Your website is selling you, and you have only 60 seconds to do it when a customer lands on your home page.
Danny Sanchez, founder of Autoshop Solutions, explained to a room full of today’s plugged-in shop owners what they need to do to improve their websites during his ASRW presentation “Ignite the Internet! Internet Marketing for Auto Repair Professionals.”
Getting right to the point, Sanchez jumped into what the owners need to know in the same way they need to do with their websites. Time is critical, he says, teaching attendees that they have just eight seconds from the point a consumer arrives at their website to make them see that the shop is a viable option for the vehicle repair they’re searching.
If you have just eight seconds to engage a customer and only 30 seconds to establish your shop as a professional option, that means a successful website will hold a visitor for just one to two minutes.
You better have the information they want accessible, then. “The home page has to be the tool to sell you. As much information as you have on the page has to sell you and the service you have,” Sanchez states.
It starts with your phone number. That is one of the things that people come to your website for the most, so you should not hide it, Sanchez says. He suggests the phone number should be at the top of the main page.
“I don’t know how many pages we see where you have to look for the phone number,” he states. Even if it’s under a contact us tab, you’re still sending a customer too far to find the information.
Using Google to Your Advantage
But how do you know where people are going on your site and if they’re basically just coming in to find your phone number? Google Analytics is the answer.
Google Analytics show you haw people enter your site, how they explored it and how you can enhance their experience. With this information, you can improve your website return on investment, increase conversions and make more money on the web, according to Sanchez.
He says that the only downfall is that it is not real-time — you see data about a day later.
But you get all the information on where people are coming from, when they arrive on the site and how long they’re there. He used this information to explain to attendees that the benchmark is 2.5 pages.
“It means they’re spending some time researching the site,” Sanchez says.
Many people will get your phone number and leave, and there are some that will look at every page you have to make an informed decision. But you’re looking for the average.
Checking your Google Analytics is a great idea, but you also must be aware of how you can affect your image in how you view it. Basically, you might appear to be No. 1 in a Google search on your computer, when you’re really not.
The key is, according to Sanchez, that Google is “really, really good at remembering what you like.”
He explains that if every time you type in automotive repair and you click on your own site to check it, Google will remember that. But that’s not a true No. 1 ranking.
“What you’re doing is tainting your own browser. You’re training Google to what you like,” he states. It’s just one more item to keep in mind when you’re checking your website and truly trying to interpret your analytics.
In addition to talking about his points, Sanchez answered numerous questions from attendees throughout the presentation. One popular topic was videos on the home page.
“Videos (on the home page) are fantastic. But you can’t replace real data with video,” Sanchez says. “That’s the mistake people make when they replace data with a video. Not everyone clicks on the videos. There has to be both data and video.”
He cautioned attendees that if they do have videos, they need to make sure they are valuable and fit into the aforementioned minute people spend on the site.
“Videos are great to have, you just have to make sure they’re short. Good gravy, make sure they’re shorter than 60 seconds or else you start losing everybody,” Sanchez says.
He also touched on reviews — they’re good on your site, but they’re 12 times more powerful when on other sites like Google — and chat features on the home page.
“We’ve had chat features available to our clients for years. I’m still waiting for that to come to fruition in being successful in our industry,” he offers. “Yes I think it will be, I don’t know if we’re there yet.”
For more information on what Sanchez and Autoshop Solutions offer today’s repair shops, visit www.autoshopsolutions.com.