This piece is a guest post from the SEO experts over at TLM: https://todayslocalmedia.com/
What is SEO?
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is the process of optimizing your website to increase organic traffic from the search engine, back to your site. It involves making strategic changes to your content, photos, links, etc. so that search engines like Google, increase your rankings and display your site towards the top of the page of a Google search.
It takes time and patience to rank on the first page of search engines. Because Google’s algorithm changes hundreds of times each year, it is highly likely that your SEO tactic that worked yesterday does not work today. But do not let that discourage you. We have the top tips and tricks below to help you leverage your business and start raking in new customers from Google.
Why SEO Matters for your Business
When it is time to move, people turn to Google to find a company like yours to get the job done. They are looking for companies that are close by, ones that have great reviews and ones that have professional websites with everything they need to know to ensure they are choosing the right crew for their move. If your website is not displaying in the top few results of a Google search, you are losing potential customers.
With thousands of people searching online for moving companies in your area, you need to be accessible to them. That means you must be easily found on the major search engines. When done correctly and methodically, SEO will help your business display at the top of those results.
SEO Tip # 1: Be specific about the areas you serve
Google cares about your local ranking. When an individual searches for a moving company nearby, the results are based primarily on relevance, distance, and prominence, helping find the best match for their search. Adding complete and detailed business information can help Google better understand your business and make sure your website is listed.
On top of creating a Google My Business page and ensuring your address, hours and phone number are accurate, you need to be specific on your website too. The different locations you serve should be clearly listed not only at the bottom of your page, but within your headlines, content, links and contact page. And be specific. List cities and towns instead of counties and states. This will help Google find your page when it is looking for a website to display in someone’s local search results. The more specific you are, the higher you will rank.
SEO Tip # 2: Ask for local reviews
More than 80% of customers admit to reading reviews before making a decision. People looking for a moving company are no different. They want to know what others are saying about you. Can you be trusted? Did you show up on time? Did you help them pack? Did you handle their antiques with care? Was your team friendly? How are your prices?
Companies that have the most reviews tend to have higher traffic rates to their website and tend to have more customers and referrals because consumers are more comfortable hiring them over competitors. The higher number of reviews you have, the more a customer will trust your company.
But do not stop at just asking for reviews. Google loves when you ready and reply to your reviews too. Responding to reviews show that you value your customers and the feedback that they leave about your business. High-quality, positive reviews from your customers will improve your business’s visibility and increase the likelihood that a potential customer will visit your site. Keep it short and sweet and be sure to thank them.
SEO Tip # 3: Create unique content
Unique content refers to content that is original and not duplicated on other sites. By creating unique content that is relevant and interesting to the reader, sites have a greater chance of rising to the top of the search results.
As a moving company, you have a big opportunity here. Moving is stressful and you know the insider tips and tricks to make it as easy as possible. Share them! Create blog posts with “how to” instructions, lists with what should be on every person’s packing list, videos showing the best way to pack and any other items you think your customers should know.
Don’t be afraid to leverage great photos and videos either. Adding photos to your listings and website shows people your goods and services, and can help you tell the story of your business. Here are Google’s top tips when it comes to photos and videos:
- Add a logo to help your customers recognize your business.
- Set a cover photo to the top of your Google My Business profile and website that best represents your business.
- Add photos and videos of your staff, products, and services to provide as much information as possible about your business. It’s also a good idea to add an exterior photo, or in this case, a photo of your branded moving truck so people can recognize you.
If you are producing unique content that keeps people on your pages, it sends a signal to Google that your site is valuable - moving you up towards the top of the search page.
SEO Tip # 4: Build local links
Building local links should accomplish two things: Link back to your website and provide the opportunity to speak to your local audience and gain brand recognition.
The most important links you should start building begin with Google My Business, Bing Places, Facebook, and Yelp. You will need to make sure your business page has been created, verified and optimized for each platform. Outside of these major sites, I always recommend that moving companies create profiles and listings on more niche directories like Angie's List, Thumbtack, Homeadvisor, MovingCompanyReviews.com, Moving.com, MyMovingReviews.com and more. For now, you do not need to pay for premium listings on these sites (especially not until you get reviews) but you should at least set up a free account and try to build your presence while obtaining local reviews.
With millions of people searching for products and services online these days, it is very important for you to be easily found on search engines like Google. If done properly and strategically, SEO will help your business display at the top of the page so people looking to move in your local area will see your brand first.
Proper SEO tactics are not an overnight strategy that will give you instant results. But if you follow and implement these four SEO tips, you will be well on your way to moving up the list! And if you get stuck or do not have time, don’t fret. We can help you grab those coveted first-page spots through a customized long-term SEO strategy. Contact us to help grow your business and make sure to check out these extra trips on the best practices for local SEO.