Top 5 Mistakes Auto Body Shops Make with Their Web Sites

by Ed Attanasio - Wed, Jun 3, 2015 4:24 PM

Body shop owners know how to fix cars back to their pre-accident condition. They know how to handle multiple DRPs, trim their cycle times and track multiple jobs every day, but when it comes to web sites, many of them know very little. Here are 5 common misconceptions that auto body shop owners often fall prey to.

Too costly

#1: Too costly to create a site

I often hear nightmares about body shops that spent way too much money on a web site that looks like a garage sale gone awry. With all of the new platforms and development tools out there now, web sites are more attainable and affordable than ever before. While this particular excuse was somewhat accurate a decade ago, today it is no longer even remotely true. You can now do a complete site with all the bells and whistles for anywhere between $500 to $2,000 for a 5-8 page site, so if someone says it will cost you more than that, continue looking around. You no longer need a small business loan to do a great web site that everyone can love.

#2: Too hard to maintain

This claim is also no longer true. The old days of developers charging you top dollar to hold your web site hostage are long over. Today’s sites allow you (or someone on your staff) to make all of the changes in-house, so never relinquish complete control to any developer. With user-friendly navigation, you don’t have to monthly pay a company $300-$600 to maintain and update your site.

Not enough Time

#3: Too time-consuming

Another legend that just isn’t true. If your web site is well-designed, it will not require a large amount of additional time once it’s been built. By proactively creating new content for your site and scheduling the updates, they become part of your weekly or monthly schedule. Many shops spend 10-15 minutes discussing their web site, blog and social media at their Monday meetings, ensuring that everyone is in the loop and on the same page with all of the above.

#4: No tangible results

Too many shops expect the phone to start ringing off the hook just one day after launching their web sites. I know everyone wants results pronto, but things like Search Engine Optimization (SEO) don’t happen overnight. The Internet isn’t going away any time soon and it’s a proven vehicle for you getting new business, so be patient and watch the results as they build over time. Body shops throughout the country are getting 50-100 cars or more on a monthly basis via the Internet, so if it’s not working for you, you need to re-analyze your site, as well as the way you track results.

Do I need a website

#5: Not needed

I am shocked whenever a body shop owner says that everybody in our area already knows our name, so why do we need a website? Not having a site is like not having a sign out front of the shop or not having a business card—it makes you look like a rank amateur. I don’t care if you’re the most well-known shop in the world; no company is so successful that it does not need a presence on the Internet, so unless you’re getting ready to close the doors and retire, you NEED a site and you need one now.

Some auto body shops pride themselves on being web site rebels by not having a web site, but the only thing they’re rebelling from is making more money. Look at a web site as an investment rather than an expense and stay the course once you’ve got one. You would not hesitate to buy a piece of equipment that would bring you more business and a web site is exactly the same thing.

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