For a long time, there was a joke among marketing experts. It went something like this: "The best place to hide a dead body is ... on page 2 of Google search results."
That speaks to just how important SEO is for businesses like body shops.
You might be asking: What is SEO, exactly? SEO is a popular acronym these days that stands for "search engine optimization." And the reason SEO is so important for body shop owners to be familiar with is that, whenever someone in your area is on their smartphone and computer and searches a term like "collision repair near me," or body shop near me," search engine optimization is what pulls up those 10 websites that are going to be the first paid results on Google. And it's really important to have your shop's website be at the top, because that's the one that typically gets the most web clicks and, as a result, the most calls from customers.
Statistics show that, if your business isn't listed in the top five of that first page of results, there's essentially no chance that a customer is going to end up calling you from that, because they've probably already made their way through those first five, and they aren't probably going to get five estimates.
HOW SEO TRULY IMPACTS BODY SHOPS
Basically, the thing that's dictating what's pulled up on Google searches is Googles algorithm. What that is, basically, is robots that are going out and they're scanning through all the websites so that, whenever someone does a search query for a body shop or auto body repair, those robots are going out and combing through the websites in that area and they're trying to match up as many keywords as possible, with what the person searched for and what's on your website.
Because of that, it's really important to make sure that you have your website optimized, so that they have all those keywords in there, so that we know that, whenever someone is searching for the services that you offer, that we're getting them to your website, because your website is pulling them up properly.
It's 2020, and virtually every business has a website. But not every business has their website optimized, so that it's really helping them out. You have to find a web developer to update it. If you spend the money to get your website optimized so that it appears at the top of those search engine results, it will literally bring you business.
SEO BEST PRACTICES
Mark sure your website is mobile optimized.
What that means is that,if you visit your shops website from a cellphone, that it automatically turns into a phone-friendly website. That means that it's easy to just click, and it's not one of those situations where it just pulls up on the web page and you're having to take two fingers to zoom in to try to navigate to find the shop's phone number. Basically, last year Google indicated that they were going to basically stop showing websites that weren't mobile-optimized.
Ensure that, for your website, browsers say "secure."
When you look at your body shop's URL, it should say "secure" there. Because there are times where it's unsecure, and then that kind of calls into question the credibility of the website.
Have varied content on your website.
Let's say you have five different tabs on your website, like "shop history," "about us," and maybe you mention the certifications that you have, or the DRP relationships you have, you have a location map, your address, your phone number. All that's really important, because Google's "robots" go out there and comb through websites super quickly. And that's how they decide which websites are going to populate on the top. So, it's super important to have at least 800 or so words per page. I know that sounds like a lot of words, but it's super important, because you want to have all those keywords on there.
If your shop is certified by Ford aluminum, or if you have the Assured Performance certifications, it's so important to make sure that you're mentioning all that. It's also important that you're putting at least a few sentences about each one that's like "If you have a Ford vehicle, we're your certified, go-to collision repair center in the Minneapolis area, or whatever the case may be. It's so important to hit on terms like "certified collision repair," and that you hit on brand names, and the city, so that, whenever someone's in that area and searches for "certified Ford repair in Minneapolis," you know that your shop has a much higher chance of appearing at the top of their list.