3 Easy Ways To Increase Sales From Your Auto Shop's Website
Your website is your auto shop's most important marketing assets. Learn the 3 easy features you can add to get more online sales.
When it comes to making more sales, most auto shop owners think of increasing their advertising. They'll create more paid ads on Google and Facebook, run another radio ad, or run a special on Groupon.
While any of those marketing methods have a fair chance at increasing sales, many auto shop owners overlook one of their most important marketing assets - their website.
Why Improve Your Website?
Your website is the basis for all of your other marketing. Whether you run online ads, radio ads, or even send out postcards, all of these strategies will direct people to your website.
And if your website looks terrible, has boring, non-convincing content, or is hard to read on a phone, potential customers are going to move on!
To stretch your marketing dollar the furthest and increase your overall sales, you need a website that will leave a good first impression on potential customers.
What Parts Of A Website Should Be Improved?
To get more sales out of your auto shop's website, you should focus on improving the design, useability, and content.
First Feature To Improve: Design
Just like car designs, certain website designs can fall out of style. There are plenty of auto shops out there with websites that look like they're stuck in the early 2000s… some even in the 90s!
While there are no official “design rules” to follow, here are some current website design trends you should implement:
Images that span the whole page
Try to use large, full width images in your website's header and in the main body content.
Use one or two primary colors
A relic of older website design trends, try to incorporate only one or two colors in your design. For example, maybe your navigation bar and section headings are red, while your button and "accent" color is orange.
This website features a modern, easy to read design with two primary colors.
Focus on phone users
In 2022 more than half of all Internet users are using mobile phones, so don't neglect how your website looks on a smartphone! Make sure images scale properly, text isn't obstructed, and your navigation is still easy to use.
In addition, there are some technical aspects of your website's design that shouldn't be overlooked. If your website was built in the late 2000s / early 2010s, you may be lacking some features that today's tech-savvy users expect.
This can include, but is not limited to:
Fast loading times
In today's world of high speed Internet, this is an aspect of your website that could be costing you new leads and sales!
Website visitors are very impatient when it comes to load times - studies have shown that most people will hit the back button 3-4 seconds after seeing a blank screen!
Even notice a lock icon in your web browser when viewing a website? This means the connection between your computer and that website's server is encrypted.
The lock next to the address bar indicates you're accessing Google through an encrypted connection.
Once a feature of big brands and eCommerce websites, having an encrypted connection is now common across all types and sizes of websites.
Encryption is accomplished by installing an “SSL certificate” on your website's server. Most hosting companies will provide one and set it up for you free of charge. Make sure you have one!
Second Feature To Improve: Useability
The "useability" of a website can be defined as how easy it is to navigate, contact the business, or request more information.
You'd be surprised how many auto shop websites actually make it difficult to contact them! Phone numbers that are hard to find, quote request forms that don't work, and navigation that breaks on smartphones.
Any one of those issues has the ability to kill potential sales. People are impatient and won't take time to find things. You MUST make using your website as easy and as clear as possible!
So, how can you optimize your website's useability?
Put the phone number front and center!
Ideally, your phone number should be placed in the top header and “sprinkled” throughout your website's content. Make it easy for a potential customer to call you!
Make sure your contact forms work!
This is another killer - people could be requesting information or a quote and you're not notified! Try submitting the forms on your website and ensure the right person receives the request.
Don't forget about mobile.
Make sure your website is easy to navigate on a phone. Just because your website looks good on your office computer doesn't mean it will on a phone!
This mobile website features easy navigation, easy to read text, and a clear call-to-action - "Request An Appointment".
Third Feature To Improve: Content
Another killer of sales is poorly written website content or website content that is not actually written to “sell” the customer. The vast majority of small businesses suffer from this issue because it isn't promoted as a website feature you must have.
In the year 2022, with more and more businesses utilizing the Internet to get new customers, we believe it is of the utmost importance to have well written website content that makes your shop stand out.
In fact, now is the optimal time to invest in well written content because so many small businesses overlook it!
So what does well written content look like? Let's take a look at some examples:
Below you will find a typical intro on an auto shop's AC repair webpage:
"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."
While this says that “John Doe Auto” can perform AC repair, it doesn't necessarily stand out to the customer. You can change out John Doe Auto for any shop name and the paragraph still works.
You need something that sounds a little more enticing. You want the website visitor to think "wow, these guys sound like they really know what they're talking about!"
Let's look at another example:
"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. Call (888) 555-5555 to schedule your appointment now!"
What a difference! Between the two, a website visitor is going to be FAR more likely to act on the second example.
Before you spend another dollar on advertising make sure your website is operating at peak performance! All the advertising in the world won't be able to make up for a poorly designed, unimpressive website.
Put an effort into improving your website's design, usability, and content, and you're virtually guaranteed to see an increase in sales from new and existing marketing efforts.