Do you feel like you’ve done all you can for your online marketing strategy, but because you haven’t implemented Search Engine Optimization (SEO) for your Auto Repair Shop it’s simply not enough? What if we told you that although people are constantly trying to appease the almighty Google, SEO may not even be necessary. Well, at least not in the popular sense of performing SEO.
SEO is not a one-size-fits-all. Like biker shorts that have made a comeback, you can try to pull it off like the supermodel you saw wearing them, but it just might not work for you. In the same way, the SEO for your auto repair shop can’t mimic what big brands are doing because you simply can’t compete.
Yes, SEO is important for your Auto Repair Shop and you do want to be seen online. We’re just going to tell you where your focus needs to be so you don’t waste time with what may not work.
What is SEO and Why Do I Care?
SEO is what’s used to get your auto shop displayed at the top of search results. SEO is not just for Google (although with 92% of worldwide searches it’s the largest) but for all search engines like Bing, Yahoo, and DuckDuckGo. When SEO is done correctly it increases the visibility of your auto shop which can result in more customers coming through your door.
This writing is not a “How to” for SEO in the traditional sense because we believe it’s no small feat for an amateur and is better left to the experts. To see significant results in SEO, it requires skills in things like Keywords, Header Tags, Content Writing, and a long list of other elements. It also requires knowledge that needs to evolve with the ever-changing Google algorithm. Unless SEO is your livelihood (or you’re considering a career change) you do not have the time to commit, and the good news is, you don’t have to.
You’re not off the hook though because there is work that needs to be done, you just need to focus on different tactics.
What kind of SEO for Auto Repair Shops Should I Be Doing?
Don’t give in to the pressure of “well, everyone else is doing it” when it comes to SEO for your auto shop website. If your business is local, your strategy needs to be a little different.
Did you know that there are different types of SEO? There’s Standard SEO which are the things that you do to your website to make it rank better in search engines, and then there’s Local SEO which are things done outside of your website but can still help your website rank higher in searches and on Google Maps.
As a local auto shop, you may be competing with national brands, but you’re not trying to reach a national audience. Because of this, your focus needs to be on Local SEO tactics because 46% of all Google searches are looking for local information. Auto repair shops usually do business with people who live and work within a 5-mile radius of their shop. Local SEO will make sure that your garage shows up on map listings when people do a search for something like “auto repair shops near me.”
Local SEO gives your auto shop a strong online presence and here are some actions that you need to take:
Optimize your Google My Business Listing
If you want your auto shop found online, you’ll want to start with a Google My Business listing. Your Google my business listing and all local listings have a significant impact on your Local SEO, so you want to make sure they are created and claimed. Here’s an example for a local auto repair shop:
This is such an important step that we’ve written a few blogs on it. One blog especially useful for showing you how to optimize your GMB listing and others is, “Improve Your Auto Repair Local Listings In One Week”.
Citations are any reference to your auto shop that includes at least your name, address, and phone number. Most of them will also include your web address, listing the link to your website.
There are 2 types of citations:
- Generic Citations
- Niche Citations
Generic citations are from web directories like Yelp, Yellow pages, Chamber of Commerce, and Better Business Bureau and list several types of business.
Niche citations are directories specific to your industry, and in this case, the automotive industry. These particular directories list information industry-related to your business, like labor rates, mechanic certifications, and waiting room amenities. Some you want to look into are AutoMD, Carwise, AutoBody Alliance, and BrightLocal’s Citations by Business Category.
Listings on web directories can help give your auto shop credibility and drive traffic to your website. When selecting directories, choose the ones that your target audience is likely to visit.
Post on Social Media
Social profiles often show up on the first page of Google searches for a business, so including Social Media in your SEO strategy is a must. Also, getting customers to follow and engage with you is a great way to amplify the effects of your other marketing as you build relationships and gain trust.
When choosing which Social Media platform to utilize, these would be best for an auto shop:
- Facebook: With the largest user base across social media, Facebook should be your top priority when it comes to local SEO. You can fully optimize your profile with your business details and they have new features where you can showcase your services.
- Instagram: With more than 900 million monthly users, you should definitely consider giving your auto shop a presence on Instagram. Compelling photos of things like car restorations or before and after pictures are things that an auto shop can post. You can show off your skills to customers, but make sure to get permission before you post.
- YouTube: Google and other search engines love video, and posting videos to YouTube will improve your chances of showing up first for search results. Videos have a high engagement rate because video is the most preferred content from a brand or business.
Local SEO is your low-hanging fruit and should be a top priority in your online marketing strategy. Truth is, even if you invest the time and money in Standard SEO, it won’t make much of a difference unless you beef up your local online presence. Luckily, optimizing your local listings and posting on social media can take care of the majority of your local SEO efforts.
To learn more about SEO for auto repair shops, and how to create an advertising strategy, contact your local IndoorMedia consultant today.