• September 28, 2011 at 9:04 pm #64085
    Gary Keyes AMAM
    Participant

    What did your Web Site cost for development? Is there a monthly charge to maintain it ?. How long did it take to get it up and running from the day you contracted for it ? Are you happy with the results, price, service ?

    1 user liked this post.
    October 19, 2011 at 7:42 pm #72389
    joecval
    Participant

    Gary Keyes wrote:

    > What did your Web Site cost for development? Is there a monthly charge to maintain it ?. How long did it take to get it up and running from the day you contracted for it ? Are you happy with the results, price, service ?

    Gary:

    Just had my website redone from my “home grown” version that did ok for me the last few years. I choose Robert Maxim http://robertmaxim.com Some firms want a hefty amount up front, Robert Maxim does it more like a maintained service billed monthly. Instead of sinking big bucks in right off the bat it allowed me to take on a few other marketing projects with the website. Service from Robert Maxim was great, SEO is outstanding, and conversions of viewers to customers has been better than expected. It took about 3 months to get it live. I am very pleased with my choice. Here’s a link to my website if you want to see it http://autosafetycenterwb.com

    October 19, 2011 at 8:02 pm #72390
    Gary Keyes AMAM
    Participant

    Thank you for your response, I have contracted with a company and been paying monthly charges since Feb 2011, 10 months, and still not a web site. I just wanted to know the average set up time and monthly cost that most shops pay. Hopefully it will be up and running by the end of Nov.

    October 28, 2011 at 5:02 pm #72401
    sanfordsauto
    Participant

    Hello Gary,

    I think that is ridiculous! You need to have something up even if

    it is just a landing page. 10 months of paying for what? It sound to

    me like there really milking you. There are many place’s that can

    build sites & Robert Maxum is good & fair priced. Unless you are only

    paying a small amount each month & they are waiting for there upfront

    money.

    I would ask for it back & look elsewhere.

    October 29, 2011 at 4:50 pm #72410
    billy
    Member

    I use a company that does websites within a couple of weeks, but that’s just the first step. Getting on to page 1 of Google is where the phone calls come from – I average 3 new customers a day now.

    To expand their auto shop base, this company has an unbelievable deal – no monthly payments until your shop is on the first page of Google (organic results not pay per click) – so they are that confident! They don’t advertise this deal, but I heard about it from the owner http://www.GeoBusinessInc.com

    Good luck

    November 8, 2011 at 10:21 pm #72427
    sanfordsauto
    Participant

    So how’s this working out?

    November 17, 2011 at 12:53 am #72443
    Gary Keyes AMAM
    Participant

    I am hoping to have the site up and running soon, I am working with a highly recomended company, but I was surprised at the time and also the amount of work on my part.

    Writing has never been my strong point, and for me to have to write text for my website is very hard. That is why I hired a professional,but 10 months now and still not up and running.

    November 25, 2011 at 7:09 pm #72453

    Gary,

    I’m here to tell you, you’re being victimized. Somebody that knows what they are doing can have a webpage up and loaded in minutes. An entire website in less than an hour with a template. Even if you don’t know what you’re doing, you can do it that fast with QuickBooks, or several other popular programs.

    And writing your own content? That’s just an excuse to string you along. You need to put the name of this con artist out in the open so he can’t take advantage of any other unsuspecting people.

    Lastly, I hope you were paying him with a credit card. If you were, back-charge him for failure to render services.

    November 28, 2011 at 12:10 pm #72476
    omarmartin
    Member

    I have been using repairshop websites (repairshopwebsites.com)for several years. VERY reasonable. They had my website up and running in a matter of hours.

    You can see our site at hansimportsanddomestic.com

    I feel that 10 motnhs is MUCH too ong of a time frame to get your site up and running.

    Their process is very simple, you answer a few questions and away you go. I would strongly recommned that you take a look at them

    Omar

    November 28, 2011 at 2:56 pm #72478
    Monica Anaya
    Participant

    Gary-

    As everyone else has already stated, that is an unacceptable time frame to have your website worked on and still not done! I also use Repair Shop Websites. Granted its a template so it will be up and running right away, BUT if someone is customizing yours from scratch it should still take no longer than a month. I hope you paid with a credit card. If you did, call and dispute all charges. Look into other companies as the one I listed above. Whats nice about their company is there is no contract and if you’re unsure about it you can still use it as a ‘temporary’ site. Hope that helps.

    December 9, 2011 at 12:30 am #72488
    Gary Keyes AMAM
    Participant

    I agree that the site should be up and running long ago, I chose this web site developer on the recommendation from others on this network.

    I can understand that I am responsible to provide input to develop the site , but I hired this firm because I do not have any idea how to put together a web site, I thought they could do it for me,But 11 months and nothing yet.

    And I do not hear anything from them unless I email to ask for a progress report. Jan 2012 is my deadline for cutting the $$ cord

    December 9, 2011 at 3:28 am #72489

    Gary,

    You’re too nice of a nice guy. A lot nicer than I’d be. The deadline is too late too keep The Grinch Who Stole Christmas from the Keyes family, away. :-(

    March 14, 2012 at 1:11 am #72625
    DougFentiman
    Member

    Complaints about project delays are very common in the website development industry. But this does not mean it is always the website developer’s fault. Similar to auto repair, the process of building a quality “marketing” website is very complex (and becoming more so every day) and most clients do not understand what is required to build a website. Not to point the finger at Gary, but in my experience the biggest contributor to website development delays is the website owner themselves. Boils down to them not making the effort to provide the materials and information only THEY can provide to the web developer. The speed of development and success of the end result is directly related to the input of the business owner. Yet the website developer is too often held responsible for things they have little, if any, control over.

    Like any disagreement between people, solutions come from discussion and cooperation. If you don’t trust the company or person you are working with then you should sort that out before anything else. By the time you hire someone you should know what is expected from each party and whether they will do what they say they will. This is what references and reputation are for. All too often I get clients who are in a big rush and don’t want to do even the slightest bit of research or planning. The auto repair industry in particular is guilty of shop owners “running” their business rather than being a business “manager” who plan, execute, and monitor business functions such as marketing. It is an all too common problem of small business owners who don’t recognize the importance of marketing to the growth, let alone survival, of their business. If you don’t have the time to contribute to your marketing (and a website is core to that process) you may not have a business to “run” in the near future.

    A good website is a joint effort of the website owner and the web developer. The website owner is responsible for providing the “raw materials” for website content. The developer is responsible for assembling that material into a website. The developer does not know anything about the nature of the business and must rely on the website owner to provide the information that prospective customers are looking for. Personally I do not expect the website owner to “write” the website’s content, but the website owner MUST provide the details about their business. The web developer can’t just make it up! (I have actually had people tell me to do this…!) I spend a great deal of effort in guiding and helping my clients to assemble the required information. Often it is just a check list of options that need to be selected (easy). Other info requires answering a series of questions that dig down to what makes your business tick – basically the info YOUR customers what to know. The information doesn’t need to be pretty (you don’t have to be a writer even know how to spell) but the “facts” about the business, in any form you provide them, are essential. Without this info the developer can’t do their part of the job! Recently I explained to one of my clients that it is similar to one of their customers asking them to do a tune up, but being unwilling to bring their car to the shop, and then blaming the shop for how poorly their car runs. A true no-win, exasperating situation.

    Sure there are web developers who will throw together a “boiler plate” website with little more than a quick phone call to gather your business name, address, and phone number, but the results are mediocre at best. And as the search engines, and your competitors, get more sophisticated these cookie cutter websites will get pushed further down the pile. Sure you can spend a bundle on additional SEO and Adwords to increase traffic, but the real difference is in the results these websites produce. The key word is “conversion” or how many people who visit your website become a paying customer. Website “hits” do not equate to profits! Most times you could save yourself a bunch of dollars by just creating a simple one page website and spending the difference on other, more effective marketing.

    I have been developing websites for many years, in a wide variety of industries, and the most difficult part of the job, bar none, is getting the client to provide the raw materials needed to build their website. So often they resist, blame the developer for delays, and some become impatient (some even abusive…) when they don’t quickly see something tangible (there is a LOT of work done before the website is viewable). In some cases I have just refunded all their money and written off all my time spent up to that point – the old story of “fire” your worst customers and cut your loses. With others who just need more “education” and support, I see this “issue” as just part of the development process. The smart ones eventually see the “light” and do what is required. Unfortunately they waste a lot of both their and the developer’s time. As you all know time is valuable and any business must charge for their time (services) or they don’t remain in business. It is the website owner’s decision on how they use the developer’s time they are paying for and they should not begrudge someone for charging for it.

    I suspect the larger issue is a frustration with how competitive the general business market place has become and they being spoiled in the past with what I call “lazy” marketing. Too many shop owners just want to write a check once a year and not have to do anything. Unfortunately marketing no longer works that way. Consumers are fed up with that type of marketing, distrust it, and ignore it. They now want transparency and something to base their trust on. And they are seeking that from the Internet. Business owners must make more of an effort to become more transparent and use their “public reputation” to build consumer trust. And a website is the perfect tool to do that. But it won’t work without the “personalized” information only they can provide. The search engines are also very attuned to what consumers want and are getting very particular about who (which websites) will be rewarded. Quick setup, “boiler plate” websites that don’t provide what consumers, and search engines, want are not good value in the long run.

    Thanks to Joe (Auto Safety Center in West Bend) for mentioning me. I remember he too had some doubts while WE were developing his website, but he listened to my coaching and pushing for doing it right, and he was very happy in the end. The results speak for themselves.

    Doug

    March 14, 2012 at 10:39 am #72627

    i am my worst enemy.I hold up my sites. My web guy is pretty good.But

    it is constant work on the shop owner side that will ultimately get you

    into the top on many search terms.

    March 14, 2012 at 11:30 pm #72636
    DougFentiman
    Member

    Ollie said:

    it is constant work on the shop owner side that will ultimately get you into the top on many search terms.

    Website marketing doesn’t have to place huge demands on the owner’s time, but I’ll agree it is something that requires regular effort. I also feel it is a top priority for any business manager and only second to monitoring finances. In my experience small business owners need to place more of a priority on marketing in general.

    Shop owners don’t need to become web developers but they need to guide the developer as to what their goal is (have any of you sat down and done a yearly marketing plan with a budget…). The developer should then advise what is the best way to build that into their website in light of the budget available. But keep in mind that web “developers” are not “marketing” experts (personally I have more understanding of marketing than most developers due to experience, having been a shop owner, and education in marketing). Developers are website builders and it is not fair to hold they responsible for marketing outcomes. The business owner needs to be the business manager and decide what marketing they need.

    The other big change to website marketing is how search engines are affecting SEO and search engine ranking (results). And these changes are requiring more effort directly from the business owner. Unfortunately, or fortunately depending on your viewpoint, many of them are things you can’t pay someone else to do for you.

    Google (and pals) have made great efforts to help the little guy (believe it or not). In the past anyone with enough cash to throw at SEO could dominate any online market. Big companies, spammers, scams, etc. with deep pockets crushed the little guy no matter how good their product was. Search engines saw this as a weakness in their system and have changed to use a more fair combination of website quality and your public reputation. Their reasoning is that websites can be easily manipulated by their owners, but it is almost impossible for a company to control the actions of Internet as a whole, and so the “Internet” is viewed as more trustworthy (hence Google’s increasing focus on reviews and social media).

    If the overall Internet population prefers your website the search engines see it as having greater public approval and so it will naturally rise to the top of the organic search results (also works the same in Adwords). So in response website SEO has shifted emphasis from what you do on your website (on-site SEO) to what is done on the Internet (off-site SEO). The balance is now estimated to be 15% on-site and 85% off-site SEO. This is why you may have noticed big changes in how websites are positioned in the search results, and especially for local search dependent website like auto shop sites.

    This is a very simplified explanation, but points out that shop owners now play a much bigger role in how effective their website marketing is. They need to become aware of their off-site online reputation, manage that reputation, and, most importantly, build that reputation.

    How can you do it?

    1- marketing plan – what have you got to spend, where to spend it, actions time lines, and measuring results. Have a purpose, a goal, a way to measure it, and react to the results.

    2- create a website that “truly” represents who you are – not who you want to be… honesty counts! The online community will crush you if you are not honest and transparent. If you, or others, don’t like the way you do business then change or you will wither and die!

    3- build your online reputation so it supports your website claims. This is called building your “trust factor”. Only the shop owner has the direct contact with customers necessary to encourage their feedback. You are in the “service” business. Interact with your customers. Don’t be afraid of public opinion. If it is not good they will tell you what they don’t like – so change it. Get it right and it is a marketing supercharger.

    But in the end it is the shop owner that needs to take charge and make the effort.

    March 19, 2012 at 8:01 pm #72645
    AutoVitals
    Member

    I would like to chime in and try to make it simple and actionable,

    In our experience, a web presence needs three main ingredients to be

    successful, described by the process a searching motorist would go

    through:

    1. High ranking of Website AND Google places listing

    2. Good reputation of the business, expressed by Reviews on Google

    search and on the website and more and more importantly by number of

    +1 clicks, since it is shown on Google search and influences the

    Google algo

    3. A website design, which accomplishes a high engagement and lets the

    motorist take one of the three main call to actions:

    a. call the shop

    b. request an appointment or estimate

    c. leave an email address to be contacted with specials

    That is it. Here is an example, accomplishing all three

    http://www.google.com/search?q=auto+repair+campbell+ca

    Check out Autotrend Diagnostics,

    1. number one with website and google listing

    2. two rows of 5 star reviews, one is google, one is the reviews we

    collected from their customers

    3. a website inviting the user to check the shop out.

    One more thing: The reviews can be leveraged for search as well, so

    the shop appears more than once. Check this out to see that a motorist

    can’t escape Schneiders Auto Repair for the keywords used

    http://www.google.com/search?q=saturn+repair+simi+valley+ca

    How much is it going to cost?

    That depends on your expectations, it should be aligned with the

    business success you are achieving through the website.

    $5 revenue through the web for $1 spent on your web presence?

    More or less than that? Let me know what you think

    is reasonable.

    March 19, 2012 at 8:09 pm #72646
    John Bamford
    Participant

    Full disclosure here. I work for Automated Marketing Group a marketing company associated with Auto Profit Masters. Outside time is 8 weeks but usually 6 weeks is our typical target and we hope for 4 weeks and are working on that. Not saying it hasn’t happened that it’s gone beyond that but it really upsets us when that happens. There can be short term delays as discussed in another post but those are specific to getting pictures or information from the client usually and sometimes (we’re not perfect) we have a production backlog which affects timing sometimes but that long is a very long time, Gary.

    As far as web marketing goes high (1st page) organic listings are key though you can use Google Ad Words for specific purposes including targeting surrounding communities beyond your main market or promoting specific services but it is not usually your first priority. We provide services to clients after creating their website to achieve high organic rankings which include a long list of services including social media management.

    March 19, 2012 at 10:26 pm #72648

    John,

    While what you say is true, we find we get a lot of bang for our buck by using Google AdWords to gain the #1 absolute top listing in our category.

    Our definition of a conversion is a phone call, so we’re able to track the ROI on PPC by the use of call tracking. While PPC may not be for everybody, I believe if anybody was to track it like we do, you’d soon discover the amount of new customers you get is directly proportional to you Google & YouTube PPC bill.

    We quickly learned the more money we pumped into Google, the higher our lead count, and the subsequent sales, that go with them.

    The cost per phone lead is less than half of the conventional Yellow Pages, whether in print, or online.

    Larry

    March 19, 2012 at 10:50 pm #72649
    AutoVitals
    Member

    Larry,

    have you compared PPC conversation costs with local/organic conversion

    costs?

    Our research shows that PPC (AdwordsExpress and Adwords) is about 5x

    better than Yellow Pages (20% of the cost for the same amount of new

    customers).

    Organic/Local on the other end is about 4x better than PPC (25% of the

    cost of PPC) for the same amount of new customers. PPC visits tend to

    bounce on the website at a rate of 80% or higher.

    This has been measured for all makes all models general auto repair

    shops in towns with >20,000 drivers (population > 65,000)

    Thanks in advance.

    March 21, 2012 at 1:03 pm #72650

    Yes, we’ve compared it and nothing comes close to AdWords for generating phone calls with interested callers wanting to set a diagnostic appointment.

    There’s too many variables for that to be taken as a blanket statement. We are not a General Repair shop. We are a transmission shop that does complete transmission and drivetrain repairs.

    Second, anybody not using dynamic call tracking will never be able to accurately track the difference.

    Third, I can’t control who calls us in Organic and I can in PPC.

    There’s a lot of other reasons, but the biggest reason is probably that we’re a transmission shop and most of our customers are not repeat customers due to the nature of transmission repair, in of itself. The best we can hope for is a referral and we have a lot of those. 85% of our conversions are first time callers and/or first time visitors.

    The sales funnel goes like this:>> -click on the ad–> Visit our website -call for an appointment–> We set the appointment – Diagnose the vehicle–> Write the estimate – sell the job–>

    Pretty straight forward. We never did more than $386K/yr. before we discovered AdWords PPC. That was in 2009. Like most, we thought it was too expensive.

    Now we’re at $1.5M/yr. for a $40K/yr. investment. All out of rinky-dink 4-bay shop. I’ve made posts about this before. It’s old news by now.

    If you don’t accurately track your conversions, there’s no way to tell and you’ll never ever spend the money. That’s what everybody else is doing by measuring the wrong metrics. Traffic and clicks are irrelevant; you use phone calls as your metric. Google call tracking. Ga-lottsa companies to pick from.

    Sadly, nobody will do it; or they want to debate about it.

    Count Calls, Not Clicks,

    J. Larry Bloodworth

    April 27, 2021 at 12:22 pm #118334
    NION MARVIN
    Participant

    On the one hand, a good post, and on the other like “advertise a good company, inexpensive, which would make the site quickly”) If you want to start your own business, then you need to come here.

    I don’t know if it will sound like an advertisement, but otherwise it won’t work, I worked with web xloo Describe in detail: 1. Arranged the price and date. 2. Worked quickly without unnecessary problems and questions. 3. Of course, there were some points mainly related to who and how sees the end result. 4. So first there was a basic amount then a monthly fee (I chose an additional promotion service). So generally satisfied.

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