How Much Does an Auto Repair Shop Website Cost?

how much does an auto repair shop website cost

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)
  • Testimonials
  • Service Pages
  • Map / Get Directions Link
  • FAQ’s
  • 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!

Ryan Lamothe

CEO, ShopHawk 

Can I Afford Your Services? If That’s Your First Thought… This Article is for You

auto repair marketing cost

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;

  1. Spend it on yourself/your family
  2. Save it for yourself/your family
  3. 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)

successful auto repair marketing

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!

How to Grow Your Auto Repair Business | 5 Auto Repair Business Tips

grow auto repair shop business

5 Tips to Grow Your Auto Repair Business

So, you’re looking for ways to grow your auto repair business. You may have covered all your bases with a website, direct mailers, maybe even a little PPC budget from time to time. But still, you’re unhappy with the results. The problem with the automotive repair industry is that people don’t generally tend to think about your services until they suddenly need them. So how do you make sure that yours is the first business they find when they start looking? I’ll go over 5 surefire ways to increase your car count and grow your auto repair business.

  1. Brand Loyalty. Does your business have a narrative? People don’t just make decisions on a whim. We like to buy from people not only because of their pricing, or cool logos… but because we know WHY they do what they do. You want to capture the emotions of your customers, and then justify their decision with logic. An example of emotion may be that you’re an active sponsor of the town’s little league teams or for every vehicle serviced you donate a portion of your profits to Kars4Kids. The logic side of the buying decision would be your “We’re ASE Certified” or “we have a night time drop off service.” Pro-tip: If you’re thinking about attaching a mission to your business like I just described, please don’t just choose one and toss it up on your website. It should be something that is meaningful, and can be woven into every decision your staff make. So often I see business owners who say “Yea, I have a website, I don’t need your web design service.” But do you have a website or marketing campaign just to have one, or have you really taken the time to define your audience, define their needs, and then offer a solution to their problems? My guess is for most of you, you haven’t. As a business owner myself, I completely understand where you may have dropped the ball on this. Running around servicing your customers, putting out fires with employees (real or otherwise) phones ringing, sick kids…. I get it! But I highly recommend scheduling some time with your key employees and taking it back to the basics. Why did you start this auto repair business in the first place? What drives you to wake up and come to work every day? Feel free to use our brand tuneup worksheet to get the creative juices flowing. Have FUN with it! Growing your auto repair business doesn’t have to be difficult.brand narrative

2. Solve Your Customer’s Pain Points. This is a quick and easy one that is often overlooked. I won’t spend too much time on this point because it’s really a matter of who your specific audience is, but here are a few surefire offerings that will benefit you no matter where your auto repair shop is located.

  • Offer either a shuttle service or a rebate for an Uber/Lyft service. Having to worry about asking someone to follow you to the shop to drop your car off is always a concern for your customer. Addressing this ahead of time takes the stress out of the equation.
  • Offer Free Towing with service.
  • Coffee. And I mean good coffee, not coffee that’s been sitting on a crusty, cold burner for 3 days. Trust me on this one… if you have bad coffee, your customer will assume your service is just as bad. Don’t believe me? Ask the next customer what they think of your coffee and watch their face.
  • Clean your waiting area and bathrooms. Rule of thumb: If you wouldn’t ask your mother to use your bathroom, it’s probably not suitable for your customers either. Clean it!
  • Wifi. This one’s a no brainer. People are literally obsessed with their phones (and phone bills) and love to see that oh so prominent Wifi logo in your shop’s window. There’s an article I read recently that said people touch their phones almost 3,000 times a day. Yikes!

3. Female Friendly. That’s right. I said it! Women account for billions and billions of female friendly certifiedauto repair service dollars every year. They also are extremely choosy of where they get their vehicles serviced, being this is a male dominated industry. You can even become Female Friendly Certified through AskPatty.com. Now, imagine your wife is looking at two auto repair shop websites. One of them has your typical “Best Shop in Town!” slogan, and the other has a female friendly certification badge, empathizes with their concern about dropping off their car and offers free shuttle service, and playfully boasts about having the best coffee in all of Austin, TX. Which shop do you think she’s going to choose?

4. Become a Subject Matter Expert. This one will help you both short and long-term. Chances are the majority of your competitor auto repair shop owners are not taking the time to do this. Write a blog post once a week, create a monthly newsletter, heck.. Even throw an annual workshop for your community. When writing blog posts for your website, try to approach it from a “They Ask, We Answer” philosophy. What do your customers need to know? Perhaps how to perform a DIY Oil Change, or What to check for before taking a long road trip. The type of content subjects that really seem to move the needle in terms of conversions, engagement, leads and sales are what we’ll call The Big 5. They are as follows:

  • Pricing & Costs
  • Problems
  • Versus & Comparisons
  • Reviews
  • Best in Class

All of this will help build trust, which is crucial to success in the automotive industry, and generate new leads from customers looking for a trusted guide for their vehicle servicing needs.

5. Ask for Reviews & Referrals. . This one you can start implementing right away. Reviews not only provide social proof for potential customer looking for auto repair service, but they also play a major role in search engine rankings. Referrals are well.. Referrals. There’s no easier sell than having a friend suggest your business over the next. If you’re offering transparent service that you are proud of (think back to the mother comment) then you shouldn’t be shy about asking for a review or a referral. You’d be surprised how quickly this little trick can scale your business and increase your car count. I’d even recommend adding the ability to have your customer visit your shop website to leave the review, where it could post to all major review sites like Google+, Yelp, Etc…

customer reviewsI hope this article helped you guys out a bit. I know they aren’t all innovative ideas that nobody ever told you before, but they definitely are all important and often overlooked. If you take the time to make these a priority in your shop, you will see how quickly you can grow your auto repair business.