40 years have come and gone. Time has flown by. What is certain is that you get 10 minutes to eat your celebration cake, and then you have to get back to work because the competition is getting smarter.
40 years of Automotive Bliss
You would think I could say it gets easier, but the truth is, the internet made it much easier for a “dark horse tire & auto repair shop” to compete with large established brands. So every decade it feels like, if we aren’t reinventing ourselves, then we’re falling behind the industry. Auto Repair Tulsa>>
Tire & Auto Repair
For the first 40 years of our tire repair shop, we were the sole wholesale distributor of Hercules tires in this region. We had no need to compete for auto repair, because, customers would come in, buy Hercules tires and we would service their vehicles. As the Hercules sole wholesaler, auto repair, was a cherry on top.
When we sold our exclusivity to wholesale Hercules tires, we then were strictly a retail shop competing for auto repair. Since our mechanics were already performing auto repairs, we needed to better market those services, but never did.
Don’t get me wrong, we have the services listed on our store windows, but we know, the majority of our clients find us online. Hercules Tire Sales, was our name for all those years, so it was hard for us to change it.
When we finally went through the process of changing our social media, website, directories, and links, it made a world of difference.
The public finally knew, our mechanics were serious (if they didn’t already). What we’ve learned about clients, they don’t know the difference between a deep engine rebuild and the replacement of fuel injectors. There was a major knowledge barrier between buyers and tire shops. We needed to capture these audiences by educating them. We wanted to make it easier on the client to think of our name and associate it with auto repair. Changing the tagline below our name did that for us.
Ranking For Auto Repair
Because we were a high ranking tire shop you would think Google would give us some of that Auto Repair ground, but that wasn’t the case. Even though we had 5 locations, and had been doing automotive repair since the 80s, Google still looked at us as tires & tire repair.
When we made that change on our 40th birthday, it made a world of difference for us. When we re-branded it was like we were reborn in the SERPs; we came out ahead.
Auto Repair To The Client
As the industry changed, Google algorithms changed, so did we. We realized in order to capture more of those clients against incoming franchises we needed to be deliberate in how Googlebot crawled us and then endorsed us. So we made that re-brand.
There are two very large incumbent tire & auto repairs in our town, the rest are franchises and small shops. Without making these adjustments, there would be no place for us in the future. Our town has grown to the point where it meets the criteria for just about any franchise.
Ensuring Our Future In The Automotive Industry
One technique we’ve used is lots of marketing. We’ve notoriously fought against Tires Plus AKA Hibdon, and other larger organizations through an aggressive marketing stance. In our industry, it’s almost imperative to spend hundreds of thousands of dollars on online visibility; because of buyer tendencies. They don’t look for us until there is a need; hopefully by then, we are top of mind.
Marketing Changes Over Time
Our approach changed from heavy push marketing to pull marketing. So we analyzed everything, especially our readability by the Googlebot’s. These were the keys to reduce marketing costs while increasing market share.
Happy 40 More in The Auto Repair Industry
Our kids have taken over the day-to-day operation of our branches and it has been seamless. Even with how difficult running a second generation business can be, we’ve been blessed to have kids that love our industry as much as we do. It’s our aim to thrive in the next 40 years and one of our tricks to success as of 2017 is less marketing and more SEO. What’s next: Celebrating 40 Years of Tire & Auto Repair by Re-branding!