In this 6-minute read:
- Claim your Google Business listing
- Get and respond to reviews
- Claim your other online listings
- Search engine optimization (SEO)
- Promote with Google Ads
Promoting your auto shop online in this ever-growing digital world is such an important step to take for growing your business. Google is typically the first place that consumers look when they are searching for a new service like auto repairs. Don’t miss out on opportunities because you aren’t showing up.
There’s a lot that goes into showing up in the top search results on Google and so many ways to promote your business that it can be tough to know where to start. Let us help you out! Here are a few ways that you can promote your auto shop on Google.
Claim your Google My Business profile
Every business needs to have a Google Business listing. This is the first step to ranking your auto shop on Google, and it’s how you show up in Google Maps to help customers find your business.
Check out our quick guide to claim your Google Business listing.
Once you have a public Google My Business listing, you can engage with online reviews from your customers that help build your trust with even more customers. To get the best chance of good visibility (and a healthy number of reviews), make sure your business listing includes all of the following information:
- Business name
- Phone number
- Hours (including any special holiday hours)
- Description of your business
- Pricing (if possible)
- Areas you serve
- Lots of photos, including your logo and business location
Get reviews and respond to them
As you can well imagine and have probably experienced, reviews are important for maintaining your online reputation and converting customers. But how can you get more reviews for your auto shop? We have a few ideas for you.
1. Ask your customers.
Sure, it seems obvious, but this is a powerful way to get reviews. Happy customers don’t usually think to leave a review after a positive interaction with your company. And you know that unhappy customers get a little too happy to post their displeasure with you on Google. So, watch out for those opportunities when customers are expressing their gratitude to you for fixing their car and invite them to leave your auto shop a review on Google. Read more: How to get Google reviews.
2. Place “rate us” signs in your shop.
Strategically put up some catchy “Rate us on Google” signs in your lobby where customers are checking out. This is a great way to plant the idea of leaving a review into your customers’ heads.
3. Use reputation management software.
Reputation management solutions are great tools for getting and maintaining your online reviews. You can typically see and respond to all of your reviews from multiple online review sites within one platform. And as you invite customers to leave a review through the software, it can send them an SMS or email link to leave you a review to help streamline the process.
When you have the reviews coming in, it is crucial to respond to every review you get, especially on Google. It’s a good signal to customers that you are highly responsive when you get reviews, whether good or bad. When you get a good review, respond with a quick, personalized “thank you” and if you get a bad review, try to find out what went wrong and resolve the issues as well as responding with a polite and professional response (even if you aren’t at fault). Learn how to respond to Google reviews.
Complete other online listings
Google isn’t the only listing that you should be concerned with. It is important to list your auto shop on multiple online listing directories to help you gain better visibility online. Google looks at these different directories and uses them to verify your information. The more directories that you are listed on, the better opportunity you have to show up at the top of Google’s search results.
IMPORTANT NOTE: Make sure that the information in all of your online listings is consistent. At the very least, the name of your business, address, and phone number (also known as NAP) should be the exact same on every listing. Even having “Dan’s Autoshop” on Google, but “Dan’s Autoshop, LLC” everywhere else can hurt your rankings.
Here are a couple of tutorials to get you started:
And when you’re done with those, we have a great list of 25 free listing websites for small businesses that you should absolutely add your auto shop to.
Search engine optimization (SEO)
Search engine optimization (SEO) is the thing that you can do to help your auto shop show up better on Google. There’s a lot that goes into SEO, and if you don’t have the time for it, it can be a smart move to find a local digital marketing agency to help you out.
That being said, we do have a few tips for you to boost your auto shop’s SEO on your own, beyond everything we’ve already mentioned.
1. Get links to your website.
When other high-authority websites are linking back to your website and directing traffic to you, that sends awesome trust signals to Google and shows that your website is helpful for Google’s users. That means better rankings on Google.
You can get links to your website by being involved in the community and getting into the local news. Ask the news site to link back to your website within their online article.
2. Write a blog.
Fresh and valuable content is a huge plus with Google. It provides some value to Google’s users and shows that you are consistently updating your website. Beyond adding fresh content, providing helpful articles and videos also gives you more content for other online users to link to within their blogs.
3. Share content on social media.
When you share content on social media, especially content that links back to your website, this puts it in front of more people and provides an even greater opportunity for you get to links to your site.
Go deeper: 15 free tips to improve local SEO rankings
Promote your auto shop with Google Ads
Google Ads is a powerful strategy to use to help you show up at the top of the search engine results before your SEO strategy really kicks off. SEO is a long-term strategy, and it can take several months before you start seeing a return on your efforts. Google Ads gives you immediate traffic, but you do have to pay for every click you receive on your ads so it’s not always a sustainable long-term strategy.
In order to receive the best results from Google Ads, make sure that you are getting a good return on your investment. For example, let’s say you’re looking to get more customers in for oil changes and you only get a new customer for every 20 clicks that you receive on your ads. If an ad click costs $2 and an oil change is only $30, then you’d be losing money. So keep close tabs on this has you start out to make sure your auto shop actually benefits from advertising on Google.
This seems like a lot, but each one of these steps can help your auto shop rank better on Google and get more customers. If you need help with your online directory listings and managing your online reviews, consider trying Womply’s reputation management software to lift some of the burden from you and allow you to focus on the business side of things. Learn more, plus get free reputation monitoring and customer insights when you sign up for Womply Free!