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You might have the best auto service center on the planet, but unless you have a strong online presence to go with it, it can be nearly impossible to reach new customers. Today’s consumers use the Internet to find businesses that can help them with all of their needs, and auto service centers are no exception.

However, creating a great website that will attract people who need help with their cars and convince them that your center is right for the job requires more than just buying a domain and typing up a few sentences.

Tip #1: Make it easy for visitors to get around

You wouldn’t design an auto service center to confuse your customers, and your auto service center website shouldn’t be confusing, either. The easier it is for visitors to find the information they require and learn about your business, they more likely they’ll be to become customers.

As you consider how you want your prospects to navigate their way through the site, begin creating a logical menu. It should be intuitive and streamlined, which will prevent your customers from getting frustrated, having a bad user experience, and leaving.

Tip #2: Be careful with sliders and carousels

Sliders and carousels of images and other content can be nice to look at, but use them with caution. Not only can they difficult to adjust to mobile devices, but they can unnecessarily slow the loading time of your site.

Many business owners insist on homepage sliders with large numbers of images without considering the potential downside. Work with a web design firm to determine if sliders or carousels are appropriate for your website, and how you can create them in a way that won’t damage your site’s load time and user experience.

Tip #3: Pick a clean font

While it can be tempting to use a creative font for your headers or content, you have to think about readability. Most people who go online for information about auto service centers do so because they’re having car trouble that needs resolved—and they won’t have the patience to decipher odd sizing and decorative font choices.

If visitors can’t quickly tell what a headline says, or if they find it difficult to read paragraphs, they’ll go elsewhere for their information. A clean, readable font is your best bet. There are other ways to be innovative on your site, so leave the font typeface alone except for your logo or possibly call-out buttons and promo banners.

Tip #4: Choose a simple color scheme

There’s no need to use every color of the rainbow for your auto service center website design. In fact, the fewer the main colors you use, the better. If your logo is made up of 3-4 colors, this can be the perfect starting point.

Too many hues make a website look messy. The only exception to this rule is to pick a contrasting color for any of your call-to-action buttons, so they stand out. Thus, if your website is shades of red, a golden yellow call-to-action button will stand out.

Tip #5: Make contact information prominent

If your site doesn’t have a simple way for customers to contact or set up an appointment with you on the homepage, you’re missing an enormous opportunity. This is the easiest way to get site visitors to become customers, and the more prominent it is, the better.

The most basic way of doing this is putting your contact information in an obvious location, and making sure that your phone number is clickable on mobile devices. This will make it so that people who find your site on mobile devices are only a click away from calling you and scheduling. You might even take this a step farther and provide an online scheduling option. Although this will require a skilled developer, it can save your employees time and make things even more convenient for customers.

Tip #6: Make your site mobile-friendly

It’s essential that your website is accessible on a wide variety of devices, including smartphones and tablets. The reasons for this are two-fold: First, people are using mobile devices to search for auto service centers. (You may be reading this article on a mobile device right now!) Second, Google now considers mobile-friendliness when assigning ranking to websites.  Most web developers are aware of this, and can use responsive design to ensure that your site works on all devices.

Tip #7: Stay away from stock photos

The images on your auto service center website should look good, as well as be fast-loading. It’s up to you to decide how much you want to spend on professional photography. However, you must take into consideration the quality of all of the images.

We recommend that you stay away from stock photos, because the images on your site should give visitors an indicator of what they can expect when they come to your business in person. If they look staged (or are clearly not true to your business), this can be off-putting to potential customers. For that reason, it’s best to use photos of your auto service center, your center’s team, and other real examples of your work.

Tip #8: Create useful content

Google takes the quality of content into consideration, just as web visitors will do. And although it’s more of an SEO concern than a design element, your content should be useful and easy to scan.

Leave plenty of room for text and images when designing your site, and you should be just fine when it comes to writing and optimizing copy. For more information on why this is important, check out this resource about SEO for auto service centers or take a look at the SEO services we offer.

Tip #9: Remove duplicate content

We mentioned in the last tip that content is important, and it’s worth pointing out that in order to be useful to your site, it needs to be unique for every page. In fact, if you’ve ever copy and pasted content onto multiple pages, you could actually be damaging your site’s chances of being found.

Even if you haven’t purposely duplicated content, it’s still possible to use design elements (like a blog homepage that displays full posts) that create it. Be sure to rewrite any content that’s duplicated, and discuss how to avoid it in the future with your designer.

Tip #10: Check on your inbound and outbound links

Links are essential for a healthy website, both the internal ones that link your pages together and the ones that link your site to others. However, if your links are broken or link to low-quality sites, they can present quite a few problems.

To the humans visiting your site, a broken link is an annoyance. To search engine crawlers, it’s confusing and could cause your site to lose page rank for particular keywords. Regularly check all your inbound and outbound links (i.e., links to outside sites and sources) to ensure that they work correctly and are only to high-quality, reputable sites.