Can your customers find you online?

Creating a strong online presence and an effective digital marketing campaign for your truck repair shop can help increase business, if done correctly.

Topics for “Digital Marketing for Independent Repair Shops” included building an effective Google Business profile, running an effective digital advertising campaign, and partnering with the right marketing partner. Wednesday’s session was part of the Virtual Diesel Expo held May 17-19 and hosted by Diesel Laptops and Alliant Power.

“The three things that should be in every marketing plan for a local service business like a diesel repair shop are an optimized Google Business profile, a modern mobile-friendly website, and an optimized and managed digital advertising campaign,” said Nick Adams, director. director, Dieselmatic, a digital marketing agency for truck repair shops.

First and foremost, a business needs an optimized Google Business profile, which is what customers find when they search for key phrases such as “truck repair shop near me” or “alignment wheels near me”.

When creating a Google Business profile, Adams urged store owners to provide as much information as possible about the services they provide and to add photos of the establishment, including employees working on trucks and, in particular, the main entrance.

“[The photos] help build trust with customers before they actually come to your store,” Adams said. “Having a photo in your Google Business Profile of your store entrance makes it clear to customers where you are and how to get there. Then they can be sure they can click Drive on Google Maps and know exactly where they are going – they don’t have to walk around an industrial park and try to find where you are.

Adams said a store’s Google Business profile is like a newsboy on the corner shouting about your business. “If you don’t tell him what to scream for, he won’t find the right customers. Anything you put in there will tell Google that these are the services you offer,” he says.

[RELATED: Fullbay acquires Dieselmatic Digital]

Another important aspect of digital marketing for repair shops is making sure their website is mobile-friendly. Citing Fullbay and ATA’s Technology & Maintenance Council report, 2022 State of Heavy-Duty Repair, 63% of stores have a website, 28% do not have an online presence, and 9% have a website. , but it is obsolete.

“It is imperative in our industry that your website be very easy to navigate and work on a mobile device. Most customers will search from a phone, especially if you offer roadside emergency service The navigation you have on your website is extremely important,” Adams said.

Stores should also ensure that the services they offer are clearly communicated and that the store’s phone number is listed multiple times on the site. “You will definitely see an increase in [information] inquiries and phone calls making sure your website is mobile-friendly and easy to navigate,” he said, adding that stores with just a Facebook page would certainly lower a store’s chances of attracting customers. .

When creating a digital ad campaign within Google, Bing or Facebook it is important to have a monthly budget as stores will want to test [the campaign] and having analytics data for a certain period of time — three months of data will allow stores to start making better decisions, Adams said.

[RELATED: Fullbay, TMC release second state of heavy-duty repair report]

While finding the right keywords and phrases is always emphasized in digital ad campaigns, Adams said developing a list of negative keywords is extremely important.

“For example, when you’re creating a digital marketing campaign and trying to target wheel alignments, you don’t want someone with a Honda Civic to click on your ad and contact you for a wheel alignment. You want the guy with the Kenworth. Negative keyword lists are a really good way to exclude irrelevant customers. It gives you a high click-through rate and minimizes your cost per click. Using these keyword lists negatives will ensure more customers find the right service,” he said.

Launching and maintaining a digital marketing campaign can be daunting — or at least time-consuming for store owners who are already busy running a business and rolling customer trucks. Adams explained the importance of finding the right marketing partner.

He said most stores would contact a general marketing agency; however, he pointed out that there are differences between a generalized marketing agency and a specialized marketing agency.

“A general agency will usually be local and will make store owners think, ‘These guys are in my town, they know our local market, and they know how to get customers to our store.’ This may be true. There are good local marketing agencies that are generalists and work with a variety of industries. The difficult part is that it’s quite rare that they have a solid understanding of the industry of commercial truck repair. This means that as an owner, you will likely have to spend a lot of time informing the agency in your area,” Adams said.

“The difference with a specialist marketing industry is that they will have a deep understanding of your industry and how to find your exact customer. Dieselmatic has an exceptionally strong and unique understanding of our industry, and this allows us to do interesting things for store owners where you don’t have to spend time teaching us how to effectively market your store because we do it every day for stores across North America.

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