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The Complete Guide to Moving Company SEO: Everything You Need to Know for Qualified Traffic & Leads

According to our latest research at SmartMoving, top-performing movers are focused on increasing prices, improving marketing, and diversifying revenue streams to drive profitability.

And believe it or not, SEO can help move the needle in all of these key areas.

In this guide, we’ll cover the fundamentals of effective SEO for moving companies, including the latest best practices to increase qualified traffic and leads.

Rather grab the guide and go? Download it now and come back to it whenever you need it!

What is SEO?

Search engine optimization, or SEO, is a digital marketing strategy that helps your moving company get recognized online, primarily through search engines like Google and Bing.

Benefits of SEO for Moving Companies

When a customer types in a search term related to moving services, SEO helps ensure your company is found on the first page of the search engine results pages (SERPs). 

As you can imagine, this is prime marketing real estate for moving companies. And with the cost of paid advertising on the rise, increasing your organic SEO rankings is kind of a no-brainer.

The right SEO strategy can help you create a steady stream of inbound revenue at a fraction of the cost of paid ads, and many movers are catching on.

According to our recent report, nearly 40% of movers say they plan to improve their marketing this year, with SEO a key area of interest.

Here are just some of the key benefits for moving companies:

  • Build low-cost long-term lead channels
  • Attract qualified leads and customers
  • Improve brand reputation
  • Increase conversions

Do you have a streamlined system for converting inbound leads? Learn how movers like Wade Swikle, CEO at 2 College Brothers, doubled profitability and increased growth by 60% using SmartMoving’s easy automated features.

Essential Elements of SEO Strategy

SEO is about being found by the right people. But first, you’ve got to know where to start.

To build a flywheel of new leads and customers, start by mastering the essential elements of SEO for moving companies:

Let’s dive deeper into the latest best practices of each core area to help you make SEO a productive part of your growth strategy.

1 | LOCAL SEO

Local SEO is #1 for a reason. Today 97% of people learn more about a local company online than anywhere else. Local SEO helps ensure that your business is one of the first names they see.

Why local SEO matters:

Google Business Profile

Have you claimed your Google Business Profile (GBP) listing yet? If not, this is a great place to start. Formerly known as Google My Business (GMB), a strong Google Business listing helps Google authenticate your business and may help it feature more prominently in local search results.

Tips for optimizing:

  • Claim your Google My Business (GMB) listing. Setting up a Google Business Profile is free, easy to do, and will instantly give you better visibility via Google Maps and Search once approved.
  • Keep your GMB profile updated. Schedule regular quarterly reviews to make sure your address, contact information and operating hours are correct.
  • Upload photos of your trucks and crew. GMB listings with photos receive 35% more clicks.
  • Take advantage of Google Guaranteed. After completing your GBP, you can also choose to undergo Google’s screening process to qualify for its Local Services Ads (LSAs) program. The program allows for customers who find your business through Google LSAs to be eligible for reimbursement if they’re not happy with your work.

Pro tip: “All you have to do is put in the zip codes and services. Google does the rest,” says Travis Weathers, CEO at Rotate Digital. It may not be everyone’s favorite, but Travis is a big fan of the low cost leads that come from Google Guaranteed. “Every week you can spend money on Google, listen to every call, and know to a dime how much you made.” 


Google Maps

For local movers, Google Maps is THE #1 strategy. There simply is no other SEO real estate with this much local influence. It’s free, organic and it comes straight from your Google profile listing. Once you’re live on Google Maps, all you have to do is use a free tool like Brightlocal to find out how well you rank, then work to expand your reach in a specific location.

Tips for optimizing:

  • Walk through the search experience yourself. From Maps, to your reviews, to your website, is the experience consistent? How easy is it for someone to contact you at every step?
  • Remove duplicate listings. Make sure you don’t have multiple listings for the same location as this can damage your Name, Address, and Phone number (NAP profile) and hurt your ability to rank (more on this in the next section!).
  • Post updates to your Google Maps. Adding new content like crew photos and pictures of happy customers will encourage searchers to engage, while boosting your rankings.


NAP consistency

For search engines like Google to continue to trust you, you need to make sure your company’s Name, Address, and Phone number, a.k.a. NAP, is consistent across all platforms, directories, and social media channels. Not only is consistent information crucial to maintaining brand authority, Google also perceives this consistency as reliability, leading to better local rankings.

Tips for optimizing:

  • Conduct an NAP audit. Review all online marketing channels and correct any inconsistencies in your company info.
  • Don’t forget directory sites. Check sites like Yellow Pages, Moving.com and other directories to ensure accurate information.


Keyword research

Local keywords are the phrases potential customers type when looking for moving services. By simply adding the name of your city or service area, you can drastically improve your chances of attracting high intent leads. For example, “moving services in [your city]”, “best movers in [your city]”, etc.

The right keywords are those with high search volume and low competition. Tools like Ahrefs and SEMRush can help you pinpoint those gems, but don’t forget to also keep an eye out for long-tail keywords.

What are long-tail keywords?

Long-tail keywords are phrases containing three or more words that visitors are likely to use when in “buying mode.” For instance, someone typing “best long-distance moving companies in Florida” is likely closer to making a decision compared to someone searching for "moving companies."

Tips for optimizing:

  • Build your list of targeted keywords. Look for sales-focused keywords that may have low volume but high intent. For example, ‘best moving companies Tampa’ might have lower volume, but searchers for this term are more sales-ready than those searching for ‘how to prepare for a move’.
  • Choose your long-tail keywords. Look out for keywords and phrases, such as cleaning services, junk removal, valuation and insurance, that can help you boost visibility for ancillary services in addition to your core offerings.
  • Refresh your keywords. SEO isn’t a one-and-done deal. Use analytics tools to see which keywords are driving traffic to your site. Focus on optimizing for any “striking distance” keywords in positions 11-30. If you’re able to bump your rankings to page one, you could gain a big boost in website traffic.

SEO in action: Leveraging local landing pages to drive qualified leads.

“Localization is absolutely the key to our SEO efforts,” says Nick Valentino, VP of Market Operations at Bellhop Atlanta Movers. “We know that moving is a search term that is likely to deliver localized results on Google, and we've essentially built our marketing efforts around this fact.” 

Nick and his team have a multi-city footprint. By leveraging local SEO, they’re not only boosting Bellhop’s visibility in each service area, they’re delivering real value to potential customers in those communities by targeting relevant keywords prospects care about.

“We have local landing pages for cities we're operating in, and they're more than just re-skins of our main site with a different city name; we have relevant local content on each of these pages, including customer reviews, search tools for other moving options, weather reports, and even real estate options. This helps these individual pages to perform well, and also makes them a resource for potential customers who are researching moving options.”

2 | REVIEWS

Every successful moving business thrives on an unshakeable reputation. And customer testimonials are the cornerstone of that reputation. But did you know they’re also a powerhouse for your SEO efforts? According to research, review quantity, velocity (how often you receive new reviews), and diversity contribute approximately 15% to a local business's SEO ranking.

Why reviews matter:

Get more reviews

The more reviews you get, the better your SEO. Customer reviews not only boost your site's visibility in search engine results, they also elevate your brand reputation and reduce the perceived risk of working with your company. 

Tips for optimizing:

  • Don't wait for the reviews to roll in. Set up systems to consistently ask for customer reviews, like an automated email after a successful move.
  • Incentivize your crew. Even a small reward can compound the number of reviews you’re able to secure.
  • Train your crew on how and when to ask. Create your scripts and processes. For example, when a customer says, “Oh, I wish I had more money to tip you,” crew members can respond with, “The best tip you can give us is a five-star review.”


Keep them genuine

Not every review needs to be perfect. Aim for a varied mix of reviews to signal to both search engines and potential customers that your reviews are real, authentic, and unbiased.

Tips for optimizing:

  • Ask happy customers for honest reviews. By actively requesting reviews from your happiest customers, you’ll boost your overall rating for a powerful impression on new prospects.
  • Automate your reviews. Set up a review funnel in your CRM to make sure every customer has multiple opportunities to leave their review.

Pro tip: Create tailored steps in your review funnel based on customer behavior. For example, if a customer rates 4 or 5 stars, structure your reply to invite them to post their review on Google. For ratings of 3 stars or lower, trigger an email to go out to your customer support team immediately to help resolve and repair the experience.

Responding to reviews

How you engage with your reviews also matters. Brands that respond to all reviews, both positive and negative, are seen as more trustworthy — both by prospects and Google.

Tips for optimizing:

  • Respond promptly to all reviews, especially any negative ones. 
  • Always keep it professional. Even if it’s a fake review, avoid making accusations. Reply back letting the reviewer know that you can’t find them in your customer database and ask them to contact you by phone to give you their information.
  • Use ChatGPT to help formulate a response. If you’re not sure what to say, ask ChatGPT. Customize the language to align with your brand and document the script internally for future use.

SEO in action: QR-code enabled customer reviews

When Wade Swikle, CEO at 2 College Brothers, set out to get more customer reviews, he decided to get creative. 

“Our movers have QR codes on their sleeves so that when they’re filling out the paperwork after the move, customers can scan the code right there on their shirt,” explained Wade in a recent episode of the Grow Your Moving Company podcast.

He’s worked hard to develop a culture where all team members understand the importance of customer reviews. And it’s paid off.

Wade and the team at 2 College Brothers currently generate up to 50% of the company’s leads exclusively from reviews. “From the sales call to the confirmation call with operations, we’re telling customers every step of the way, ‘Our goal is to make you a five-star raving fan,’” says Wade.

After the move, Wade’s team continues to follow up, sending customers helpful links and preparing them for the “safety net review”, an automated review request email recommended by expert coach Louis Massaro, using SmartMoving.

3 | ON-PAGE SEO

On-page SEO is exactly what it sounds like. It’s the process of optimizing your web pages and website content through targeted keywords and best SEO practices. This includes the content you're posting, the HTML source code, and everything in between.

Why on-page SEO matters:

Header tags

Your header tags (the H1, H2, H3, etc., headings and subheadings that separate content on a webpage) help organize your content, making it easy for both search engines and users to understand. More importantly, they’re an excellent place to incorporate your keywords, helping you to rank higher in search results. 

Tips for optimizing:

  • Add the name of your city. This is an easy way to optimize your site pages and boost your visibility in local searches.
  • Optimize your meta descriptions. These should be short (typically 150-160 characters), they should include your target keyword, and they should read like a mini ad enticing searchers to click through to your page.


Images

The right images don’t just make your brand look pretty, they’re also great for SEO. High-quality images that are small in size will help maintain your site’s speed, while grabbing and holding the attention of your website visitors.

Tips for optimizing:

  • Add image alt text. Add a brief description of the images on your website for search engines and visually impaired users. This is also a great place to include keywords, as long as your descriptions are accurate and related to the image. 
  • Optimize images for size. The goal is to compress without losing quality. Tools like Tiny.png and ImageOptim can do this for you and are usually free to use below a certain size threshold.


URL structure

A comprehensive, readable site structure will make it easy for both humans and search engines to understand what your page is about. Include keywords in your URL, but ensure it still remains user-friendly.

  • Don’t use “stop” words in your URLs. Remove words like “and”, “of”, and “the” for a clean, readable URL.
  • Use target keywords with hyphens in between to separate words.
  • Use a sitemap checker. There are many low-cost tools that can help you visualize your site structure and identify any potential issues that may be hurting your ability to rank.

4 | BACKLINKING

So you've optimized your Google Business Profile and worked diligently on your on-page SEO. Excellent! But what's next? Off-page SEO, particularly building quality backlinks from other sites to your website.

Why backlinks matter:

Directories

A well-executed backlinking strategy can give your moving company a serious edge over the competition. Start by submitting your website to reputable online directories like HomeAdvisor, Angi, Houzz, and local business directories. These will not only put your brand right in front of potential customers, they’ll also provide you with valuable backlinks.

Tips for optimizing:

  • Submit your website to the top 3-5 directories. Both national and local directories can be gold mines for quality backlinks. 
  • Ensure that your information is consistent. Consistency is the name of the game for winning with Google. Schedule regular reviews of your directory listings to make sure they’re up to date.


Guest blogging

Another surefire way to get quality backlinks is by guest blogging for real estate partners and other local blogs and websites. Reach out to them with quality content that adds value to their readers. In return, they'll often let you include a backlink to your site in your article or author bio.

Tips for optimizng:

  • Connect with local companies. Who are your local influencers? Ask if you can trade links or write for each other.


Blog

Already have a blog? Good. If not, start one. A blog is a fantastic platform to create valuable content that people will want to link to. The more value you provide, the higher you’ll rank in the SERPs and the more people will learn to trust your brand.

Tips for optimizing:

  • Review your customer FAQs. These are a treasure trove of ideas for valuable blog content and you already know exactly how to answer them!
  • Partner up with an influencer or guest blogger. This gives you the benefit of organic traffic, done-for-you content, and a quality backlink.

Pro tip: “A common misconception for moving companies' SEO that I often see is that you should solely focus on ‘moving companies’ keywords. All that this does is add to the already crowded and competitive market,” explains Ryan Carrigan, CEO and Founder at moveBuddha. “I've had better success when I focus on either location-specific keywords or go niche with my SEO. Do you specialize in student moves, senior transitions, or luxury relocations? Use keywords relevant to your niche to help you stand out in the crowd.”

SEO Services for Moving Companies

If you’ve made it this far, it might seem like SEO is a lot of work. 

The good news is, there is a wide range of qualified SEO experts out there that can help you hit your goals. And it’s probably more affordable to work with them than you might think.

“It's a common misconception that SEO is very expensive, especially for growing moving companies. The reality is quite different,” says Margarita Hakobyan, CEO and Founder of Movers Corp. “Implementing effective SEO strategies for companies that offer local services doesn't require a massive budget. In fact, there are numerous affordable and highly impactful tactics that can be customized for local moving businesses.”

Pros like Margarita caution movers to avoid the temptation to compete with major van lines and marketplaces for every possible keyword. “Instead, concentrate on local SEO efforts, optimize Google Business Profiles, and compete effectively for organic search engine rankings,” she suggests.

How to choose the right SEO company

“In SEO, there are 10,000 things you can do,” says Travis Weathers, CEO at Rotate Digital. “If you don’t have alignment, the SEO company ends up doing all these things—yet you still don’t see the needle move on your goals.” 

Travis has worked with movers like Ox Strong Moving, Elite Movers, Northeastern Movers and more, to help them drive organic traffic, leads, and revenue through SEO.

His advice? Spell out exactly what winning looks like.

Here are some examples of how your big-picture SEO goals might look:

  • ROI: For instance, a goal of 3X ROI means you would aim for $90,000 in revenue on an SEO investment of $30,000.
  • Going Rate: If over the last 4 months your sales show that you’re on track towards an additional $90,000 in revenue, you’ll know your investment was worth it.
  • Leads: Aim for a certain percentage of new leads per month coming in via one or more organic channels.
  • Visibility: Do you want visibility on your Google Business Profiles? More SERP results? Higher rankings on specific keywords? Work with your SEO company to define what that looks like.


“Alignment of outcomes is critical to understanding what needs to be done,” Travis explains. “Because if you’re not getting the outcome you want, you should not be working with that company.”

To make sure you’ve found the right partner, Travis recommends asking the following questions:

  • What does success look like 3, 6 and 12 months from now?
  • What outcome checkpoints are in place along the way?
  • What kinds of guest posting opportunities/backlinks/niche edits/etc. do you offer?
  • What kind of industry expertise do you provide?
  • What’s your client success rate?
  • How do you handle losing clients? What happens when I leave?


Unfortunately, it’s not uncommon to see SEO agencies removing backlinks, or even holding websites hostage, when a mover tries to switch partners.

To find an SEO company you can trust, experts like Travis believe it all comes down to quality.

“Everything sounds the same in SEO. To combat that as an owner, dive deeper. Ask questions like what kind of traffic can I expect, what kind of quality, what kind of recency, and more,” he suggests.

Go Straight to the Top with Better SEO

Today’s movers are playing to win. And those that embrace SEO will have a serious head start.

With a consistent process for optimizing your Google Business Profile, collecting more reviews, improving your on-page SEO and building quality backlinks, you’ll be setting yourself up for a steady stream of new leads and revenue.

When you’ve got more leads than you know what to do with, SmartMoving can help.

SmartMoving is the all-in-one platform for moving companies on the path to becoming market leaders. Centralize all incoming leads, schedule instant follow up, and reduce manual work for your team.

Schedule your free demo today to learn more.

Download the Guide.

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