Case Study: Small Auto Shop Generates 740 Calls with Search
November 6, 2017 | Contributed by: Rob Frost-Dean
Single location businesses often find themselves in competition with national chains as well as local shops. This creates a constant challenge to win new business. How can local businesses stand out in situations where they are outspent on advertising and competing against big brand name recognition?
This is exactly the challenge that one of our customers, Reliable Auto Repair of San Jose, California, faced. The local auto repair shop routinely competes with national brands such as Midas, Firestone, or National Brake and Tire, plus, all the other auto shops in the area. In business for more than a decade, Reliable Auto Repair prides itself on offering customers competent routine service and brake work. They had the happy customers to show for it, but they wanted to increase their volume.
Getting New Customers in the Door
Reliable Auto Repair provides many intangibles such as great customer service, a professional environment, a clean shop, availability on Saturdays, and competitive rates. They needed to get people into the shop to experience these things so that the business could start increasing the number of loyal patrons who would appreciate the total experience of visiting the shop.
While they had a loyal customer base that provided them with repeat business, Reliable Auto knew that the growth of their business depended on reaching into the community to win more customers. People who had been coming to them for years might tell a friend about this service, but word of mouth from these customers alone would not be enough to take their business to the next level. How to get more customers in the door was the challenge that Reliable Auto’s operations manager, Michael Jidkov, faced.
Traditional Ways of Attracting New Business
Like many auto repair shops, Reliable Auto offered coupons on popular services such as oil changes, brake jobs, air conditioning repair, or tire rotation in local newspapers, in value packs mailed to resident’s homes, and even through radio spots.
After doing promotions like this, Jidkov wanted to know how much business resulted from it. Traditional advertising is costly. Did he only get people who wanted one $19.99 oil change, or did he win some new customers who would come back even when the promotion was over? Unfortunately, tracking the ROI of these marketing efforts was difficult. It was almost impossible to determine which customers were drawn in from which advertising method, whether it paid off for the company, or whether it led to repeat business.
Enter Online Advertising
Reliable already had a website that provided details about their business. As the company learned, having a website does not automatically attract visitors. As online advertising on social media and on websites became the place to be, the problem of how to stand out from the crowd became even more intense. Mr. Jidkov saw the advantages of using Facebook, Twitter, and Google, and review sites such as Yelp, but how could a small repair service maximize the advantages of these new techniques?
We (ReachLocal) analyzed the company’s website and upgraded it so that it offered crisp, informative copy, ease of navigation, and search engine optimization (SEO). The goal was to make the company’s website appear near the top of the first page of Google search results when people look for local auto repair services. Ranking on anything other than page 1 will not do, as potential customers are likely to start clicking on or calling the first names they see. They’ll stop searching before they get to page 2.
The company also initiated marketing campaigns using Facebook and other social media platforms. While the program is still ongoing, Reliable Auto saw immediate results from these changes.
Successful Results of Marketing Intervention
By taking advantage of available services to enhance their website, manage leads, track visitors, and encourage conversations both on their website and on Facebook, Reliable Auto suddenly found itself busier than ever before. For example:
- In less than two months, they had more than 150 website clicks from ReachSocial Ads.
- In a little over a month, they had nearly 380 clicks on their Facebook ad.
- In less than two years, more than 740 calls were generated from ReachSearch.
If this case study proved anything, it is that digital marketing is a powerful way to help local businesses stand out from the crowd. The constant flow of usable data helps owners and managers of local businesses evaluate their investment in advertising and more easily determine which efforts are making a difference and which aren’t.
Tags: auto repair shop, case study, Digital Marketing, Local Search, marketing intervention, national brands, new business, online advertising, Small Business, social marketing, traditional advertising