet told me.
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