As you all know search engines such as Google, Bing, and Yahoo are now placing great emphasis on “Local Search”. Google Maps Place profiles have really taken off both from a business and a consumer standpoint and these changes in search engine marketing should not be ignored. Do your auto repair SEO right and you benefit greatly. Ignore local search SEO and your website will have less and less prominence in the search engines as time goes on.
Local Search is a very recent, ground breaking change in how search engines work. It is the result of a long term plan by search engines and has been driven mostly by Google. The goal is to make search engine search results dependent on consumer preference and less on the size of a company's marketing budget. Google has described local search as leveling the playing field between large and small companies. Local search is revolutionizing how online search functions and is quickly evolving. It will have a very dramatic effect on auto repair marketing. You can not afford to ignore the effect local search has and will be having on your business.
No Free Lunch
Although local search provides a more equal opportunity to small businesses, it does not mean you will automatically benefit from it. If anything local search is less tolerant of poorly constructed websites, a lack of auto repair SEO, and lazy auto repair marketing in general. The opportunity is there but you need to actively participate to benefit. And you will need to get on-board or be left behind as early adopters have an advantage - history counts in search ranking. That said, it does not mean you need to spend a lot of money to take advantage of Local Search. Much of the work involved is just good auto repair SEO practice but local search has made it SO much more important.
Different Approach Needed
Local search requires a different approach to auto repair website SEO and online auto repair marketing. Local search is highly focused on what "other people" are saying about your business. Local search pays greater attention to your "online reputation". Some are calling what other people are saying about you your "social reputation". In essence, your social reputation is "word of mouth" on steroids.
What To Do
SEO for local search is largely composed of 15% “on-site” SEO (what is done on or to your website) and 85% “off-site” SEO (what is done out on the Internet). And auto repair SEO is a process that goes far beyond basic website design, is highly variable in what is needed, and requires constant updates to keep up with search engine changes.
On-site SEO involves correct website construction and quality content using the correct keywords amongst many other things. A big part of "on-site" SEO is how your website is constructed. However, a well built auto repair website will only provide the "tools" necessary to tailor your SEO for your specific business, market area, and online competition. You need to hire an auto repair SEO specialist who knows the auto repair market AND is up to date with SEO methods.
Off-site SEO involves getting back-links from other websites and building citations and reviews about your business on other websites. As Seth Godin, a modern marketing guru, says “The only way to win (in today's marketplace) is to get people to talk about you!” A good automotive SEO specialist can assist you in building your website backlinks, cleansing your citations, and guiding you in how best to build your online reputation.
Gaining An Edge
In Google's case they have not forgotten about high quality auto repair websites who have worked hard at improving their SEO and 'organic' search ranking. Local search has been integrated with the regular organic search results so that auto repair shops who optimize both their local listing AND their website have a definite advantage. You will notice that websites that are well optimized for both local and organic search will get significantly greater ranking in search results.
But remember that auto repair SEO is only step one in the online auto repair marketing process. SEO may bring potential customers “to” your auto repair website, but it is your website content that convinces people to phone you. A quality auto repair website is what converts website viewers into paying auto repair customers.
Local search provides a huge advantage to geographically “local” businesses who create their website the way the search engines want AND build their public online reputation with an online presence (number of times your business is mentioned online or “citations”). Since search engines are doing you a “favor” by listing your website, you will need to play by their rules. Do your auto repair SEO right and you can benefit greatly. Ignore local search requirements and your website, and business, will have less and less prominence in the search engines as time goes on.
I can not stress enough the importance of local search to your auto repair marketing plan. You
should must be taking advantage of this shift in focus to Local SEO if you want to effectively market your auto repair shop.
I truly hope you take the time to think deeply about this information. It is already having an impact on your business.
Please feel free to phone me if you have any questions.