Web Presence Management: Building a Shop Website Isn't Enough - BodyShop Business

Web Presence Management: Building a Shop Website Isn’t Enough

No "Field of Dreams" here: Collision repair facilities today must realize that having an effective online presence is as important to their long-term success as any other facet of their business.

Each month, web and social media expert Mark Claypool will critique body shop websites and explain the benefits of updating and optimizing them. He’ll also highlight examples of successful, well-managed social media campaigns that body shops have launched, as well as keep you informed on the latest trends and announcements made by search engines and social media outlets.

Websites are not like the “Field of Dreams” featured in the 1989 movie starring Kevin Costner. In the movie, Costner is told by mysterious voices, “Build it and they will come,” “it” being a baseball field, and “they” being the Chicago Black Sox. But just because you build a website doesn’t mean visitors will flock to it. That’s where search engine optimization comes in.

Collision repair facilities today must come to the realization that having an effective online presence is as important to their long-term success as any other facet of their business.

Driving Traffic

Why do you need a strong presence online? Plain and simple, to drive traffic to your door so you have cars to fix. That’s it; nothing else matters. Anything else is a waste of time and money. And if it’s that important, it needs to be managed.

Managing your online presence consists of the following:
● Having a striking website that makes a strong first impression.
● Having your contact information prominently located on the top half of all your site’s pages.
● Having some kind of “call to action” on your website to prompt your target audience to do something.

What do you want them to do? Pick up the phone and call you? Find your location on a map and drive to you? Submit a request for an estimate or appointment? Your site should have one or all of these on the homepage. (Note to New Jersey readers: State law prohibits you from having an online estimate feature on your site).

Getting Found

Just having a website doesn’t mean it will be found. It needs to be optimized so that people who don’t necessarily know you can find you using the terms the public generally uses to find collision services.

There’s a big difference between website developers and true search engine optimization (SEO) specialists. SEO is a science unto itself, and takes a great deal of study and training to practice it. And it’s a constantly changing specialty, too. Google alone changed its search engine algorithms more than 400 times over the past year, so it requires commitment to keep up with it.

Social Media

Shops need to participate in social media – 800 million people can’t be wrong! Facebook is the fastest growing phenomenon in the history of mankind. Let’s compare the years it took similar media outlets and gizmos to reach 50 million users:
● Radio: 38 years
● TV: 13 years
● Internet: 4 years
● iPod: 3 years
● Facebook: less than one year.

Facebook added over 200 million users in the course of one 12-month period!

Social media for collision repair is all about building brand awareness, and it must be managed effectively.  Posts on Facebook and Twitter accounts need to be made regularly to maximize the number of impressions you’ll be able to make.

Contact Me

If you would like to have your website and social media efforts critiqued and possibly included in this column, contact me at [email protected].

Next month, we’ll critique the website of Quality Auto Paint & Body in Roanoke, Va.: www.qualityautopaintandbody.com.

Shop manager Richard Henegar, Jr., wants to take his website to new heights, but right now it’s dramatically underperforming. With Google, which has 65 percent of search engine market share, the shop’s site ranks on page 10 for the most commonly used term the public uses. That’s virtually useless since no one goes that deep into search results. Quality is on page one with Bing and Yahoo, however, which is good. Watch for what we’ll do to Quality’s site next month.


BSB Contributing Editor Mark Claypool has nearly 30 years of experience in the fields of workforce training, business/education partnerships, apprenticeships, training and web presence management. He’s the owner of Optima Automotive (www.optimaautomotive.com), a provider of website design, development, search engine optimization (SEO) services and social media management services. He also serves as the regional sales manager for Metro Paint Supplies in Chicago. His work history includes vice president of VeriFacts Automotive, founder of Mentors At Work (now a division of VeriFacts), executive director of the
I-CAR Education Foundation and the National Auto Body Council (NABC), co-founder of the Collision Industry Foundation and national director of development for SkillsUSA. He continues to serve, on a volunteer basis, as the Skills- USA World team leader for the WorldSkills Championships. He can be reached at [email protected].

You May Also Like

Are You Ready to ROCK in 2023?

Do you know a “rockstar” in the automotive aftermarket? Then it’s time to nominate them as a Vehicle Care RockStar!

Unless you have been on a remote desert island the past few weeks, you’ve likely seen some intriguing teasers for the latest brand launched under the Babcox Media umbrella — Vehicle Care RockStars. If you have seen it, I’m sure you’ve got some questions.

It can be tough to articulate exactly what defines a RockStar. Is it Mick Jagger’s swagger? Eddie Vedder joyously stagediving into a crowd? Eminem’s clever lyrical prowess or Beyonce’s ability to inspire viral TikTok dances? Elvis’ upturned lip? Is it Slash’s iconic top hat and leather jacket? Dave Grohl’s infectious anthems?

BodyShop Business 2022 Executives of the Year

This year’s Single-Shop award winner is Michael Bradshaw of K & M Collision in Hickory, N.C., and the Multi-Shop winner is Matt Ebert of Crash Champions.

Conducting Collision Business: It’s a New Day

The goal is not to declare war against insurers; it is to declare independence for your organization so that you’re able to provide the highest level of service to your true customers.

Don’t Be Quint: Embrace ADAS and Modern Vehicle Equipment

We can avoid a fate similar to Quint’s in the movie Jaws if we embrace ADAS, technology and training.

Welder Woman: Forging a Trail with Fire

Jaime Shewbridge is the first woman to have won the 2020 I-CAR Instructor of the Year award and the 2021 Welding Instructor of the Year award — and she’s not done yet.

Other Posts

It’s Time to Talk About Money with Young Body Techs

It’s time that we as leaders start to educate our young technicians on how to manage, grow and save money.

Boosting the Value of Your Business

If you have more than five years before you plan to exit your business, there are many things you can do to increase its value and decrease your asset gap.

Running a Family Collision Business: Stay in Your Lane

In a family business, it’s important to divide the duties and respect each other’s lanes.

Need the 411: What Should Consumers Do After a Vehicle Crash?

What do you do when consumers need info after experiencing a vehicle crash?