Many repair shop owners believe that just because their clientele is mostly referrals and their shop is well situated, that alone will be enough to grow and that digital marketing is an unmitigated waste of effort.
Many repair shop owners are wrong.
What many shop owners fail to see is that digital marketing for your repair shop will bring you a higher return on investment than word of mouth or a billboard ever will.
By digital marketing we mean the compendium of tools of which you may already recognize, web-presence, social media marketing and the respected search engine optimization (SEO).
It’s currently the most effective way to quickly get your shop in front of thousands of potential clients in your area alone and we want to help you get started.
But what is the model for Your Very Own 30-day Blueprint for Marketing your Auto Repair Shop? What steps do you as a shop owner need to take over the course of the next few months to successfully grow online presence and sales considerably?
In the confines of this PDF, you’ll receive a step by step plan that will highlight what you need to do every day to market your auto repair shop.
Greetings and Welcome to Days 1-10
Before you x out of this PDF because you feel you don’t have time or aren’t tech savvy enough please know that following these simple steps for just ten days will ensure web presence which when properly done will be the first step towards innovating your brand as a repair shop.
Step 1: How to Create a Website for an Auto Repair Shop
Too many shop owners are adamant in their belief that websites are unnecessary and that word of mouth will be enough to have them grow. Sure, some have gotten along ok and even managed to prosper because of their impeccable prices and customer service, but as business people, isn’t the main objective to evolve and continue growing?
A website will be that one-stop place where your customers (both potential and current) can learn about your shop, about your brand and where they can gain enough information to feel like they know you before they even set foot in your shop.
First things first, build yourself a website. Still not convinced? Learn why a website is important for your auto repair shop, here.
The first week and half of this blueprint will be to focus on building your auto repair shop website and arming yourself with great designers that will ensure you’re on the right path. Look at rival repair shop websites and determine which route you want to go vs which is the most recommended. Don’t forget to get on Facebook and Instagram.
This web presence you’re in the middle of creating, that everyone brags about will be the first step to reach the marketing success you seek.
Once you have an outline for your website and as soon as you’ve set up a Facebook and Instagram account for your shop, you get down to the real work.
Creating the content for your automotive repair shop website.
Step 2: Content Writing for an Auto Repair Shop
Another mistake business owners make (they seem to make many) is thinking that as soon as they have a website that people are already on your site looking for your shop’s address and number.
Unfortunately, that’s not how the internet works and there’s a process called SEO that affects how many people visit your site on a daily basis (more on this later).
SEO are the initials of search engine optimization and it affects the visibility of a website or web page in a search engine’s (Google, Yahoo, Bing) unpaid results. In layman’s terms, this is the work you put into the site and through your shop’s social media pages.
So how do you master SEO? One very effective way to begin is the creation of original, relevant content.
This content will rely heavily on what you envision for your shop. Anyone can put a bunch of buzzwords together and create content that can be found in any big repair shop’s website but if you take the time to thoroughly explain your services and a little about yourself, the content will be easier to read and your potential customers will actually take the time to read it.
Most auto repair shop customers have no idea what’s going on with their vehicles and wish they knew a little more. Why not use your site as a resource not just for your shop but for auto repair in general? Create a blog section with common problems you come across and how they may be avoided. Articles on the importance of wheel balancing, tire changing, maintenance checks, etc.
How will this help your business? I’m glad you asked. SEO works through keywords and keywords are the phrases people search for on various search engines. Example, auto repair shops in Long Island, importance of wheel balancing, oil changes in Long Island, etc.
Update your blog section periodically and this will have Google deem your site as relevant for the keywords of your choosing (trust me, you want to be in Google’s good graces).
All this content you’re going to write will not only help you with Google but if you’re viewed by your potential customers as an authority for everything auto repair related in your area, this will help your credibility and people will begin to feel a sense of trust even before they visit your shop.
Step 3: Call-to-action and Email Subscribers
Now that you have a general idea of what you want to populate your site with and are regularly uploading original content and images (we suggest pictures of your techs in action or talking to customers) it’s time to get into increasing your email subscriber list.
Email marketing is another crucial method of increasing customers to your repair shop and the first way to do that is to entice visitors to your site to sign up to your email newsletters.
Now, anyone that has skimmed through a website has seen pages that feature a button known as a call-to-action. This call to action (or CTA) is an instruction to the site’s visitors to provoke a speedy response. As confusing as this sounds, it’s just a button with a “call now” or “find out more” as its title. This is exactly what your website needs to get people to sign up to your newsletters.
Wait, not so fast.
Before you sit back and wait to see the number of subscribers grow, you must first understand how auto repair shop customers (and most customers, really) minds work. Why should people subscribe to your email newsletters? Sure, you’re going to provide them with vital information that will likely have them become more knowledgeable but what’s the immediate reason why they should sign up?
Truth be told, there is no reason. Let’s give them one.
CTA’s are usually followed by a line of text that offers a freebie for signing up. “Sign-up today and receive a free oil change”. Don’t think of this as you losing $20, think of this as you investing $20 in a customer that can potentially bring you thousands per year and with great service, this customer will bring you his friends and family. It’s a win-win.
Not all people that sign up will be avid readers of the articles, promotions or general information but the few that do will be the ones whose attention you’ll be able to grab and this is where your shop can really monetize your digital marketing efforts.
SEO and all it Entails: Day 10-25
Continuing down the line on this list we want to get more in depth with SEO, so let’s pick up where we left off.
How will SEO help your shop? SEO works through keywords and keywords are the phrases people search for on various search engines. Example, auto repair shops in Long Island, importance of wheel balancing, oil changes in Long Island, etc.
The first part of SEO you need to work on to really solidify your marketing efforts is working on your “local” SEO.
Local SEO is the work you do that proves to search engines that you’re a legitimate shop serving local people in your area.
What work needs to be done? Allow me to demonstrate.
Step 1: Google Search Console and Google Analytics
In order to run a successful SEO campaign these two tools are indispensable.
These tools allow you to gather a ton of information from your shop’s website. Number of visitors, where they came from (social media, directly from Google), what device they used (PC, laptop, mobile phone, tablet, etc). You then analyze these results and see where you can improve.
Let’s start with Google Analytics. Most of these steps are rather simple to do but for the last step, be sure you have a someone who understands basic programming in order to do everything correctly.
- First and foremost, you’ll need to create a Google Analytics account, do that here
- Sign in
- Select “ADMIN”
- Go to the “accounts” column
- Look for the new property option from the “property” column.
- Select “tracking info” followed by “tracking code”
- Copy the ID that is given
- Insert this ID number into your website’s code.
Formerly webmaster tools, Google Search Console tells us how users are reaching our site, what errors we may have and how to fix them. Learn how to set it up.
- Create your own Search Console account here
- Once you log in, click “Add a site”
- Insert your repair shop website’s URL here.
- Copy the ID provided and once again, ask a programming friend (or if you feel you can do it yourself) add the ID to your website’s code.
Step 2: Verify your Website’s Information with your Google Account
Now, this is where things start getting a little fun.
Some of the most important information your shop needs on it’s website is the most basic. Which brings us to, NAP.
A word that is usually preceded by power and beauty, in this case it’s the initials of Name, Address and Phone number of your repair shop.
If you don’t have the same information on your site that you used to create your Google accounts, I’m afraid you’re local SEO efforts will have been futile.
Allow me to teach you how to give you a few steps to ensure this is correct.
Firstly, make sure the phone number listed in both places (Google business account and your website) is in fact your local number and not an 800 number.
Make sure the number is placed on your site as text and not on an image (Google will be able to read it easier).
To have this information easier to find by both visitors and search engines, add your basic information to the footer of your site, that way it will be on the bottom of every page.
Step 3: Meta Descriptions and tags
When it comes to optimization, meta descriptions and title tags are two of the most important steps you must take in order to improve rankings.
Before we begin, you might be scratching your head wondering what exactly a meta description is.
A meta description is 160 character snippet that summarizes the content on any given web page. Search engines show the meta description which makes it easier for people that search specific keywords to read a brief summary of your site without having to enter the site directly. Auto repair shops with concise, informational meta descriptions are visited more often than the ones that don’t have them.
Meta descriptions might not influence your SEO efforts directly, but as we mentioned earlier, they help users get a basic understanding of what the page they’re about to click-on contains before they click. This is of course, good in the long run as it improves your click rates and the more people visit your site, the more important search engines see you for the keywords you're pushing. Let’s not forget, Google wants to be as helpful and automated as possible, so if a user searches “auto repair shops in Long Island” and your site is frequently visited by various users, you will quickly rank higher.
Now, title tags.
The most important step towards creating an ideal title tag would be to include the following three items:
- Keyword you’re looking to position
Step 4: Be sure to Include all of your Shop’s Basic Information
Studies show that more than 50% of smartphone users who search for local businesses are searching for hours of operation. Not only does this mean smartphone users are quick to make decisions but it also means your repair shop needs to have its basic information placed front and center on every page.
Don’t have smartphone users go with your competitors just because they couldn’t find your phone number and address as quickly as they wanted.
Go ahead, browse through our website on your mobile device and you’ll find that our hours of operation and phone number will be front and center at all times.
Step 5: Yelp!, Google Reviews are your Friends
This next step isn’t SEO work directly nor will it improve rankings but it will only benefit you in the long run.
Including customer testimonials on your site as well as the integration of Yelp will improve your credibility and make a good first impression on customers looking for a trusting repair shop in their area. Be sure to include pictures of your techs in action and the occasional satisfied customer. This might not be an accolade but it will help create a sense of trust.
Taking it all in and Welcoming New Clients to your Shop
By following our tips and tricks, you will most likely see an increase in visitors to your shop. Most people might not be able to dedicate 30 straight days to this project but trying to keep it as close to the month as possible will allow you to see results quicker.
You will have a beautifully built website, increase in rankings, social media pages and hopefully at least a few dozen emails collected.
After you have this, work with a marketing team or even hire a marketing expert to take care of this very important part of the business. Consistency is the key with Google and SEO, therefore, keep pushing those auto repair shop articles, auto repair tips, importance of wheel balancing/tire changing pieces and you’ll have visitors regularly on your site.
The better built your website is, accurate your Google business profile is and active you are on social media, the more relevant you’ll be with people in your area looking for a trustworthy repair shop.