By Angie Kilbourne
Shop Site of the Month
J.M. Auto Service - Eveleth, Minn.
J.M. Auto Service deserves an "Honorable Mention" in this issue as it came in 11th in the Top 10 Web Sites competition. Establishing value with potential customers through a two-dimensional medium can be difficult, but J.M. Auto Service has found the right combination of professional graphics and excellent content to drive home its message. Adding the shop's TV commercial to the Services page gives a touch of interactivity, and the reCAPTCHA use on forms is a great way to cut out the spam so J.M. can get right to business.
Interested in seeing more outstanding Web sites? Click here to check out the AutoInc. 2010 Top Ten Repair Web Sites.
Web Wise: Google App Gives Customers
Directions to Your Door
A Web site's "Find Us" page - providing a map, directions, business hours and other important information - is a vital feature for any business' Web site. It not only helps customers and associates find your location, but it also gives search engine spiders a content-rich page that provides location indicators and local citations. Search engines use this information to determine your ranking in their local search results.
Google Maps now offers a free, customizable Directions Gadget that is easy for any Webmaster to insert on a shop's site. The gadget provides driving, walking and even public transportation directions, making your "Find Us" page interactive while keeping customers on your site, not Google's.
Inserting the gadget on your site is simple:
1. Visit http://maps.google.com/help/maps/gadgets/directions/
2. Follow the directions, adding your location to the appropriate area and choosing your color scheme.
3. Click the "Get the Code" button. The HTML code is displayed, which can be copied and pasted onto your Web page.
If a user enters a vague or incomplete address, the tool will provide a list of more exact locations to pinpoint the desired address. The gadget can be programmed to display in 23 languages, and it's designed to be easy to use for both Webmasters and end-users. Web site visitors can enter either the ZIP code, address keyword or latitude-longitude coordinates to get the correct directions.
However, the Directions Gadget doesn't take the place of registering a site with search engines, nor does it provide any search engine optimization - namely, the content search engine spiders are looking for when crawling a site. Be sure to cover all your bases when providing information to visitors on a "Find Us" page.
Ensure your location Web page is rich with keywords and details. Include landmarks, nearby highways and any other distinguishing location markers that will help customers find the brick-and-mortar shop easily, in addition to your exact address and phone number.
ASA Web Ways: ASA's Information Center
The ASA Information Center contains citations, abstracts and the latest commentary on such topics as business management, employee hiring, business statistics, legal issues, customer service ideas and repair statistics. Located in the ASA Members Only section of www.ASAshop.org, a convenient search engine helps members find the pertinent information they are looking for, and you can easily request additional information on the indexed articles by using the convenient order form. Articles and reports are e-mailed, faxed or mailed to ASA members free of charge.
Online bill payments are expected to grow 11 percent over the next five years.
Source: Forrester Research
AutoInc. Web Site |
ASA Web Site |
Automotive Parts Policy Will Be Profiled in 2010 |
Breathe Easier: New Compliance Regs for Body Shops. |
Are You Ready for New Refrigerants? |
2010 Automotive Trends: A Look Ahead to a Bright Future |
Turn Angry Customers into Loyal Customers |
Cream of the Crop |
Tech to Tech |
Tech Tips |
News Briefs |
Taking the Hill |
Around ASA |
Net Worth |
Members' Advantage |
Candidates for ASA’s Board of Directors |
Chairman's Message |
Guest Editorial |
New Dates, Direction for ASRW 2010 Events |
ASA State Legislative Objectives |
ASA Federal Legislative Objectives