White’s Collision Service, Inc. is a rapidly growing auto body repair business located in western Oregon. Over the past 15 years, they have opened four new locations throughout the Dallas, Ore. area, and they have plans to continue expanding to other nearby towns in the coming years.
With all of this expansion and growth, the White’s Collision website has become a relatively low priority to owners Josh and April White. However in 2013, they began to realize that when people get into car accidents, they are increasingly heading to Google, and other search engines, to find an auto body shop to repair their vehicles. They noticed that their main competitors’ websites were coming up on the first search engine results page for key search phrases. Their business was nowhere to be found, unless the searcher included the term “whites.”
White’s had an outdated, static html website. Their old website was not built on a Content Management System (CMS), so it was a painful process to add new pages, even for a professional web developer. As the website had grown over the years, without proper planning or design, the navigation had become unwieldy and difficult to use.
Their home page had become messy and disorganized. People weren’t able to easily find what they were looking for, such as locations and phone numbers. If users were looking at the website on their phones—as was the case for 15.4% of their users at that time—they had to pinch, zoom and scroll sideways to be able to read the text or click on buttons.
White’s website needed a redesign. Because of their constantly changing business, they wanted a website platform that was scaleable and
that they could update themselves. But first and foremost, they wanted to ensure they were coming up on the first page of the SERPs when potential clients were looking for an auto body shop in their area.
iCandy Graphics & Web Design recommended WordPress; a popular and easy-to-use CMS, which is used on more than 60 million websites around the world. WordPress is robust, easy for clients to update and—best of all—extremely search engine friendly.
The new desktop version included a home page design with two separate navigation menus for easier access to more pages. We also designed the contact information section for all four locations so it was available on the home page and obvious, and we created custom iconography (See Figure 1) for quicker visual access to service pages and other popular information. We reduced the overall amount of text on the home page for visual appeal, but every section was meticulously rewritten with an emphasis on important keyword phrases, a crucial step for search engine optimization (SEO).
Naturally, many people search for a towing company before they search for an auto body repair service. White’s does not offer towing services, but we designed a custom towing application for the website where users could type in their location and get contact information for towing businesses in the area with whom White’s had exclusive agreements. Adding this feature to the website allowed White’s to extend this convenience for their clients, even though they don’t directly offer towing services. It also helped capture some of the keyword searches related to towing.
After detailed planning and analysis, we decided to design a mobile website that contained only the essential and most commonly requested information, such as contact information, a quote request form, the towing app and a feature to check your car’s repair status. Most users on their phones simply do not need to access the websites dozens of pages. This simple mobile interface intentionally gives people who have just gotten in a car accident fewer choices so they don’t get overwhelmed with options (See Figure 2).
Ongoing SEO Work
Unfortunately, SEO is not a “set-it and forget-it” service. An ongoing commitment of resources is required to increase, or even to maintain search engine rankings.
We worked with White’s to formulate an ongoing comprehensive SEO strategy that would continually drive traffic to the site and increase user engagement. We created and optimized external accounts such as Google Plus, Bing Local, Yahoo Local and Yelp. Included in the plan were new social media accounts and one-on-one training on various platforms so one of the White’s staff could manage those accounts in-house. In addition, we helped them start and optimize a Google AdWords campaign for several relevant keyword phrases.
White’s Collision Service, Inc. is now on the first page of local “organic” (non-paid) search rankings for more than two dozen non-branded keyword phrases that do not contain their business name, and is in the top one or two positions for many of their most desired terms.
When comparing the same month of the year from 2013 to 2015 in their Google Analytics account, you can see that their overall number of sessions has increased 531.13%. When taking into account the increase in spam referral traffic in recent years, we estimate the increase from actual potential clients has increased about 250%. The organic traffic has increased over 300%. (See Figures 3-5)
Due to the fact that two of their locations are in Dallas, Ore. and the enormous increase in their website “authority,” White’s website is even coming up on the first page in Dallas, Tex., for certain terms. Dallas is one of the most competitive markets in the country. This doesn’t help their business directly because they serve local clients only, but the additional traffic from Texas does help keep their SEO momentum going and add to keeping their authority score high.
White’s estimates that the average lifetime value of a customer is $2,500, Needless to say, they have seen a great return on investment for their efforts. With ongoing work and a continued commitment of time and resources, they will continue to see excellent results with their search engine optimization and online presence.