Even if your auto repair shop has the most qualified technicians and the best customer service, figuring out how to stand out from the competition can be a challenge. After all, you aren’t just up against other local businesses, your shop will also be competing with national chains that have massive marketing budgets.
The good news is your shop can do a few simple things to level the playing field. Read on for a quick guide to auto repair shop marketing.
In the past, a customer’s first impression of your auto shop may have come from a TV commercial or a newspaper ad. That’s not typically the case in 2022. Today, most consumers use websites to research businesses before making purchases.
Since your digital presence effectively serves as a second storefront, you’ll want to make sure your auto shop website includes:
If someone can’t find the information they’re looking for on your website, they’ll be far less likely to choose your shop instead of the competition. And these days, designing websites that look great on computers isn’t enough. Mobile devices drive over half of all web traffic, so having a website that’s easy to navigate and read on smartphones is crucial.
You already know what makes your auto shop the best option for local drivers–so share it. Make a list of your strongest unique selling points and feature them prominently on your website. It’s also important to tell visitors on your site exactly what you want them to do–whether it’s to schedule a service or call–that’s why you need to include a prominent call-to-action.
Your efforts to make your website convenient for customers should go beyond its design. You also want to make life easier for customers. Consider including features such as online appointment booking, digital vehicle inspections, and the ability to sign up for your loyalty program.
Online reviews are more critical to businesses than ever. As of last year, 76% of customers looked at companies online before stopping by in person. And since reviews provide an unfiltered view of what businesses have to offer, they serve as a massive part of the online research process for many shoppers.
With this in mind, soliciting and monitoring online reviews is pivotal when you’re establishing a web presence for your auto shop. But this doesn’t mean you should delete those that don’t praise your business. Negative reviews can actually help your business, in some cases letting potential customers know your positive reviews are the real deal. By responding politely to these reviews is a great way to establish your credibility and show that you genuinely care about offering quality customer service.
SMS text messages and emails are a great way to maintain communication with your customers. In fact, SMS text messages are almost guaranteed to be seen by your clients–they have an astonishingly high average open rate of 99%.
Since these platforms are so popular, it’s in your shop’s best interest to fully leverage them. Here are some ways to use emails and texts in your auto repair marketing:
Nearly half of all Google searches come from people looking for local information. However, 75% stick to the first page of search engine results. To reach this massive audience, you’ll need to focus on search engine optimization (SEO).
Build your SEO strategy by:
SEO isn’t something you should add to your website after the fact. Ideally, you should keep SEO best practices (like keywords and subheadings) in mind while creating the structure for your site. That way, search engines will be able to properly crawl the page, increasing your likelihood of having a highly-ranked website.
The other half of creating an SEO strategy is taking time to research keywords. That means figuring out what people are searching for and organically weaving these words and phrases into your web copy.
For example, let’s say people in your area are looking for “auto repair in [city].” If that’s the case, referring to your auto shop as “the best choice for auto repair in [city]” could help your site appear in their search results.
According to Searchmetrics, backlinks are “links from outside domains that point to pages on your domain; essentially linking back from their domain to yours.”
You can start by asking for a link to your site from local events, directories, and any other companies you’re partnered with. The caveat with backlinks is that they won’t help your SEO efforts if it’s coming from a bad site.
Publishing fresh, SEO-friendly content about auto repair is a great way to build your credibility with search engines. It’s also a great way to establish yourself as a thought-leader in your industry.
Building a quality marketing strategy for any business is a massive undertaking. While the DIY method or additional hires are an option, there may be a better solution–one that has seen success.
AutoVitals is the only complete Shop Success Solution driving profitable growth for the independent auto repair shop industry.
By focusing exclusively on providing digital marketing services to auto shops like yours, they provide everything you need to build a comprehensive auto shop marketing strategy, as well as, workflow software, shop management systems, and data reporting.
Whether you want to get started with digital vehicle inspections or are interested in a full-stack digital solution, AutoVitals is ready when you are.