Search engine optimization, at the most basic level, is the process of convincing Google and other search engines that your site is the most authoritative and relevant site for whatever phrase or keyword searched. People believe, largely because Google’s algorithm supports this, that if you rank number 1-3, you are of a higher relevancy and authority on the subject than people 4-10 and beyond. With that in mind, SEO quickly becomes a game of becoming the most relevant and most authoritative. While a significant amount of what is considered SEO is technical, there are some impactful things that shop owners can do to help ‘supercharge’ their ongoing SEO campaign. Today, we will be going over three of them.
1. Improve review quantity and quality.
Ultimately, this means teaching your service advisors to solicit for reviews at some point during the business transaction. Consistent positive reviews are a signal to Google that you are doing great business, and that you could potentially be a better result than a shop with a lower review rating. This could also mean going in and addressing negative reviews. Most review sites will not allow for straight up negative comment removal, however they will allow you to respond, which does send a positive sign to Google/other search engines that you are on top of your business and actively trying to give everyone the best service possible.
PRO TIP: Google, Yelp and Facebook are the three top review sites you should probably be focusing on, probably in that order as well.
2. Social media.
Engaging in a social media campaign can make or break your reputation in the modern age. Most likely, if you aren’t on Facebook/Twitter/others, your competitors are. This sends a signal to Google/search engines that your business is fiercely open to the public, both for business and scrutiny, and it also provides an easy means for people to share your business with their friends/colleagues. All things equal, the company with a better social media campaign will usually rank better than its competitor.
3. Community engagement/involvement.
Like I said above, authority and relevancy are the two big pieces when it comes to search engine optimization. An automotive shop that is engaged in its community will not only have earned more social serendipity, but they will also find themselves featured in local magazines, local news stories, etc. This could mean hosting a charity drive, sponsoring local charity events like marathons, Holiday charity events, etc. These mentions are insanely effective at increasing rank, particularly at the local level. To say it another way: one of the most effective (black hat) methods of ranking is building links. If you can get authentic news or other similar sources to write about you and what you are doing, you are earning powerful local links that can blow you past your competition. Ask yourself: What splash can you make that will benefit your community that your competitors currently aren’t doing?
Google’s algorithm is extremely complicated. To the average searcher, it’s tantamount to magic. However, search engine optimization is quite literally a game of metrics, specifically: Are your metrics stronger than your competitor’s? The central metrics that most other metrics tend to feed back into are relevancy and authority. If you can improve those locally through the suggestions listed above, you will see a significant improvement in your SEO success. If you are doing the above suggestions AND you have an SEO campaign to take care of the technicals, your auto repair shop will be a force for your competitors to reckon with!