Local SEO continues to be one of the most potent digital marketing strategies. As more and more businesses direct their focus to online tools and resources to market their brands, proper SEO is still proving to be one of the most effective ways of putting your name out there and attracting high-quality leads. This is especially true for auto repair shops and tow truck businesses.
Car troubles are some of the things that most people rarely think about as they don’t experience them on a daily basis. This is why whenever an issue arises with their vehicle, they quickly rush online to find auto repair shops near them. Most of the time, they will go for the auto repair shops that appear at the top of the first page of the search engine results. This means that the businesses on these spots will attract more customers, and it will be easier for them to promote their brand.
This means that if you haven’t yet invested in SEO, then there is a high risk of your business missing out on business opportunities even if you are offering better quality service than your competitors.
There are many long term benefits that auto repair shops and tow truck businesses can benefit from SEO, and they include:
1. Higher Conversion Rate
What makes SEO different from other traditional forms of marketing is that instead of marketing yourself to the general public and hoping that your target audience comes across your advert, SEO enables you to promote your brand directly to your intended audience in real-time. The people visiting your site will have already established a need for your services, and thus, there will be a higher possibility of them converting. In addition, by offering quality services, you will be able to achieve a long list of repeat customers.
2. SEO Lowers Your Marketing Expenditure
It goes without saying that advertising is an expensive affair and most small businesses don’t have the budgets to match. However, with a proper SEO marketing strategy, you will be able to achieve even better results without spending much. SEO enables you to easily gain a steady stream of free traffic that have a high possibility of converting.
3. Quick Results
Compared to other fields such as law, the auto repair industry isn’t as highly competitive. This means that you stand a better chance of appearing on the first page results. If you are one of the few auto-repair and tow truck businesses that have actually invested in SEO in your area, then you will gain increased traffic and new customers within a very short amount of time.
4. Helps to Boost Your Credibility
Trust and customer perception are very important when it comes to business. Customers will only want to engage with a business that they can trust. It is important to note that customers hold search engines like Google with high regard. If your site appears on the first page of the search results, then it will signal to them that your auto repair business has Google’s stamp of approval. This is why most people rarely go past the first page.
As you can see, SEO can be very beneficial to your auto repair or tow trucking business. No effective marketing strategy is complete without SEO. If you are looking to take your business to the next level, then it is the high time that you invest in SEO if you haven’t yet.
Tow Truck Business SEO – Pull Ahead of Your Competition
When you create an online presence for your towing business, you essentially use a proactive method of marketing. In other words, you are reaching out to potential clients instead of just waiting for them to hopefully find you. Hence the reason for establishing a website, as well as getting your services listed in popular directories. You want people to open their browser and spot your trusted towing business first.
But search engine optimization is not something that can stop. And once a website reaches its full potential in terms of search engine rankings, a lot of work goes into keeping that position.
Be Competitive On Digital Platforms
Smartphones and digital media has become a way of life. And with this thought in mind, what is the first thing a panicked driver is going to reach for when they are stuck on the side of the road? Yes, the driver reaches for a phone. Or something else that can help them contact a helpful towing service. But seeing as nobody really anticipates car problems, the driver has to “search” for a towing business that is close by and in a position to help.
By having a website in place that covers local searches, your business can quickly be visible to panicked drivers. But this is not a new strategy, and trust in your competitors to use the same approach. Which is what professional SEO services are for. Because it takes more than a website to grab someone’s attention.
SEO For Towing Business Will Constantly Change
The internet is a platform that constantly shifts. Users adopt different habits, and this leads to changes in search engines like Google’s algorithms. This is also why staying abreast of the latest SEO updates is so important. When old strategies are not tweaked and checked, they can actually become a problem.
But getting to the first page is only half the battle. What might takes months to achieve can easily fall away because the competition is just this fierce. And once again, the option to use professionals comes to mind. These are people that already know the trade secrets, and they have mastered the art of executing SEO strategies. More importantly, they can help to maintain the rankings you gain.
The reality is that digital platforms are growing more and more popular. And many entrepreneurs consider a move in this direction mandatory in order to be and stay competitive in their market.
Maintenance And Proper SEO Updates Help Retain Visibility
With any type of business, you want to think about the long term. What can you do now that will positively influence your towing business down the road? Not only are digital platforms incredibly affordable, but they are very effective. People trust technology like search engines to bring them relevant information, and this is the type of knowledge your towing business can really benefit from.
Whatever you do, stay focused on the future. At some point, some things need to change if you want to stay competitive. The question is will you have the professional skills to make these changes happen?
SCHEMA MARKUP – Tells Google what your Content is about and who you are. Ranked in the top 10 factors of Google’s ranking algorithm (technical SEO)
SEO TIP #1 : Schema Markup. Schema markup is code (semantic vocabulary) that you put on your website to help the search engines return more informative results for users. Without getting too deep into the what and why in this post, let’s dive right into the ‘how’.
From start to finish this shouldn’t take you more than 10-12 minutes to implement, depending on skill level.
Visit this link to a free tool you can use to get your schema markup code. https://technicalseo.com/tools/schema-markup-generator/
From there you want to select Local Business from the main category, then Automotive Business, then either Auto Body Shop or Auto Repair Shop depending on your specific business model.
Go ahead and fill out your address, business hours and social profiles for your business. After the address be sure to click the “Geo Coordinates” button on the right side, it will fill your lat/long automatically after entering your address.
Now it’s time to add it to your site. Click the blue button on the top right in over to copy the code to your clip board and head over to your WordPress dashboard. (Most of you are running your site’s off WordPress. If you have a different platform, feel free to PM me for specific instructions)
Some themes will come with a place to insert code into the header of your site. If you are not sure, simply click on Plugins > Add New from the left menu, and search ‘insert headers and footers’. Install & activate the plugin. Once activated, you will find the plugin under Settings > Insert Headers & Footers….click on that.
Last Step: In the first box labeled scripts in header, you may now paste (ctrl + v) your schema markup and click save.
Congratulations! You learned a little bit and successfully implemented an important SEO element on your site.
If you want to see a video walkthrough of these steps, go ahead and request access to our private FB group for auto shop owners.
Getting your vehicle serviced is a serious matter and choosing the right mechanic or auto repair shop for the job isn’t always as simple as taking your car into the dealership from which you purchased your vehicle. When a customer makes the decision to find a local auto repair or collision center, they WILL research your business online. Here’s why acquiring a lot of [positive] reviews is crucial to growing your car count.
1. Auto Repair Shop Reviews Help Bring in New Clients
72% of customers won’t take action until they read reviews.
15% of users don’t trust businesses without reviews.
Only 6% of consumers don’t trust customer reviews at all.
Google accounts for 57.5% of all reviews worldwide.
Local businesses have an average of 39 Google reviews.
If your mechanic shop’s reviews are up to par, it can most certainly drive new customers to your shop.
2. Reviews Help Gauge your Shop’s Quality
Successful Auto Repair Shops look at reputation management as a continuous improvement process. Customers often opt to view “newest” reviews to ensure a positive experience with their vehicle maintenance. Because of this, it is important that all of your staff are made aware of why it’s important to ensure each and every customer has a positive experience from the actual repairs to the level of customer service they receive during the repair process.
3. Mechanic Reviews Help Bring in Repeat Business & Referrals
While positive reviews can help bring in new auto repair customers, they can also help bring back returning ones as well. If they’ve had an excellent experience in the past, and if you’ve asked them to leave a review, these customers know that you care about them, as well as your work. After all, a good auto repair shop doesn’t ask people for reviews if they know they’ve done a poor job. Show your customers you take pride in your business and ask them to provide their honest feedback so you can better continue to refine your reputation on and offline.
4. Boosts Local SEO
Small auto shops don’t always think about marketing and search engine optimization (SEO). However, with individuals turning to online reviews to help form consumer decision-making, this will need to change. Asking your customers to leave an online auto shop review these days is equal to asking them to refer them to their friends and family when word-of-mouth marketing was the way to go.
With everyone using the internet and asking for “car repairs near me,” building your local SEO ranking online is crucial to your shop’s successl. The “near me” search term is what makes this more localized SEO instead of trying to rank across a wider search area. People in Dayton, Ohio, won’t necessarily be reading mechanic reviews in Auburn, CA. So, boosting your local SEO by having customers leave reviews is a great way to draw in more localized customers.
5. Auto Repair Reviews Keep You Ahead of Your Competition
Good, quality auto repair reviews will keep you ahead of your competition, almost every time. With towing companies and auto repair shops popping up all over, the competition can get fierce, especially in metropolitan areas. The better you take care of your clients and their vehicles, the more willing they will be to not only leave you a review online but also leave you a review that will set you apart from other auto repair shops. Remember, every review counts — whether it be on Google, Facebook or Yelp.
Reviews Matter — Let Us Help You Get Them
ShopHawk provides full service Web Design & Marketing for Tow Companies, Auto Repair Shops, Collision Centers and more. Part of what we do includes sending customer surveys and asking for reviews. Naturally, you will reach a few customers who have had a not-so-pleasant experience. Don’t worry! The way our platform works, only the customers who choose they would recommend your shop will be able to post a review online. If they choose they would NOT recommend you, they are only able to provide you feedback via email. This allows for your shop to get real feedback for the continuous improvement process we mentioned above, but not damage your online reputation.
One of the first questions shop owners want to know when they call our company is: How much does an auto repair shop website cost? Although this is a very difficult question to answer, I will try to do my best here to explain some general pricing guidelines.
The purchase of a website is much like the purchase of a vehicle or even a house. With so many options to choose from, price ranges can vary drastically. Just as a Toyota Camry can start around $20k with just a base model package, the cost can quickly increase to well over $30k once a buyer adds such items as power windows, CD player, all-leather interior, chrome finishes, built-in GPS, etc. Maybe you travel long distance and a hybrid vehicle is better suited to your needs. Worried about power and performance? Upgrade to a V6 for an extra few grand. You get the point, right?
Considering that the average American sells or trades in their vehicle within the first 5 years of purchase, why do so many buyers still concern themselves with these possible upgrades? The answer is because most people understand the importance of getting what they want the first time so there are no regrets down the road. This is known as buyer’s remorse, and it most definitely applies to your website as well. Because your website is going to be your business’ primary point of contact for your potential auto repair customer, it is important that you choose your needs carefully.
When a visitor lands on your auto repair website, you only have a few seconds to capture their attention and ensure they stay long enough to decide if your auto repair shop can service their current needs. Here is a list some of the most common elements added to a website, all which can affect the total cost, as well as how effective a platform it will be to attract visitors, and convert them into qualified leads.
- Responsive (Mobile Friendly)
- Modern Logo
- High Resolution Images
- Hours of Operation
- Clear Calls to Action (Phone Number / Contact Form)
- Social Media Integration
- SSL Certificate (Trust)
- Service Pages
- Map / Get Directions Link
- Appointment Scheduling
- Google Analytics
- Blog/Resource Center
- Good Hosting (Security + Fast Loading)
- Business Email Addresses
This list can go on and on depending on your auto repair shop or collision center’s immediate needs. Don’t be overwhelmed with the choices, either. Your web design agency should consult with you regarding what other successful local business sites utilize, what your shop currently has that is working or not working, and even what can be added down the line as you grow. The good thing about a properly built website is the fact that adding on new features should not be too costly or time consuming if designed properly from the beginning. Therefore, it’s so important to not rush your choice in web designer. I’ve seen plenty of shop owner’s rush into this decision just to save money upfront, or get a website up “just to have one.” This decision could cost you 10’s of thousands of dollars every year, and tarnish your brand’s integrity. Take it seriously.
How platform choice affects the cost
When a customer approaches us for either a new website or website redesign, platform choice is a key factor is final costs. While most auto repair shop owners are looking for a solution that won’t add more work to their plate, others may have a staff that will require access to the new website to update pricing, upload photos of vehicle repairs, change coupons out, etc. For this particular need, a Content Management System or CMS would be the way to go. At ShopPulse, we put the bulk of our customers on our proprietary platform, whereas the shop owner need not worry about changes themselves, or having to redesign their site 12 months from now, or pay for every little addition they think of. Essentially, we create constantly evolving websites, built by shop owners. If we are tasked by Classic Auto Collision to build a before and after gallery, we then approach you with what we did, how it affected the website, and ask if you wish to have the same feature on your business website. For the purpose of this article, however, let’s keep the topic on pricing.
How hosting affects website pricing
We’ll keep this one short, as you as the business owner shouldn’t concern yourself with servers or bandwidth or megabyte schmegabyte. All you need to know if in this day and age, your website needs to be fast and secure. Although you are the decision maker, it is the job of the web designer to educate you on different pricing levels and benefits. Don’t be alarmed, for a standard website such as your auto repair or body shop, we’re only talking a matter of a few bucks a month more here and there, but ultimately you need to know there IS a difference in hosting providers. We can certainly advise you on some providers we know to be perfect your small business website, and we also offer hosting solutions with each website we build. The most important thing is you choose the right solution for your needs. Think of it as the difference between factory and after-market parts for your customer.
The Bottom Line on Pricing
I wish I could have answered the pricing question more specifically, but hopefully you now understand how many factors are involved when a website designer prices your project. You should always be thinking long-term value over upfront savings. An efficient website should be bringing you qualified leads 24/7, and help your brand stand out from the competition. If you have any specific questions regarding pricing, or even if you are considering a few options from other agencies and want a third-party’s opinion, I’m always available to speak to business owners and give them a helping hand. Don’t hesitate to reach out and connect with me if you have any questions or concerns about how much an auto repair shop website should cost. I hope this helped… good luck!
Auto Repair Shop Marketing – How Should I Budget?
Before we get started I’d like to get one point across if you’re a business owner or manager. You don’t need a website, SEO services, or anything to do with marketing. You need more MONEY (and also time, but for the sake of this article we’ll stick to money). To get more money.. you need you want better customers. You want better employees so you can offer better work with better equipment, to retain those better customers. Stop me where I’m wrong, please.
Now, in the case of costs associated with equipment, or higher skilled technicians, do you ask if you can afford them based on the money in your bank account, or do you operate like a smart business owner and look at them as an investment (as you should) and ask a “better” question. “How much of a return can I expect for investing in that better piece of equipment, or that employee with more experience than the kid who just graduated but is $15/hr cheaper?” The real question becomes can you afford NOT to invest in the better decision, as opposed to can I afford to spend this money. Make sense?
Likewise, you should think of your marketing dollars as an investment as well, not an expense. As a business owner, you can essentially do 3 things with your money;
- Spend it on yourself/your family
- Save it for yourself/your family
- Invest it back in your business
Hopefully by now you are an intelligent business owner and can do all of the above, or at least number 3. This way, you’re not concerned with the actual cost of your auto repair website or marketing campaign, but more-so with what it’s going to do for you. If you remember from up above, that means putting more money into your pocket.
So let me give you an example of how a typical freelance web designer or marketer operates. If you’re wondering, I spent the better part of a decade operating this way (face palm) so I feel I’m somewhat qualified to speak on it. OK, their phone rings, and on the other line is someone like yourself, a business owner looking for all of those ‘better’ things we mentioned in the beginning of this article.
Typical Freelancer– “Hi how can I help you?”
Business Owner– “I need a website for my repair shop”
Typical Freelancer– (thinking to him/herself, ‘great, here we go again, another penny pinching business owner who probably only cares about how much it’s going to cost, but damn, rent is due next week, I need the money) “OK, sir, I can build you a website for $1,200
Now, you cut them a check and the typical freelancer purchases a $10 theme, barely makes any edits (I’ve seen a lot of your websites who still have the “John Doe” testimonials that are built in to those templates..ouch!) Now because the project budget is so low, the freelancer has to do it all by themselves, which is frustrating because they have a million other things to do.
A few weeks go by and you get your site up on your domain, but it’s not bringing in any leads aka no more money into your pocket. You ask the freelancer to put a form above the fold (which is a great idea to get more free estimate requests btw) and the freelancer is even MORE frustrated. “Oh, great! Now he wants me to do more work, eating into my profit. This sucks! I’m not making any money, and I’m not bringing in any results. Aghhhh!”
Therefore, you leave the freelancer, more frustrated than before and ultimately call an agency like ShopHawk. Here’s what’s going to happen;
If you find us online, chances are you will go through one of our sales funnels (which we can setup for your business as well) and be pre-qualified before we even get you on the phone. This not only saves us time, but you as well. Let’s be honest, this is business, and we both need to be a good fit for each other in order for both of us to grow. Would you agree?
Our phone call will be a bit different than what you are used to. You may call us and say the same:
Wise Business Owner- “I need a website for my auto repair shop.” and we may turn around and say
ShopHawk Professionals- “OK, great. Why do you need a website?” To which you reply
Wise Business Owner– “Well, I would like to get more leads for insurance body work or, I’d love to bring in more bumper repairs, since they are such high profit margins.”
ShopHawk Professionals– What’s your typical body work customer worth, and are you doing any kind of marketing now?”
Wise Business Owner– Well our average is about $4,000, but we just had a front end collision job on a dump truck that was around $17,000! We mostly do direct mailers, and a billboard every now and then.”
ShopHawk Professionals– Excellent. So, you need an overhaul of your website to attract, engage and delight new and returning site visitors. I’d suggest a trackable form above the fold to capture more free estimate leads, professionally written content to ensure we’re converting as many visitors as possible, and definitely adding analytics and a Facebook Pixel so we can track potential leads, and retarget those visits coming from your billboards or direct mailers that don’t end up converting into paying customers. We can also integrate some pretty neat automation to follow up with your customers and potential customers. So that’s to market to existing traffic, but it won’t necessarily bring you more online leads, for that we would recommend a combination of PPC ads and SEO to get direct search traffic, and some Facebook AD funnels as well. Does that make sense?”
Wise Business Owner– That makes perfect sense, actually. No one’s ever taken the time to explain that to me like that. Ok, so how much for the website and how much for the monthly marketing?”
ShopHawk Professionals– “You’re looking at $8,000 for the website, and around $2,000/month for marketing” **
At this point, the wise business owner sees he only needs a few customers a month to start seeing a return on his investment, and starts calculating the Lifetime Value of each customer.
Wise Business Owner– OK, great! Let’s do the website and one month of marketing as a test. (cuts check)
Subsequently, I can now afford to use my top level designers and copywriters to turn your website into a lead generating machine. A 24/7 virtual sales person and brand ambassador, which saves you countless hours by doing the majority of the selling and qualifying FOR YOU. I can also afford to bring on kick-ass auto repair marketing specialists, and even a dedicated project manager to ensure your project moves along smoothly. You’ll have access to clear contracts so you know what deliverables you are paying for, and a customer portal where you can access all of the above in one convenient spot.
In closing, I hope this article has helped you better understand the power of perception and mindset. It’s the same in your business. We all need better employees, equipment, and customers.. so we can provide quality, CONSISTENT service to our market. Schedule a call with us today and let’s grow together.
**Please note the prices above are used for the purpose of this article, and do not reflect actual pricing of service packages. Your actual investment will be calculated based on the needs and budget of your individual business. We look forward to speaking with you!