Auto body shops face many difficulties when trying to bring in new business. Quite possibly, the biggest hurdle in today’s landscape is Google search. When someone needs auto body repairs or have just been in an accident, they will Google search. And more often than not, this person will click on one of the first few names for more information. Your website must be optimized to be one of those first few names. Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is the process of optimizing your website or web page for a search engine’s algorithm, to increase visibility. SEO involves making strategic changes to written content, design, linking, and more.
Why Your Auto Body Shop Should Invest In SEO
Even if you have a beautiful website (and if you don’t, we can help with website design as well), if people can’t find it when they search on Google, your fantastic looking website will never be seen. This is where SEO comes into play.
Think about your internet habits and how often you search for businesses on Google; many potential customers act the same way. Luckily for you, they are looking for auto body shop service and repairs. Many of these potential customers are looking for a shop nearby with great reviews, fair deals, proven experts, and a comprehensive website. If your website is not optimized, it will likely not be displayed in a favorable Google position.
Our 5-Steps to SEO Sucess For Your Auto Body Shop
1. Keyword Research
Keyword research is the process of discovering words and phrases that people use in Google search. When someone goes to Google and types in “Auto Body Shop,” Google will populate a results page with web pages, they find to be the most relevant to that search. In this case, “Auto Body Shop” is a keyword phrase. To scan search queries, some software, and often a trained digital marketing specialist is needed. This specialist will locate targeted keywords, phrases, and related keywords. Then, they will determine which keywords are valuable, meaning- enough people are using this word or phrase in your area. Specialists will also rule which keywords your website can rank well for, meaning- there is a reasonable amount of competition for that keyword, and ranking well won’t be extremely difficult. Keywords will be separated into categories and lists before the next phase of optimization, content creation.
2. Create Content and Optimize It
When you have settled on your final list of keywords, it is time to optimize your website. All current web pages will be scanned, and keywords will be added where it is opportune. New content should also be created to include new keywords. Frequently, during keyword research, you will find words or phrases that you never thought about, or that your website does not currently have anywhere. In these cases, it is valuable to create new pages centered around those keywords and topics. Suppose many people in your area are searching “Fender Repairs,” and your website does not contain a page centered explicitly around the fender repairs you offer or how you handle repairing a fender, you are missing out on the opportunity to gain new customers. After new written content has been created, a few more steps should be taken to get the most out of it.
3. Build A User-Friendly Page
Building a web page that is easy to navigate and readable is extremely important. The way users interact with your web page is vital to Google. If users stay on your web page for a while, reading it, clicking on links, or filling out a form, Google will reward you favorably in local search results pages.
There are a few simple things you can do to create a user-friendly page. A page’s headers should be easy to read and relevant. Creating a headline that is not true to the article misleads users and often equates to them quickly leaving your page. Headers can also help users if they get lost on the page.
Another easy way to make sure the user interacts with your page successfully is to design your page for mobile use. As of 2018, your mobile site is considered your ‘main site’ in Google’s eyes. Creating your page from a mobile point-of-view will ensure that every element is usable from a smartphone. In short, the user’s experience shouldn’t feel compromised when being compared to what they’d find on a desktop.
4. Add Links
Adding links is one example of additional steps you should take to get the most out of your content. Including internal and external links will benefit your SEO efforts alike.
Internal links point to another page within your website. Your global navigation (the main menu bar at the top of your website) is a perfect example of this. Most, if not all, pages here are linked to another web page on your website. Internal links help users find additional relevant content on your website. They also help search engine spiders find and crawl pages within your domain.
External links point to another website entirely. An example of an external link on your auto body site might be a link pointing to a vehicle manufacturer. If you have a web page covering “Ford Auto Body Repairs,” you may want to include a link to Ford.com. External links give users another avenue of information. They can add detail and context to the existing content you have created.
On the flip side, if another website mention’s your shop or a specific service you offer, you would want them to link to your website. Link building is the process of acquiring hyperlinks from other websites to your own. Often referred to as “votes of confidence,” backlinks verify your page has relevant content worth sharing.
5. Share It
After you have done your keyword research, created new unique content, created a user-friendly page, and added links, it is time to share your new page on social media. Whichever platforms your body shop is on, sharing newly created content is a must. Whether that be Facebook, YouTube, or Google My Business. Why not try some of your current customers to revisit your website, and they may share it themselves.
Google My Business
As mentioned, people are looking for auto body shops that are nearby. Often in Google search results pages, a Local Pack will be displayed. A Local Pack is a section of Google’s search results that shows the local business related to your query. Often, three to five Google My Business pages will be displayed in this section.
Your Google My Business (GMB) listing is somewhat similar to a YellowPages listing you might have had years ago. The GMB platform allows you to display your business’ location, phone number, website, hours, reviews, and more.
Having a listing with accurate contact information is crucial for local SEO. It gives potential customers the ability to contact you or gather more information from your shop, all from the same place. Your listing also puts customer feedback at the forefront, essential for an auto body repair shop.
To learn more about Google My Business and how to create, get a listing verified, or optimize it, please reach out to our specialists.
SEO for auto body shops is an ongoing process. The process evolves with competition and updates to search engine algorithms. Google’s algorithm alone is updated several times a day. Your SEO strategy must evolve with these changes.
It takes time and patience to bolster your online presence and rank on the first page of search engines. But you follow these best practices and build a library of quality content; there is no reason you should feel discouraged.
For a free estimate, or to learn more about our core services, like web design for auto body shops, contact us today!