August 27, 2015

Posted By: Scotty Spielman

[caption id="attachment_3547" align="aligncenter" width="507"]Avoid these common mistakes when planning your auto shop's website. Avoid these common mistakes when planning your auto shop's website.[/caption]

Your website is the online anchor of your business and it may be the first thing your customers or potential customers see.

With all the free tools out there, it’s relatively easy to design your own, but it’s also relatively easy to make some mistakes along the way. Here are a few common errors to avoid for your auto shop’s web site.

Creating it and forgetting it.
”There, it’s done.” You’ve added your last link, described your last service, included your last photo. There’s nothing left to do but wait for your customers to find it, right?

Wrong.

If you neglect your web site long enough, it will become irrelevant and stale and stop receiving traffic—and fall down in search engine rankings. It doesn’t take years; it only takes a few months. Update it regularly—weekly if possible. Add new specials, take down old ones. Include additional customer reviews or add a ‘customer of the week’ section that people will look forward to.

If it helps, create a regular schedule. You can spend half a day once a month and create all the fresh content you’ll need.

Not having a plan.
You can’t fix an engine without a repair manual; don’t have a web site without a plan. Develop one that identifies what you want your website to do, how it will improve your business, who your audience is and what kind of content will reach that audience. Check your competitors, too.

Too many links
Links to click on can be the modern day equivalent of too many hoops to jump through. Everyone likes a nice, clean page, but if your customers have to follow too many links to get to the content they want, they’ll give up and leave. Remember function as well as form.

Keep the relevant content prominent and, in general, as much content within a link or two of your home page as possible.

Making it impersonal.
Your website is the face of your auto shop. You want that face to be friendly and inviting and the best way to do that is to make sure your customer can get to know you—not just your business, but you. Include staff pictures and biographies, even if it’s just to tell how long they’ve worked for you and what their hobbies are.

Not connecting it to your social media channels.
Your website may be your anchor, but it’s certainly not the whole ship. Make sure it’s connected to your social media sites—Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, your blog—and make sure that is prominent. You want to make it easy to for your customers to interact with you.

Forgetting contact information
It sounds silly, but it is actually a common complaint. Sometimes a potential customer visits your site simply because he or she wants to call, find an address or see when you’re open. Make sure all of your contact information is on your homepage—and every subsequent page, too. For additional interaction, include a call to action nearby, like a link to subscribe to your email newsletter.

Websites are the foundation of your online presence. Don’t fall into these traps and you’ll see how successful they can be.

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