We might as well be honest about it at the outset: There is a war going on out there. Where? In the auto service industry of course. And you face a lot of enemies. We call them your competition. They might be just down the street or on the other side of town. They might be a small shop, a chain or attached to a dealership. The business who "wins" is the one who has a continual flow of clients in the pipeline. You have mechanics you need to keep busy, you have overhead to pay. And at the end of the day, as the owner of your service shop you'd like a few bucks left in your own pocket. There is no middle ground here: you either win this game or you go home. And there are a TON of auto service businesses that fail. But you don't want to just survive - you want to thrive, to grow, and keep it profitable.
You are, of course, constantly striving (as all business owners are) to reach the top and be number 1. The trouble is, so are your competitors. As an ethical operator, you avoid shady dealings of course, but your focus must be on success. Your goal is to become "that guy" that people go to when they need their automobile or truck serviced.
Maybe you've tried running radio spots or TV commercials. And yes, you can get those ads out to the public. But ask yourself, of all the people who will see/hear that commercial, how many of them - as a percentage of the total - actually need your service right now? There may be some - or even quite a few. But most of them probably don't have a need right now for car servicing. Here's the key takeaway: "advertising" that does not reach people who need your services right now will bring you no ROI. That's wasted money…
But what if you knew of a way to reach people when they actually have a need for your services? How actually need to hook up with you right now? How much would that source of new business be worth to you? We're here to tell you - there is such a source of new business, and you need to put your focus there.
Yes, welcome to the Internet age. As I'm sure you're well aware, folks use the Internet to look for information on all kinds of subjects - and to buy all kinds of products and services. Have a leaky roof? You can begin researching "roofing contractors near me." Kids not feeling well? You can research "symptoms of the flu," or even "urgent care centers" if the need is there.
And when people's trucks or cars are not running well? Yea, you know - they will look on the web to see who is around to get the job done. And it is just because they are looking, that they are your true potential clients. And they will most likely do business with you, if you can get them on the phone or ideally, get them to stop by your shop.
So what's your secret weapon? SEO for auto service businesses. By now most everyone knows that "SEO" stands for Search Engine Optimization. You can think of SEO as a collection of standards and strategies that, when properly executed, will influence the search engines to promote your website upwards in their returned results. As your site rises higher and higher in the rankings, more and more people will see it due to the increased visibility it will have. Of course this will only work if your auto service website has a great appearance and everything is functional, and part of the SEO game is to make sure that your website meets or exceeds best-practices.
Remember that your competitors are no doubt thinking about how SEO tactics can help their site, and they may be already at work making necessary changes and improvements. You can't assume that SEO is some sort of a secret sauce as it is no secret at all. Everyone with a site is trying to get to the top of those listings, because those in the 1-3 positions will capture 15%-60% of all the clicks coming from that page.
And keep in mind that the web is not just used for those who have an immediate need for car repair - it will also be used for researching for a future need. Some folks own a vehicle that is prone to breaking down. Even though it may not be in need of repair right now, it might need to be in the near future. Over 80% of those eventually needing an auto repair service will use the web to research who is available in their area. This is a critical source of future clientele that you need to make a connection with, so that your staff can field questions and suggest options and in general demonstrate their expertise, make a favorable impression and build relationships.
Your competition also knows this - that search engines send over 80% of all web search traffic to websites. Keep in mind that they are as aware of you as you are of them. They don't want just more customers, they want all of them - they'd even lure yours away if they could. It's a brutal world, but that's business: your competitors won't be bothered if your business goes belly up.
We say that it's time that you fight back (ethically), defend your turf and capture all the gold.
Here's our first recommendation - and especially if the need is urgent. Don't go running into the street, wildly throwing cash in the direction of some self-styled SEO "guru" who offers you some miracle cure. There aren't any.
That's because all SEO, including SEO tactics for auto service businesses, takes time and the proper effort.
What you need to do is to make sure that you give your website a thorough inspection. Yea, your web guys may have it looking great, but it might get a failing grade from the SEO point-of-view.
Just like a doctor will schedule you for tests and diagnostic procedures before making a diagnosis, you need to let some professionals put your site under the microscope, so-to-speak. We call that a "site audit" and it is the best place to begin as it will help you understand where your site needs improvement. After all, why go through the effort to get lots of traffic to your site if that traffic does not "convert" well to prospects who call or visit, and ultimately select you to service their vehicle?
Only when your site is in tip-top shape is it time to consider how to increase its visibility.
So what do you need to do first? One way to get started is to just pick up the telephone and call us. Yes, we have our staff on call, not a third-party answering service.
If you can't talk right this minute, but would like to soon, you also have the option to book a consultation. These are on the house, and they won't be overly-long. Book a consultation right now for a day/time when you will be available. We'll get back to you via email and confirm the details.
There are a few really critical aspects that go into SEO auto service website strategies. Here are some of them:
Site Audits: As we mentioned before, the heart of your online empire is your website itself. A poorly optimized or poorly functioning website is not an asset - it is a liability. And search engines (think Google and Bing) can detect when a website is slow to load, or does not function well on a mobile device, or when it has intrusive advertising, or duplicate page content. And when they do, they will devalue your website, and your site gets pushed down in the rankings. A comprehensive site audit - performed by a real human (and not just using auto-generated "audit" reports from some automated software) will put your site under the microscope. We'll let you know what needs fixing, and even give you guidance on how to fix it!
Realistic Search Keyword Targets: At the heart of SEO is searching. And web user searching revolves around the terms (words and phrases) used in those searches. For example, the search "Toyota truck repair near me" will yield a different set of results than the search "Cadillac truck repair near me." Did you know that some types of searches are used by people who need to buy right now, rather than those who are just doing initial research? This is called user intent, and proper focus on user intent can get you customers who need their vehicle fixed today, and other types of searches will appeal to those who are thinking about getting their car or truck fixed next week, or next month. What keywords should you be targeting? That's what our SEO analysts will help you discover.
Webpage Content: Related to keywords is your website's content. Salesy BS and filler won't do it. And if competing servicers have great content on their site - perhaps a blog or FAQ or research guide - and you don't, your site is just not going to get ranked that highly, as compared to theirs. Car and truck owners want to know about financing options or what they can do if they have poor or bad credit. They are looking to see if you offer emergency roadside service and if so how far out you will travel. Your site "about us" section should also do more than give the names of your staff. You need to add content there to demonstrate their expertise (long years working for you, certifications and education, awards earned, etc.). And the most important thing to keep in mind about content is that is that search engines place a premium on those sites that not only have useful, in-depth content, but reward sites that provide fresh content, as opposed to auto repair sites who have not put out major content updates for many months, or even years. At Posirank, we can help you develop an effective content creation strategy, and get that content written, on a regular basis to keep your site fresh!
Site Navigation: You might be surprised to find out that many people may have difficulty getting around on your site. Poor layout, a lack of major category headings, confusing navigation panels, all of these things can cause site visitors to leave your site and quickly go elsewhere. This high bounce rate, as it is called, sends the wrong kind of signal to search engines. Conversely, easy-to-use and easy-to-find navigation will more deeply engage visitors to your auto repair site, and keep them on your site longer. And time spent on your site is time not being spent on your competitor's site. And the longer you engage visitors, the longer they stay, the greater the odds that they will react favorably and take the next step and reach out to you.
Referring Backlinks: You know the value of customer testimonials. You probably use them on your site. But when a good-quality site links back to your site, even just a link could be considered a "testimonial" of sorts. This is the value of backlinks - a good number of them (even just a handful, if they are from top-notch sites) can give your site a lift in searching results. When it comes to links, at Posirank we know what works - and what doesn't. We've seen all the scams and foolishness. We use real, manual outreach and develop great relationships with sites who actually want our content (because it is well-written) and don't mind including a link back to your site. A proper mix of sites in your backlink "portfolio" (a list of sites linking back to you) is a critical SEO tactic.
GMB Account and Your Website: Have you heard of the Google "Local Pack?" Do any local-focus search and usually Google will serve up business information, usually with a locator map showing where they are located. These "local packs" may have 2, 3, 4 or more sites near the searcher (using their phone or computer IP address to understand where they are searching from). These are separate from organic search results. The key is to get the information on your business in Google's hands. But for that you need to have a Google My Business account, and the information there must be complete and optimized and that information should be also integrated into your auto repair website. Why is this so effective? Because regardless of the search, whenever Google serves up a local pack, that listing pack always appears at or near the top of the first page of the SERP's.
Traffic Reporting and Analytics: Do you have a GSC (Google Search Console - formerly called Google Analytics (GA)) account? Perhaps, but is it properly set up to track what is most important? GSC is a powerful tool but to get the most benefit from its in-depth reporting features, it has to be properly setup and that is a job of a specialist. At Posirank we can help you get your GSC account established, and tweak the tracking so that you get the information that you need to make the best business decisions. You need to know who is visiting your site, where they are coming from, what pages/areas of your site they are visiting, what search keywords they are using to find you, how long they stay on your site, and where they go when they are done. Let us audit your traffic reporting and analytics and we'll tell you if you can improve it, and how to do so.
Integration With Marketing Platforms: Social media platforms have exploded in recent years. They are the online/digital equivalent of your neighborhood's "main street" - where people meet and talk things over. And just like a business needs an office or store on main street with a sign outside and big windows, your business website needs to have a presence on social media channels like Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and others. At Posirank we can work with your social media team and custom-craft a strategy to gain visibility and tracking across the most popular SM channels.
Ongoing Campaign Strategy Adjustments: One thing to keep in mind is that SEO for your site and other types of businesses is not a static thing: one round of implementation, no further changes or continuing campaigns, just relax and rake in the cash. Even if your campaigns are firing like clockwork, things can change suddenly. Search engine algorithm updates, your competitors up the ante, some unjustified bad publicity or negativity. Rest assured, Posirank is not about taking your cash and then ghosting you -- we've been in business since 2013 and once we start working with you, you will have constant access to our team of experts and staff consultants whenever you need us. And we stay abreast of the latest developments in the SEO world, so rest assured, you are in good hands when you work with us.