Why is My Auto Repair Marketing Not Working?
You need to change your MINDSET about marketing. We understand the importance of ROI, and everything we do is to bring you that return, and lots of it. However, you need to keep in mind how people (yourself included) shop these days. If the only time your customer hears from you, receives an email/text, or direct mail, is when you’re trying to sell them something… you’ve already lost. And, no offense, but (pssstt….people think you’re annoying). People buy from people they trust. So, how do you build trust with your auto repair customer? Let’s jump right into it.
Consider the Buyer’s Journey. There are essentially 3 phases any customer will go through before they decide to part with their hard earned money.
The Buyer’s Journey
- Awareness – The buyer realizes they have a problem. This could be as simple as their check engine light came on or they have a dent in their rear bumper, or something more elusive, like a strange noise they haven’t heard before. Logically, their next step will quite likely be to go online, and search for information about their problem. Which brings us to the next stage in the buyer’s journey.
- Consideration – The buyer identifies a problem, and research their options to solve it. If it’s something as straight-forward as their check engine light is on, they may search for something like “auto repair shop near me.” Now in this case, of course it would be great for your shop to be found above your competition. Local SEO (Search Engine Optimization) or Paid Ads like Google AdWords could be helpful here. Now, just because your website shows up, doesn’t mean you’ve necessarily won that customer… but more on your website later. If your customer’s problem is more indirect, they may search for something like “weird rattling noise under car.” Now, here’s where you have a killer opportunity. Imagine you had a content marketing strategy where you took 10 of your most common services and blogged about them. Before I lose you, thinking you’re too busy for that… Just trust me here, it doesn’t take that long, or you can outsource it but it’s worth the investment either way. Now back to your customer…. He/She is aware of the problem, searches online and sees your article explaining the EXACT sound they hear. In your article, you come across as knowledgeable, friendly, and you describe what they should do next to solve their issue. You help ease their mind by identifying with them, and therefore you naturally build trust. This is important for the 3rd and final stage of the buyer’s journey.
- Decision- The customer has done their research and is now considering their options. In this case, which shop to spend their money with. Now, there are still plenty of factors that come into play here, but I hope you can see why building up trust through value-added content, and nurturing potential customers without just blindly delivering spammy coupons is so crucial. Content like that, written with some personality, and providing answers to specific questions always does well on Google. Think about it, Google’s entire business model is based on being able to deliver the most relevant answer to a search. Therefore, if you can take that little extra step of getting this content out there properly, you’re going to win online, and ultimately, in your business. To learn more about the buyer’s journey, take a look at this article from Hubspot, the leader in Inbound Marketing Strategy.
So let’s go back to your website as I mentioned above. We’ve attracted a potential customer through effective content marketing and we’ve started to build trust. How do we convert them into customers, and delight them enough to give us repeat business AND tell their community about us?
There are a lot of factors, but we will covert the 7 things every successful auto repair website must have.
7 Things Every Successful Auto Repair Website Must Have
- Fast Loading – According to Duda, 40% of website users will abandon the page if it takes more than 3 seconds to load. Ideally, it should be under 1.5 seconds. Check out Duda’s article on 10 Incredible Stats About Pagespeed if you’re curious.
- Mobile Friendly – I don’t think you need convincing on this but just in case… MAKE IT MOBILE FRIENDLY! Phew, glad I got that off my chest.
- Make a Promise – The first thing visitors want to know when they land on your auto repair website is what you’re going to do for them. Be sure that this information is easily available (above the fold) and that it’s compelling. You don’t just want to list your company’s mission; you want to explain why your company can fulfill that mission better than everyone else and how your customer will benefit from choosing you.
- Present Your Core Services – What exactly does your auto shop do (or not do) ? Obviously, your entire site is dedicated to showing off your core services and each one will probably have its own page. However, it’s important to identify this right away so your customer knows what you can do for them. Do you do body work? Specialize in German vehicles? Make it easy for your visitors to tell.
- Build a Sales Funnel – Your automotive website isn’t just for 3rd phase (bottom-funnel) prospects that are ready to pay for your services; it’s also for prospects in the awareness and consideration stages we talked about earlier. An easy way to start building a lead list is to offer free content to answer questions your prospects have while they’re still discovering that they may have a need for your product or service. Like we talked about earlier, offering useful content (non-salesy) is an excellent approach here. Perhaps offer a pdf download discussing “Top 10 Car Care Tips Before Going on a Roadtrip” or “Best SUV Tires for the Winter.” Again, make a list of the top services you offer, and the top FAQ’s you hear from your customers, and those will be the topics we want to publish.
- Establish Your Credibility & Gain Trust – Placing customer testimonials, reviews, and any accolades you have earned on your homepage is a great way to establish trust and social proof. Visitors want reassurance that you can actually follow through on your promises, and these elements provide that. We recommend showing off verified reviews from trusted 3rd party review sites along with awards and accreditations from reputable organizations in your industry and community, and investing in your website’s authority with up to date SSL certificates and website security.
- Drive Your Visitors to Take Action – Generally your call to action (or CTA) is perhaps the most critical element of your website. This is what prompts visitors to do something, such as download a free report, schedule a service, call you directly or request more information. Whatever your CTA is, it’s important to make sure it is both useful and relevant. Pro-Tip: Avoid the “Click Here’s” and other generic CTA language. If it’s to download a PDF, say that. If it’s driving directions to your shop, put that.
Like I said, there are tons of factors that come into play to win online, but if you follow these steps, I promise you will stand out from your competition in more ways than you think. At ShopHawk, we offer creative growth solutions for businesses in the Automotive industry. If you need help achieving lasting success with your digital marketing, please feel free to contact us today and book a free strategy call. We’d love to hear about your goals, and see if we’re a good fit to help you reach those. Because we only work with shops we know we can drive massive success to, our availability is limited. Please visit the link above or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Now go publish some content!