Online Marketing- New Year’s Resolutions You Should Be Making
A Checklist of Essentials
Hard to believe that 2023 is just around the corner and will be upon us before we know it. For years in BodyShop Business magazine I wrote monthly columns on how to be as successful as possible online (an archive of these columns can be found HERE). And, each December I wrote a column on New Year’s Resolutions that collision repair shop owners and managers should make regarding their online presence. In keeping with that tradition here’s a resolution checklist for you. Resolve to do each of these things and stick to it. Doing so will help you maximize your business’ local online visibility.
2023 New Year’s Resolution Checklist
☐ I resolve to have a website (first of all), and/or I resolve that the website we have is clean and modern, less than 3-5 years old.
If you don’t have a website, isn’t it time to launch one? It’s easy with Optima Automotive, check out our year end special. If you do have a website, remember that the shelf life of a website is about 3-5 years. Technology changes quickly in cyberspace and you can look dated in a hurry.
☐ I resolve to have effective calls to action on our website. I want to make it easy for people to bring their car to us for repair so I’ll have our address and phone number at the top of our site and I will give the target audience the opportunity to submit a request an estimate form or text us online.
☐ I resolve to do regular updating to our website to provide fresh, good quality content. I understand that doing so enhances our ranking potential.
☐ I resolve to make sure our website is optimized for the top search terms people actually use to search for the services we provide. I have learned from Mark Claypool that those terms are our company name first, then “auto body”, “body shop”, “autobody” and “collision repair”. I further resolve to test whether we are ranking for these terms or not by conducting an “incognito” search so search engines aren’t influenced by my past browsing history. (Here’s how to do an incognito search on your chosen browser: www.computerhope.com/issues/ch001378.htm.)
☐ I resolve to use video on our website because I understand that video enhances our ranking potential.
☐ I resolve to host our website on a secure server. I understand that an unsecure server can make our site vulnerable to getting hacked and Google will punish our ranking potential if we aren’t secure.
☐ I resolve to effectively promote any OEM certifications and recognitions we may have on both our website and our social media accounts. See my blog on this topic HERE.
☐ I resolve to pay attention to our company’s online reviews on Google, Facebook, Yelp and others. I further resolve to thank people for leaving us reviews and will respond professionally and non-defensively to less than stellar reviews.
☐ I resolve to make sure our business directory listings are as accurate and consistent across the board as possible. Having our business NAP (Name, Address, Phone) accurate and consistent helps boost our overall ranking potential and gives our business maximum visibility.
To see how accurate and consistent your business NAP is, click this link: https://www.yext.com/partner/optimaworldwide/diagnostic.html.
☐ I resolve to build our brand more effectively on our social media accounts, particularly on Facebook and Instagram. Our profile image will be our company logo. We will not be posting just marketing and advertising on these accounts because our target audience only needs us once every 7 years or so. Instead we will post things that will add value to our relationships with our followers. The reason we do this is so that when our followers need us someday, or a friend or family member needs us, they will remember us. I further resolve that we will post at least 4 times a week on Facebook and 2 times a week on Instagram.
☐ I resolve to create a business YouTube channel, or better brand and use our current channel. We will stream videos to our website because Google owns YouTube and loves it when we use their technology. That, in turn, should help boost our ranking potential. I resolve to post at least once a month to our YouTube channel.
☐ I resolve to own all access to everything we do online, including the rights to our domain name, access to our web server, the copyright to the content and graphics on our website and full administrative rights to our Facebook, Instagram and YouTube pages.
☐ I resolve to take steps to protect ourselves from cyber criminals. We will have robust firewalls that protect our in-house servers. We will have good anti-malware systems in place that update regularly to keep up with the cyber criminals. We will train our staff (Optima Automotive has a cyber security course available HERE) and provide the team with our cyber security policies (request a sample copy of cyber policies HERE). We will be holding people accountable for following our policies.
If You Fulfill Every Checklist Item…
If you address everything above, and resolve to address where you fall short, you will have the maximum opportunity to be found online. Have goals, set timelines, be accountable. Hire qualified experts, like Optima Automotive, to address weaknesses. Doing all this will bring you additional cars to repair, and that’s why you are in business.