A profitable auto repair shop requires a constant stream of customers. Repeat clients are great, but you'll likely need more business than they alone can provide.
Crafting a well-thought, comprehensive marketing strategy is essential to your livelihood and longevity in the industry.
1. A Locally Optimized Website
A number of options now exist for any business owner who wants a website. But when most of your clients are regionally based, nothing is more important than being found. The best way to do this is with a strong, attractive website optimized for local SEO (we'll discuss this in a moment).
Are all websites created for the same purpose? Simply put, no. Some are designed for e-commerce, some serve as landing pages, and still, others function as blogs. This is why it's important to have a professional who can design the precise site you need. Components yours should have include:
- Your services
- Years of experience
- Professional affiliations and credentials
- Customer testimonials and reviews
- Contact information
- Social media links
Having a bold, relevant website is one component in helping you get found, but you can't stop there. This site also needs to be mobile-friendly because most people use their phones to conduct Internet searches, and some even do so while in their cars.
You, therefore, want the user experience to remain simple and informative across all devices. With clear ways on how to call, email or message you, visitors will more likely convert into paying customers when you have a microsite!
To learn even more about all that microsites have to offer, click here.
2. Local SEO
This is the tool that puts your business on the map! If you don't show in the right customer searches at the right moment, you are giving business to your competitors.
The truth is that customers expect businesses to show when they search for them, and this is especially when people are seeking auto repair businesses.
At the end of the day, consumers don't want to delve deep into the Internet to find you, which is why you need to appear quickly in local searches. This is the core of local SEO - placing you in front of nearby customers who want to use your services.
With an established SEO strategy, your automotive business is much more likely to show up in higher search results. Say goodbye to the tenth page on Google and hello to the first with local SEO!
What This Encompasses
Many techniques comprise local SEO, including reviews, local link building and citation building. You also need to ensure your business information is correct throughout the web. This means checking your address, phone number, and hours of operation for accuracy.
In this instance, you are building your reputation with search engines to let them know that the information about your business is legitimate, consistent and worth showing to potential customers in their search results!
3. Social Media Engagement
You may assume that your repair shop doesn't need a social media presence, but you'd be mistaken! Tying back into our previous tip, signals from social platforms help Google determine your website's ranking, but that's only one piece of the puzzle.
Joining social media also allows you to humanize your company.
You can share photos and videos of your work, profile your employees and even communicate with customers. Many believe there is no better way to cultivate loyalty than with social media, making your presence on these channels crucial.
Think about it. While customers love to hear about the great work that your business does, they are probably more interested in seeing it! Using social media to share before and after photos and different repair jobs is a great way to build credibility in a more casual setting.
Equally important, you need to respond when customers message you or comment on one of your posts; this lets your entire audience know that you're listening to the thoughts, concerns and questions of interested social media users and customers.
4. Manage Your Reputation
As you establish a presence in the digital landscape, you also need to keep an eye on your reputation. This is what your past customers are saying about you on the Internet, whether it's in comments or reviews. And while reputation is crucial across all business sectors, it can make or break an auto shop.
The first step in gaining a reputation is to acquiring reviews. Surveys show around 95 percent of all people read online reviews prior to making a decision about products or services.
This requires a strategy to complement your overarching marketing plan; some business owners directly ask customers for feedback, while others send surveys to be completed. These are, of course, just a couple of ways to solicit reviews, but they'll help get the wheels for your online reputation.
While having a strong social media presence and an accessible website are huge pieces to the automotive digital marketing puzzle, without this established review reputation, it's hard for customers to get on board with your business. Make sure you are also prioritizing this step!
Responses Are Critical
As you probably know by now, you can't stop negative reviews. At some point, somebody's going to be unhappy, but you can mitigate their damage by responding as soon as possible.
In fact, our blog outlines some of the best approaches when it comes to handling unsatisfactory reviews. Check it out here!
Customers want to be heard, and if you let them know their concern is not going unnoticed, it speaks to the level of service you provide. The key, therefore, is to watch when your name appears online and respond accordingly, whether the comment is good, bad, or indifferent.
This shows to both current and potential customers that your motivation is to provide the best service possible and respond to their concerns whenever they may come up!
Every business needs a marketing plan, and thanks to the digital world in which we now live, ensuring your brand gets found online is more important than ever.
Key factors like local SEO, social media, and reputation management can help your automotive repair business rise above competitors and gain a large following.
For more information on how to create and maintain your automotive repair business's online presence, feel free to get in contact with one of our industry experts today!