How to use your website to drive new business.
Websites aren’t just a fancy place for customers to find your phone number; they’re an important asset that can drive business through your shop door.
A recent Google and Critical Mix trust survey found auto service store websites are the number one source of information for people looking to buy tires — whether they’re searching on their computer, cell or tablet.
So, what factors do you need to consider if you want a great lead-generating business website?
How do customers find your business?
The survey Building Loyalty and Trust With Drivers discovered that customers take two steps when choosing a vehicle service center. First, they do initial research. This includes searching on their mobile device in three out of five cases, or four out of five cases if they’re under 44 years old. Potential customers will look for your location, check reviews about your business that have been posted online, and ask family and friends for recommendations.
The second stage of a customer’s research is establishing that you’re the right business to do the job. At this stage, they want to know about the credibility of your technicians. So your website needs to offer not just basic information about “who” and “where” you are, but also more detail about the “how” and “what” of your services.
How does your website look?
Websites have to be as easy as possible for the user to understand. They should look clean and simple and have all the information a potential customer might need quickly. Large and clear text a visitor can read at a glance is a good starting place. Make it clear what they need to do next — whether that’s to book an online appointment or call for advice about your specials and deals. Check out the common mistakes businesses make when building their websites and avoid them.
If you consider your website is your business address, your site’s landing page is your calling card. To make sure you convert visitors, you need to keep it simple. An ideal landing page has less clutter and generates the quickest call to action possible.
How fast does it load?
The speed it takes a website to load is called its “latency.” If your landing page doesn’t load within three seconds, you have a problem. Research suggests that 43 percent of users are unlikely to return to a slow-loading page. Even more worrying, every second of delay in loading time is probably costing you about seven percent of the business you might have won if your website were faster. Test your website speed to make sure it’s as fast as it can be.
Is it mobile responsive?
The report also found most people looking for a vehicle service center start their research on a cell or tablet (34 percent, compared to the 30 percent who used desktop computers). This is worth bearing in mind as it’s a trend that’s only set to increase. It’s important to ensure your website is “responsive,” so it changes to fit the screen it is being viewed on.
The quickest way to lose business is to make your landing page difficult to read on a mobile device. Difficulties your customers face in reading the information on your page is called “friction.” Friction includes things like text that is too small and forms that are difficult to fill in with your thumb. Check out this friction checklist and make sure you convert those mobile customers.
Getting it right
By paying some attention to the nuts and bolts of your online presence, you can not only engage more new customers, but you’ll be able to harness and keep those you already have.