Web Design

5 Essential Website Features Your Auto Shop MUST Have In 2022

Your auto shop's website is the foundation of your company's online marketing. Stand out from your competitors and get more online sales with these 5 tips.

June 21, 2022

Your auto shop's website is the foundation of your company's online marketing.

As more and more businesses turn to the Internet to find new customers, having a website that helps distinguish your shop from your competitors is more important now than ever before.

Stand out from your competitors and get more online sales with these 5 tips.

1 - Your Website's Mobile Design Cannot Be An Afterthought

In 2022 it is mandatory that your website be "mobile first", not just mobile friendly. What does that mean and why is it important?

There are now more people viewing the Internet through their phones than their computers. According to Statista, "mobile internet traffic accounts for almost 55% of total web traffic"

This means that in 2022, on average, more than half of all people who visit your website will be viewing it on their phones.

And you'd be surprised how many auto shops make viewing their websites on a phone an afterthought.

Yes, the website can be viewed on a phone and it "shrinks" to fit the screen, but the layout gets disorganized, text gets formatted weird, and mobile menus can be frustrating to navigate.

This mobile website features easy navigation, easy to read text, and a clear call-to-action - "Request An Appointment".

The average website visitor is IMPATIENT and will move on quickly if your mobile website is hard to read or loads slowly. Many auto shops could be losing customers on this fact alone!

To make matters worse, potential customers will judge you based on your website. If it looks bad they will project that quality onto your business as a whole.

Now, that may be completely false. You could be the highest reviewed shop in your area but remember - potential customers do not know you. They have no frame of reference and they haven't interacted with you.

To them, you're just another shop and, if you're in any sizable town or city, there's a dozen or more auto shops to pick from in just a few mile radius.

Mobile website design CANNOT be an afterthought in 2022. Make your website look professional, easy to read, and engaging on all screen sizes.

2 - Get Your Website Visitor's Attention With Professionally Written Content

Following design, the actual content of your website could make or break a potential customer's decision to call you or submit an online service request.

Eliminate Spelling and Grammar Errors

Just like poorly designed mobile websites, you'd be surprised at how many spelling errors and grammar mistakes can be found on auto shop websites.

This content is representing your business - now is not the time to have your website read like an informal text between friends!

And just like design, there are people who will judge your business for this. Some may argue "most people won't nitpick to this degree" but rest assured that plenty will.

Again, if someone doesn't know you or your business, every small (and seemingly insignificant) error will count against you. We live in a competitive world and the next auto shop is only a few clicks away.

And think about this: do the giants in the auto repair industry, such as Discount Tire, Firestone, and Jiffy Lube, have spelling and grammar errors on their websites? No - so why should you?

Write Content To Encourage Action

Here's another HUGE problem with auto repair websites. They write their home pages and service pages with boring, "brochure style" text that doesn't encourage the visitor to take any action.

Here's a typical intro for a page explaining an auto shop's AC repair page:

"The team at John Doe Auto is here to help repair and service your car or truck's air conditioning system. Since 1985 we have made sure car owners in our community have been able to keep cool."

BORING. It doesn't bring about any emotion or create any sense of urgency. What about that paragraph is going to make a potential customer call your shop over the countless others in the area?

Now let's look at something a little different:

"Is your car's AC blowing out warm? Stop suffering and have John Doe Auto get your car ICE COLD again! AC repair and service is one of our specialties and our ASE certified technicians have hundreds of AC repair jobs under their belt."

Wow, what a difference! Let's break this down:

  • It uses emotion. The potential customer is looking to get their car's AC cold again and the opening gets exactly to the point.
  • It conveys trust. The opening states that, not only is AC repair a speciality, but they have ASE certified technicians who have a lot of experience with working on ACs.
  • It's interesting. This isn't some boring "here's what we do" intro. This intro is exciting and builds momentum for the call to action (calling the shop or requesting service).

Now here's the good and bad news about this. The good news is the vast majority of auto shops have website content closer to the first example and it will be easy to stand out.

The bad news is, unless you consider yourself a good copywriter, you're most likely going to have to hire someone to write your website's text.

Now, don't let that turn you off to having well-written content. Think about it like this - even if it costs $1,000 to rewrite your website's text, how many new customers could it potentially create? A lot!

Over the years that investment could pay off 100 times or more.

3 - Capture Your Website Visitor's Information Where You Can

Here's an interesting statistic for you: according to LinkedIn, roughly 99% of website visitors will leave without taking any action.

That's right - on average, if 100 people visit your website, maybe 1 or 2 will call or submit an online form.

That's leaving a lot of money on the table! But what can you do? How can you increase these numbers?

One popular strategy (which I'm sure you've seen before) is getting some of these visitors to exchange their contact information for a special, promotion, or voucher.

Perhaps your website could show a popup for an aggressive promotion you're running - maybe new customers can get a percentage off their total if they spend over a certain amount.

A popup that will text the website visitor a coupon in exchange for their name and phone number.

Many website visitors could be interested and will exchange their email or phone number for the special.

You now have a way to follow up with them if they don't bring their car in immediately. You could try contacting them yourself or using the wide variety of automation tools to send them follow up emails or texts.

Remember, the vast majority of potential customers (regardless of industry) aren't usually looking to make a purchase immediately. It may take a few days, weeks, or even months for them to finally decide to buy.

Knowing this, you can see how, without a lead capture and follow up system, you could be missing out on a lot of sales that could happen - just not right now.

4 - High Speed Hosting Is Mandatory

Website visitors are very impatient and as much as 40% of users will abandon the website if it takes longer than 3 seconds to load.

This technical aspect could be holding your shop's website back. You could have the best looking website with the best written content but, if it takes forever to load, no one is going to view it!

In addition, according to a blog post by SEO software company SEMRush, Google will take the speed of your website into account when ranking websites in the search results.

And that makes perfect sense - why would Google want to rank a slow loading website with a poor user experience high in the search results?

So what can an auto shop do to increase its website's loading speed?

Here are our top 3 tips:

Don't Cheap Out On Hosting

I'm sure you've seen the advertisements - get web hosting for only $2.99 a month! Sure, that sounds good on paper, but cheaper is not always better.

Your website is most likely going to be crammed on a web server with thousands of other websites and the load time will be SLOW.

Not to mention these cheap web hosts are highly targeted by hackers! Avoid these web hosts at all costs!

Reduce Image Sizes

This is one of the biggest killers of loading speed. Your website may feature massive images that are "scaled down" to display properly - but your web browser still has to load the same, large image!

It can be quite technical to reduce image sizes on your website. Start by asking your webmaster to review your website and see if there are any overly large images that can be reduced in size.

Optimize CSS and Javascript Files

This is another technical task you'll want to ask your webmaster to do. In a nutshell, CSS and Javascript are files used to load your website.

They can be created inefficiently and can add several seconds to your load time.

Ask your webmaster to review your website and: reduce the CSS and Javascript files that need to be loaded and combine multiple files into one.

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5 - Be Able To Track And Analyze Important Website Statistics

The famous business consultant and author Peter Drucker once said, "If you can't measure it you can't improve it."

Despite having access to technology that can measure and track every aspect of their websites, many auto shop owners neglect to track important metrics.

They have no idea how many people are viewing their website, how long people are staying on their website, or how many phone calls their website is generating.

Not tracking any of those metrics turns your website into a black box - you have no idea what it's doing for you!

What if your website is getting a ton of visitors but very few people are calling? That would tell you something is clearly wrong with your website or its content - but you wouldn't know that if you didn't track!

Google Analytics is an extremely powerful (and free!) platform to track imporant website statistics.

Not tracking your website also doesn't allow you to make any improvements. Say you want to try increasing business generated from your website. If you have no way to analyze the website's metrics at a specific starting date, how do you know what's improved?

But if you can say, "1 in 50 website visitors would call in January of this year, and now in July 1 in 25 will call" you can clearly see that whatever website improvement you made is working.

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