As a small business owner of a moving company you depend on new leads to grow revenue. However, in your efforts to reach your audience through traditional mediums (e.g. flyers, radio ads, television spots, etc.), you may be overlooking one incredibly lucrative marketing channel—Local SEO.
Before the Internet, you would ask friends or look through the Yellow Pages for recommendations. Now with Google and social media networks such as Facebook, you can easily search for local businesses around you. And more people are doing exactly that as data from Google shows that 4 out of 5 consumers now use search engines to find local businesses.
This is what the search results look like for “moving company Austin”:
Your target market is more than likely using Google to search for services that your business offers. Ranking for those queries means more traffic to your pages and sales.
But ranking for local searches requires a different approach compared to your average SEO campaign. To ensure that users get results that are most relevant to their query, factors from business signals to customer reviews and local citations are all part of the ranking algorithm.
Here we look at each of these factors in more detail and proven local SEO strategies for moving companies.
1. Create Profiles on Local Business Directories
Citations are defined as a mention of a local business on the web.
An example would be an online Yellow Pages directory with details about a business such as its name, phone number, and address. All other factors being equal, more citations from established portals can rank your site higher for local searches as they help search engines confirm the legitimacy of a business.
Citations also act as another platform for potential customers to discover your business. Yelp is a perfect example of this as users can quickly browse and sort through popular restaurants.
Here are some of the top citations for moving companies:
Other popular review sites for local businesses include:
Take the time to complete your profiles to make them stand out. Add your address and phone number, choose the right categories, include a short description of your business, and upload quality images. Be sure to keep everything consistent across all your profiles.
2. Optimize Your On-Page SEO
The rest of your site needs to be impeccable to make it more accessible to search engines. According to a survey from Moz, on-page signals (presence of NAP, keywords in titles, etc.) have a major impact on local rankings.
Pages that are optimized stand a far better chance of ranking. Use Google’s Keyword Planner tool to discover potential keywords to target and traffic estimates for each. Then optimize each of the following factors for your landing pages:
- Titles: Titles are one of the most important on-page ranking factor. Include your keywords as well as the city you are based in to reach local customers (e.g. “Long Distance Movers in Austin | Your Company”).
- Meta descriptions: These are short snippets of text that give users a better idea of what your page is about. Include your main keywords here and write a short call to action to increase click through rates. Keep the descriptions around 155 characters.
- NAP: NAP refers to Name, Address, and Phone Number. Customers want to know that they are dealing with a legitimate company. So make sure that your contact information is clearly visible across all pages. Google also looks at this information when displaying it in the search results.
- Images: Images are a great way to give your visitors a peek into your business. Content with relevant images also attract 94% more views. So be sure to upload quality photos to your site and across your online profiles.
Optimize these factors for each page to improve the visibility of your site. But watch your keyword usage as stuffing your content with irrelevant keywords or duplicating content across your site could lead to a ranking penalty.
3. Obtain Customer Reviews
Consumers are more savvy than ever before.
If you have ever purchased something online, chances are that you read several reviews first to inform your decision. And you might do the same if you were shopping at a business for the first time. Data from BrightLocal shows that 92% of consumers look at online reviews before shopping at a local business.
Online reviews are essential for the following reasons:
- Rankings: According to data from Moz as linked to above, reviews are another ranking factor. This means that getting more reviews could actually boost your rankings in the search results.
- Conversions: A local store with over 100 five star ratings would likely get your attention but a business with mainly one or two star ratings would probably make you think twice. So more positive reviews could actually get you more clicks and sales as a result.
Reviews essentially serve as a form of social proof. Here are some reviews on Yelp for the Einstein Moving Company in Austin:
The company has plenty of other glowing reviews from satisfied customers. These are exactly the kind of reviews that benefit your business and bring in more sales.
For most local searches, Google even displays star ratings in the search results. A business that has more positive ratings draws more attention than a business without any. So if you want to attract more leads to your moving company, focus your efforts on getting more reviews. But never pay for them as doing so could lead to getting your business banned from certain review sites such as Yelp.
4. Build Quality Links From Relevant Sources
Links carry a great deal of weight in terms of rankings.
Each link to your site is like a vote of confidence. The more you have, the better you can expect to rank. But not all links are equal as a link from a relevant source will carry far more weight. Building links using automated tools or buying them from spammy networks will only lead to a ranking penalty thanks to the Penguin update.
A better approach then is to focus on acquiring links from quality sources. Here are the link building strategies that work:
- Outreach: Reach out to other sites in the moving industry. Offer to submit a guest post in return for a link back to your site. These types of links are harder to earn but they are far more effective.
- Host an event: Another great way to build links to your site is to host or sponsor a community event. Doing so also increases the chances of your moving company getting featured in the news.
- Create a blog: Sharing your expertise is one of the best ways to establish your business as an industry authority. Case studies have shown that companies that blog are far more likely to enjoy a positive ROI. Start a blog and keep it updated with relevant and engaging content.
- Local directories: We briefly covered this in the first step. Create profiles on relevant directories and other Chamber of Commerce sites with links back to your own site. Remember to keep information about your business consistent across all profiles.
- Social media: Social networks such as Facebook, Twitter, and Google+ are all excellent sources of quality links. Sharing quality content on these platforms can also help build a following to your business and increase your reach in the process.
Focus your efforts on building quality links and you can expect to see your rankings steadily climb in the search results.
SEO can seem like a rather confusing topic. This is likely due to the fact that Google is constantly changing its ranking algorithm. So practices that were once effective could now potentially get your site banned. But the fact remains that search engines remain one of the best strategies to increase brand awareness and drive more sales.
Follow these local SEO strategies as outlined above to rank your moving company at the top of the search results.