Let’s face it; a whole lot of your day revolves around the internet.  70% of shoppers research online before they hit the stores.  That figure is 78% for women.  If you have a business you need a website – and it better be good.

Unfortunately, too many of the automotive service websites I see are pretty dusty.  They haven’t changed since someone’s nephew put it up 5 years ago.  Usually the basics are covered: address, phone number and hours of service.  Maybe a blurb on how many years you’ve been in business or the services you perform. 

What more can you do?

Well to really stand out you need to do a lot more because doing nothing is like hoping prospects will notice your smoke signals on the horizon.  This falls into two main areas: converting website visitors into customers and getting your website found.  A clever automotive service business has a website content strategy that does both.

Customer Conversion

A lot of business owners think that consumers visit their website to learn more about their business when the primary motivation is to learn more about the consumer’s problem.  My brakes are grinding: I go online to find out what might be the cause and how to get it fixed.  I don’t want surprises when I take my car in and I want to feel like I know enough about brakes to make a good service decision and not be taken advantage of.  If I can go to your website and get answers to my questions and gain confidence in my understanding – why wouldn’t I buy from you? 

Put another way; if you offer something, why wouldn’t you have specific informative and compelling website content on the subject that conveys your expertise and caring?   It’s a natural key to converting website visitors into customers.

People like to receive their information in different ways: some prefer the written word and others like video.  A sound content strategy includes both.

Getting Found with Automotive Web Video

In the course of business, I need to find websites of customers and prospects.  Even when I know the name of a particular automotive service center I sometimes have a hard time finding the website.  A couple of reasons for that: there are gazillions of websites and some of those old websites that haven’t changed in years are simply not indexed by the search engines with any frequency and have such a low search ranking that they never come up.  Such websites have little chance of getting you new customers and may even frustrate existing customers looking for you on the web.

In this article I want to focus on organic search rankings as opposed to paid web marketing campaigns.  Organic search means that your website search ranking rises over time on its own merits rather than paying for “clicks” (which may be something you want to do – I’m just not going to talk about it here).

Search engines such as Google and Yahoo have job to do: Connect people with the right websites.  Search engines look for websites that contain content that’s relevant to what people are searching for.  So if I want to be recommended to a consumer looking for brake service, my website should contain keywords related to various aspects of brake service.  The search engines will also judge your content by how long people stay on your website.  Videos are a great way to get people to spend time on your site: a prospect watches a 2 minute video on brake service and then watches 2 or 3 on other topics and pretty soon they’ve spent 10 minutes on your site.  The verdict: your site must be very relevant to people searching for brake service if they are staying on your site for so long.

Search engines also like growing sites.  If you add fresh content pages every week, the search engines will be trained to index your site every week making the new content available for searchers.

A lot of automotive centers are using social media sites like Facebook and Twitter to leverage their online presence, posting links to their useful website content on their Facebook pages and Twitter feeds.  This enhances their local reputation as go-to guys for automotive service information and helps keep them top-of-mind with their customer community.

In the automotive service arena, one of the most effective online marketers is Greg Buckley of Buckley’s Auto Care in Wilmington Delaware.  He’s been at it for several years.  He has a great looking website with a content strategy and a strong social media presence.  Recently I did a Goggle search for “Buckley’s Auto Care” Wilmington.  I got 169,000 results.  Now I don’t know if all of those are related to Greg, but I did check the first 150 and they were all his.  No matter how you look at it, that’s a lot of ways to be found.  With a reach like that, chances are any auto-service related search in Wilmington will bring up some of Greg’s content. 

The proof: Greg averages 1.5 new customer calls every day.  Would 9 new customers a week help your bottom line?

The Rub

By now you’re probably saying: “I don’t have time for that.” “I don’t know how to do it.”  “How much would it cost to get someone to do this for me?”  You do have a business to run and whatever you do should be simple, quick and affordable.

AutoNetTV Web Tools can do all of this for you.  Web Tools is easy to install on your website or can operate as a standalone site.  When you set-up your account, you start with an initial library of 15 automotive service videos and related articles.  The articles are full of information relevant to a particular service topic and are customized for the individual automotive center to aid in local search.

A new video and article are added each week – automatically.  New content can be setup to automatically post to your Facebook and Twitter accounts.  It really couldn’t be easier and the subscription is very affordable.  If you don’t believe me, ask Greg Buckley.

To learn more about automotive web video, check out  Web Tools or give us a call at 877-642-3555.