By Ed Attanasio
So, you spent a considerable amount of money on your web site. But now no one can find you online and it’s starting to look like a waste of time and money. Then one day a slick salesperson calls you and catches you on the phone. “We’re Search Engine Optimization (SEO) experts and we can get you #1 on Google or Yahoo in your area by using our secret (hush hush) strategy.” They drop words like “meta tags”, “embedded codes”, “hyperlinks” and “secret keywords”, but the only thing they’re optimizing is their ability to fleece you for whatever they can get.
One body shop (who wants to stay anonymous) recently spent $6,500 with a company that promised top Google rankings. But, in the end, the rankings were achieved using “Black Hat” SEO techniques. After a short time, Google discovered it and now the shop has been blacklisted, which means Google will not list his shop in any upcoming searches.
David Moore, the owner of Collisionwebsites.com is an SEO expert and a collision repair veteran. He has created literally hundreds of websites for body shops for nearly a decade, so he knows the SEO game inside-and-out. “Be extremely careful when someone promises you top rankings and makes outlandish guarantees” Moore said. “If someone tells you that they can get you the #1 ranking in your city on Google, for instance, that’s a definite red flag. We never promise the top position to any of our clients, because that’s an impossible claim. It does not happen overnight. Results will depend on the market you’re doing business in and how long you work at it. In a narrow market with 5-10 players, it’s obviously easier. But, if you’re in a larger market with 20-50 shops competing against you, guaranteeing a top position is ludicrous.”
SEO efforts work ideally in close conjunction with a plethora of other media and have to be maintained ongoing to reap positive results, Moore explained. “SEO is not something most body shops can effectively do themselves, because it changes all the time. There’s no easy button when it comes to SEO, because if your competitors are also hiring people like us, everyone is vying for those top spots. The shops that have embraced this science and know how to use it will have a definite advantage now and a very distinct one in the next 5-10 years.”
Moore offered three quick tips about how to improve your SEO. “First, you need to introduce fresh, new content all the time, because the search engines are attracted to original content. You also need to make sure that your keywords are the best you can have. We know the best keywords, because we use them all the time. And lastly, you should constantly be looking around to get involved in new things like Google Places for Business, mobile apps and emerging social media. We can help you in all these areas—affordably and promptly—because time is money in this industry and waiting until tomorrow may be too late.”
Managing your SEO isn’t something you should assign to one of your techs or front office people to do on a part-time basis, Moore said. Staying on top of the most recent changes with Google, Yahoo and Bing, for instance, is a huge, unending job.
“Google and Yahoo are changing their algorithms all the time,” Moore explained. “They’ve changed them at least 400 times over the years and the only way we can find out is by accessing blogs on the subject. Google just recently changed their algorithm twice and set SEO on its ear in many ways. It’s very challenging, because the only way to learn is to constantly use the search engines. We can’t predict what’s happening next, because companies like Google don’t tell us. If you’re even just 60-80 days behind the times, you’re lost—especially in a busy area where other body shops are also vying for improved search rankings.”
For optimum results, contact David Moore today and make your web site as effective as it can possibly be. Collision Websites can do it affordably and by plugging away at it on a consistent basis, you’ll get better rankings and more customers will find you faster and easier.
Ed Attanasio is a writer/blogger/journalist with more than 30 years experience. He has written more than 300 articles about the collision repair industry, primarily for Autobody News and a wide range of popular automotive blogs. He was recently hired to be a guest blogger for Collision Websites and will be submitting articles for us twice monthly, to provide invaluable information for body shops from a national perspective.