As a repair shop owner, amping up your digital presence can greatly help you attract more traffic. Step up your online marketing game and meet your customers where they are—searching on Google (and hunting for reviews on social media) for the best shops to fix their vehicles!
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This article will help you implement tactics that’ll take your advertising to the next level. Let’s get started.
1. Establish your auto repair shop’s Google My Business page
Did you know nearly half (46%) of all Google searches consist of users seeking local information?
Having an optimized online listing on Google My Business (GMB) makes it incredibly easy for customers to find you on Google Search and Google Maps. Dominating search rankings ensures that you’re the first auto repair company that comes up when potential customers search for shops in their area.
Here are some things to consider when setting up GMB for your shop.
Choose the correct business category for your GMB listing
Google allows you to add multiple categories but the more you add, the weaker your profile gets for each one of them. Choose categories based on the main products and auto repair services your business offers. If your primary service offering is repairing a transmission, choose “transmission repair” as the category, like A Plus Transmission Specialists does here:
Other categories include:
- auto upholsterer
- brake shop
- car battery store
- radiator repair service
- used auto parts store
- motorcycle repair shop
Use the right keywords throughout your profile
Start by finding keywords and search queries local customers use to search for your business. Google Search Console is a great place to find relevant keywords.
If your shop is based in Houston and repairs engines add that in your description, business category, and also in your profile title. Notice that most top listings here have the word “engine” mentioned in their names:
Create a robust Q&A section
Answer all the questions about your business you receive. From general questions like, “Do you receive walk-ins?” to specific ones like, “How much does it cost to conduct a 50-point car inspection?” your goal should be to give short answers that convey the right information.
Whenever you receive a question, make it a habit to respond to it at the earliest as that shows you’re a responsible shop owner.
Encourage reviews as much as possible
In 2021, 77% of people frequently read reviews when browsing for local businesses (up from 60% in 2020).
Offer incentives like a free tire rotation for positive online reviews. You can then add the best testimonials to your shop’s website and share them on your social platforms. Another thing to note is that when you receive customers’ reviews (whether positive or negative), always politely reply back to them.
If you receive a negative review, thank the customer for their business and apologize for their experience. Then offer a solution to make up for it.
2. Use pay-per-click marketing
Pay-per-click (PPC) marketing in the auto repair industry can be extremely effective. Before understanding how you can leverage it for your shop, let’s learn more about PPC.
What is PPC?
PPC marketing is a form of advertising that allows your business to get greater visibility on search engines. Businesses can run ads on certain keywords that their customers commonly search for. This allows shops to get greater visibility since ads are placed towards the upper portion of the Search Engine Results Page (SERP).
In the example below, you can see two businesses have run ads for the search phrase ‘engine oil change’ in the user’s region.
Why is PPC effective?
The goal of PPC is to provide users with a service provider when they need them the most. This form of marketing targets specific keywords that will lead to a purchase decision
Additionally, PPC can bring high returns on your investment. You only have to pay for ads that people click on, which means they’ll already be on your shop’s website. At that point, it’s easier for you to convert these visitors into customers who’ll pay for repair and maintenance, and potentially become repeat business.
3. Invest in email marketing campaigns
With the power of email marketing, you can remind customers when they’re due for an oil change. Additionally, it’s easy to inform customers about new services you’ve introduced and attract dormant ones with offers they can’t refuse using email marketing campaigns.
Increasing your average repair order size and retaining existing customers is very profitable for your auto repair business. And that’s where email marketing comes in!
With at least 4 out of 5 users checking their email at least once a month, email marketing remains one of the most effective ways to reach customers. The best part of it all is that email marketing comes integrated into automotive repair shop software like AutoLeap. Here’s how you can use email marketing to increase customers.
Segment your audience
The first step is segmenting your email list. Marketers have noticed a 760% increase in revenue from segmented campaigns! Depending on your customer list, here are a few ways you can segment your audience.
- New customers.
- Long-time customers.
- Customers who have regular maintenance requests.
- Customers who just got new cars/regularly invest in new cars.
- Customers with multiple household cars.
- Customers with older cars (100k+ mileage).
- Customers with specific models of cars (for example, all Ford Mustang owners).
Send personalized emails
Did you know 74% of marketers say targeted personalization increases customer engagement? Here’s how you can get the most out of email marketing:
- For new customers, start by sending them a welcome email. Make it short and sweet. Include a short paragraph about what auto repair solutions you offer, your location, and how they can contact you.
- Next, send an email offering promotional offers like discounts and coupons to encourage them to visit your shop. Make these offers time-sensitive (like having them only available on the following weekend) to increase the chances of conversions.
Here’s a great example of a postcard template you can turn into an email.
Introduce a loyalty program
It’s more cost-effective to retain an existing customer than to attract new ones. You can encourage these customers to keep coming back by allocating points based on how much money they spend at your shop. These points can then be redeemed for services such as a free oil change, car waxing service, or products of their choice. The following image of Express Oil Change’s loyalty program is an excellent example:
Test, test, test
Email marketing isn’t a one-and-done deal. You need to test and monitor campaigns to make sure they’re getting a higher average repair order and also new customers consistently.
Test the subject lines, the email body, the images, the call to action, and the coupons or deals you are sending them to see what’s effective. For example, you can test different email subject lines like, “In need of an oil change?” versus, “Is your engine making weird noises?” Depending on the effectiveness of each, you can use one that works for you in future campaigns.
4. Create informational and educational auto repair content
Share content about vehicle maintenance with your audience on website blog posts, email newsletters, and social media, and watch your engagements soar. Creating educational content is an excellent way of establishing your authority in the industry. Not only does this help one-up your competitors, but people usually prefer going to experts to help with their cars.
If you’re stumped for content ideas, here are a few good ones to get you started:
Experiment with different content types too, like social media videos, infographics, visuals, memes, and so on. Don’t be afraid to show your fun side on social media!
Now that you know how to take your auto repair shop advertising to the next level, get ready for all the customers that will come to your store. You might want to consider learning how to grow your auto repair business now that the right customers are finding their way to you!