Go beyond review counts and star ratings to learn how to leverage reviews to attract a better customer and rank higher too.
Guest post by Dan Vance, Founder & President of Advanced Local
Most auto repair shops focus on getting reviews with the best possible star ratings. While this is important and even critical in online marketing, the opportunities and power in reviews themselves are way under utilized by auto shops today.
What if you could use reviews to attract more customers? And not just any customer, your best customers. How is this possible, you might ask? I'm going to let you in on a hidden gem - a way to increase your business the way you want. Best of all, it is easy, effective, and Google has already done most of the work for you.
It’s Called Attribution
There is a fancy word in marketing called attribution. It is a marketing word which means, - how did this happen, and what can I attribute it to? You might also think of attribution as “association.” How is this outcome tied to some other action?
Like a crystal ball, reviews are a perspective of what it is like to do business with you through the eyes of those who have actually had the experience. Most reviews are flat, meaningless, and have no value in providing legitimate feedback.
While others are rich in content, which lays bare how your shop looks, smells, what the parking is like, how your people interact with them, if the bathrooms are clean, if the service was fair, and what you did to help them solve a problem… fixing their vehicle.
For some time now, Google has been categorizing this information and then in turn, highlighting it in an effort to “help” new visitors. The help they want to provide is to “correctly'' showcase your business.
Yes, Google is using reviews to “label” your business.
Do you know how your business has been labeled by Google?
Do you know if this labeling correctly reflects the type of information your very best customer is looking for, and will move them to do business with you?
You might be asking, so what does this look like? Below is a real example of how Google tells your story for you based on customer reviews. It's really not pretty. This is a shop in Texas, but that matters little it's the same everywhere across the internet.
The bolded text and the buttons are the attributes on your listing. They are easy to see by doing a live search of your business listing on google map view and scroll to the review section on your listing. (example at the bottom of page)
When looking at how this reflects on your business, is this how you’d want to be highlighted? As a shop that has a very clean, and comfortable waiting area? How about quick and professional?
Another thing tied to attributes is this business ranks really well for inspections, and professional auto repair. Attributes are a big ranking factor.
Search Engines see reviews as gospel truth, plain and simple.
What You Can Do
Here are 3 easy steps to leverage the power of reviews and attributes.
1. If you want to rank better for Jeep, get more reviews for Jeeps. (Want to learn how to get specific reviews? Ask Advanced Local for a PDF on “Asking and Getting The Best Reviews”) When Google starts seeing more customer reviews tied to a service or brand, they will start ranking you better.
2. Here is something you can do beyond reviews to increase the type of attributes you want, like ranking higher for Jeep. I would recommend taking a picture of a Jeep with a customer with the client's phone and then posting on your shop's Google listing. This is easy to do, so do not be intimidated by this suggestion. Remember Google will see this right away, and they can read images - you will see ranking boosts fast!
How cool and simple is this? Very. Mind you, a warning, this strategy works so well, I wouldn’t tell anyone at the next cocktail party or your training group. Keep this one close.
3. Get more of your preferred customers by improving your review attributes. You can ask yourself, what does my best customer like about doing business with my shop? If it's a loaner car, then get more loaner car reviews. If it's a warranty, then… well you get the idea.
Bonus tip: If you have review attributes for digital inspections and this actually works to attract customers with higher-end ARO, then leverage these attributes by putting an article on your website. You’ll want to describe in detail what a digital inspection looks like with pictures, then mix in reviews from the attribute buttons. You’ll be amazed at the new calls as well as appointment requests.
How to see attributes for your business:
Do a Google search for your business in the Maps search bar
Attributes are down the listing where the reviews are located
Dan Vance, President and Founder of Advanced Local
Advanced Local is a local SEO company that works primarily in the auto repair industry.If you have questions about advancedlocal.com or want to reach out with any questions you can email email@example.com.