Three Things You Can Do To Boost Your Shop’s Web Presence Without Spending a Dime
In the age of the internet, marketing your business looks wildly different than it did 20 years ago. People are no longer flipping through the phonebook or relying on ads to find a shop. Nowadays when a customer needs their vehicle fixed they head online, and your objective as a business is to make yourself as easy to find as possible.
While the idea of establishing your shop’s web presence may sound like a daunting endeavor, you don’t need to hire an SEO expert to make your shop more visible online. There are really simple steps you can take that can make a massive impact.
- Build Your Google Business Profile
When it comes to searching for things online, Google is the undisputed leader. So when you are trying to increase your visibility online, you’ll need to cater to Google’s search engine. The good news is that Google makes it easy for you with Google Business Profile. This free service allows you to enter all of the key information your customers are looking for like your address, what services you provide, hours of operation, phone number, and website. Google’s objective is to help their users find what they need as fast as possible, so the more information you include, the more likely it is that the search engine will suggest your business.
When you enter this information, it also allows your shop to appear in Google’s local searches. These are the search results that appear at the top of a Google search next to the map of your location. So not only do you have the benefit of being at the top of the search results, but customers can see where your business is in proximity to them.
- Tailor Your Metadata to Fit Your Customer’s Needs
When you do a Google search and see the list of results, the text that appears in the blue title and description below it is called metadata. By editing the text of your metadata in your web builder, you can change how someone on Google will see your business in their search.
Now thinking again about how Google’s search engine works, how it prioritizes which search results appear on the top of the page is based in part on how much a website’s metadata matches the keywords in a search. And being at the top of Google search results is extremely important: over 25% of people click the first search result and those below it get progressively less clicks. The second result gets about 15% of clicks and if you’re not in the top 5 results you’ll see 5% of clicks and lower. So what do you write to get to the top of that list?
“Writing for internet searches is different from other types of writing,” says Kirk Etten, Senior Manager of Digital Analytics at Valvoline. “You only get so many characters, especially if someone is searching on their phone, so you want to get your point across efficiently and make sure it meets the customer’s needs.”
To write a good meta description, you need to put yourself in the shoes of your customer. Think of what they would Google if they were looking for your services and cater your description to those needs. They're more likely to type in “oil change near me” or “tire shop Kansas City” than they are “family owned automotive business with a proven history of excellence”. That doesn’t mean the latter isn’t important to have on your website, but when it comes to creating your metadata, stick to answering your customer’s immediate questions: who you are, what you do, where to find you, and how to contact you.
If you are stumped on what to write, type in those common searches and see what your competitors are doing. The fact that they appear at the top of the search means they’re doing something right, so take your cues from them. And if you want to check to see how effective your keywords are, you can utilize Google Search Console, another free service that helps you improve your site’s visibility.
- Create Multiple Pages
Your homepage is not the only part of your website that can draw in prospective customers. You can maximize your presence on search results by creating pages with well written meta descriptions that meet the needs of user searches.
Have more than one location? Make sure that each location has its own page so it can generate its own results in local searches. Do you have one shop that provides multiple services? Having a page for each service can allow your shop to rank high in searches whether your prospective customer is looking for “oil change near me”, “brake repair near me”, or “tires near me”. While this step requires more effort, if you’re willing to take the time it can really pay off.
“To bring in customers it’s important to not just do great work, but to make sure it can be found,” says Etten. “By doing this work and utilizing these free tools you’re able to make a big impact.”
For more insights on how to grow and optimize your business, visit partner.valvoline.com