The foundation of automotive repair shop marketing is the shop website. The website should be thought of as a store front in that it’s the source of potential customers’ first impression. Thus, it should be positive, friendly, inviting and helpful. Further, it should be easily found. The following components should be considered in formulation of an effective website:
- Mobile Compatibility – A website must be compatible with mobile devices. Today, more website visits are done on phones and tablets than desktop computers. Google accounts for the lion’s share of Internet searches and it will not list a website that’s not mobile compatible if a search is performed on a mobile device.
- Target Market Relatability – The website – particularly the home page – must make the visitor feel comfortable and welcome. The content and graphics should be relevant to their perspective. If your shop specializes in a certain type of vehicle then the website should be geared to the interests of that vehicle owner.
- Services Provided – The website should communicate the services provided. It’s beneficial to name services that potential customers may search for such as brake service or tires. If your shop provides services that other shops don’t always have – they should be listed such as alignments or tires.
- Vehicles Serviced – The types of vehicles should be listed but care should be taken here. A list or the logos of every vehicle make on the planet will only serve to dilute the message. Better to say ‘We work on all makes and models.’
- Reviews – People rely on reviews when choose a service provider. Listing reviews directly on the website can be effective. Providing a link to a review site on the Internet will also work. The importance of reviews in attracting new business cannot be overstated.
- Amenities – The extra things you provide can be the difference between earning business or not. Children’s play area, free wifi, transportation service and loaner cars can all make a difference to customers. Anything that will make the customer more comfortable when visiting your shop should be communicated.
- Blog – A blog can be very effective at attracting people to a website. However, it can be a detriment if not kept up. So, a blog should be included if there are time and resources to post valuable content to it. The content should be of value to both customers and prospects.
- Search Engine Optimization (SEO)– This can be as important as the website itself. The greatest website in the world will be ineffective if it’s never found. After building as website – SEO efforts should be part of ongoing marketing focus.