Investing time and energy into your company’s online visibility is essential to the success of your business. Online visibility refers to how easy it is for customers and potential customers to find your company and products online. For example, strong visibility would imply that your auto repair shop shows up on the first page of Google results when a potential customer types: “auto repair near me.”
When consumers are searching for a local business, they look at what other people have to say. In fact, 88% of consumers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations. So, be sure the following profiles are properly optimized:
Google My business
Google is by far the most popular and powerful search engine on the Internet. People use Google as a source of referral for everything from places to eat, nearby gas stations, and auto repair shops. Customers will discover your business through Local Search Engine Optimization (SEO), search results like this will appear:
Be sure to check your company’s Google Business profile and confirm all the following information is current, correct, and as detailed as possible:
- The Business Name – Properly brand your auto repair shop.
- Address – This will help with Local SEO and directions to your auto repair shop. If a location moves or goes out of business, be sure that is updated.
- Primary Phone Number – Preferably a phone number with a local three-digit area code (703)123-4567
- Website Link – Give potential customers the opportunity to visit your website.
- Categories – Google+ has a variety of terms to associate your business with including: “Auto Repair Shop” “Tire Shop” “Oil Change Service,” just to name a few. Be sure your shop is categorized so it is indexed correctly in search results.
- Hours – Be sure this information is accurate! Nothing is more frustrating to a new customer than reading your hours online, driving to your shop, only to learn you closed 2 hours ago.
- Photos – Add photos that represent your auto repair shop. Include a logo for branding and a storefront photo to help customers find your location.
Yelp was created to help people find local businesses like doctors, salons, and mechanics. It has become so popular over the last decade that more than 89 million users a month have reviewed a local business, just on their mobile phones alone (source: Yelp). When customers search for an auto repair shop, they will see this:
Review your Yelp profile and make sure these areas are properly optimized so potential customers can find you when doing a search on Yelp:
- As mentioned in the Google+ section, confirm that your business name, address, phone number, website and hours are accurate.
- You can select three “Categories” to define your business. Be as specific as possible. Common auto shop choices are “Auto Repair” “Tires” “Oil Change Stations”.
- Specify if you accept credit cards or offer a military discount.
- Have your “Specialties” promote the services you offer with the proper keyword terminology.
- Complete the “History” section for your business; make it interesting, informative and reflect the success of your business’s growth.
- Write a personable “Meet the Owner/Manager” biography.
The history of Angie’s List is a story we can all appreciate. A woman named Angie Hicks had difficulty finding a reliable contractor, so she went door to door and asked her neighbors for recommendations and reviews. With the information, she took the “ask your neighbor” concept to a higher level. Angie’s List is now one of the most trusted review sites on the Internet.
Creating a business profile on Angie’s List is free and as of June 2016 users can have a free membership as well. That means more people will be using Angie’s List as a referral source. So, if you don’t have a profile on Angie’s List for each of your business’s locations, create one NOW!
As mentioned with the Google+ and Yelp profiles, complete your profile information as thoroughly as possible: Business name, address, phone number, website address, and hours. You can also write a description about your business; be sure it reflects your business precisely. When an Angie’s List user does a search, results will appear like this:
Businesses can become “Angie’s List Certified.” This will allow their business to appear high in search results on Angies List, and have the company’s description and numbers of reviews appear to users. However, it is not required, and if you just want a free, basic Business Profile, it will appear like this in search results (after scrolling down from the Angie’s List Certified listings):
The Internet has provided many tools for people to find local businesses wherever they are. It is imperative that your business’s profile be optimized and detailed so potential customers can find you easily. If you find yourself needing help to create a SEO-friendly profile, developing and/or executing an effective online advertising strategy, or with ongoing monitoring of your online reputation, Conceptual Minds marketing experts are here to help! We specialize in the auto industry, and have extensive knowledge and experience on how to implement the most effective online marketing tools.