Nail Salon Marketing: Leveraging Customer Behavior and SEO for Success

Disclaimer: Affiliate links are used in this blog post.  Please see our Affiliate Links policy in our Terms & Conditions page for additional details.


There’s this great Steve Jobs quote about Marketing where he says:

Marketing is about values. It’s a complicated and noisy world, and we’re not going to get a chance to get people to remember much about us. No company is. So we have to be really clear about what we want them to know about us.

While we’re not sure what Steve Jobs knew about the nail salon business, he definitely knew something about building a company. Though reaching Apple status may not be your goal, any business can benefit from smart marketing strategies if executed correctly—inspired by Apple or otherwise.

Understanding your target customer’s needs and preferences is critical to keeping your doors open. This understanding becomes even more crucial for businesses aiming to carve out their niche in a competitive, saturated landscape. Let’s dive deeper into how keyword research is super important in this process.


What's Keyword Research &
Why Does it Matter?

Keyword research is like a treasure hunt for the right words customers use online when they need or want something. Picking the right words helps people find you easily among many options. It’s a clever way to connect with more customers by using the language they’re already searching with. Think of it as having a map of Google’s pathways. This map shows you which words to use on your site or social media, telling potential customers, “We have what you’re searching for!”

Now that you know the definition of keyword research, we’ll spend the rest of this blog focusing on the behavior behind these keyword searches and how this can provide great insight into your customer’s desires and habits. This blog explores how nail salons can use keyword insights to refine their marketing strategies, ensuring they not only meet but anticipate customer needs.

Nailing the First Impression:
Why Your Salon's Name Matters

So, based on our research, we found different ways of referencing a nail salon business:

Nail Salon
Nail bar
Nail spa
Nail studio
Manicure salon
Pedicure salon
Nail boutique
Nail parlor
Nail shop
Manicure and pedicure salon
Nail art studio

Screenshot from Ahrefs.

This screenshot is from Ahrefs, the SEO tool we use here at Ruoom. There are many SEO tools out there that fit a variety of budgets. We recommend doing research before investing in one for your business, but we highly recommend using one. If you host your website on WordPress, the AISEO plugin is a good option, especially if you want something that seamlessly integrates with your existing setup.

Now Before We Get Ahead Of Ourselves...

We need to cover a few SEO terms to make sense of the screenshot and the information it’s giving us.

Understanding ‘KD’Your SEO Game Level: KD stands for Keyword Difficulty, a critical metric in Search Engine Optimization (SEO). SEO aims to make your online content more visible in search engine results. It is all about optimizing your content to improve its visibility, i.e., making it easier for potential customers to find you online. Think of keyword difficulty like a game where each keyword is level, and the KD value tells you how hard it is to rank at the top.

A high KD value means a lot of businesses are trying to win that level, making it tougher for you to be the champion.
On the other hand, a lower KD means fewer competitors, giving you a better chance of success. Knowing the KD helps you pick keywords where you have a real shot at being noticed. The goal is to find the sweet spot where you can compete effectively.

Deciphering VolumeThe Popularity Contest: The volume number shows how many people are searching for a specific keyword in a given timeframe. High volume means lots of people are interested, but it also means a lot of competition. Low volume means fewer searches, which is good for competition but may mean only a few people are looking for that specific term. Search volume helps you understand what your potential customers are interested in. It guides you to focus your efforts on topics and keywords that people are actually searching for, making your content more likely to be seen and engaged with.

OK, Now Back to Nail Salon Names

Choosing the perfect name for your nail business is like setting up a signpost in the vast digital landscape, signaling to potential customers, “We’re right here!”

But not every sign catches the eye in the same way. This is where the magic lies in selecting the right words.

So, a question to ponder: Have you ever considered how the name or description of your nail salon might influence online discoverability? 

Picking a name that leans towards “nail salon” rather than “nail bar” or “nail spa” isn’t just about capturing a certain vibe; it directly influences how easily you’re found online. Most people have a specific phrase they’ll type into Google when hunting for services like yours. If “nail salon” is what they’re typing, and your business boasts a chic “Nail Studio” tag, you might be unintentionally hiding from a large group of potential patrons simply because your unique chosen name doesn’t align with the most common search term.

Don’t worry too much, though.

For those who opted for something cool and unique like “XYZ Nail Studio,” Google’s got your back. The search engine giant has evolved to become quite the wise owl, understanding that searches for “nail salon” could very well mean interest in a “nail studio” or “nail spa.” When someone searches for a service, Google doesn’t just look at the exact match of the search term; it also considers the searcher’s intent and the relevance of related terms. This means your “nail studio” can still pop up when someone types “nail salon” into their search bar.

However, while Google is smart at matching similar terms, the exact match terms often have a slight edge in relevance, especially in highly competitive markets. So, if “nail salon” is a far more popular search term than “nail studio,” businesses with “nail salon” in their name or content might initially appear more relevant to Google.

This doesn’t mean you should avoid using terms like “nail studio” if they fit your brand identity better. Instead, it emphasizes the importance of including common search terms like “nail salon” in your website’s content, meta descriptions, and SEO strategies to ensure Google understands your services. 

To make sure Google fully grasps what you’re all about, here’s a tip: Sprinkle popular terms like “nail salon” throughout your website and online content. It’s like dropping breadcrumbs for Google, showing that while you may brand yourself as a “studio,” you offer all the beautiful services expected of a “nail salon.” This approach helps balance uniqueness with discoverability, ensuring your salon is visible to the broadest possible audience, regardless of the specific terms they use in their search.

Key Takeaways: 

  • Your business’s name plays a significant role in online discoverability. Choose a name that aligns with popular search terms to attract more potential customers.
  • The Keyword Difficulty (KD) value shows how hard it is to rank for specific terms. Aim for the sweet spot with lower KD for better visibility.
  • Search volume indicates how many people are looking for a term. To increase engagement, target terms that your potential customers are actively searching for.

Are You Open on Sundays?
Because People Are Searching for That

Screenshot from Ahrefs.

Little nuggets of information like this aren’t just interesting; it’s a goldmine for tweaking your potential business strategy to better align with what potential customers want. 

Now it might seem like we’re saying to only use search data for making decisions like when to open.

We’re not.

While it is a valid approach to consider search trends in decision-making, businesses should also weigh other factors like operational costs and staffing. Adjusting your hours to include Sundays isn’t a decision to take lightly. You’ll need to consider if the potential booking increase is worth the extra costs. Think about staffing, keeping the lights on, and all that goes into an additional day of operations. You’ll need to honestly ask yourself: Is the demand in your area strong enough to justify this decision? How does this impact my personal life?

Getting into the details of customer search habits might give you the answers you need, but remember, the data is just one part of the picture. Feedback is critical, so use this Google data for what it is: Data.

Approaching your customers about Sunday open times will clarify why this data-based decision is important. If you get a positive response, maybe try opening your doors on Sundays for a limited time and see how it goes. In this scenario, you directly respond to those online searches and address customer feedback.

Key Takeaway: 

  • Listening to what your customers are searching for and adjusting your offerings based on data and feedback can be a game-changer for your business’s success.

Polishing Your Presence:
Nailing Your Niche in the Market

Did you know that searches for “kid-friendly nail salons,” “organic nail services,” or “non-toxic nail polish” are on the rise?

Screenshot from Ahrefs.

These aren’t just buzzwords; they’re clear signals from customers about what they want in a nail salon. So, if your salon specializes in any of these areas, it’s time to let the world know.


By making sure your website and social media shout about your unique services. If you’re all about organic nail care, share why it’s great and what makes your salon the go-to place for pampering. Incorporating these specialized keywords into your online content does more than boost your SEO—it tells your story to the exact people who want to hear it. By tapping into these niche markets with targeted keywords and authentic content, you’re not just being found; you’re being chosen for exactly what you offer.

Key Takeaway: 

  • Carving out a special spot in the market with unique services makes your business memorable. Targeted keywords can help you reach those looking exactly for what you offer.

Buffing Up Your Strategy

Phew, that was a journey, right? If you’ve made it this far, you’re clearly a go-getter and deeply invested in the success of your nail salon business. Diving into the complexities of SEO, understanding the power of keywords, and enhancing your online visibility is no small feat. 

But you might feel overwhelmed, thinking, “I do not have time to do all this!”

Running a salon is already a full-time job, and adding an SEO guru to your list of roles might feel overwhelming. You’re passionate about delivering exquisite nail art and impeccable service, not poring over keywords and search engine algorithms.

If you’re nodding along, feeling the squeeze of time but hungry for growth, we’ve thought of you. We’re happy to connect you with some SEO experts in our network! The best way to chat with us about this is via Instagram so slip into those DMs @homeruoom 😉.

For the DIY enthusiasts or those watching their budget closely, don’t think we’ve forgotten about you. 

Not having the funds for consultancy shouldn’t stop you from boosting your SEO game. We’ve curated a suite of free resources, including an SEO checklist and a Keywords 101 toolkit packed with practical tips and insights. These tools are your first step towards independence in navigating the online world, crafted to guide you in making impactful changes without costing a dime.

Things You Can Implement In the Next Week!

Maybe working with experts or going through downloads is too much for you right now. We get it, really. So here are immediate action steps you can take in today and in the coming weeks to get a handle on SEO: 

Engage Your Audience: Run a quick poll on Instagram to find out which services your customers are eager to try next. This not only engages your audience but also provides direct insights into their preferences, helping you align your services more closely with customer demand.

Dive into Keyword Research Gently: Start with just one service you’re passionate about and use Google Keyword Planner (a free tool within Google Ads) to find one or two related keywords. This first step demystifies SEO, showing you how matching your content with what potential clients are searching for can increase your salon’s visibility.

Simplify Your Online Identity: Make sure your Google My Business listing mentions a key service like “nail salon” or “nail art” in your salon’s name or description. Such specificity helps potential clients find you more easily, leveraging Google’s vast search network to your advantage.

Test the Waters on Social Media: Use the keyword you found to create a post on your most active platform, like Instagram, TikTok, or Pinterest. This approach lets you experiment with content to see what engages your audience most, with minimal effort and maximum learning.

Make Analytics a Monthly Ritual: Regularly check your analytics on Google Analytics or your social media platforms’ insights section. Tracking what draws attention lets you refine your strategy over time, ensuring you invest in content that genuinely interests your audience.

Whether you choose the consultancy path or opt to check out our free resources, know that every effort you make is a step towards greater visibility and success. The digital marketing landscape might seem vast, but you can navigate it confidently with the right tools and partners. Here’s to making your nail salon not just a choice but THE choice.

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