You’ll hear all kinds of opinions about how to do the best automotive repair advertising, but setting up a professional website for your auto repair shop is a critical step that just about everyone can agree on. Unless you have zero interest in getting new customers into your shop, you need a good website. Period.
But it seems these days everybody claims they can set up a website. From general web design companies to specialized auto repair website companies to friends or relatives who know how to build a site, there are many options to choose from. Shopping for a website provider is almost as bad as shopping for paint at Lowe’s—the options can be overwhelming.
If you need to cut through the clutter and make it easy to decide, here are the top things to look for when choosing a company to build your auto repair shop’s website.
It almost goes without saying, but I’ll say it anyway: your website needs to look professional. If it looks unprofessional, your website can do more harm than good by giving customers a bad impression online and turning them away before they ever come to your shop. So maybe your brother-in-law knows some HTML. Or maybe you know a local guy who has built a website or two. Sure, they can build your site. But do they have the experience needed to do it right? Ask them how many sites they’ve built. Ask them how long they’ve been doing this. Ask to see live examples so you can visit the sites and evaluate them for yourself. Note: We’ve built hundreds of professional auto repair websites since we started offering them in 2008.
Simplicity and Ease of Use
While super flashy and fancy websites might look interesting, remember the purpose of your website. It’s the professional, smiling “face” of your shop online. It’s the first thing that many people will see about your shop. When they find it, they typically want to know a) if you’re professional and trustworthy, b) what services you offer or specialize in and c) where you are and how to contact you when they need service. It’s easy to get excited about some flashy new technology, but remember, these are the things your new and existing customers want. Make it easy for them to get what they want, and they’ll reward you with their business. That’s all there is to it. Don’t let an overly complicated website distract your customers from why they came to your site in the first place.
Sure, we’d all love to have a website as great as the big guys. But it has to fit within your budget. It’s common for custom website design and development to cost many thousands of dollars. Your market, and how many new customers you expect to find your business via your website, will determine whether or not that kind of budget makes cents (pun intended!). If your shop is a small to medium-sized business, there is no reason to spend more than $30 to $50 a month on a great, professional looking website. (Our auto repair websites start at just $29.95 a month.)
Your website has to be designed properly from the beginning in order to appear at or near the top of Google search results. When choosing a company to build your site, ask them what they do, design-wise, to get your site to rank highly and be found by customers searching for your services. Again, ask to see example sites and try searching Google yourself, using phrases that customers are likely to use. For example, search Google for “Auto Repair, Sonora CA”, and at or near the top you’ll find our customer Sonora Autotech. That’s because we’ve built and optimized their site to be found for exactly that phrase. Or try Googling “auto repair, cleveland TN”. Again, you’ll find one of our customers, Gobble’s Automotive, at or near the top of the page, right where the most customers will find it. This is one of the biggest factors—and the main reason you have a website in the first place. Make sure this is part of your evaluation process!
Service and Support
Once you have a good-looking site, how easy is it to update and maintain? What if something goes wrong? Unless you’re a pro at managing your own site, sooner or later you’re going to need help and support. How easy is it to get in touch with support? Do you have to email a support team and hold your breath waiting for a response? Or is there a friendly, experienced web professional available to call whenever you need help? Ask for a couple of referrals to speak with existing customers, and ask those customers how they rate the service and support before you choose a web design and hosting company. Believe me, you’ll be glad you did!
There you have it—the top things to consider when choosing a company to build your website.
At this point in a blog like this, you’d probably expect me to give a link to our service. I would hate to let you down! So, here’s where to find more info on CustomerLink’s auto repair websites.
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