Web Presence News and Announcements

Latest news and updates from the AutoVitals Web Presence Team including Announcement Release Notes and New Releases

What Is A Brand Style Guide and Why Does My Business Need One?

Time and Money Well-Spent Do you have multiple versions of your logo in all sorts of file formats and variations? Not enough businesses take the time to create a company brand style guide. If you aren’t sure of what your brand looks like, then your customers are confused and are having a disjointed experience as well. A clear visual identity is essential in establishing brand engagement, especially in the market of auto repair where your customers have many choices. At it’s core, a brand is meant to represent much more than just style; it’s consistency relays a reputation of reliability, positive tone, attention to detail, and presents your company’s unique identity. Where exactly will I use a branding guide? EVERYWHERE! A custom-created style guide defines what your company’s brand elements are and the details of how they should be applied across all visual media. This guide ensures that you’re consistently putting forth the same representation of your brand across the wide breadth of Internet, print, and broadcast. Communicating with too many different styles or voices can compromise a brand’s image — retracting these inconsistencies and their repercussions becomes increasingly difficult over time. Whether it be your shop sign visible from the road, a business card at next week’s local Rotary Club meeting, or especially your website, there are opportunities for motorists to form their first impression of you. How can different fonts and treatment affect brand recognition for your potential customers? Both of these logos are a golden ‘M’ but when you look at these symbols, only ONE of them is immediately associated with food. Depending on your relationship...

5 Reasons Why You Should Add Mobile AdWords To Your Marketing Strategy

When a prospective customer is on the go and looking for car service, they’re likely going to search for it on their phone’s browser. To the left is an example of an optimized mobile ad — it appears at the very top of the page, is large and eye-catching, and fills up your entire phone screen. When you need something fast, why wouldn’t you click the first thing you see? No matter how well a shop is ranking organically, you’ll always have to scroll past to find your mobile listing. Utilizing ad space is something to consider, especially to outrank the competitor who’d purchase that coveted first spot. How much you choose to spend on marketing all depends on your shop’s individual goals — maybe you just need a handful of new phone calls during a slow week or maybe you need a few months of help to bolster a brand new franchise location. No matter what the case is, Mobile Google AdWords will get your name found. In today’s mobile-first world where people are searching for where they want to be next while they’re already on the road, Mobile AdWords is the next step any small business should take to give their shop an extra boost. 1. Google AdWords allows you to reliably reach your target audience AdWords functions as a bidding system, as in you only pay Google when someone interacts with your ad. While you can pick and choose the exact keywords to be promoted for, competitors can select the same keyword profile. It’s then up to you to decide how high you’re willing to bid...

Issues with Google My Business Pages

Uh-Oh Google We recently discovered that the Google Plus My Business Listings for several shops are now appearing as unverified and no longer rank in search results pages. Upon visiting the shop profile pages, we found that almost all information is missing, including contact information, review summaries, and photos. Investigation After immediately launching an investigation, we learned that Google is currently experiencing technical problems and we have also found a remedy to manually fix the pages ourselves. Google has assured us that this is a temporary issue and they are working on an overall solution, but they have yet to issue a formal statement.       Solution If you discover that your shop’s Local Listing and Business page are affected by this issue, fill out the form below. We are in the process of fixing this issue for you at no cost for AutoVitals web presence customer. If you are not a web presence customer, we can fix it for $175. Once Google releases any news about the matter, we will send out updates to you.       To Fix My Google Listing, fill the form out below Are you an existing AutoVitals Shop?*What is your Shop Name?*What is your Address?*What is your Email...

TopFuel Trains You and Your Service Advisor

Know and Improve Conversion Rates Using Smart Data The majority of customer conversion happen on the phone. Hands down. Do you know how many leads have tried to reach you or interacted with your service advisor and didn’t buy? Do you know what an effective phone call sounds like? Do you want to track your service advisor’s performance over time and let continuous improvement help you to get more customers? How do you measure your service advisors’ phone call effectiveness today? Thought so. Check out this article and see whether TopFuel’s newest feature set will benefit you. TopFuel in conjunction with Vital Retention and SmartFlow provide the most comprehensive yet still easy to read business summary in the industry. See below for a typical score card. Nothing is hidden.   Phone calls are the most important lifeline for an auto repair shop. When phone call tracking is provided, many shop performance metrics can be measured and improved. We have spoken with a few shop owners and determined that the following important information and capabilities need to be provided: Classify the phone call based on whether it was a conversion of a prospective customer and cluster all calls based on their duration Allow the owner to listen to all recordings Allow the owner to compare the phone calls amongst each other and also with a reference call to teach the service advisor the best possible outcome Plot the results over time to see how the improvements kick in Step 1: Check the summary page to get a first overview and what has been going on Once the ‘Details’ on the business summary for...

Keeping Up with the Local Search Ecosystem

When we began promoting local businesses in 2009, getting a site to the front page of a Google search was as simple as adding the shop to a handful of business directories. Nowadays, the local landscape is incredibly more complex and competitive. Data aggregators feed information to business directories, business directories share information with one another, listings create themselves, and to successfully compete, it’s necessary to add a shop to niche and industry-specific directories, as opposed to just the big names, like Yelp and YellowPages. In today’s local SEO world, keeping an accurate and consistent local directory listing for your business is a must. Search engines like Google and Bing scan through listings from many different sources and use it to form a conclusion about your shop’s information. It’s important to understand that search engines and data aggregators don’t necessarily have a permanent database for Name, Address, and Phone (NAP) information. In this sense, local search is a sensitive ecosystem, where the relationships between different search engines, data aggregators, and business directories is constantly in flux. These types of sites collect data regularly, so just one or two incorrect or new listings can influence your overall search appearance. As a data aggregator, like Infogroup, pushes data to a business directory, like Citysearch, the information will eventually end up in your search engine results. Good SEO is all dependent on data consistency and trying to catch the mistakes as soon as possible. Actively finding or creating your business directory listings and claiming them is an important step because it verifies that a) you are the owner of a valid business...

The Power of Invisible Information: What You Need to Know About Rich Snippet

The Power of Invisible Information What You Need to Know About Rich Snippet Today’s consumer necessitates that a shop owner recognize the importance of online marketing. Websites need to take advantage of every available opportunity to entice searchers to click on their page instead of a competitor’s. Rich snippet provides the perfect outlet to embellish their search results with add-ons like ratings and thumbnails to draw the searcher’s eye as well as offer additional information. So what are rich snippets? At their very simplest, rich snippets are a small line of text which accompanies a search result link. They describe the site’s relevance to the user’s search query, with the exact keywords highlighted in bold. Google added rich snippets back in 2008 to give users a better search experience and allow them to make quick, informed decisions about a website’s relevance to their search needs. Rich snippet functions differently for their designated business types, whether it be for restaurants, recipes, movies, music, videos, etc. It can easily be inserted into site templates so that the code appears on every relevant page and for every search keyword. For example, correct rich snippet usage for a recipe has it’s own template that includes information like cook time and ingredient list, lending a search result like so. Ultimately, the appearance of rich snippet in a search result is dependent on the markup code used by the developer and Google’s trust in the website that is it being implemented in. Although we’ve utilized rich snippet correctly from the start, Google began showing AutoVitals’ rich snippet results only after an 18 month vetting process.   For our shops, the rich...

What to Expect with the New Google Plus

In the last week Google has implemented a full redesign of their social media platform, Google Plus. The new site is more mobile friendly, simplified, and streamlined — a more “focused”, interest based user experience that comes at the cost of some of it’s other features. It’s readily apparent that Google has decided to emphasize communities, aspiring to be the ideal place for like-minded individuals to interact. They have put two of their features, Communities and Collections, at the front and center. According to Google, these changes are in response to the input of their most active users. Google reports have shown that their Communities feature attracts nearly 1.2 million new users every day, while Collections, implemented just earlier this year, has been growing just as quickly. Collections creates a group of dashboard content based on just one tagged topic, while a Community allows people with the same interest to start a conversation about that connection and more. The goal of both of these forefront features is to allow the user to follow other users’ posts on specific topics, without having to constantly wade through unrelated posts. The new Google Plus also lays a heavy emphasis on being mobile-friendly. Rebuilt for both Android and iOS, the app is clean and eye appealing, takes hardly any time to load, and it’s easy to navigate and operate. Google has also removed some of the clutter located at the bottom of every post, making it straightforward to +1, comment, and share. Although the change is fitting to their new, simplified aesthetic, it appears that this update has been detrimental to My Business...

The True Power of TopFuel

We are being asked what is so different about TopFuel compared with the many other offerings in the market? Are we just chasing Google in a temporarily better way and it will be a fluke soon? Are we just lucky?

Taking a NAP? Your Local SEO Company Shouldn’t!

Let’s clarify why the heck a tracking phone number exposed to Google can create so much local SEO damage. The short answer is: The so-called NAP (Name, Address, Phone number) continuity will be disrupted for a long, long time because it is hard to recover.
Google’s “fake-business-police” crawler might deindex your listing.

What does Responsive Web Design really get me?

Mobile Friendly is Not Enough, or is it? Since April 21 2015 Google conceals websites in mobile search, which do not meet the absolute basics of mobile web design like clearly legible wording without zooming in tapping a button without hitting more than one (You wanted to cancel the order? Oops, the ‘Order’ button was too close to the ‘Cancel’ button.) getting the message of the website across without scrolling horizontally for ever and many more. Google calls it mobile-friendly. Why is that important? Mobile users have exceeded the number of desktop users last year.  It is time to establish a standard, which doesn’t make users of mobile devices question their purchase. It has to be convenient, simple and functional. Google just leveraged its power to get it done a little faster. But is it enough? We don’t think so. We have been providing now-called ‘mobile friendly’ websites for 4 years. No big deal. What is the big deal? In one word: Engagement. Firehosed with information, we tend to desperately filter for relevant information in the ocean of pictures and words hitting our brain every day. Think of a brain’s gatekeeper as this filter.  When the information hits our eyes, it needs to be pleasing and ergonomic to be passed on and be processed. If stopped prematurely we won’t remember anymore and check something else. Done. Lost. Never come back. That is where Responsive Web Design comes in. Responsive means that no matter the size of the device, the website will always be rendered for maximum effectiveness, which secures the biggest impact in the short time the attention span of the brain’s gatekeeper allows. Please see below for...

Mobile Unfriendly? Don’t Mess With Google.

This post is not for owners of a smartphone, who are unfriendly. This post is for people, who own a website, which is important for their business and who, for some reason, have missed that Google will change is ranking algorithm on April 21st so that mobile searches are treated differently than before

Select your KPI and Improve your Business

Business owners working on the business, and not in it, define key performance indicators (KPI) for their business, setting a baseline and monitor against this baseline. Although the urge is big, selecting more than three KPIs at a time is not only too aggressive, it backfires most of the time

The Importance of Call Analytics

One of the most important points of interaction between the Service Advisor and the motorist is the initial conversation. It is designed to assure the first time customer that the shop is the best choice for solving their vehicle’s problem or performing a particular service.

TopFuel: Personalize the Thank-You Email

Get More Reviews and More Appointments! Motorists receive thank you emails from shops every day, and some leave a review, but more and more don’t. Why? They are inundated with emails containing generic call to actions.  The solution: shops review each other to collect more reviews. Hm… AutoVitals added a new Thank You Email to TopFuel and personalized it so that the shop experience is remembered well, the motorist is educated and more genuine reviews and appointments happen. Here is how it works. Once the motorist receives a shop authored Thank You email link the one below and clicks/taps the call to action,   The motorists with gmail address will see what their review will look like on Google, and how the visit at your shop has increased the vehicle health. In addition the recent visit is reviewed in terms of what services have been performed and which ones are recommend for the next visit. The recommendations are reinforced with the images taken of the problem area of the motorist’s vehicle as well as the areas in mint condition. Check below how the motorist experience looks like:   We are reaching out to selected clients to perform field tests and will update you as soon as we have statistical evidence will substantial increase of reviews and appointments. Stay...

Do you need a Mobile Website?

Using smartphones and tablets to search for local businesses has become a wide spread habit and is going to increase, because it is highly convenient. Due to the much smaller available space on especially smartphones easy navigation becomes key for a great user experience. Lets look at a typical website, which has not been optimized ye

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