A while ago, I spoke with a successful shop owner who was well informed. He told me that he's spent thousands of dollars on building, editing and creating websites but never had any success in getting what he wanted—more new customers.
Furthermore, he commented that when he had questions, the lingo they talk left him more confused than educated.
That made me think that there must be a lot of other auto repair shop owners who are deterred from creating a website or have one already and find themselves in the exact same position, only because they don't understand the reality of online marketing.
In today's economy, that is a serious matter. Why?
Not only is does your website let you leverage incredible opportunities to get more new customers, but it should be the foundation of your marketing.
Look at the simple statistics.
Most new customers and prospects prefer to visit your website before calling, visiting, booking an appointment or even requesting a quote. If you don't have a website, there isn't a light at the end of the tunnel. If you do have a website and it's not pulling new customers, then you're wasting your money.
Google claims that of the 30 billion annual searches (that's billion with a “B”), 12 Billion—or about 40 percent—are for local business.
Google further reports that the trend in automotive related searches is changing. Searches for “repair” and “maintenance” are outpacing searches for vehicles. Google further claims this is confirmation that computer users regularly go online to find local repair shops.
In addition to the increase in auto service related searches, Google reports that auto repair searches from smartphones is up 74 percent and continues to trend upwards.
Seventy-nine percent of smartphone users and 81 percent of tablet owners use their devices for local search.
And if all that hasn't convinced you to take a real serious look at your online presence, then this one should make you stop what you're doing, grab your phone and check your website right now!
When company websites are not mobile friendly, 46 percent of users will not return and just click away to a competitor's website.
Being mobile friendly is NOT about having a website that just displays on a phone—any website will display in the browser.
To be effective, your site has to display properly. Yes, users can “pinch and squeeze” to zoom in and out, but the simple fact is they don't. They just leave.
A simple rule of thumb that I follow is that the smaller the screen, the more important particular information becomes.
If you're still not convinced that your repair shop must have a website—and that the site must be mobile friendly—consider this one last statistic. A recent Televox survey reveals that when users seek and search local information, 70 percent of them connect with the business.
Next time I'll share what searchers are really looking for when it comes to finding a repair shop online. You'll probably be surprised.
Matthew Lee, is an automotive service marketing specialist and author of the book, “The Official Guide to Auto Service Marketing,” which offers “no-cost” and “low-cost” marketing strategies for auto service businesses. For a free copy of the book, visit www.JustTheBestMarketing.com.