June 22, 2016 at 5:38 pm #6066
who does the best website for an auto repair shop ? The goal of course is to get the phone to ring as much as possible . ThanksJune 27, 2016 at 3:20 pm #14595
I think the question you should ask is, “Who gets the phone to ring the best?”It’s going to be a person/company with a mix of experience in:– Wed design– Conversion optimization– SEO– Paid Search Marketing.The web design itself relating to conversion optimization can almost be it’s own profession on it’s own, and is often under-valued. CO is a deep subject & has lots of moving parts. Are you looking to do SEO / Paid Search as part of your website package?June 27, 2016 at 4:32 pm #14596
When looking for a website developer the first mistake businesses make is not defining what a “good” website is. A “good looking” website does not mean it will be a good marketing tool.
The biggest, and most common, mistake is focusing on visual “look” and ignoring the content. It is the text and photos about you on your website that answer questions people have about your business… not fancy graphics or a logo. Some of the simplest, plainest websites, with great content, generate the most new customers.
Good websites focus on answering the concerns of new customers to help them gain the confidence to phone you. Without a doubt it is the website content that makes a website the best.
From my experience business owners choose website providers who offer “quick and easy” websites. They don’t want to contribute the content that tells the all important story that prospective customers desire to feel confident in deciding to become a customer. Cookie cutter website that don’t really say anything personal about the business simply don’t work from an advertising and sales perspective. Business owners can’t blame the website provider if they don’t provide the information to create a good website…
The second big mistake business owners make is viewing a website as a stand alone, do-it-all marketing tool. Websites must be seen as just a part of 3 key elements in overall marketing.
To make ANY type of marketing work you need:
A – Awareness (advertising)
B – Background (your ‘who, what, where’ story on your website)
C – Credibility (reviews – what customers say about you that supports your claims)
Advertising makes people aware of you. Your website is your business “resume”. It should be the final destination of any advertising. Your customer reviews & testimonials are your “references”.
Anyone who has done any automotive performance tuning knows that the end result depends on the “combination” of parts and not any one part in isolation… You need to view your website as just part of your marketing. A very important part that won’t work just on its own!
EVERY business needs a website that tells their story in a captivating way. It needs to make them stand out from their competitors and make people want to be a customer. No matter what type of advertising you do prospective new customers will find their way to your website. What they see there will help them decide whether or not to phone you.
Another mistake is not viewing website content and SEO as SEPARATE functions. SEO is just another form of advertising. It gets your business in front of people searching for what you sell. These people are often much more serious about finding what they need. This is one of the reasons Internet marketing can be so effective (but only IF they find what they are looking for on your website)!
But SEO may not work for your business (too few customers online in your local area, too large a market area, too many competitors, etc). Like any advertising you must find what works for your business and local market. Test. Test. Test. Don’t guess. Advertising, of any type, is too expensive to keep doing something that doesn’t work!
Bottom line is creating a website that serves your prospective new customers, drive them to it with advertising, whatever works in your case, and close the sale with a great online reputation. Work to perfect the combination that works for you.
Find a developer who is willing to work with you to get that 3 step marketing process sorted out. If you are looking for quick and easy don’t expect good results. Get involved, do your part. If you don’t your competitors will.June 28, 2016 at 2:28 pm #14598
Great info that is right on point!!!July 2, 2016 at 8:29 pm #14604
A quick note on technology:
We see a lot of websites built on WordPress. You can always check to see if a site is on WordPress by adding a /wp-admin to the end of the root URL (www.domainname.com/wp-admin).WordPress is a database driven website. If you don’t need a database for things like ecommerce, client login/user management, and other more advanced features, You don’t need a database driven website.November 14, 2017 at 9:37 pm #30599
The number one thing you can do for your local business to get the phone to ring is to get a good local listing / citation management provider or a company that will manage these for you. This will ensure you show up in all of the popular maps people have on their smartphone or whenever they’re doing a local search on their computer.
A website with no local listings, even with great on-page SEO, will most likely not generate many visits.
The other point that a lot of companies miss or don’t understand is conversion logic. Even if you are getting traffic to your website, you’ve got to turn that into phone calls or contact forms/appointments.
I’ve seen plenty of websites in my time as a designer that look beautiful, but don’t convert because the conversion logic is absent or not even thought of.
The other great thing about listing management and citations is that if you keep up with them, they’re always going to be working for you whether you have a website or not, and if you have a website (as long as your listings are linking to your web address) they will really make the on-page SEO efforts go a LOT further.
Very important to keep up to date over the years as phone numbers, addresses, or web addresses change, and vital to local SEO in 2018.
Along these same lines, you need to make sure your website is mobile friendly, or people will have a bad experience on their phones and go elsewhere. Additionally, Google gives priority to mobile friendly websites for any search coming from a mobile device so this is very important for both ranking and conversions.
Last, SSL is becoming more of a web standard and Google gives you bonus points for having it. It won’t be long before they start penalizing website owners who don’t have SSL.
For me, a local shop needs citations and listings, sound on-page SEO, a user friendly, modern, mobile friendly website with SSL if you truly want to put your best foot forward online. If you do all of these things and start getting some positive reviews in Google and Yelp, you’ll be well on your way to being a major competitor online if not dominating your market if you’re not in a very competitive area.
Edit: Regarding pay-per-click advertising, this can be a good solution if you need customers fast and are willing to pay for them.
With that being said, you really need a company to do this for you if you don’t know what you’re doing, and that carries additional cost and your time getting everything set up with them.
SEO is more of a long-term solution, however, if you can set a budget for pay-per-click advertising and pay a company to manage it for you and they do a good job, you can increase your advertising budget based on ROI.
For shops starting out, this can be good to give them a jump start by running an aggressive initial campaign with a one-time set budget with the idea being that after the one-time budget has been expended, you determine whether an ongoing campaign is something you want to do, and if so, how much you want to devote to it based on ROI.
The important point here is to make sure your budget is large enough to get a good sample size of data so that you aren’t making important decisions based on a very small number of visits.
As long as you have a good sample of data in a short period of time, you can quickly run through several adjustment cycles along the way, perhaps once a week having your management company have a brief call with you to review progress and get your answers to decisions based on results.
Hopefully, by the time your one-time aggressive budget has spent, you’ve got a lot of data at your disposal, you’ve dialed in your ads and landing pages at least 4 or 5 times over, and you’ll be able to make a much more informed decision as to how to craft more of a long term budget for PPC.
I manage websites and digital marketing for brick and mortar businesses 50 hours a week. If you have a question in this area I am happy to help.November 14, 2017 at 10:55 pm #30603
One other item I’ll add regarding pay per click is that you should also use remarketing, period.
Remarketing allows every visitor to your website (regardless of how they originally found your website) to see your ads on Google network sites like YouTube, Gmail, etc.
Also, remarketing cost per click will most likely be much lower than your average cost per click for text ads. This helps your brand stay in front of people and top of mind when they have a problem your shop can help them with. A simple organic visit to your website can enable you to display your ads for this person repeatedly over a period of time up to 540 days (you can set this to a lower number of days if you want).
Remarketing can be very helpful in building up your brand.
I manage websites and digital marketing for brick and mortar businesses 50 hours a week. If you have a question in this area I am happy to help.
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