Back in Business

Aug. 31, 2016
A new website is helping Lorentz Automotive improve foot traffic and reestablish itself in the community

When you walk into Lorentz Automotive, there's a good chance you already know the staff.

That's partly due to the Lewisville, Texas shop's website makeover, which not only provides biographies for all of its employees, but goes into detail about the vehicle makes it repairs and the services it offers, and even provides an online form for you to schedule this appointment through. Before you ever walked through that door, you knew and trusted Renae Lorentz’s shop, partly because the shop boasts a perfect five-star rating out of 250 reviews at the top of its home page, and partly because you feel like you’re friends with its staff.

The new isn’t just a vast improvement over the old website in terms of design, but also in terms of SEO (they trend higher in Google searches), customer conversions and annual revenue.

Lorentz Automotive

Location: Lewisville, Texas

Size: 18,800 square feet (two buildings)

Staff: 8 (4 technicians, 1 service advisor, 1 manager, 1 CSR, 1 owner)

Number of Lifts: 9

Average Monthly Car Count: 335

Annual Revenue: $1.5 million

The Backstory

Although Lorentz Automotive started in 1986, it has technically only been in business for 20 years. Mike—the original owner and Renae’s husband—worked tirelessly to expand his network to nine shops before passing away in 2005, when Lorentz, who handled the company’s accounting, decided to sell all the locations.

Lorentz, who spent her 10 years outside the shop working in real estate, had maintained ownership of the original Lorentz Automotive location property. When her son, Cole, expressed interest in the business, Lorentz decided to re-open her husband’s shop back up in January 2015.

The Problem

Part of Lorentz Automotive’s grand re-opening meant establishing a web presence, which the shop previously didn’t have. Lorentz decided to partner with a local web developer she was friends with, and the issues became apparent immediately.

“It just wasn’t right. It wasn’t telling people anything about our shop,” Lorentz says. “Plus, [the web developer] never really updated it with anything fresh.”

In addition to a plain, unoriginal, bare-bones design with only a few landing pages to choose from, the website wasn’t built for optimal SEO performance. The shop’s bread-and-butter specialities—European vehicles, mufflers and transmissions—weren’t listed prominently, causing Lorentz Automotive to show up several pages deep in a “Lewisville, Texas auto repair” Google search. Plus, contact information and hours were located at the bottom of the home page, and there were no photos of the shop.

The Solution

After a few months of frustration (the original website cost the shop $2,000 per month), Lorentz decided to research other developers and get some quotes, eventually deciding to partner with a new company. The new website went live in October 2015 and consists of several components:

The home page. The first page potential customers see lists Lorentz Automotive’s plethora of five-star reviews, the hours of operation, and the shop’s phone number at the top.

As you scroll down, you’ll get a sense of the shop’s culture, expertise and offered services. It starts with a quote from the original owner, Mike (“Our success is measured by your happiness and satisfaction.”); a banner scrolls through the specials the shop is currently offering; there are links to pages highlighting the shop’s European specialties; there are professionally shot photos of the shop and team by a local photography company; there is a short description of the shop’s history; and directions to the shop are provided.

About Us. In addition to photos of and short bios about staff members, the About Us section offers a FAQ section for customers (“What should I do if my vehicle overheats?”) and a blog with posts covering various topics (“How to spot a shady auto repair shop”).

Specials. The website offers several specials customers can utilize during visits, such as $10 off filter and oil changes and free alignment checks.

Appointments. Customers can fill out a form listing their contact information and vehicle make and model, choose one of the specials offered by the shop, choose a first and second preferred choice for an appointment date, and the reason for the appointment.

Services/Vehicles. These two sections offer a comprehensive, detailed list of every service Lorentz Automotive offers and each vehicle its technicians are trained to repair.

The Services page is broken into various boxes that offer broader repairs, such as air conditioning and heating, brake systems, electronics and fuel systems. When clicked on, those boxes expand into subset categories. For example, the transmission and clutch tab expands to offer paragraphs explaining the shop’s free diagnostic services, clutch replacement expertise and drive shaft and C.V. axle work.

The Vehicles page is similar. From Hyundai to Ford to HUMMER to Mitsubishi, each make links to another page listing the shop’s knowledge of specific models.

Reviews. This page lists the written reviews in their entirety and all the praise customers have for Lorentz Automotive, along with the customer’s name and the rating.

The Aftermath

Today, is mobile optimized and appears on the first page if you search “Lewisville, Texas auto repair” in Google, thanks in large part to its specialties being listed on the home page.

While Lorentz didn’t track digital marketing metrics with her old website, she has noticed some significant changes between October 2015 and June 2016: Average monthly car count went from 280 to 335, hitting 404 in June; the shop now sees an average of 114 new customer per month, up from 92; the average value of customers captured by the website rose by $25; the conversion rate of lead customers (customers who visit the website or contact the shop) increased from 14 to 27 percent in June; clicks from and conversion rates for Google AdWords—which were set up through the new website developer—more than doubled; and the shop experiences an average of three customers per week using its online appointment maker.

Lorentz Automotive now follows up with customers for reviews, which she posts on her website. In addition to being able to follow up with each reviewer individually, she says the page has become a morale booster for her team.

“It’s really rewarding to get those,” she says. “I take them back to our morning meetings and read them to the guys because they don't usually see them.”

The Services and Vehicle pages have gone a long way in branding the shop’s expertise and bringing in new customers.

“Some people look and think, ‘Oh, they do tune-ups, they do A/C,’ and then they just go straight in there and make an appointment,” Lorentz says. “But when it goes into all those fine details, I think if you're that type of person that wants to read that, it's there. These days, we have many people who Google problems, and our guys at the front counter are both ASE Master mechanics and ready to answer any technical questions.”

The Takeaway

With Lorentz Automotive thriving, Lorentz is looking forward to continually improving the shop, setting up her son for success, and, of course, keeping up with the latest technological trends that will propel the shop’s online presence.

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