Have you ever wondered what prospects see when they search for your business online? Your auto repair local listings may be some of the first search results they find. If you’re not sure what local listings are, or just need a better idea of what to look for, then this article is for you.
Creating and claiming auto repair local listings can have a significant impact on your shop’s local SEO. In just one week, you can put your business on the map (literally and figuratively) by tackling the online directories that pack the most local SEO punch.
What are Local Listings?
Local listings are defined as any website, social media page, or online profile that lists your business name, address, and phone number (NAP). Your NAP plays an essential role in your local SEO strategy. It’s how Google and other search engines identify your business across different listings.
You may already have some local listings for your auto repair shop. Google My Business, Yelp, and Facebook are all local listings. Although each of these sites serves a specific purpose (directions, reviews, social media), they are considered local listings because they help consumers identify and contact local businesses.
How do Local Listings Help my Auto Repair Shop?
The more local listings you have, the more likely it is that someone will find your business when they do an online search. This is due to two reasons:
- Sheer Numbers. The more local listings you have, the higher your odds of showing up during a search.
- Search Engines Trust you More. The goal of all search engines is to recommend the most relevant and accurate information to consumers based on their search. For example, when someone searches “Auto Repair Houston, TX,” the search engine wants to ensure that there are no results for car washes in California.
A healthy number of local listings will give Google and other search engines the confidence to recommend your business during searches. Because they can find “Mike’s Auto Repair Shop” (with an identical name, address, and phone number) across 20 different listings, Google trusts that you are who you say you are. If you only have 1 listing (or 20 listings each with a different phone number), Google can’t confidently recommend your business because it doesn’t know what’s accurate and what’s not.
How to Take Charge of Your Local Listings
To fully take charge of your local listings, you will need to create and then claim (or verify) your information on each profile. This is done manually or through professional listing services.
Manual Listing Management
For each local listing, you will need to navigate to the website and create an account. In addition, you may need to verify the information on your profile. Each site is different, but postcards and phone calls are common methods of verification.
The manual route is perfect for single-location auto repair shops that want to take small steps into the world of local SEO. While it may take a little bit of time each week, it is free. As long as you start with the most visible local listings (Google and other search engines), you can manage this process on your own.
Professional Listing Services
Enlist the help of professional services like Whitespark or MozLocal. These services create, claim, update, and monitor your listings for you. If you ever need to change your information, you can often update it in one spot, and the service will push your NAP to hundreds of listings at one time. Of course, this comes at a cost. For auto repair shops with multiple locations and an extremely aggressive SEO strategy, this is a good option.
5 Types of Auto Repair Local Listings to Claim
1. Google My Business (and other Search Engine Listings)
That means it’s incredibly likely that when Jenny’s car breaks down, she’s going to open her Google Maps app, type “auto repair near me”, and call or visit that business within 24 hours.
Your auto repair shop needs to show up on Jenny’s phone with one of those little red pins. To do that, you need a Google My Business listing. Learn how to claim your Google My Business listing.
Also, Google likes to promote their own content. If Jenny were to open a web browser and type in “auto repair near me”, it’s very likely that her online search would pull up the same maps listings she got from the app. These results are at the top of the page, putting your business front and center with eager prospects.
We use Google as an example because they’re the mac daddy of online search. But Google isn’t the only player in the game. Create a business/maps listing on other search engines, like Yahoo and Bing, to make sure all your bases are covered.
2. Review Sites
Is your business on Yelp? Are you sure? Do a quick search on popular review sites to see if your business is already there. A customer may have already created a profile while leaving a review. If so, claim your profile so that you have access to add or change the information.
If your business isn’t already listed, you might as well go ahead and create a page. Better to do it now, than wait for an upset customer to create one while leaving a nasty review.
3. Social Media Sites
Your auto repair shop doesn’t need every type of social media profile. However, if you’ve already got a Facebook page or YouTube account, make sure that your name, address, and phone number are up-to-date. A consistent NAP strengthens your online presence and increases the likelihood that your account will be displayed as a search result.
- How to create an account on Facebook
- How to create an account on Twitter
- Create a LinkedIn Profile
- How to create an account on Instagram
- 105 Social Networks
4. Auto Repair Directories
Directories specifically for auto repair shops can give your business an extra boost of credibility. Plus, these directories are often designed to list industry-related information about your business — waiting room amenities, labor rates, or certifications held by your staff.
Consumers receive highly detailed information about your shop, empowering them to make smart decisions.
5. General Directories
Last, but certainly not least are the general directories. Once you’ve created and claimed your listings on search engines, social media profiles, review sites, and auto repair directories, then you can take a look at these profiles.
- Angie’s List
- Moz’s Citations by City
Improve Your Auto Repair Local Listings in One Week
To break this work into bite-sized chunks, spend about 20 minutes each day on one category. For example, today you’ll focus on creating and claiming your Google Maps and Search Engine listings. Tomorrow, focus on Review Sites. In just one week, you’ll have made an impressive improvement on your auto repair local listings.