When one of your potential customers searches for auto repair on Google they see a list of shops they could call. But how do they most often decide what shop or shops to call? They look at reviews!
But how do they get there and what do they specifically look for in reviews? Read on for more…
Searching for Auto Repair
When a consumer in your area searches on the web for the auto repair services that you provide, there are two key factors that determine if your shop will show up in the Local Pack and the Map (see image below) – how close your shop is to the person conducting the search and the primary category you have chosen on your Google Business Profile. It’s believed by experts that Google does consider some other factors but not nearly as much as they weigh the location and primary category.
So there’s not much you can do to influence where you show up in these local searches. Pick the primary category that makes the most sense for your business, usually Auto Repair Shop, and make sure your address and contact information is correct.
However, it’s one thing to be found and another to be chosen. How do you increase your odds of getting chosen? Reviews!
Reviews Help Consumers Decide What Repair Shop to Call
The Whitespark 2021 Local Search Ranking Factors survey asked SEO experts what they’ve seen to be the most impactful factors for how consumers decide what local businesses to contact when they are looking for local services.
Reviews dominated the results. Four of the top five factors in the survey were related to reviews. Let’s dive into those factors.
#1 – High Numerical Google Ratings (e.g. 4-5)
The biggest factor, by a large margin, is your average star rating for your reviews.
What to Do
Search for “auto repair” and look at the listings of the shops that show up in the Local Pack and the Map. How does your average star rating compare to theirs? If it’s better, great. If it’s about the same or worse than the competition, then you want to try to improve it. The best way to do that is to start consistently asking for reviews from your happy customers.
#2 – Positive Sentiment in Review Text
Consumers do care about the content in the reviews. They want to read about the experience that your customers have had. What they are really looking for here is called social proof. Essentially it’s as much evidence as they can get that they won’t be making a mistake in choosing your shop because so many other customers have already chosen it and been happy with the results.
What to Do
When you ask your happy customers to leave you a review, encourage them to include details about the service they received and the experience. Most shops do not ask for this, so you can gain a significant advantage by being one of the few that does.
(#3 is Completeness of Google Business Profile listing which we will skip over because it is not review related.)
#4 – Quantity of Native Google Reviews (w/ text)
The number of reviews matters. It’s also significantly important that they include comments. Consumers will be very doubtful if they see that your shop has a whole bunch of five star reviews with no comments.
What to Do
I’m sure you are noticing a theme here – consistently ask for reviews from your happy customers. This will help you continue to grow the number of reviews your shop has.
#5 – Recency of Reviews
If your shop hasn’t received a review in a while consumers may not be sure you are even in business. With the rapid change that has occurred over the last two and a half years consumers like to see signs that a business is still open. With inconsistency in staffing and service levels, they’d also like to be able to see that somebody that was at your shop a week ago got the same great service as somebody who was there a year ago.
What to Do
If you haven’t received a good review in a while you should reach out to a few recent happy customers and ask them to leave you one. And…start consistently asking happy customers for reviews
Google Reviews Are Well Worth Asking For
We’ve covered the importance of reviews many times – from our podcast on the impact of reviews to our blog on how to make your auto repair shop’s reviews stand out to our blog about why you should respond to your reviews. This survey of SEO experts is just the latest evidence that reviews are important. In this instance, they have a very large impact on how consumers choose what repair shop they are going to reach out to. If you aren’t on the review train yet, you want to get on it before it runs you over!
Our Integrated Reviews platform helps our customers get more online reviews. To learn how we can help do that for your auto repair shop, call us at 855-294-6397 or schedule a meeting with us at a time that’s convenient for you!