How does the auto restoration, performance and restyling industry measure up online?
AUTHOR'S NOTE: The data below is based on the original 250 shops that we audited from late 2020 into early 2021. We have since audited over 450 shops as being presented at the SEMA Show November 2nd 2021.
We audited over 250 auto restoration and performance shop websites (as well as their Google My Business profiles) and the results can help you sell more online.
The auto restoration and performance world is changing fast – increasingly, shop owners are moving online, and the marketplace is changing. Everything from scheduling, parts, sales, and services are being sold online, and customers are expecting to find everything they need via a quick Google search.
The online world is incredibly competitive – and here at Motorhead Digital, we’re dedicated to helping auto restoration and performance shops compete online, grow their businesses, and keep their shops full of high-value projects.
So, we spent six months conducting detailed research into how the auto restoration and performance industry is shaping up online.
We wanted to see how many shops within the industry were set up to compete at the standards customers expect online in 2021 – and attract more of the right clients to their business as a result.
We looked at over 250 auto restoration and performance shops and graded their websites. We also analyzed their businesses for 7 important elements, took a look to see if they were using social media to promote their shops as well as YouTube for marketing, we also dug into their Google My Business profiles to see where they stood and how much they could improve.
Here are the key areas we looked into during our research:
Our team used HubSpot’s Website Grader tool, to calculate the average score for the site’s performance, SEO, mobile responsiveness, and security standards. The average we found was 71% across all the sites we graded with a low score of 0 to a high of 97.
Here’s how the 257 sites we ran through HubSpot Website Grader scored:
- 8 sites scored in the 0 – 25 range
- 35 sites scored in the 26 – 50 range
- 77 sites scored in the 51 – 75 range
- 137 sites scored in the 76-100 range
Out of the 257 sites we ran through HubSpot Website Grader only 34 sites received a score of 90 or higher.
We wanted to see what the industry standards were in each of these areas and share the results with you, so you can grade your own current efforts, and improve your online presence to be even more effective than it is now.
Take a look at our findings, figure out where your company is on its digital journey, and start attracting more clients to your business in the future with a few improvements.
User-friendliness of the website
Are auto restoration and performance shop websites mobile-ready?
Almost 60% of websites in the auto restoration and performance industry are mobile-ready. This is great to see because being mobile-ready means that companies within the industry will get more visitors to their websites due to being more accessible on multiple devices.
However, this also means that over 40% of shop websites aren’t mobile-ready and not easily viewed or navigated on a mobile smartphone – which is not a great start for those companies. Having a mobile-friendly website these days is an absolute necessity for any company, so if your website isn’t mobile-ready then you’re going to lose leads.
Most people access the internet through their phones, tablets, or any other kind of mobile device.
Right now, 83% of the U.S. population uses a mobile device to access and search for products and services on the internet – it’s expected to be 86.7% by 2025.
If a site isn’t mobile-ready, it won’t display correctly when viewed on a mobile device. This means someone viewing your site will most likely click away onto someone else’s site that does work for them.
Make sure your website is made with mobile users in mind:
- Make sure your phone number or phone icon is visible at the top of the site.
- Is your shop address easy to find? So many people use their phone as a tool to navigate via a maps’ app to businesses when they’re on the road.
- Check if you can easily read all of your content while on your smartphone.
- See if the buttons are all easy to find and are big enough to tap on the smaller screen.
- Make sure everything loads properly and isn’t distorted on a phone screen.
- Page load speed is a huge factor for mobile, if your site loads too slowly people may go elsewhere.
Take a close look at your website today to make sure it’s accessible on mobile devices.
Is your web page mobile-friendly? You can test it here. If it fails the test, let’s chat.
Wondering if your site works correctly on mobile?
Do auto restoration and performance shop websites look professional?
It’s very important to have a professional-looking site. 94% of a visitor’s first impressions relate to your site’s web design and 75% of website credibility comes down to design.
Just 45% of the websites we audited looked professional leaving 55% of those websites looking unprofessional. An unprofessional website doesn’t give your business the credit it deserves.
You don’t want to scare away your potential customers or future team members with a website that looks like it was made at the dawn of the Internet in the late 1990s. Even if it’s mobile ready, if it’s not pleasing to look at and easy to navigate, potential customers will leave. Website standards are constantly evolving – your site should be designed to the standards people are used to today.
An updated and professional website is the only way to go and unfortunately less than half of the companies we surveyed had professional looking websites.
You could be losing a lot of clients if your website comes across as unprofessional. If somebody lands on your website and sees that it’s not very well put together, they’ll think your business is the same – and they won’t want to do business with you.
Digital marketing for auto restoration and performance shops
How many auto restoration and performance shop websites have a working email marketing campaign?
We found that less than 25% of the websites we audited had email opt-ins for an email marketing campaign. This was shocking to see as email marketing is a fantastic way to build regular and happy clients.
It’s crazy to think that 75% of companies in the auto restoration and performance industry don’t run email marketing campaigns. Email marketing has the best return on investment of any digital marketing technique – boasting a 4200% ROI ($42 for every $1 spent).
Start building your email list and create an email marketing campaign for your business and include irresistible opt-in offers on your website so you can convert people into paying clients as they sign up.
How many auto restoration and performance websites have a blog?
Only 12.2% of the websites audited had a blog. Blogs are an incredibly important and vital part of content marketing for auto restoration shops. They help your website get seen by Google and improve your search engine optimization (SEO) – companies who blog get 97% more backlinks to their websites.
The more you post on a blog, the more people will see you as an expert in the industry. They’ll see that you’re knowledgeable and trustworthy – and the perfect company for their restoration project or performance work.
If your business doesn’t have a blog then now is the time to add one to your website. Try to add a new post at least once a month with:
- Interesting industry tips
- New technology
- News about your company
- Stories about projects you’ve done
- or about events that you support or will be attending in the area.
Although It’s not a necessity, HubSpot notes in this article that a blog post with 2,100-2,400 words is ideal for SEO.
Keep in mind, blogs are best used to help and educate your clients and prospects not sell and once published to your site they can be shared online to your social media channels or via an email blast to your customers and prospects.
Wondering how email marketing can help your business?
Please head on over to the Motorhead Digital Blog for the rest of this article.
Barry is the founder of Motorhead Digital, providing signature Marketing Maximizer™ programs specifically developed for auto restoration, performance and restyling shops. These programs are geared towards customer acquisition and conversion to keep those project bookings coming. With over 23 years of experience in digital marketing and web development, Barry’s goal is to help clients market and grow their shops through strategic marketing practices. You can reach him at (585) 766-9785, email@example.com or online at MotorheadDigital.com