News, views & analysis blogs by: Erik Rosenow

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Erik Rosenow :
Search Engine Consumers Do the Walking to the Automotive Industry


Erik Rosenow :
The Internet is a powerful marketing tool. In fact, the Web has largely replaced the Yellow Pages as the primary place consumers use to locate local automotive technicians, and with every passing day, the Internet becomes a more reliable and more involved resource for car care-related businesses. Today, your local company’s success requires your auto shop to meet consumers on the search engines. Your most aggressive local competitors are already there, so now is the time for you to join in the online party.

The opportunity for you couldn’t be illustrated more clearly than in a recent survey of 3,000 Internet users by Nielsen/Net Ratings that found that 73% of consumers turn to Internet search engines to find local products and services, more than any other source including yellow pages, newspapers, radio or other media. Perhaps more telling, while searching for nearby mechanics or auto repair online, searchers in the survey averaged less than three searches, meaning that, to compete with other repair shops, smog-test centers, and automotive detailers, anyone in the automotive industry has to get their message to the forefront of the search engines in a clear and appealing manner.

For a busy self-employed mechanic, who spends most workdays under the hood tuning transmissions or checking fluids, advertising and marketing — especially Web-based marketing, which is complicated and time consuming for anyone doing it — is probably not a high priority. Making sure the schedule is full for the next day, however, is a priority. Recognizing the limited time available to owners to market their businesses online, WebVisible offers a complete solution to automotive repair technicians to tap into the power and potential of Internet marketing.

“We help entrepreneurs target their business to people using search engines like Google and Yahoo! in their local markets,” says Carey Ransom, Vice President of Sales and Marketing for WebVisible. “It´s a completely turnkey program that represents their unique business, saves the business owner hours of time, and takes the guesswork out of Internet marketing.”

By signing up for WebVisible´s program — business owners are consulted to develop a completely customized strategy for their business. WebVisible’s creative team and technology target only the customers in the firm´s business and geographic areas of focus. You may be asking, “how does it work and who else is already taking advantage of this opportunity? After creating and posting the ads, WebVisible monitors each campaign to achieve guaranteed performance. Customers only pay when an interested consumer reads and clicks-through on the business owner’s ad, making the service highly cost-efficient for any business.

“We’ve helped over 50,000 business owners around the country,” Ransom says. “We know what kind of ad copy and keywords will bring the right kind of consumers to auto mechanics. We give our customers as broad of exposure online as possible, and we focus that exposure on the consumers looking for a brake job in Chicago, window tinting in Birmingham, or whatever market they serve.”

“Dozens of people search online for various auto services every day. As an auto mechanic in the market, you want consumers reading your ad to view you as a qualified, trustworthy and knowledgeable repairman,” Ransom says, “and your website will give consumers easy options to contact and do business with you. Although hundreds of people will see your online ad, you only pay when some is interested enough in you to click on your ad.”

When potential customers click on a specific mechanic’s ad, they´re taken to a web page containing the mechanic´s information and background, such as services, qualifications, an e-mail address, location and phone number, as well as references, testimonials, and other relevant information the mechanic provides on the website. By doing so, the visitor has everything necessary to go from being a potential customer with a sputtering engine to an actual smooth-driving customer.

“Auto mechanics typically want phone calls because they´re working on cars all day,” Ransom says. “We provide a ‘trackable’ phone number with their campaign that will redirect all calls to whichever number they designate. At the end of the month, weekly or daily basis, we can tell them, ‘Here are all the phone calls that you received,’ and they have documented leads to their business.”

Nearly 75% of all consumers use search engines to find local auto repair providers. Adding online advertising to your automotive repair business is a necessity to ensure continued access to new potential customers. When consumers in your local market search, you want them to find you!

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