What does it take for a hair salon in Madison, WI to appear on the first page of Google?
We analyzed the top known local search engine optimization (SEO) factors to let the businesses currently ranking lower what it would take to earn a spot higher up on the first page.
Here’s an indication of the kind of monthly search volume a phrase like this gets according to Google’s keyword planner: 1300 per month! That’s real money every single month of the year for those who go after it.
Why page 1 matters and what it takes to get there in general
Here’s an overview video in which we discuss how ranking higher for popular search engine queries can grow your business. We also describe the top ranking factors SEO companies target to make gains.
Hair Salon Madison WI – Page 1 of Google
Here’s a look at who’s currently on the first page of Google for the search phrase “hair salon madison wi.” (Note: searched incognito from a laptop on Monroe St. Device and location can affect what you see and this is always changing.)
And here’s what it takes to rise to the top. No single factor determines ranking, but some of the major ones seem to have contributed in this case.
How did the major Local SEO factors compare?
Let’s review how the current winners stacked up in terms of search engine optimization best practices.
Authority and Links
Some explanation is required here if you don’t live and breathe SEO like we do.
- Page Authority – an estimate out of 100 of how Google ranks the authority of the home page. Inbound links from other websites are a major factor here, as is the authority of those sites that link.
- # Root Domains Linking to the Page – How many websites link to this home page?
- Domain Authority – Similar to Page Authority, but for the whole website. An estimate out of 100 of how Google ranks the authority of the entire site.
- Domains Linking to the Root Domain – How many websites link to any page on this website?
You can see how Yelp has an insane number of links to their nation-wide domain, but none pointing to the specific page for Madison Hair Salons.
This seemed like a strong correlation factor overall, especially for Be Inspired and Hair Monroe. If you’re not earning links from a diversity of reputable websites, you’re not a top contender on Google.
Onsite SEO for the Home Pages
Optimizing for keywords in strategic places on the business website fell into the “table stakes” category here. Everybody on page 1 includes phrases like “hair salon madison wi” throughout the HTML on their home page and received an on-page SEO score of at least 69%.
That doesn’t mean there’s no room for improvement here: note how including the exact phrase in the title may have helped the people at the top. Doing good keyword research creates the roadmap that tells you what keyword phrases to focus on for your home page and throughout your website.
Google My Business Factors
The top spot had a LOT more Google reviews than even second place. This really seemed like a factor on this page, though not the only one: Texture appeared with just 11 Google reviews.
These used to be a mainstay of local SEO that some professionals are now questioning. In any case, nobody on page 1 has under 30 online business directory listings, so this is probably table stakes at this point.
It would be interesting to see how these compare to the businesses ranking #11-50. The Whitespark tool we use to find these requires we enter each business individually, so the time it would take to do a more extensive top 50 analysis is prohibitive for now.
This is an admittedly imperfect metric to gauge social media engagement and activity, but we can see that most of these salons on page 1 of Google have at least 400 Facebook likes and some have multiple thousand, which is really impressive!
Didn’t see any correlation here, but interesting anyway.
All else equal, it’s good to have lots of positive reviews because prospective customers sometimes search directly on review sites like Yelp.
Hair salons in Madison need at least 30 directory citations and a claimed GMB page to rank on page 1. Number of inbound links and Google reviews seem to be differentiating factors for the top dogs.
If you’re a business that would like to rank higher to get found by more customers, including a salon in spot #5-50, you can contact us to help. If you hire us on contract or monthly retainer, we turn away your competitors.