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Auto Repair Shop SEO 101

Your auto repair shop needs a robust digital marketing strategy to stand out in this day and age, which means going beyond the occasional social media post. The majority of consumers use Google to find local businesses today, but less than 1% click on links past the first page. Because of that, search engine optimization (SEO) is crucial.

Here, you’ll find a complete guide to the ins and outs of auto repair shop SEO.

What is SEO?

On a basic level, the term “search engine optimization” is self-explanatory - it refers to ways businesses try to increase their pages’ rankings on search engines like Google.

SEO may sound similar to search engine marketing (SEM), but there’s an important distinction to be made between the two strategies. SEM focuses on paid search–the promoted listings often seen near the top of Google search results. Meanwhile, SEO techniques are all about boosting your organic search ranking.

Why Auto Shops Should Invest in SEO

Even if you haven’t given much thought to online marketing for your auto shop before now, you can’t afford to ignore SEO for much longer. Here are some benefits that can come with building an SEO strategy:

  • Increased web traffic. Over half of all web traffic is made up of organic searches. And, as you already know, a mere fraction of search users go past the first page of Google results. That means focusing on SEO is one of the most effective ways to get your auto shop in front of as many people as possible.
  • Boosted brand awareness. Not everyone searching for auto shops in your area will end up clicking on your page–even if it’s the number-one result. Still, once you make it to the first page for a given keyword, people will start to connect your business with the products and services they’re looking for. Eventually, those associations could encourage them to visit your shop.
  • Quality feedback. Unlike traditional advertising platforms like print and TV advertising, digital marketing is fully trackable and quantifiable. These benefits apply to SEO, too. You just need some technical know-how to understand how your efforts in this space are paying off.
  • Improved customer experiences. Google takes user experience into account. That means you’ll need to work hard on meeting your customers’ needs, providing valuable information, and building a page that’s solid from a technical standpoint to boost your search ranking. That work should pay off with higher levels of customer satisfaction–even before people visit your shop in person.

Easy Ways To Improve Your Auto Shop’s SEO Ranking

When you’re just getting started in the world of auto repair shop SEO, a few simple steps can have a significant impact. Before you do anything else, keep these fundamentals in mind:

Consistently Publish Content

Using the right keywords on your auto shop’s home page and landing pages is a big part of putting together an SEO strategy. But once you get people to visit your page, the next step is giving them a reason to come back. For that, you’ll need to regularly publish fresh web content in the form of blog articles.

With that said, the role consistency plays in SEO goes beyond your publishing schedule. You’ll also want to make sure the new content you publish also uses high-ranking, relevant keywords, and has a consistent format for web content. Start with an attention-grabbing title, and break up the body of your articles with multiple headings and subheadings.

Improve Your On-Page SEO

Once you’ve created optimized content for your auto shop website and established a schedule for future posts, it’s time to focus on your on-page SEO. Essentially, that refers to factors like your URL and meta description–the summary that appears below the title on results pages. Google heavily relies on these factors to determine what individual web pages are about.

There are no specific rules you need to follow when crafting URLs and meta titles, however, the more concise they are, the better (as long as they still feature your target keywords). It’s wise to keep your meta descriptions less than 160-characters to ensure they won’t get cut off in search results. 

Additionally, your blog articles’ URL and meta descriptions should be similarly formatted from one entry to the next.

Start Link Building

A full-fledged SEO strategy needs to go beyond your own website. Along with things like keywords, metadata, and user experience, backlinks are a major part of increasing your auto shop’s search ranking. (In case you aren’t familiar with the term, a “backlink” is a link to your site from another source.) When you have a varied portfolio of backlinks, it indicates to Google that your site is authoritative–and your rank should increase as a result.

Backlinks aren’t the only type of link your site should consider. Best practices are to connect pages within your site via internal links. That’s because Google uses internal links to measure the relevance of content.

Make Sure Your Website is Mobile-Friendly

Today, well over 50% of all traffic on the internet comes from mobile devices. That means it should be no surprise to learn that mobile optimization is another vital part of auto repair shop SEO. 

While building or updating your auto shop’s site, make sure to avoid these common mobile web design mistakes:

  • Copy-pasting your site’s desktop layout. A page that looks beautiful on a computer screen could be almost impossible to read or navigate on a cell phone. Make sure you’re giving users on both platforms the attention they deserve.
  • Blocking things like image files and Javascript. Doing so goes against Google guidelines, so it’s best to make sure these remain visible to crawlers.
  • Having 404 errors that only appear on mobile. This could cause you to lose a significant amount of traffic. Especially those in need of an immediate repair and are outside of their home.
  • Using video formats that aren’t mobile-friendly. It’s wise to make sure you’re using video formats like HTML5 built with mobile in mind.

Consider Expert Help

SEO is a long journey. It may take months to see benefits from your efforts. Because of this, many small businesses make the mistake of lowering the priority of organic marketing. Imagine it like the snowball effect–it may start small and slow but will pick up speed and get larger. With that said, it can be crucial to have knowledge, experienced professionals get the (snow)ball rolling. That’s where experts like AutoVitals come in.

With AutoVitals, you’ll have your pick from several top-tier solutions that will improve not only your SEO but your entire workflow–including shop efficiency. They track and manage your website performance, so you gain data insights to better measure success and achieve revenue goals and help with reputation management. 

Offering more than an auto shop marketing solution, AutoVitals becomes an extension of your team. 

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