What are the best content features to include in an MRO website?
Most MRO web sites read something like this:
“Established in 1985, we are the leading provider of aviation services in the XX area, and are committed to providing the highest quality products and services with the utmost care for our clients and their aircraft. We are committed to integrity and quality in everything we do.”
Three paragraphs later, you still haven’t figured out what their services are, what types of aircraft they specialize in, and what exactly (if anything) they can do for you.
To quote a meme, “ain’t nobody got time for that!”
A website should be designed and written about your clients and what you can do for them – not about your company!
The harsh reality is, nobody cares how long you’ve been in business until you’ve told them what you can do FOR THEM.
A website for an aircraft repair station (or FAA Part 145, if you want to get techy) should include:
- Service list (including emergency services such as towing & recovery services, parts delivery, mobile techs, etc.)
- Aircraft types you specialize in
- Service locations (including airport identifiers and regional names)
- An emergency AOG number that is answered by a real human being
- Hangar facilities
- Rental car services/alternate transportation/things to do in your area while the aircraft is being serviced.)
Paula Williams: Welcome to this week’s episode, I’m Paula Williams.
John Williams: I’m John Williams.
Paula: And we are ABCI and ABCI’s mission is…
John: To help you folks out there in the aviation world so more of your products and services. So, I got a question.
John: What’s this?
Paula: What’s this? Hi, that’s just a hi. I’ve been reading some things in Tyler Lessard and Marcus Sheridan’s The Visual Sale and they say talking heads are boring. So, we should wear hats sort of things or gestures and other things like that so that-
John: So, I’m like, you want me to learn to juggle [inaudible].
Paula: That would help.
John: Aha. Great without me.
Paula: Okay, so this week’s episode will hopefully be exciting enough even if this is talking heads. And that is, we’ve been asked a lot about what should I include on my website and there are lists upon list upon list. I mean, the internet is awash with lists of things that you should have on your website.
John: But to I ask other questions directly…
John: …it depends.
Paula: And specifically…
John: It depends…
Paula: …for different types of businesses. And I’m not going to go into all of the things that you need on your website as a best practice for any type of business. But today we’re going to specifically talk about MROs.
John: Oh, heavens.
Paula: Yes, so if you’re an MRO or a part 145 repair facility in FAA parlance or an engine shop or an avionic shop or any type of repair or upgrade facility for aviation, this episode is for you. If you are something else, tune in next week because we’ll be talking about FBOs or charter companies, or other types of aviation businesses. Right?
Paula: Okay, cool. So, the thing is your website should not look like everybody else’s, you know you shouldn’t.
John: If you can enter and you can remove your logo and put somebody else there and it says the same thing and there’s no difference, that’s not good.
Paula: Well, what’s really interesting is in the aviation industry a lot of people will just take one of the standard templates and it’s almost as if the Latin is still there. The border plate text and the standard photography, the stock photography of beautiful airplanes is all just there. And you can’t tell whether it’s financial services or repair or a charter company, I mean, it takes you reading three-deep into paragraphs to figure out what this company actually does.
John: And you have to do more than invert the picture.
Paula: Right, to make you stand out and look different. So anyway, these are some of the things that we suggest for MRO type companies and of course, your results may vary depending on what your primary service is, what your competitive advantage is, and of course, we’d be happy to consult with you individually if you like us to have a look at your website and make some suggestions, right?
John: Of course.
Paula: Of course, all right. So, the most obvious thing is a list of services and I think this should be fairly front and center because the first thing people want to know, they don’t care what your company is, they don’t care how long you’ve been in business, they don’t care any of that stuff until they know, “Can you help me you know with this problem that I’m having right now? I’ve got an aircraft that needs X. Can you do X?” right?
John: Yeah, and I mean there’s an example of a particular airport that a lot of big… you know, goes there and fly into. They don’t have towing services so there’s somebody popped the tire on landing they can’t get it off the strip. If it put a wheel on a dirt, I mean, not yet.
Paula: Right. So, people would be calling.
John: No, to get that, I don’t know how they got to do if that happens.
Paula: Right, exactly but you don’t want people calling you that you can’t help.
Paula: That just wastes your time and wastes their time when they could be getting help.
John: And frustrate them.
Paula: Exactly and then they end up with their first experience with your company being a frustration because you can’t do what they want. So, thing number one I think is a services list.
And the next couple of things that we’re going to be talking about also contributes to what people are doing now with their phones which is a voice search or even a typed-in search people often ask the question. And you want to think about this from your customer’s perspective.
Can you do a radial engine overhaul somewhere in Iowa on a vintage aircraft? So that’s the three things that I want to know. So you want to think in terms of those three things: What do I need? What type of aircraft do I have? And where am I located? And if you can answer those three questions in a search when someone is asking the question and all of those things are on your website and you come up when somebody types that in or ask Siri or Alexa.
John: You can’t be generic because what might work for a J3 or 172 is not gonna function too well for a 550 or 650 or bigger.
Paula: So, you want to come up in those searches for the services that you provide the aircraft that you serve, and the locations that you serve, right?
Paula: Okay so I would say those are the big three and we’re probably going to narrow it down, we’re going to give you a whole list of stuff, and then we’re going, to sum up at the end in terms of what are our top three favorites, right? Because you being the target market would probably have a different and possibly better interpretation.
John: I can’t really be the target market because I don’t own a 550.
Paula: Oh, that’s true.
Paula: Everybody has a different target market but you can put yourself in the feet of one because you had those kinds of clients, right?
John: Yeah, that’s true.
Paula: Okay. Another thing that you may want to have on your website is a booking form where people can enter, here’s what I need, here is when I need it, have a list of questions do you also need this and this and this and this. And then when they come in you’re 100% prepared you got all the parts ordered and you’re all set once they complete that form.
John: Or a thread of flight if you got some sort of phone number that’s on like person responds to 24 hours.
John: Then that’d be even better.
Paula: Right. That was another thing that we came up with this, an emergency response number that is answered by a human being. And in a lot of cases, you’re going to want that to be 24/7.
Paula: You know.
John: Depending on where your location.
Paula: Right. And if you don’t have people in your office 24/7, you can have an answering service where a human being answers the phone 24/7. These things happen these days and it’s just so reassuring to have somebody pick up the phone and be able to talk to you intelligently about what your problem is and what your likelihood is of getting some help.
John: You don’t want to get hung up in a phone tree at 30,000 feet on your way in with an engine out.
Paula: Right, exactly. And you don’t want to be stuck roaming around websites and things like that. Sometimes you just want to talk to a person.
Paula: And especially a lot of our demographics are like John, they are guys. They are over 30, they are in that demographic where they want to just talk to somebody and they want to just hit a button on their phone. So, you want to make sure those phone numbers are clickable and that they go to a human being.
John: And if you go to a chat, don’t make it an AI chat, make it a real person.
Paula: Especially for these repair situations that can be urgent. You want people to feel reassured and if you can or can’t help them, you want to get them off the phone as quickly as possible and get them onto somebody who can help in that kind of thing so that you’re not wasting their time.
Another thing, you might want to include hangar facilities, rental car services, alternate transportation, things like that. Things that people might need that make it more convenient for them to choose your location over another one.
John: Yeah., they’re going to be down, their aircrafts going to be down and where you’re working on it then it be nice that they could get a car and go somewhere and spend the night if need be.
Paula: Yeah, and these are not necessary that they are nice. If you wanted to do something for extra credit, you could have an article about things to do in your area while your aircraft is being serviced. So, if you’ve got a choice between two places to take your aircraft to have a service performed but you know it’s going to take all day or all weekend or several days, you want to choose a location where you’re going to enjoy it.
John: If you have the choice to choose.
Paula: If you have the choice and if you’re an owner-operator you have more choice, obviously, than if you’re working for somebody else. But even so, you still want to spend your time someplace that you’re going to enjoy. So if you’re able to put in, here are things to do in your area for a half day or an hour or two days or whatever. If you’re in a great hunting or golfing location or any of those kinds of things that are just going to make it more convenient.
And you may also want a list places to stay and places to eat so that people feel comfortable. It may be a location that they’re not familiar with.
John: Yup. As they land and taxi over to your place and say, you got it, they get a rental car and, “So well, we’re going to go down to this restaurant. Call me when it’s ready.”
Paula: And we’ll be staying at this hotel and they already know all that they’re good. So, those are things that you can include on an MRO website that will really take it a step above the competition and make it not look like everybody else’s website, right?
Paula: And make you a whole lot more likely to be found for the things that you actually do.
Paula: So, if we were to sum that up into three main points, what are the three that you would choose?
John: Probably you need to know its the list of services. I mean, in a 145 repair station supposedly does everything but that’s to the engine wants to tough the airplane or the avionics or whatever. But it’s the external services that they should discuss.
Paula: Make the difference. Okay, so that’s one. Do you have another two favorites?
John: Yeah, aircraft types that you’ve got.
Paula: Okay. Yeah, someplace that serves agricultural aircraft is going to be very different from a place that serves VIP business jets, right?
John: That will be a toss-up. I mean, you need to know about hangar facilities because I fly my airplane somewhere it needs to spend the night. If it’s the afar and 85 degrees every day, that’s one thing. But, if it’s 100 plus sandstorms or minus 20 and snowstorms I want my airplane inside.
Paula: Yep. That is a very expensive asset to be hanging out in the weather, if there is weather that’s to speak of so. Okay, so your top three, four, and MRO would be a service list, aircraft types, and hangar facility availability, right?
Paula: Okay, cool. Well, there you have it. Those are the three most important things for an MRO website. And if you need help with your website, we are offering free copywriting through the end of August. Three hours of free copywriting when you do a website refresh and you begin before the end of August because we have some new writers.
John: Yes, we do.
Paula: Which is really cool for us and also a great deal for you and anything that is written for your website, of course, gets edited and approved by the rest of us. Anyway, it’s a great opportunity if you are looking to have some work done. Thanks for joining us and see you next week.
John: Stay safe and happy.
MRO experience is awful without using digital enablement tools for this process. I strongly recommend professionals engaged in MRO try out digital MRO documentation.