Ask and You Will Succeed
If you’re building, or rebuilding, your website, we know you have a lot of questions. Here are the ones our marketing experts say are crucial.
As the owner of an auto service or repair shop, choosing the right marketing agency to design your website is one of the most important decisions you’ll make. Choose wrong, and you’ll lose valuable time, money and opportunity. Choose right, and you’ll gain a partner and ally in building your business and a larger customer base, as well as increasing your profits. Keep in mind that not all marketing agencies are created equally, and there are many factors to consider when starting your search.
Three words of advice: Ask, Ask, Ask! The more questions you ask, the more comfortable you’ll be with your final selection. Whether you’re leveling an old website and building a new one or taking what you have and giving it a fresh coat of paint, make sure your marketing company knows how to follow through and get the job done.
Find out when they started working with the automotive aftermarket industry. Make sure you’re asking about their expertise in your area of expertise. Look for an agency that has experience with auto shops that are the same size as yours and do the same thing as you. They should be able to show you examples of successful websites and marketing makeovers that are comparable to yours.
Find out if the marketing agency has the technical knowledge of website design and development, as well as experience with advanced Internet marketing strategies. Many companies are good at either one or the other but still portray themselves as full-service marketing agencies. It takes exceptional Web design and development and innovative marketing tools to be an effective marketing agency that gets results. Ask for case studies and before-and-afters that show how their marketing expertise has helped other shops.
Here are four crucial questions to ask of a marketing agency that’s seeking your business:
1. ‘What do I want?’
Take a moment to really think about this question. In a world where we want it all, when it comes to a successful website makeover, it’s important to narrow your focus and come up with a few overarching goals. Otherwise, your extreme website makeover will turn into such an expensive and cumbersome project that it’ll never get completed. Or, your website company will have to cut corners and skimp in some places just to get it done. Choose a marketing agency that can look at your goals and give you the best blueprints for achieving those goals.
Knowing what you want, and communicating it, is key in these early stages because it’s important to allow the experts to draw up the plans and implement the process. After you’ve expressed your business goals and you’ve both gotten on the same page, it’s time for the marketing agency to get to work.
Various tools and marketing strategies can be overwhelming and complicated, so it’s important to choose an agency that’s transparent and can explain everything they’re doing and how it ties back into getting you what you want.
2. ‘Do you offer custom solutions?’
For most shop owners, having an online presence and positive word of mouth isn’t enough these days. To reach your goals, you’ll need a website that works as hard as you do. Make sure your website design and marketing solutions reflect you and your goals.
Ask an agency to show you sample websites they’ve customized for other shops, and show them examples that you like on the web. The service you provide to your customers isn’t run-of-the-mill, and your website and marketing package shouldn’t be either. It should be designed with time and care, specifically with you and your shop in mind.
Custom building your website means the marketing agency will design your site’s look and feel from scratch based on what you like, what will engage your customers and what will work with your marketing. It’s not just your website design that should be customized but your marketing solutions as well. Certain best practices and standards should be applied, but your shop and your business challenges are unique and your website and marketing company should be willing and able to sit down and have meetings to develop custom approaches for you.
3. ‘What about content?’
You should definitely be concerned with any marketing agency’s content creation strategy for your website. The content is what truly connects your website and company to your customers. More than that, it’s how Google knows what you do and how well you do it. Yep, we are talking about those Google Web-search results again. Google search bots read your content more than some of your customers do. You want to make sure those bots like what they see.
Good content will go a long way toward building your brand and helping you gain authority on the web. Bad content will penalize you and lower where you show up online. The most common form of “bad” content is duplicate content. Ask your website agency how they go about writing unique and original content for each page of your website.
Also, find out what they can do to create content in more ways than one. Website page content that is written for Google search bots is important, but a good website company will have extra options to use like building blocks. They’ll blog, post to social media websites like Facebook and help produce videos that tell your story and get more branded content out there on the Internet.
4. ‘Do you build responsive websites?’
Responsive website design and development has become a must for any web marketer and having a responsive website is a must for an automotive shop, too. When your website makeover is completed, it needs to look good on any type of device: cellphones, tablets, desktop computers. Why? Well, you want it to look good, to get visitors clicking and making calls. But you also want it to rank higher in Web-search results.
When you go to Google and type in a search, Google knows you want to land on a website that looks good and is easy to navigate on whichever type of device you’re using. Google knows that you don’t want to fumble with an old, hard-to-read website where you can’t even find the phone number. That’s why Google has formally declared that responsive websites receive preference when it comes to showing up in search results.
Technology changes rapidly, so you’ll want to make sure the marketing company you choose thinks in the future and knows where trends and technologies are headed. Some agencies have been designing and building responsive websites for years; some are just playing catch-up. Look for an agency with fresh, innovative thinking that knows how to weave it all together with proven and time-tested strategies.