Body shops need to know how to fix cars while navigating around the many obstacles that can get in the way of doing a good job while still making a profit. That’s why it makes sense to understand the benefits of using a company like Auto Body Guru to figure out the proper ways to position yourself on the Internet and get results.
“Body shop owners know how to run their businesses, but when it comes to Internet marketing, they will admit they need assistance,” Rony Mirzaians, the founder and owner of Auto Body Guru explained. “Would you hire a body tech to create your Web site and then optimize it for search? I don’t think you would. The best thing a body shop owner needs to know is what he or she doesn’t know. Delegate your online marketing to an expert and you’ll succeed. Do it part-time or hire a hobbyist to do it, and you’re setting yourself up for failure.”
Most body shop owners will admit that they just don’t have sufficient time to do marketing. And that’s why Mirzaians knows the game plan when it comes to getting shops customers via online, he said.
“Our job is to educate the body shops about how to leverage their presence online. A shop can have a beautiful Web site with all the bells and whistles, but if no one can find it, what good is it? The bottom line is that the phone needs to ring. You can have an award-winning site, but if you’re not attracting customers, who cares?
Auto Body Guru is associated with all the big names in the World Wide Web, Mirzaians said. “We partner with Google, Yahoo! and bing and are Google Adwords Certified Partners, Yahoo Ambassador Program Members and MSN AdExcellence Members. These Certifications allow us to provide the best Pay Per Click management and setup options to our clients. The partnership with Google, Yahoo! and bing as trusted data providers allows us to provide enhanced Local Search (SEO) and maps optimization services.”
“These are the worldwide powerhouses of search and we have great relationships with all of them,” Mirzaians said. “I tell shops that we’re working with the leaders, so if they’ll give me at least 2-3 months to help them, they’ll start to see tangible results.”
Auto Body Guru can help body shops to wean themselves off the costly yellow pages and jump into the online world at a very reasonable rate, Mirzaians said. “The yellow pages are dying, because people are now using their computers, cell phones and GPS devices to find businesses. We can sign a shop up quickly and affordably, without contracts, setup fees and per click charges. 65% of users search online for auto body services and that number will increase each year, we believe.”
One of the main advantages of online marketing allows shops to attract customers from a wider geographical range, Mirzaians said. “The great thing about the auto body business is that your core service requires you to communicate with your customers consistently. This means you are not restricted to one distinct location like the traditional brick and mortar business. In fact, it’s not unusual for auto body companies to service a 50+ mile radius. This extended service radius means you potentially have a larger pool of customers to capture. PPC (Pay Per Click) Marketing is the perfect method to instantly tap into that pool of customers. Especially since it allows you to geographically target your specific area so that your ads will be displayed to customers online.”
Auto body customers usually have a sense of urgency when they are looking for repair services online, Marzaians said. “In a typical scenario, the auto body customer is likely to be doing a search on the side of the road on their phone or at home after an accident so they can quickly get their car back on the road. The most powerful real estate for auto body companies is in the first page of Google, next to the map and complemented by sponsored links for maximum online exposure.”
Being patient while building an online presence is key to his program’s success, Mizraians said. “With any marketing campaign you’ll have to give PPC at least a month to properly test its effectiveness. Start with a small campaign and a modest budget to build and test the campaign. Be prepared to spend time and learn from the results you find with each different ad and make changes on weak campaigns.”
Body shops have embraced the search expertise implemented by Auto Body Guru, getting outstanding results since signing with ABG. One of Mirzaians’ first customers was his father, who has owned American Eagle Auto Body in Los Angeles for 12 years. In fact, one of the main reasons why Rony got into the Internet marketing field initially was to help his dad in generating leads for his shop, he said.
“In ’07-’08, when the economy started to limp along, my father came to me and asked me to help him with his marketing. Like many other shops, he had no idea where to start. So, I designed a Web site for him rather quickly, to get him in the major search engines, primarily Google and Yahoo. In our first month, my father’s shop got three new jobs from being on the first page of Google next to the map, which equaled $14,000 in revenue. Since then, he’s experienced a consistent response. Unlike the yellow pages, his Internet marketing efforts have paid for themselves and now they generate a profit every month.”
Rooben Mirzaians has experienced an ongoing improvement in his business via the Internet since he started with his son’s program 2.5 years ago. Now he knows exactly how many leads he gets each month from the SEO he and Rony strategized, he said.
“It does work,” the senior Mirzaians said. “We’re getting a lot of inquiries and they’ve lead to a considerable amount of repair jobs. We used the yellow pages for many years and it was very expensive. The Web site and the search approach gets the phone ringing, and then it’s our job to get them to come here. Once they also see our feedback online, people will drive from all corners of L.A. County to come here. Once they feel confident and secure about us, they don’t mind traveling to get their cars fixed.”
Joe Merdkanian, owner of Eurasian Coach Works in West Hollywood, recently contracted with ABG and he’s already seen some significant activity based on the search strategies they devised for his shop, he said. “We’ve been with ABG for a few months and we’re still tweaking and learning the program. They put my Web site together and it was so fast I was amazed. Other web designers in the past took months and months to produce our sites, but ABG had it done in less than two weeks and it looks great.”
James Davis, owner of Irvine Auto Collision, has been an ABG customer for two years and is pleased with the response, he explained. “We’ve received very positive results from our Web site and the SEO they’ve put together. For a while, I did it on my own, but it was very time-consuming. It’s worked out much better to hire ABG, because if you don’t know everything you can pay too much for keywords, etc. My advice is hire an expert and concentrate on other things like fixing vehicles.”
Auto Body Guru
6708 Foothill Blvd., Suite 209
Tujunga, California 91402