- July 14, 2015 at 1:26 pm#64645
Here are some handy tools to check out your website performance.
Keep in mind that these tools point out many “flaws” that are not realistic or worth doing for a small Web site. But they do point out major problems and help you find the easy (and less costly) fixes.
Simple “acid” test to see if your site meets Google’s standard. With Google’s recent change in how they use a Web site’s mobile “friendliness” as a search ranking factor mobile performance is very important.
NOTE: this test is HIGHLY critical and takes website “tuning” to the extreme… it is VERY biased since Google would like every website to perform like a Ferrari. Understand that “speed” costs… and just like an automobile, the faster you want to go, the more it costs… websites are the same. There are MANY things that can be done to improve speed, but each level of speed increase costs exponentially more $$$.
Also very critical. But provides lots of detail on what can be done to improve. Mobile test is a bit flaky and not always accurate.
View your site on different mobile device sizes and formats.
Not a true, perfect rendering, but gives a good idea how your website looks on popular mobile platforms… there are now +700 different mobile systems and sizes.
Hope this helps,
DougJuly 15, 2015 at 8:12 am#74081Tom HamParticipant
This is very cool – thanks!
Tom - Shop Owner since 1978December 27, 2015 at 5:41 pm#74241August 1, 2017 at 12:55 pm#74800
WhatsMySERP.com can provide a great deal of insight into how your business is presented in search results. Also allows you to compare your business to competitors.
Here are some additional keyword phrases to check where your business is positioned in search results. Enter these into WhatsMySERP.com tool to see how/where your business is listed.
I see too many shop owners who only check “auto repair shop” in their city. That is a very limited view of how their business is listed and found through search engines. There are a huge variety of questions and search terms people can use to find your business. And if the information is not on your website search engines will not display your listing.
Remember that search engines have become very sophisticated in how they “understand” search questions. They go far beyond keyword exact match. Just because you have exact match for the search term it doesn’t mean your listing will be shown.
Search results position is very complex and involves MANY factors to get onto first page results. The focus of modern search engines is knowledge. Keywords have become so abused they play a very small part in how your business is listed. The days of just having a “brake repair” page with a list of keywords and your phone number are long gone… Much more work is required to get good listing positions for specific services and products. Especially if you have online competition from other shops in your area.
GENERAL AUTO SERVICE KEYWORDS:
- include your city and two letter state code to get accurate local search results (e.g. ‘auto repair shops lansing mi’ or ‘auto repair shops [city] [state code]’ ).
- watch that your keywords don’t overlap with other industries. Air conditioning service is prime example. Search engines have difficult time understanding if person wants AC service for their car, or house… need to include additional keywords to provide more accurate results that your customers are looking for.
auto air conditioning recharge
auto air conditioning repair
auto air conditioning service
auto repair shops
best auto repair shop
brake repair cost
brake repair shops
brake replacement cost
car air conditioning recharge
car air conditioning repair
car air conditioning service
check engine light repair
cooling system leak repair
fuel pump replacement cost
timing belt replacement price
wheel alignment cost
wheel alignment service
wheel alignment shops
Dodge ram cummins oil change
Ford powerstroke headgasket replacement
Honda timing belt replacement
- location pages are used to give search engines a strong signal of where you are located. This is very important for businesses like auto repair shops who have a limited customer catchment area (usually 10 miles).
- generally you should be listed for ‘auto repair shop’ (without using ‘city’ ‘state’ modifiers) on any computer located in your town. Check your shop to be sure (see ‘Tip’ below about being logged out of your Google account when searching). If you aren’t listed for this basic keyword phrase your website has serious problems.
- In large sprawling cities, if you are located a long distance from the center of the city you will have more difficulty getting into the select two or three listings in Google Map listings. Location pages can help.
- if you are in large city you may get better listings if you use the name of your neighborhood rather than the city name. In many large cities shops can have 10’s if not 100’s of competitors. There are only 10 listings on page one… it can be a struggle to even get onto page one let alone into the sweet spots at top or bottom of page one listings. You should use a separate “location” page for your neighborhood.
- if you are in a small town surrounded by many other small towns (e.g. New York Long Island area) you may have to create “location” pages for each town you want to be listed for and attract customers from.
- You will only be listed in Google Map (local) search box for the city you are located in. Just the way Google works. Sometimes Google gets confused and location pages are the only way to increase “signal” of where you are located. Location pages are the only way to get organic listing for towns outside your city.
- Search engines use the searcher’s Internet service provider’s location (IP address) so they can provide local listings. With many small towns their Internet service provider may be located in next town or long distance away. If your website content is not optimized for your town the search results people see may be inaccurate. I have seen cases where business have very difficult time getting their business to rise above competitors in towns closer to Internet service provider for local area.
- searches on mobile device will see very different results than desktop computers. That is because cell service towers are usually very close to any town/city.
- if you are looking at your search results in Google make sure you are logged out of your Google account. Google will use info from your personal account to change search results (especially local or map listing results). This will be different than what your customers may see.
- You want to be listed in the top three or bottom three positions of page one. Dead zone is in the middle. Page two and beyond you are wasting your time and money… Most websites are nothing more than an expensive online brochure if they aren’t listed in the zone where potential customers are looking.
- The longer and more descriptive the search phrase used, the closer the person is to buying. Generally longer search phrases are better.
- Search terms to avoid when selling service: part pricing, “how to” instructions. They are probably DIY searching for information and not the customers you want.
- Use keywords (questions) an average vehicle owner would use, not technical terms those in the auto industry would use. Remember your average customer is not an auto repair technician. Take your technician hat off and put on your ‘customer’ hat. Think like a customer looking for your services. For example vehicle owners will use “tune up” when they have a rough running or performance problem. Tune up is a very entrenched phrase in consumer minds. Very few vehicle owners know or use the term ‘diagnosis’…
- website content needs to be long enough that search engines can understand what the topic is about. They analyze the page and decide what the main topic is, give it a quality rating, and then use that to match the page to questions about that topic. In some cases you will need 1,500 or more words on a page. Quality counts very highly. Photos and video can help raise your page position if in a competitive city and for competitive service like oil change or brake repair.
- every website should have Google Analytics and Webmaster Tools installed. They allow you to see which keywords people are using to find your listings, your listing position, and which pages could benefit from improvement and optimization.
Hope this helps,
DougMay 15, 2018 at 2:41 pm#75093Larry BloodworthParticipant
To reinforce what Doug said, read this article from DoubleClick…
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