Solace Hair is one of Sydney’s premier hair salons. Offering a full suite of cutting, styling and colouring services, Solace Hair has built a reputation as a prestigious and professional salon, adept at meeting the needs of a discerning clientele. That recognition, however, came only after years of hard work and some clever marketing decisions, including the move to a .sydney domain name. Part of the new wave of top-level domains (TLDs), .sydney offers more flexibility and a greater sense of local identity to website owners. For a small, local business like Solace Hair, moving to a .sydney domain offered clear and significant benefits.
The road to success
In a competitive industry that rewards close attention to brand image, Solace Hair had to be diligent about revamping its marketing strategy. The salon decided to undertake a complete transformation of its online marketing efforts, stepping up its customer outreach through Facebook marketing and working on its search engine optimisation (SEO). Initially, the salon focused on boosting 10 key phrases. While the site was seeing increased online traffic after several months, Sydney-based keywords still weren’t hitting the mark. To remedy this, Solace Hair moved from its existing .com.au address to a .sydney domain. This change proved to be significant, as Solace Hair saw improvements on many of the keywords that had plateaued or stalled, including ultra-high value keywords such as “best hairdresser sydney cbd,” which moved onto page one after the shift.
What’s in a name?
But why was a .sydney domain the silver bullet to Solace Hair’s ranking problems? Since 2014, Google has placed more emphasis on providing consumers with listings for businesses that are physically located nearby As Google sculpts its user experience towards delivering content that’s locally-based, it makes sense that businesses switching to a geoTLD will see rankings improve against relevant keywords. The benefits extend beyond ranking factors. While the value of a country-code top-level domain such as .au for signalling to local customers has been known for decades, a .sydney allows you to achieve the same end result, while differentiating yourself from the competition. For example, as of April 2018, the other websites ranking with Solace Hair on page one for ‘best hairdresser sydney cbd’ carry generic .com or .com.au addresses, making Solace Hair eye-catching on a deeper level and more likely to get a click. Choosing a .sydney domain name also provides more precise targeting. Just as a plumber in the North Shore would target “sydney” keywords instead of “Australia” keywords, choosing .sydney allows you to better target your audience and reach the people most relevant to your business. In fact, in the 18 months since Solace Hair launched their .sydney domain, their organic traffic has increased by nearly a third.
Success by the numbers
Switching to a geoTLD can have significant financial benefits for a business. For a small monthly SEO spend, Solace Hair has been able to grow their organisation significantly. The increase in traffic and conversions has allowed them to hire additional staff, helping them to meet surging demand and further cement themselves as a premier boutique hair salon for Sydney.
The interest in their business has also allowed them to pursue entirely new markets — the owners are currently looking at expanding the retail section of their site, allowing them to immediately capitalise on web traffic by providing a wide range of hair care product. If your site is looking to increase its search rankings and reach more relevant customers, it might be time to switch to a .sydney domain name.