Digital Marketing Tips for Auto Glass Shops

By 2023-05-29 No Comments

Do you own an auto glass shop in the US and want to bring in more customers and revenue? Every good and honest auto glass technician essentially has two jobs that they need to do well: provide quality auto glass repair and replacement services for customers and bring in new customers through advertising and marketing.

You can’t skimp out on one or the other, no matter what. If you’re the best auto glass technician in town with the most experience and the best services, none of it will matter if you aren’t bringing in customers. Conversely, if you’re really good at attracting new customers but provide subpar services, chances are you won’t last very long in the business at all.

While we are confident in the quality of care and service provided by all of our member partners listed here on myWindshield, it’s usually the second half of the equation (marketing) that can be a bit of a struggle for many auto glass shops. Word of mouth usually goes a long way, as does dropping off flyers or other print materials in areas you cover, but there’s no avoiding the fact that nowadays, you really need to be taking advantage of digital marketing.

Digital Marketing Tips for Auto Glass Shops myWindshield

The key methods of digital marketing for auto glass shop business owners will generally be:

  • Develop a target audience and devote marketing resources towards that audience;
  • Have a professional website or landing page to generate leads;
  • Join social media and platforms such as myWindshield to boost your online presence.

All of these tips are much easier said than done, and there are some avenues for marketing that may yield better results than others for your specific business, so the below guide will give you some general tips to maximize lead generation in a little more detail.

Is digital marketing important for auto glass shops?

The short answer is yes, digital marketing is essential for all sorts of businesses including auto glass shops. Just about everyone, and especially the younger generations, searches for services online nowadays. Using just Google alone, there are around 5.6 BILLION Google Search queries worldwide every single day. Granted, not everyone is searching for “windshield replacement near me” all at once, but with so many searches going on it’s certainly the go-to for just about everyone these days.

In the United States, around 46% of users use their smartphone (whereas around 60% search via smartphone globally) to browse the internet, and trends show that this figure will most likely increase in the coming years. This means that not only do you have to have some type of digital marketing in place for your auto glass shop, but it’s also got to be user-friendly and compatible with phone users as well as for desktop/laptop users.

Know your target audience

With so many people searching for services online and as an auto glass shop owner, you’ll need to understand some basic metrics regarding what is called a ‘target audience,’ i.e. what types of prospective customers you want to find your business.

Just to give some perspective on a couple of broad metrics, the Federal Highway Administration estimated that there were 275,936,367 state motor vehicle registrations in 2020. That’s a lot of vehicles, and pretty much every single one has got a windshield that might be damaged or cracked at some point in time. Moreover, the U.S. Census Bureau estimated that in 2020, 8.5% of households had no motor vehicle. In other words, that leaves 91.5% of households in the US with at least one motor vehicle. If we were to remove New York City, parts of New Jersey, Massachusetts, and Washington, D.C., the figure would probably be around 95% of Americans owning at least one vehicle.

Simply targeting all vehicle owners across the whole country is unrealistic if your shop only serves customers in one metro area or county, so you’ll need to narrow down your target audience accordingly.

For starters, you may already have some good and relevant data to build your own target audience based on previous customers you’ve provided services for. Do you notice any trends? For example:

  • Are they mostly middle-aged adults or do they tend to be younger or older?
  • Do you mostly get calls for emergency windshield replacement or do you get a lot of customers coming in asking for tinting or windshield rock chip repairs?
  • Do you operate in a more affluent area where disposable incomes are higher or do you mostly want to target people looking for low-cost windshield replacement?

All of these types of questions may be insightful for building a sort of profile of the demographics you want to target for your marketing efforts.

Digital marketing tips for auto glass shops in the USA

Once you’ve put together a target audience for your auto glass shop’s business marketing, it’s time to put it to good use by dedicating resources to digital marketing. You most often have to spend money to make money, as the saying goes, but some investments can yield plenty of quality leads while others might end up being a money sink. In order to avoid the latter, try following the following digital marketing tips:

1. Build a business website or landing page

Having a website is a must today for auto glass shops, or at least a simple landing page to generate quality leads from customers that find your business online. A professional-looking website will help your business look credible and trustworthy, which already gives you a leg up against many competitors that may lack a website of their own.

The good news is that building a website or landing page is easier than it’s ever been before. Free website builders like Wix make the whole process easy, without the need for complicated web development. The downside, however, is that a lot of these free or freemium website builders have limited functionality in order to get you to pay more.

Whether you decide to build your own website yourself or outsource it to a qualified web developer, the hard part is going to be driving traffic to your website and getting it to rank well on Google. We’ll explore that in a little more depth later on, but for now suffice to say that simply having a website is a must but you’ll need to do more work to bring in quality traffic.

For your auto glass shop website, you’ll want to include all relevant details such as your phone number, email address, a quote/contact form, business hours, business name and logo, services, service coverage, and anything else that customers need to know. Displaying your years of industry experience and any accreditations can also further add a sense of credibility and trust.

Don’t neglect to personalize your website, either. People really feel more engaged when they can put a face to a name, so please try to show some great photos of you or any auto glass technicians in uniform, preferably in action replacing a windshield or applying adhesive to a cracked windshield.

2. Start using social media for business

As a hallmark feature of Web 2.0, social media holds massive potential for lead generation for auto glass shops in the US. Love it or hate it, a social media presence is a must for all sorts of reasons, such as increasing lead generation, directing traffic to your website, interacting directly with customers, and showcasing your work. Around 84% of adults in the US use social media as of 2023, so don’t neglect the potential reach of social media for your auto glass shop.

You don’t need to create a profile on each and every social media platform, but you should at least have some presence on some of the fastest growing social media networks to reach the widest audience possible. These include the big five: Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Instagram, and TikTok. For auto glass shops, you may wish to prioritize image-based social media platforms that facilitate communications with customers, so Instagram and Facebook tend to be among the most versatile for these reasons.

In terms of content, you should try to post regularly. Informative content with a good call to action can gradually increase lead generation, as can showcasing personalized content such as before and after photos of windshield replacement or crack repair jobs.

The good thing about social media for business owners is that the most popular platforms are free to use and relatively straightforward to set up a professional-looking profile. Simply having the profile isn’t good enough, however; make sure that you’re posting content frequently either yourself or by outsourcing to social media freelancers, for example. Also, make sure that you’re giving customers a reasonable response time over social media. If you take too long to respond, it can bring into question the dependability and turnaround time for your auto glass services.

3. Get listed on Google My Business

Another important tip for auto glass shops to get ahead in digital marketing is to get listed on Google My Business. A valid listing on GMB can help improve your online visibility in Google Search and Google Maps, making it easier for customers to find you and making your business appear more trustworthy.

Compared to the above two digital marketing tips, creating a Google My Business listing and populating all of the relevant details for your business is a lot more passive and requires a lot less work, which is also a big plus for busy auto glass shop owners. Of course, you should accurately enter in your business hours, feature a clear photograph of your auto glass shop, and put in links to your website.

One important feature of GMB is that your customers can write reviews with Google accounts about your business and your services, and Google tries to make it hard for people to falsify reviews which makes these sorts of reviews more authentic and credible. Try your best to respond to as many reviews as possible – not just the good reviews, but especially the negative reviews.

4. Launch ad campaigns

One of the most widely used methods of digital marketing is through digital advertising campaigns called pay-per-click (PPC) ad campaigns. In the olden days, you’d have to pay a specified amount for an ad spot on radio or television. Today’s PPC advertising is a horse of a different color, but the general idea remains the same. You pay for each click on ads that are shown on Google Search or social media platforms, for example.

The ‘space’ you’re paying for is digital, and normally you will have to pay based on keywords. More broad, competitive keywords cost a lot more per click, whereas more specific and less competitive keywords generally cost a lot less. Therefore, understanding keywords is essential for getting a decent ROI on PPC ad campaigns. Fortunately, there are many keyword research tools available to help out.

To give a rough example, the search terms “auto glass” and “auto glass replacement” get around 10,000-100,000 searches every month and the cost for each click on such a campaign can vary from around $3-$12. The terms “windshield repair” and “windshield replacement” get around 100,000 to 1 million Google searches every month and cost around the same for each click. Google considers all of these keyword terms to be highly competitive, so expect to pay a lot for each click.

If we were to make these keywords a little longer and a little more specific, the results would be far better for a local auto glass shop. Firstly, the search terms are more representative of people in your service area. Secondly, more specific ‘long-tail’ keywords tend to be much more affordable. Using Chicago as an example, the terms “auto glass chicago” and “cheap windshield replacement chicago” only cost around $2-$7 per click. Google considers all of these keywords to be low competition, so they’ll likely cost far less per click.

Just because a customer clicks on a PPC ad doesn’t make them a quality lead, however. If you only operate in Chicago, IL, for example, and get clicks from people in Houston or Jacksonville, chances are they’re not going to get in touch and come down to your shop for auto glass services. You should ideally want to be targeting your audience as we’ve mentioned above, so knowing demographics and other key metrics will help you make the most of your PPC campaigns. This is all the more reason to do some keyword planning and to plan out your PPC campaigns carefully so that you don’t blow your whole budget on low-quality leads.

One last thing to mention is that while most of the other digital marketing tips are either completely free or low-cost, PPC ad campaigns alone can be quite expensive. Generally, it’s best to invest a good portion of your marketing budget to PPC ad campaigns and a good portion to the rest. PPC ad campaigns can give you quick results, but long-term traffic and lead generation tend to come from long-term strategies such as SEO and growing your online visibility.

5. Create email campaigns

With the rise of social media, many may have mistakenly thought that email marketing would be dead by now. In fact, email marketing has not only remained one of the most popular forms of digital marketing to this day, but it’s also one of the best in terms of ROI. Email marketing has been shown to give a return of around $36 dollars for every $1 spent. Not bad, all things considered.

Can email campaigns come across as tacky or spammy? Of course they can, which is why you should do your best to not make your email campaigns appear as generic corporate babble and instead use it as an opportunity to personalize your business marketing to your customers.

To build an email list, you’ll need to have the consent of your customers to use their email for staying in touch. This can either be done in person when a customer has their glass replaced or online if you set up a good call to action on your website.

Once you’ve built up a list of email addresses, you can start creating email marketing campaigns for all sorts of reasons such as offering referral discounts, a weekly newsletter, outreach and charitable work your auto glass shop does in the community, and so on.

Just think for a moment that if a customer is on your email list, they’ve either gotten auto glass work done with you in the past or they were searching online for an auto glass shop near them. Since auto glass is something that the average driver would probably not rather replace regularly, it may be better for you to advertise things like referrals or value-added services like window tinting, for example. A customer that’s just had their windshield replaced probably won’t show much interest in a discount for a new windshield, but if they have a friend or family member that needs theirs replaced or repaired then a discount can increase leads.

6. Join the myWindshield network

By now you’ve probably already come to realize that digital marketing has many different approaches and can take up a lot of time and effort. As we’ve mentioned in the introduction, an auto glass shop owner must perform two basic jobs well in order to succeed: provide quality auto glass services and bring in new customers. The second part is where many struggle, so knowing some digital marketing tactics is essential, although it’s also time-consuming and takes time away from what you should be doing – repairing and replacing auto glass for satisfied customers!

That’s why we welcome all honest, genuine and hardworking auto glass technicians in the USA to apply to become a myWindshield member. myWindshield operates from coast to coast across the US, partnering with independent auto glass shop owners that want to generate quality leads without having to master web development or social media management.

Our flat and affordable monthly fee can be canceled at any time, and we never charge per lead like some of the big business directories out there. myWindshield uses both PPC ad campaigns and SEO growth strategies to organically bring in traffic from customers looking for windshield repair and windshield replacement services in the United States, so joining our network helps you to increase your online visibility as a result.

In addition, we also provide every member partner with a custom profile page, showcasing the business details and services offered by each of our member partners. These profile pages are SEO-friendly and personalized, so auto glass shops won’t be getting copied and pasted or AI-generated babble but instead they’re getting a high-quality profile page that can help convert more leads into steady revenue.

We believe that all of our member partners can also benefit from having their own website, social media profiles, and use other digital marketing strategies to maximize their reach, so joining myWindshield as a member partner simply adds one more consistent stream of leads that you can convert into happy, satisfied customers.

Boost your digital marketing reach by joining myWindshield

A good digital marketing strategy for your auto glass shop should comprise of some or all of the above tips, but be sure to join the myWindshield network to maximize your marketing ROI, generate new leads, and increase your revenue.