SEO for Moving Companies: Your Quick-and-Dirty Guide
Digital marketing can be intimidating, especially if it’s not your day job. With that said, SEO (search engine optimization) can often feel downright paralyzing! We get it, we’ve been there. But marketing for moving companies — SEO for moving companies in particular — doesn’t have to be scary. No one is saying you should become an expert, but learning a few SEO tips and tricks of the trade for your moving company can make a huge difference when it comes to driving potential customers to you on the web.
So, without further ado, let’s dive into some SEO best practices; along the way, we’ll also discuss how SEO strategies can help you and why they should be an integral part of your moving company’s marketing strategy.
What exactly is SEO?
Before we divulge all of our secrets on how your moving company can become an SEO powerhouse, it’s probably a good idea to cover the basics. So, what is SEO? Good question. SEO stands for “search engine optimization.” In layman’s terms, it’s how you make sure that potential customers can find your business online. Search Engine Land (a great website by the way) defines it as: “the process of getting traffic for free.”
That sounds simple enough. We already know that an increase in website traffic is always a plus, and we’d never turn down anything that’s free. But what does that mean and how does a moving company get to that point via SEO?
Well, search engines are picky. They want to make sure that their users are getting the best possible results. In order to do that, they rank different websites and pages and reward (and penalize) them depending on the inclusion or exclusion of different elements.
Basically, you need to know what these elements are and how to include them. It’s not a short list, but enlisting just a few specific tactics can make a massive difference in your website traffic. Below are just a few SEO tips (with big returns) to get you started.
Embrace Keywords and Match Phrases
When it comes to SEO, you must use keywords and match phrases. When a person is looking for an item or service and Googles “Atlanta moving companies,” website pages that are relevant to moving companies in Atlanta are going to appear in their search results. Websites and pages that are optimized for keywords such as “Atlanta” and match phrases such as “Atlanta moving companies” are going to appear higher up on the SERP (search engine result page) than those that are not. The pages that are higher up on the SERP are going to get the bulk of the traffic. The goal? Get on that first page! Ranking highly (toward the top) of the SERP can be the difference between a few page visits and thousands of page visits.
Search engines, Google, in particular, are big on quality content. Though we both know that your website is filled with relevant and useful content, sometimes Google needs a little help identifying that. One way Google determines whether or not your content is quality is by the number of backlinks your website has – that is the number of links pointing to your website from other sites. Google figures that if other websites trust your content enough to link to it from their site, then it must be good.
A great way to gain backlinks is by posting articles on other websites. You’re already an expert on moving, so why not write an article for a moving blog that will then link back to your website within the copy of the post? It takes a bit of time and effort to develop these relationships and write these posts, but it’s worth the effort in the end.
Some people will say that getting backlinks gives you an SEO boost or link juice. All that really means is that Google recognizes that other sites see your value and then Google rewards you because of it. Just make sure that the links you receive are “follow” links, as opposed to “no follow” links. It’s all just fancy lingo, but if you want to be a pro at marketing your moving company, it’s good to know.
Link Out to Credible Pages
Similar to receiving backlinks, Google also notices how well you are doing with providing quality content to those frequenting your site. With this, they want to see that you’re linking out to credible sites with a high DA (domain authority), pretty much the ultimate popularity contest in Google’s eyes. The higher the DA of a website, the more authoritative and valuable the site. DA is ranked from 0-100, so find sites to link to with high DAs. Google will see that you recognized quality content and will know that you are doing your best to make your website as valuable to your visitors as possible. Not sure how to find a website’s DA? There are plenty of free sites that can help you with that.
Pay Attention to Your Page Speed
Page speed is the amount of time it takes for information to load and appear to a user. Ever gone to a website and it seems to take forever for the images and text to appear? That website had a slow page speed. Consequently, site speed is the amount of time it takes for a sample of pages from a website to load. Not surprisingly, page speed is one of the criteria that Google uses to rank a website. As we mentioned above, Google cares greatly about user experience. If a page loads slowly, that’s obviously creating a bad user experience. When “crawling” or evaluating your site, Google takes page speed into account and will either bump you up or down depending on the speed. The faster your site loads the better, but try and keep your site around a load time of 2-3 seconds. There are a variety of tactics you can use to increase your page and site speed. Not sure how fast it currently takes to load your website? There are tools to use to help you determine your site’s speed.
Optimize for Mobile
Ever visit a website on your phone or tablet and feel like something was a little off? In addition to taking a while to load, maybe some of the images and text didn’t quite line up as they should. Sometimes the website won’t load at all. What’s happening here is that these websites are not optimized for mobile. That means they are neither designed specifically for mobile or are not mobile responsive. You’ve probably already guessed where we are going with this, but we’ll say it again, Google is big on user experience. A page that doesn’t load or has an inconsistent layout is not going to get you a seat at the cool kids’ table. We recommend that you go with a responsive design. In the end, it will save you time and money because you’ll only have to design and configure one site, as opposed to two.
We’ve just rattled off several great SEO tips, tricks, and best practices, but it’s still only a drop in the SEO bucket. There is so much more to be done when it comes to marketing for moving companies. But remember, over time, a tweak here and an optimization there can add up. Start off small, choose one tactic per month, evaluate your progress, and optimize as needed. Remember, small efforts can add up to big rewards. Now, get marketing!