Getting your message out
You know that your shop’s website is one of the best ways to publicize your business. From basic contact information like directions and business hours to a comprehensive listing of the services you offer with pricing, there is no end to the information you can put on your website.
The beauty of your website is that you control the message – it’s your chance to communicate directly with your customers. Is your message being broadcast? Are customers visiting your website? If your numbers aren’t where you’d like them to be, read on to learn what you can do to drive traffic to your website.
Keep it current
Updating your website on a regular basis with fresh content is a great way to keep visitors coming back to your site. It’s true what they say: content is king! When your website becomes stagnant, your audience assumes you have nothing new to say and will stop visiting it on a regular basis.
An easy way to ensure that new content is posted to your website is to start a blog, featured prominently on your homepage to attract attention. You can use the blog to share knowledge and advice, promote sales and specials, and pass along interesting news from the auto industry. To make maintaining the blog easy, create a content schedule and set a recurring alert on your calendar to remind you when it’s time to update the blog.
To draw additional attention and visitors to your website, use your shop’s existing social media accounts to promote your website. Don’t have social media accounts for your business? What are you waiting for? Now is the time to learn the basics of social media.
Each time you post new content on your website, get the word out through social media. Say you’ve updated your blog with a post about getting your vehicle ready for summer road trips – your work is only half done. Make sure people see it by promoting this informative blog entry with a post on social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
Get serious about SEO
Optimizing your website for search engines is the art of search engine optimization (SEO). By using high ranking keywords and phrases, you can improve your site’s organic (unpaid) search results. The higher your shop shows up in the search engine rankings, the higher the site will appear in the search results page.
While Google and other search engines use complicated, ever-changing algorithms to return results, there are things you can do to ensure that your site gets recognized. Pay attention to your site’s page titles and the size of images to help your pages rank higher. There are also a host of online tutorials available to help you improve the SEO of your site, or if you have the budget, you could tap the services of a consultant.
If your marketing budget allows, consider using paid online advertising to drive traffic to your site. Extremely popular, search engine marketing is a way of buying visits to your site. Using Google AdWords, you bid on ad placement for the search results page of keywords that you identify. With pay-per-click (PPC) advertising, you only pay when someone clicks on your ad.
Advertising on social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter is another way to get people to your site. Rather than focusing on keywords, you specify who sees your ad by their demographics, interests, and location. While you can certainly set up a paid search or paid social media campaign on your own, working with a consultant who understands the process can contribute greatly to the success of the program.
Share your knowledge
Answering questions on Quora, the question-and-answer site, is a great way for driving traffic back to your site. You’ll find an abundance of car maintenance and repair questions submitted by readers that need to be answered by an industry professional. Your knowledge is valued by fellow Quorans.
When answering a question, be engaging and informative. For questions from novices, use easy-to-understand words and concepts, and don’t go overboard with overly technical jargon. Also, be sure to link back to relevant content on your shop’s website, as you never know when your advice could lead to someone booking an appointment at your shop.
Incorporating video on your website makes your site more engaging and goes a long way in attracting new and repeat visitors. Many people are visual learners, meaning they retain information better when it’s presented visually, so videos are a natural way to capture this audience.
Take viewers on a tour of your shop, showing them the service bays where their vehicle will be worked on. This will put them at ease before bringing their vehicle to your shop for a repair. Video is also ideal for explaining how various vehicle systems work and what’s typically involved in the maintenance or a specific repair job. Customers will come to see you as a trusted partner for keeping their car on the road.