The most important element of your auto shop’s online presence is your website. With the right design, content and marketing strategy, your site can deliver great results. So, what does it take to create a website that works for your shop? First and foremost, you’ve got to understand what’s important to your online prospects and customers. Here are five essential tips to get you started.
1. Be local… really local.
40% of all location-based auto repair searches are “near me” searches.
More than ever, people are not including their precise city, state and zip code when searching for auto repair shops. Instead, they’ll type, “auto repair near me,” meaning, if your address is listed incorrectly, they’ll be heading to the competition. It’s crucial that search engines understand exactly where your shop is located – so be sure the most popular directories and the headers and footers of your website have an accurate address for your business.
2. Understand your customer’s immediate needs
You have 5 seconds to capture a potential customer’s interest online.
Customer no longer read, they scan. This is especially true when a customer is in immediate or dire need of automotive repair as some of them may be – for instance – stuck on the side of the highway. Important keywords customers are scanning for should be front and center. For example, many auto repair customers need to make sure their insurance is accepted before they even make contact. Think about including:
- Acceptable forms of payment and insurances
- Keeping your contact info, hours, and location under “About Us” or “Contact Us”
- Listing special services your offer (towing, free car rental, and more)
3. Don’t auto-matically assume “Auto”
People search for information about repair insurance using both “car” and “auto”.
Although regional variations can impact this, in general people use both “Auto” and “Car” almost equally. For example, 43% of searches were for AUTO repair insurance and 51% of the searches were for ‘CAR repair insurance”. If you consistently use just one of those terms, you’re losing out on half of your potential customer base.
4. Target Your Customers with Specific Keywords
152 different types of auto repair shops are searched for every month
Searchers can be very specific about the type of repair services for which they’re searching. Although “auto body” and “mobile mechanics” tend to be the most searched repair terms, it’s important to match what you offer to what customers are searching for and not focus just on popular terms. You may get less web traffic, but you’ll likely get more customers.
This also applies to cost-conscious consumers. 40 different types of keywords are used when cost is a concern to find the right auto repair shop. Cheap doesn’t need to mean low quality. Everybody’s looking for a deal and auto repair customers are no exception. Of the 40 keywords used when cost is an issue, “cheap” is searched 35% of the time making it the most searched descriptor term.
5. Make a Good First Impression
Customers judge your business based on what they see online.
People looking for products or services want to know what to expect from your business before even stepping foot in your shop. The way a website looks says anything from cheap to premium, experienced or going out of business soon. Consider adding some or all of the following to your website:
- Photo gallery of your work (before and after)
- A picture of your location (make sure it looks clean and professional)
- Photos and bios of you and your crew
- List certifications (ASE certified, STAR certified smog station, etc)
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