In the age of the Internet, marketing your business is very different than it was 20 years ago. People no longer leaf through the phone book or rely on advertisements to find a store. These days, when a customer needs their vehicle repaired, they go online, and your goal as a business is to make yourself as easy to find as possible.
Although the thought of establishing your store’s web presence may seem like a daunting undertaking, you don’t need to hire an SEO expert to make your store more visible online. There are very simple steps you can take that can have a huge impact.
- Create your Google Business Profile
When it comes to searching for things online, Google is the undisputed leader. So, when trying to increase your online visibility, you should turn to Google’s search engine. The good news is that Google makes it easy for you with Google Business Profile. This free service lets you enter all the key information your customers are looking for, such as your address, services you provide, hours of operation, phone number and website. Google’s goal is to help its users find what they need as quickly as possible. So the more information you include, the more likely the search engine will suggest your business.
When you enter this information, it also allows your store to appear in local Google searches. These are the search results that appear at the top of a Google search next to your location map. So not only do you have the advantage of being at the top of search results, but customers can see where your business is near them.
- Adapt your metadata to the needs of your customers
When you do a Google search and see the list of results, the text that appears in the blue title and description below it is called metadata. By editing your metadata text in your website builder, you can change how someone on Google will see your business in their search.
Now thinking back to how Google’s search engine works, how it prioritizes search results that appear at the top of the page depends in part on how a website’s metadata matches a search’s keywords. . And being at the top of Google search results is extremely important: more than 25% of people click on the first search result and those below get progressively fewer clicks. The second result gets about 15% of the clicks and if you are not in the first 5 results, you will see 5% of the clicks and less. So what do you write to get to the top of this list?
“Writing for Internet searches is different from other types of writing,” says Kirk Etten, Senior Director of Numerical Analytics at Valvoline. “You only get a limited number of characters, especially if someone is searching on their phone, so you want to get your message across effectively and make sure it meets the customer’s needs.”
To write a good meta description, you have to put yourself in your client’s shoes. Think about what they would do on Google if they searched for your services and tailor your description to those needs. They are more likely to type “oil change near me” or “Kansas City tire store” than they are “family-owned automotive company with a proven history of excellence.” That doesn’t mean the latter isn’t important to have on your website, but when it comes to creating your metadata, stick to answering your customer’s immediate questions: who you are, what do you do, where to find you and how to contact you.
If you don’t know what to write, type in these common searches and see what your competition is doing. The fact that they appear at the top of search means they are doing something right, so follow them. And if you want to check the effectiveness of your keywords, you can use Google Search Console, another free service that helps you improve your site’s visibility.
- Create multiple pages
Your homepage isn’t the only part of your website that can attract potential customers. You can maximize your presence on search results by creating pages with well-written meta descriptions that meet users’ search needs.
Have more than one location? Make sure each location has its own page so it can generate its own local search results. Do you have a store that offers multiple services? Having a page for every service can help your store rank well in searches, whether your potential customer is looking for “oil change near me”, “brake repair near me” or “tires near me. “. Although this step requires more effort, if you’re willing to put in the time, it can really pay off.
“To attract customers, it’s important not only to do a good job, but also to make sure they can be found,” says Etten. “By doing this work and using these free tools, you can have a big impact.”
For more information on how to grow and optimize your business, visit partner.valvoline.com