The Best 7 Tips to Optimize Your Google My Business for Auto Repair

The Best 7 Tips to Optimize Your Google My Business for Auto Repair

Google My Business for Auto Repair is the solution for many auto repair shop owners that are looking for a way to increase the number of customers that visit their shops. While many of them are in a fierce battle competing with larger businesses online, their online marketing strategies are in no way working for their business.

If you own an auto repair shop, you should know that people now search online for almost every product or service they need, primarily through their mobile devices. This has made mobile phone searches the dominant method through which people find and locate local businesses.

What this means for you is that to increase visitors to your shop and increase sales, you’ll need to make yourself more visible online. Perhaps the best way to do this is to optimize your website and Google My Business (GMB) page. By optimizing both your website and GMB, you’ll be giving your customers a better experience and increases the chances of them finding you online whenever they search for your services.

Verifying your GMB page is the first step to bring more customers to your shop. In this article, we’ll offer some essential tips on how to optimize your website and your GMB page.

Tips To Optimize Your Auto Repair Business GMB Page

#1: Get Your Information Right

Thеrе аrе different раrtѕ оf your Google Mу Business listing, ѕо lеt’ѕ ѕtаrt with your core buѕіnеѕѕ information:

  • Name
  • Address
  • Phone Number
  • Website
  • Description
  • Category
  • Attributes

Google My Business will request your name, address, phone number and website (which is otherwise known as NAP) to begin the listing creation process. This information will be indexed by Google search and Google Maps, providing a foundation for your local SEO.

Your information should be consistent with what’s currently listed on your website as much as possible. Inconsistencies in this information can negatively impact your search ranking.

When entering your address, make sure it matches with the correct coordinates on the map and includes the same zip code (5-digit vs. hyphenated 9-digit zip) provided on your website. You’ll also want to use a local number instead of a national or call center number.

After you’ve provided your NAP, the next part to focus on is your business category and company attributes. You can add as many categories as you’d like, however you can only use Google’s pre-made list of categories. Use as many as apply but don’t use any irrelevant categories.

You should consider your keyword strategies when adding your business category and attributes. However, you need to do this with care so that you won’t be stuffing your listing with keywords.

#2: Update Your Auto Repair Shop with Events and Holidays

Google doesn’t want to send customers to your business when you’re closed, so you want to make sure your hours of operation include Holidays. There is an option for you to set special hours for the holidays and events in advance. Once logged into your GMB page you’ll head over to your dashboard, from there you’ll go to the info tab and on the left side will be a place for you to edit the special hours.

#3: Research Potential Keywords

Keywords are groups of words that people use when looking for your services. This is one of the essential tips for optimizing your GMB page. You must identify potential keywords related to auto repair in your area.

Keyword research is an entirely different subject, but if your GMB listing has been around, you can use it to get a basic idea of your keywords. Go to your GMB dashboard and click on Insights. Here, in addition to seeing how much traffic your GMB listing created, you can see the search terms people are using to find your listing already. This can give you an idea of the types of keywords you want to focus on.

To assess recent query, consider setting the date range to a three months to give you the most information. Then check the queries that seem to be the most popular based on the number of users searching for your services.

One exciting thing about Google My Business is that its metrics are based on unique users, unlike what with Google Search Console that reports on impressions. This means your auto repair business can easily note popular phrases most people use to find your website, and on an individual basis.

#4: Ask For Reviews and Respond To Them All

Reviews are the lifeblood of local search. It’s a simple equation. When you’ve got good reviews on your business page, your potential for getting more customers goes up. There are some instances where bad reviews can also present you with a golden opportunity. This may sound counter intuitive, but when users read a gracious response from the owner, they know that even if things go wrong, you’ll make sure to fix it.

most people like a second opinion — a good reason why 90% of people read reviews before making a purchase. A recent study done in 2018 found that 68% of consumers search for local businesses at least once a month. That’s a 10% increase from 2017.

So, how do you get reviews from your customers? It’s simple. You ask them! While some sites may discourage this, Google My Business actively recommends it. You can send a link to your customers in a few easy steps.

  • Go to your Google My Business dashboard.
  • Click on Info.
  • Select the @ symbol to create your GMB Shortname.
  • Click on Home.
  • Find the section that says “Get More Reviews” and click “share profile”
  • Copy the link and send it to your customers by email, text message, or other instant messaging apps.

While the best time to ask for a review is right at the time of service, make sure you share with your previous customers by sending the link via email or text.The worst that can happen is they don’t write you a review.

After you start to gather reviews on your listing, you’ll need to respond to all of them. Even the ones that are bad – especially the ones that are bad. Take time to write a message to each reviewer using the Google My Business dashboard. 44.6% of people say they would be more likely to visit a business if the owner was responding to negative reviews.

If your reviews are arriving with a perfect 5-star rating, this is your opportunity to turn a customer into a passionate supporter of your business.

Pro-Tip: Use keywords in your responses to show Google you’re relevant. For example, if someone writes you a 5 star review, say “Thanks customer, it was a pleasure doing your brake repair in our city.”

#5: Use your Google My Business Messager

What if your customers have a question they want a quick answer to? How will they get in touch with you?

The simple answer is “They’ll call the number on my GMB” but that’s not always the case. Many people, especially younger people, prefer text based communications. Google knows this, and that’s why they implemented the GMB messenger. If you use the GMB App on your phone, you can enable instant messaging straight on your GMB listing.

Google My Business for auto repair can use the GMB messenger

#6: Use Google My Business for Auto Repair to add posts and share business updates

Google added the posts feature back in 2017. This feature allows you to share content about your business, much like a Facebook post. You can use text, photos, and even add a call to action button.

As soon as you’ve verified your GMB listing, you can begin creating posts. Click on the posts tab of your GMB listing and click the one of the different types of posts:

  • Add Update: You can create a regular social media style post here with text and images and a CTA button.
  • Add Event: If your business is doing something special, you can create the event on your GMB page so it will show up on Google.
  • Add Offer: Got a sweet discount you’re offering? You can add it to your GMB lsiting so when users find your business they see it right away.

#7: Track Customer paths through Google My Business Insights

As with any marketing strategy, it’s important to measure thei mpact of your Google My Business listing on your auto repair business. And the good news is that Google has built-in tools to help with that.

Google My Business Insights can tell you:

  • How customers are finding your business – direct vs. discovery searches
  • Where on Google your customers are finding your listing – Search vs. Maps
  • The actions your customers are taking on your listing – visiting your site, clicking on directions, browsing the photo gallery, or calling you
  • Total phone calls and time when customers are calling

Google My Business tracks user actions in the Insights section of the dashboard, which can help you understand what customers find valuable in your listing. You can even compare some elements, like photo views, to your competitors’ performance. All of these information can be used to track your customers’ conversion path, and provides a comprehensive understanding of your customers’ actions prior to reaching your website.

The Bottom Line

There are many ways customers can find your auto repair business, but there’s no denying that Google Search is an incredible gateway to your website. So get your Google My Business page optimized and position your auto repair business where the people searching for it can see it.

Optimizing your Google My Business for auto repair is just the first step to dominating the search rankings and getting more customers. Learn how we used citations to get more customers for the largest auto repair shop in Los Angeles.

Robert Portillo, founder of Nimbus Marketing, and his family.

About the author:

Robert Portillo is the founder of Nimbus Marketing. Nothing satisfies him more than expressing his thoughts well. He lives in Los Angeles with his wife and two sons. He can often be found at local farmer’s markets, hiking trails, and the beach.

How Citation Consistency Dramatically Helped the Largest Tire & Auto Repair Shop in L.A.

How Citation Consistency Dramatically Helped the Largest Tire & Auto Repair Shop in L.A.

Tire and Auto Repair Shop Millionaires are Impressive

 

Bob was a self-made millionaire 2 times over. We’d been in a business networking group called LeTip for many years. He owned the largest tire and auto repair shop in Los Angeles. We had coffee a few times, and Bob explained to me how he made his millions. He had worked in the tire industry for a few years as a young man when he purchased the company he worked for. He spent the next decade building the tire shop into one of the largest around.

He did so well in the coming years that he sold his auto and tire repair shop in his early 30’s and retired a millionaire. He started spending most of his time golfing and traveling. Soon he became bored because none of his friends or family had the money or free time to join him. As a result, he would often spend his time in foreign lands and on the golf course alone. That’s when he started a new business, built it from the ground up, and became a self-made millionaire once again.

I couldn’t help but notice that his auto repair shop’s website was outdated. I asked him a couple of times if he’d thought about rebuilding it or if he was interested in trying search engine optimization, PPC, Local SEO or other types of online marketing. He always rebuffed my ideas. After all, he was the self-made millionaire twice over. What advice did a relatively inexperience business owner have to offer him?

Ultimately he was stuck in his ways. He was still fixated on sending out postcards and other physical mailers. Who could blame him? They worked for him for years. So I gave up and continued to bring my vehicles to his shop for repairs and new tires. Sadly, many years later, Bob got sick and passed on his business to his grandson.

His grandson was an intelligent and extremely motivated young man in his mid-20’s. His ambition was impressive. You could almost smell the fire in his belly. While his 4 siblings went off to college to become attorneys and doctors, he was more interested in being a business person.

citation consistency for tire and auto repair shops

Citation Consistency Problems Arise

 

Sensing a new opportunity, I asked the grandson if he was interested in growing his business by increasing his search engine rankings. He quickly replied “yes” and signed up for one of our monthly search engine optimization packages.

We immediately went to work and quickly ran into a devastating roadblock. The website was built on a template shared by hundreds of other auto repair and tire shops. This made it impossible to update anything on his site except for his blog. Search engine optimization requires updating certain parts of a web page, including title tags, H1 tags, alt tags, and 11 other elements. But we were unable to access these elements of his website so we were stuck.

When we learned of this terrible situation, we contemplated calling to tell the Grandson that we couldn’t help them improve the rankings and search visibility for their auto and tire shop. In a company brainstorming session, we discovered that they had some significant citation consistency issues. They’d been in business for around 4 decades. During that time, they had multiple business names, addresses, and phone numbers. In the SEO world, name, address and phone number are referred to as “NAP”.

Google, Bing and Yahoo local SEO NAP number of ranking factors for business

These NAP citation consistency problems were causing their business to have far lower Google Maps rankings than they should have. The reason citation consistency issues cause problems is because when Google and other search engines see different business names, addresses, and phone numbers, they lose trust in a business. They don’t feel confident sending people to the wrong place.

Since we couldn’t update their website, we started correcting all the inconsistent directory listings, also called structured citations, to improve their NAP citation consistency. Since they’d been around for so many years, they had well over 200 citations.

It took us many months to get all the citations exactly consistent. As we corrected their citations over time, their local rankings grew. Their auto and tire repair shop went from 24 number one rankings to 84 number one rankings. They also went from 31 rankings in the 2-5 position to 65 rankings. Their rankings in the 5–10 position rose from 4 to 33. The chart below shows their explosive growth in #1 rankings as the top-10 and top-50 rankings. They experienced a 340% growth in 2 years.

Nimbus Marketing Delivers Big Time For Local Shop

 

Our efforts for this family-owned tire and auto repair shop paid off big time. The Grandson called me into his office and explained to me that since they hired us, their sales increased by over $800,000. He explained that although the increase in sales was not completely because of our SEO efforts, it was a large part of it.

This is one of my favorite customer success stories. It demonstrates the power of never giving up. It also highlights the importance of good research. If my team hadn’t thought to review their citation profile, we may have cancelled our campaign for them and missed out a big opportunity to help a local family-owned business.

To this day, we still can’t update their website. I can only imagine how much more their business would have grown if we could have.

Robert Portillo, founder of Nimbus Marketing, and his family.

About the author:

Robert Portillo is the founder of Nimbus Marketing. Nothing satisfies him more than expressing his thoughts well. He lives in Los Angeles with his wife and two sons. He can often be found at local farmer’s markets, hiking trails, and the beach.