“We want to put on a salesperson’s mentality with our website and figure out how this is going to become an opportunity vehicle for your shop to get in front of more customers, create more opportunities to engage them and get more customers in the shop.”
He then compared three business website categories that he typically sees when he starts working with a collision repair shop: no website; OK, but out-of-date website; better website; and best website. The “best” website has several call-to-action buttons, e.g. contact form buttons; the flow of information is built to accommodate today’s consumer (provides a user-friendly experience); displays photos representing the part of the country in which the shop is located; and is mobile-optimized.
“How important is mobile?” he asked. “Three in four smartphone owners today said that they will turn to mobile search first to address immediate needs. Well immediate needs---that’s what you’re dealing with with a collision repair customer, right? These 3 in 4 smartphone owners represent 172 million consumers---that’s 77 percent of the U.S. population. So if your site is not mobile-optimized, consider this a top priority.”
He said successful websites have value-based messaging, are engineered for SEO (search engine optimization; sites best engineered for SEO will display on the first page of Google search results), have a simple design and are secure websites. Secure websites begin with https:// and display a padlock icon next to the web address.
Next, he discussed the value of tracking website performance through Google Analytics, a free website metrics tool that 90 percent of body shops do not utilize. The core metrics Google Analytics provides are website page views, visits, visitors, average time spent on the site and average number of pages per session viewed when on the site. Other valuable metrics include demographics (location is especially important), the devices being used to visit the website and referral sources. Without site metrics, he said, you don’t know how your site is performing.
He said the way to measure a shop website’s success is through its conversions.