For small to midsize businesses, search engine optimization (SEO) can help your website appear at the top of internet searches and beat out larger competitors. Improving your SEO will attract more traffic to your web presence and increase the likelihood of someone booking a service with your shop.
While a lot goes into optimizing your repair shop website for search engines, here are a few key components that can impact and improve your SEO.
The first step to improving your SEO is to create original content. For most auto shops, this will likely consist of blog posts that draw from your expertise. This could include how-to guides on maintaining one's car and various tips and tricks of the trade.
By creating a library of useful information, your website will gain authority and will be more likely to show up in the web searches of potential customers.
Consistency is Key
When posting articles on your website, you'll want to ensure that you're doing so consistently. In addition to posting new content regularly, regularly update existing content to keep it up-to-date.
Search engines tend to reward content that is fresh, so establishing a schedule to create new content or update existing content can help boost your rankings.
Many newer websites struggle to rank highly in searches because they try to target extremely competitive keywords. Instead, it's better to target more specific long-tail keywords. While these may not have as high of a search volume, they'll come with a greater chance of your website appearing in relevant searches.
For example, the keyword "auto body shop" has a monthly search volume of 100,000 and a keyword difficulty rating of 80. Alternatively, the keyword "auto body shop Orlando" has a monthly search volume of 500 and a difficulty rating of 14. While there's not as much traffic for the Orlando-specific term, qualified, local customers are more likely to click because of the specificity of the query.
With the prevalence of smartphones, many people who come across your website will be doing so from a mobile device. In fact, some studies estimate that over half of web traffic comes from mobile devices, though this ratio likely varies by the type of site.
Still, it's important to make sure that your website is mobile-friendly – that is, it should be legible and functional to those who access it from a tablet or phone. Google weighs mobile-friendliness heavily in its overall rankings.
To figure out how to make your website more mobile-friendly, use Google's free tool.
Including helpful, relevant images in your articles and blog posts is an easy way to help users understand and process your content. From an SEO perspective, however, it's absolutely crucial that you optimize those images so they help your ranking instead of hurting it.
To optimize your images, start by compressing them to reduce their size and help your page load faster. You should also utilize relevant keywords in your image titles and descriptions, as it's a crucial part of website accessibility and will help Google understand your content. Finally, it's always preferable to use original images as opposed to stock images.
Google takes all of these factors into consideration when ranking content.
Use Internal Linking
When citing a statistic or study, it's important to link out to the source. You'll also want to link to other pages within your own website, including landing pages and other blog posts. By linking from one page to another, you share authority between your pages and increase the likelihood of them ranking more highly.
When creating internal links, ensure that the anchor text (the blue hyperlinked text) is relevant to your needs. For example, when linking to a blog post titled "5 Reasons Your Auto Shop Needs a Loyalty Program," you might use the following anchor text: Why Your Auto Shop Needs a Loyalty Program.
Why It Matters
When implemented properly, SEO strategies put your auto shop on the map. Ideally, your website is among the first to appear when a person runs a web search for an auto shop, oil change, or car repair.
Studies consistently show that websites that fall out of the top five search results have less than a 10% likelihood of being clicked on. Failure to land on the first page of results (within the top ten) means your website is practically invisible.
Because of this, SEO should be an essential part of your marketing strategy. Not showing up in Google searches is akin to having no signs outside your shop. If people can't find you, then they won't know you exist.
Automation Can Help
While larger businesses can devote entire teams to refining their SEO efforts, auto shops must figure out a way to balance SEO with their day-to-day responsibilities in the shop. In many cases, it's best to use software to automate both SEO and marketing processes.
With BayIQ, a software suite built specifically for auto shops, shop owners can create loyalty programs, administer email marketing campaigns, and provide clients with tools to schedule appointments online.
In terms of SEO, BayIQ can help jumpstart the process of creating a Google My Business page and generating client reviews. Studies show that ample positive reviews for businesses contribute to better performance in searches, making it essential for shops to have a process for obtaining feedback.
The first step to generating businesses is to raise awareness of your services. By creating a diverse marketing strategy, both in terms of SEO practices and outreach, you can ensure that your auto shop has continued business. Get in touch today to see how BayIQ can help.