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Friday, August 17, 2018
Should an auto repair shop have multiple websites?
There are plenty of reasons a business could end up with multiple websites. Maybe a friend offered to build you one years ago, but it didn’t perform so you bought one from a professional. Maybe your old provider never bothered to take your website down. You might have even already had a website when another company called and convinced you to give them a try.
As a company that builds and manages websites for auto repair shops, it would be great if we could tell you that having multiple websites is the way to go – but it isn’t. The businesses that show up higher in search results generally have only one website. Companies with multiple sites may show up multiple times in Google – but it’s often on page five, where nobody clicks.
The reason is simple. Google’s job isn’t to rank companies based on their online presence. Google’s job is to pick the best individual websites on the web. If you’ve got two or more websites, they’re competing with each other for attention, which hurts your shop.
Think of it this way – if you were in a competition to service the most number of cars in a single shop, would you build a second shop across the street? If you did, neither of your shops would do well in the competition, because they would compete with each other.
Websites work the same way – Google is looking for the best result to deliver to web users. If you have two sites, they compete with each other for this distinction. Each drags the other site down.
While two websites won’t help you search better, there are plenty of other things that will, such as reviews, a social media presence, or more content on your site.
To learn the techniques we use to help shops search their best online, call us at 866-665-1605 or email us at Team_RSW@RepairShopWebsites.com.
Thursday, August 9, 2018
Have you ever done a search in Google and seen a website that has a star-rating directly below the website’s name? Your shop can show up this way, too! If you have great reviews, this is one easy way to attract customers to your shop.
Most people searching online for an auto repair shop they can trust are going to factor online reviews into their decision, so having a great review score right next to your website name is going to make them more likely to visit your website and learn more about you.
The stars also stand out visually – and in a line of results, having the only shop with a star rating is going to make it more likely that the customer notices your listing. Most importantly, once they visit your website, you’re no longer competing with other repair shops right next to yours. This is a major advantage when compared to other places customers might find star reviews, such as Google, Yelp and Angie’s List.
Of course, the first thing you need is great reviews – nobody with a low customer rating wants to show that to customers. And if you’ve tried to get reviews from customers before, you’ve probably learned that it takes a lot more than just great service to develop a string of great online reviews. Earning reviews from busy customers can be difficult, but there are a number of ways to encourage them to leave reviews and make it easier to do so.
The good news is that we can help you with both of these problems – earning reviews and having your star rating displayed prominently in a Google search. In fact, it’s something we do for many of our auto repair shop customers! To learn how, contact us at 866-665-1605 and ask about how our Pro+Engage package can help you bring more customers into your shop.
Monday, August 6, 2018
To market your auto repair shop successfully, you need to give people a reason to select your shop instead of others in the area – ideally a reason other than a coupon that makes your shop the cheapest shop in town. Click here to learn what you need to know in order to do that.
Wednesday, July 25, 2018
It seems like customers are more price-sensitive than ever these days. When you need a football, it’s so easy to go to Amazon, type in “football”, sort by price, and buy the first one with good reviews. That mindset has become so common that it’s floating into the service industry. The problem is, when someone needs an oil change, there’s almost always a shop down the street that’s willing to lose money on it just to get them in the door. Given this reality, it seems crazy to think that cost is just a tiebreaker – but it’s true.
Consider this example. Every day, 17,000 people in the US buy a house. How many of those people do you think went on Zillow (or called a real estate agent) and asked for the cheapest house in town? Of the 20 million children in the US under five years old, how many parents do you think search for the cheapest child care in town?
The reality is that price isn’t as important as some other factors. In the case of houses, people place a priority on safety, school districts, house size, their neighbors, and the age of the house, among other things. For childcare, parents want to know that their kids will be safe, that they will learn and develop skills, and that they will be cared for physically and emotionally.
These decisions are so important (and so difficult to change) that people are willing to learn about what really matters before they make the decision. Then, they discuss what decision is best with their family and with experts they trust. It’s only after serious thought that they make a decision – and if there are several options that meet most or all of their criteria, price will become very important when choosing between those options. Price is the tiebreaker.
In terms of safety, reliability, and financial importance, vehicles are actually very important. They might fall behind a house, child care, and an employer, but that’s about it. The problem is that most people consider vehicles to be complex and intimidating. They also don’t have a source they think they can trust on what they really need to be fixed. That means that many people don’t ever build a list of criteria – what really matters when selecting a mechanic. Without a list of criteria, price is still the tiebreaker, but there are no other factors. This creates a race to the bottom, where only the cheapest shop stays in business.
This is what happens with that football on Amazon. It’s not worth putting together a list of criteria on footballs – life is too short. So rather than do research, most people would just buy the cheapest one that was rated well by random people on the internet they’ve never met.
The thing is, a car isn’t a football – you’re relying on it to keep you safe when you’re going 70 miles an hour down the interstate. Most people are hoping to keep a vehicle running so they can avoid spending tens of thousands of dollars on a new one. Vehicle maintenance is a very important purchase.
Helping a customer to understand and accept this isn’t hard, but it does require effort. You have to be willing to honestly tell a customer what should really matter to them, and what can be put off for now (or forever). You have to be willing to explain as much to a customer as they want to understand to help them make a good decision. Most importantly, you have to make sure to always live up to your promises, so they know they can trust you. They need to believe that you’re not trying to sell them – but instead that you’re trying to empower them to make a good decision for their own well-being.
If you can convince a customer that it’s worth their time to select a great mechanic, and you can help them understand what criteria should really matter to them, then you’ll go a long way towards fighting off the cheapest, least reliable shop in town. You’ll go a long way towards making price what it should be – a tiebreaker.
To learn how Repair Shop Websites can help you build a professional, trustworthy online image that helps you attract new customers, call us at 866-665-1605 or email us at Team_RSW@RepairShopWebsites.com.
Friday, July 20, 2018
Social Media has exploded in the past few years. What started out as Facebook and Twitter has splintered into a confusing landscape of apps – Instagram, Pinterest, Snapchat, LinkedIn and WhatsApp are all used by more than 1 in 5 adults in the United States. If you’re a business owner, where does it make sense to be?
Despite all of these other platforms getting hours and hours of use, Facebook is still where auto repair shops need to be. According to the Pew Research Center, Facebook is currently used by 68% of all adults in the US – more than any other social media platform unless you count YouTube.
The newest social media platforms also skew younger – including many users under the age of 18. These users are obviously not likely to be customers for your shop. The average Facebook user spends 50 minutes per day across their three platforms (Facebook, Messenger and Instagram), making it one of the most important places to have a presence.
It’s important to remember that people don’t use Facebook to receive advertising or coupons (although it’s ok to sneak one in occasionally). People want posts that offer the type of content they expect on Facebook. That content can range from educational (for instance, how to tell if your vehicle’s A/C needs recharging or replacing) to humorous (pictures of the worst amateur vehicle repair jobs).
The ultimate goal of your presence on Facebook is for local drivers to remember your company, so that when they do need service, they can visit your website or Facebook page to get your contact information and call you. If you’re regularly using it to directly drive sales, you aren’t likely to find much success.
To learn how Repair Shop Websites can help you build and maintain a Facebook presence, call us at 866-665-1605 or email us at Team_RSW@RepairShopWebsites.com.