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5 Proven Ways to Market Your Moving Company

5 Proven Ways to Market Your Moving Company

The moving industry is an extremely competitive landscape. Moving companies largely offer similar services, so how can you differentiate yourself from the competition? How do you convert interested customers into ones who are confident enough in you to schedule their move? The answer is marketing. Most movers don’t have the staff or resources to market their business, but Today’s Local Media (TLM) is a small digital marketing agency that does. We have advised moving companies nationwide and helped their business grow. A client even called us “a small business owner’s secret weapon in getting an edge on competitors.”

Through our vast experience, we have found processes and strategies that deliver results. Here are five proven ways to market your moving company.

  1. Build a consistent brand and professional website

A brand is what the customer visualizes when she hears your company name. A brand is bigger than a website. But a website is the most outward facing representation of your brand, and having a professional looking one will engage your customers and build brand-trust, increasing the chance they will choose you for their moving needs.

Research says 38% of people will stop engaging with a website if the content or layout is unattractive. How something looks completely affects how someone feels about it. And we’re not all graphic designers, so websites are one thing to outsource. TLM is one company that develops appealing, customized websites that are SEO friendly. They are fully optimized, mobile responsive (automatically change to fit the device you’re reading it on), and they load fast. Time is money, and over a third of customers will stop engaging with a website if images won’t load, or take too long to load.

Creating a good user experience includes putting your contact information on every page, and have attractive estimate forms to make connecting with you painless. Your website should work for you, not against you, and should make it as easy as possible for customers to quickly choose you, and to quickly contact you.

moving company web design

  1. Get listed on online directories

Claim a presence on online directories. Some of the more important ones for movers are Google My Business, Yelp, Angie’s list, Movingcompanyreviews.com, BBB, Homeadvisor, Thumbtack, and Yp.com. While Google is the number one search engine (Bing is second), think of every directory as another chance to get found online. Most of these are even free, like Google My Business, which complements your website with a public presence on Google search and Google Maps. You can add images of your trucks and crews as well, which will come up on the right side of Google results with your hours and contact information.

Should you pay for advertising on these directories? I don’t recommend it until you get at least five reviews. Which leads us to the next tip.

get listed on directories

  1. Get reviews

As long as you are providing excellent customer service, ask customers for reviews immediately after the move. Potential customers read reviews, and 88% trust them as much as personal recommendations. On the flip side of the coin, if you ignore online reviews in your marketing plan, you are isolating yourself from 88% of potential customers. And consider negative reviews as learning opportunities—without feedback you won’t know how you can improve.

If you need help, there are services that can help collect reviews, such as Podium.com (my personal favorite). They let you send texts and emails with links to the review sites directly to the customer. As your collection of reviews grow, you are building your online reputation. I also recommend responding to all online reviews publicly. This shows the visitors that you care about your reputation.

  1. Post to Facebook

Once you get a good amount of “likes” it is important to stay at the top of their feed by interacting with your customers. Post a couple times a week with funny photos, pics from your jobs, links to videos about packing-hacks, and challenges you solved (like lifting that grand piano up four flights of stairs).

Respond quickly and humbly if someone posts a complaint on your Facebook page. NEVER delete comments, you will just make a frustrated customer that much more angry, and they may even start a comment-war about how you just deleted them. Instead, apologize, pledge to improve, and move the conversation to a positive place.

Customers want to see how you handled a complaint just as much as they want to see positive reviews. With an active Facebook profile, people are more likely to remember your company name when it’s time to pack the boxes.

olde world movers facebook

  1. Network with real estate professionals and others that may refer you to their customers

Real estate agents are the perfect referral. After months-long home searches, moving is the final step to coordinate, and agents have built rapport with clients both moving out and in. Most agents depend on the network around them, but maintaining their trust is paramount. If your hired-help drops the antique china, it reflects badly on the agent’s reputation as well.

Bring lunch to larger real estate groups and talk for a few minutes about your company. Some brokers may have a relocation division which works with a pool of moving companies directly.

It’s also important to create a Linkedin profile, be active on it, and connect with others in the industry. On LinkedIn, you can connect with those realtors, property managers and even customers. A couple of good LinkedIn groups that I recommend joining and being active on include “Marketing Your Moving Company”, “Movers Referral Network”, and “Moving and Storage Salespeople.” Jump right in to those groups. Ask questions, share helpful tips, and answer questions and more. You’ll be surprised at how often these interactions can turn into long-term business relationships.

linkedin moving company groups

Luckily the information age has made it easier to network and market your moving company. These five tips can help you grow and expand your business, and give you a competitive advantage in the industry.

What do you think? Which of the tips above do you think is most important to marketing?

Local SEO Tips to Adapt Your Website for iOS 8

Local SEO Tips to Adapt Your Website for iOS8

Is it possible to adapt your website for iOS 8 to get it to perform better on search engines?

In the first few months of this year, the 500 millionth iPhone was sold. On the sales launch weekend of the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus in the US, Apple sold 10 million iPhones.

These numbers don’t even include the millions of iPads and Apple’s other mobile devices out there. As iOS 8 is the latest software these devices run on, it is important to make sure you follow local SEO tips to adapt your website for iOS 8. This will ensure that you get more website traffic (and customers) from iPhone and iPad users who spend more than Android users…

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What is the Recent Facebook Like Gating Ban: Is it a Pro or a Con?

What is the Recent Facebook Like Gating Ban Is it a Pro or a Con

What do you think about the recent Facebook Like gating ban? Is it a step in the positive direction?

In case you haven’t heard yet, Facebook recently announced a Like gating ban. From November 5th, 2014 onwards you will be unable to force people to ‘Like’ your page in order to take part in a contest, avail an offer or for anything else. The pro and con of this Facebook Like gating ban have been discussed below…

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Things You Need to Know About the Latest Google Pigeon Update

Everything You Need to Know About the Latest Google Pigeon Update

Did you hear about the latest Google Pigeon update? Have you optimized your website to take advantage of it?

Google regularly updates its algorithm to tackle spam and help its users find the most relevant results. This also keeps marketers and businesses on their toes as they need to adapt to these changes in order to get the most traffic from search engines. The latest such change to take place is the Google Pigeon update. Here’s a complete guide on what this change is and how you need to optimize your website to benefit from it…

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Standalone Mobile Site Vs Mobile Responsive Site

Are you planning to create a mobile optimized website? Which would be the better option – a standalone mobile website or a mobile responsive site?

Smart Phones Beat Out Pc Sales

Smart phones alone beat out PC sales in 2011 and since then they have continued to grow rapidly. Even Matt Cutts of Google “wouldn’t be surprised” if mobile search exceeded desktop queries in 2014 itself. Nearly 80% of Facebook’s 1.28 billion active users, access the site via a mobile device. According to comScore, in June 2013, 55% of all time spent with online retail took place on a mobile device. If businesses want to take advantage of this burgeoning mobile traffic they need to possess a mobile optimized website.

What are the available options for creating a mobile optimized website?

Mobile Optimized Website on Ipad

Image Credit: Flickr Johnnydoes

There are two options available for creating a mobile optimized website. You can go about this by developing a standalone mobile website or a mobile responsive site.

Standalone Mobile Website

A standalone mobile website is a separate website. This is meant for your mobile users only and is different from the one for PCs. The website is placed on a separate domain or sub-domain and people visiting your regular website through a mobile device are redirected to the standalone mobile website.

The biggest problem with a standalone mobile website is that you need to create and maintain two separate websites. If you make changes to one you have to repeat the same changes on the other. This could cost more time and money. Also if you place it on a separate domain, you will need to spend money on both, a new domain and hosting.

My CopyBlogger Under Blog Post

The redirection can affect loading time which can increase bounce rate as visitors can be impatient.

Mobile Responsive Website

A mobile responsive website is one that adjusts its size depending on the type of device. People visiting the site from a PC or laptop will see the desktop version, whereas those visiting from a mobile device will view a mobile version. A code embedded within the website automatically helps it adjust itself for suitable viewing depending on the dimensions of the device.

A mobile responsive website is easier and cheaper to maintain as it is only one website. Any changes you make will be visible on both the mobile and web version.

An experienced designer can add a custom responsive code that will give your website the appearance you and your audience will like.

If your website runs on WordPress you can also opt for installing a mobile optimized theme offered by services like StudioPress and Elegant Themes.  Those 2 are premium services.

Get a Mobile Optimized Website With WP Touch

A WordPress website can also be mobile optimized with a free plugin like WP Touch.

If you have the choice between a theme, a plugin or a designer, always go for a designer as themes and plugins provide only one result. Also plugins might not always work like you had imagined.

Do you have a mobile optimized website? Which option do you prefer a standalone mobile website or a mobile responsive website? Please leave your comments below.

 

3 Easy Ways to Increase Your Facebook Page Reach

In case you already don’t know, only a small percentage of your Facebook page fans see your posts. This used to be around 16%, but some page owners experienced a decrease in their Facebook page reach after promoted posts were introduced as reported by this New York Times article. The biggest decrease in reach occurred in December 2013, when Facebook made some changes to their algorithm.

A week after the Facebook changes, Ignite, a social media marketing agency, analyzed 689 posts from 21 Facebook pages and found that Facebook’s organic reach and organic reach percentage had each declined by 44% on average. For some pages the decline was as high as 88%.

Facebook Reach Change

So how do you cope with the changes and increase your Facebook page reach?

You might wonder if it is possible, but you can’t really quit Facebook, with over 1.28 billion active users, Facebook is still the top network for social media marketing. The only solution is to step up your efforts to reach your audience and this article will show you exactly how to do that…

1. Post at the best time:

If you want to increase your Facebook page reach you need to post when your fans are online. Usually the best time to post on Facebook is between 1 and 4 PM. But you can find your page’s best time to post by visiting the page’s insights.

Visit Your Page Insights

Under the posts tab you will be able to view the days and times at which most of your fans are online.

See When Your Fans are Online

Schedule your Facebook posts to go out on these days and times.

2. Boost posts:

Boosting a post is probably the best way to increase your Facebook page reach. You can boost a post for as little as $5 and get more people to see it. You can even target the audience you would like to reach. If you are skeptical about this feature you should read this post by Scott Ayres of Post Planner.

Increase Facebook Page Reach With Boost Posts

Here he describes how boosting a post with $20 helped him increase his Facebook reach, generate $2400 in revenue and 22 page ‘Likes’.

3. Share more images and videos:

A study by Hubspot found that images get 53% more likes and 104% more comments than the average post.

Share more Images to Increase Facebook Page Reach

So make an effort to share more images like article covers, comics, graphs, photos, etc. along with the text and links you share as they can be influential in increasing Facebook page reach.

If your fans enjoy watching videos you could post them more often as Facebook announced a change to their video ranking algorithm yesterday. Videos posted will appear in fans news feeds depending on if they watch videos and for how long. Other factors like the number of comments, ‘Likes’ and shares the videos receive will still be considered by the algorithm.

Try out these three tips and watch your Facebook page reach skyrocket.

How have you coped with the latest Facebook changes? What steps do you take to increase your Facebook page reach? Please leave your comments below.

4 Tips For Building Your Local Moving Company Website

4 Tips For Building Your Local Moving Company Website

Web Design for Moving Company

If there is one thing we know at Today’s Local Media it’s moving company web design. Whether it is Around the Clock Movers in Dallas, Moving Proz in Lawrence, or Olde World Movers in Fort Worth, having a great website will make or break your business.

Moving is a process that consumer take very seriously, which is why sites such as moving company reviews are so successful. That being said, here’s 4 quick and simple tips for making your website a money making machine for your company.

1. Mobile Responsive Design

More customers looking for local movers access websites from handheld mobile devices than desktops now. If you don’t have a mobile friendly website design you are missing out on customers who are looking for moving companies on their iPad, iPhone, Android, or Windows phone. Better the a mobile website, a mobile responsive design means that your site looks great regardless of device.

How can you tell if you have a mobile friendly responsive design? It’s fairly simple. Pull up your website on various devices with different screen sizes. If your website is difficult to read and navigate on smaller screens such as mobile phones, you probably are missing this critical element to your online presence.

2. Desktop Layout

Now that you have your mobile visitors covered, it’s time to focus on your traditional desktop visitors for a second. Look at your moving company website on a typical laptop of desktop computer. Having your contact information easily visible is an important part of your local website design.

Is your logo on top? What about your phone number? It should be a easy to read and on the top right corner of your website where most people expect it. For people who don’t want to call you, have a quick quote or contact form for those that would rather email to get the process started.

3. Share Cities You Service

Finding a mover is an important part of relocation for millions of American families each year. When they start their search online for a qualified and trustworthy moving company, they want to know that they have found somebody familiar with their local area.

Most small to medium size business owners serve a very specific local area. They know where there best clients come from, and so do you. That’s why when you set out to redesign or improve your online marketing, start with local cities you service. If the majority of your business comes from a certain city, it makes sense for your website to specifically call out that area.

4. Free Estimate Page

The last tip is very specific to the moving industry, and it’s that your website includes a free estimate page. One of the biggest complaints against moving companies is related to the price or quote that was given to them. Even the most successful moving companies still deal time and again with upset consumers based on pricing issues. Here’s an excellent example of a moving company website that has a free estimate page:

Moving Company Website Free Estimate Page

Adding a free estimate page is a great way to not only put the customer at ease, but capture more leads from your website. A visitor might not feel comfortable speaking to you yet without a price quote. The free estimate page can be a great source of referrals, revenue, and future business for your company.

Conclusion

If you own and operate a local moving company, you know the online space is more competitive than ever. Putting these 4 practices in place on your website can not only help immediately improve your bottom line, but ensure healthy growth long into the future.

3 Reasons Your Website Needs More Customer Reviews

Image of Customer Filling out Online Review Form

If you have a local business then you know all about word of mouth advertising. You might not however, know the power of online customer reviews. Only half of small business owners think positive online reviews are important. Yet a harvard business study recently found that in some industries a one-star rating hike on Yelp can mean a 5-9% rise in revenue.

From Google to Yelp, a great local review from a happy customer can means dozens of referrals over the next few years. Here’s 5 reasons from the Local Search Association that you should make reviews a priority this year.

  1. Online consumer reviews are the third-most trusted form of advertising. (Nielsen)
  2. The single most important variable in the ranking of search results on Google’s Local Carousel is the quality and quantity of reviews. (Digital Marketing Works)
  3. About 20% of respondents to a Street Fight consumer survey said they would submit a review after a negative experience, and about the same amount said they would submit a review after a positive experience. (Street Fight)

If you are looking for ways to grow your business and improve your website, focusing on reviews is a great place to start. It’s also a good way to manage your online reputation when customers have a bad experience with your business.

If the only reviews about you online are negative one-star ratings, it’s time to focus on cleaning up your digital image. Your reputation on the internet could be holding you back from getting business both now and in the future.

5 Ways Arlington Businesses Dominate Their Competition with Internet Marketing

Arlington TX Skyline View I30 Freeway

When Jerry Jones built the new Cowboys Stadium in Arlington, he knew it needed to stand out from among the rest. Residents who live in Dallas/Fort Worth are busier than ever with work, school, and entertainment activities.

That’s why if you own or operate a business in the area, you absolutely need to have a first class website optimized for both mobile and desktop devices. With that in mind, here’s 5 quick ways your Arlington website can stand out from among your North Texas local competition.

1. Responsive Website Design

Mobile commuters in the Arlington area are using smart phones to find your business online. There’s no denying the impact mobile phone trends have had on the way customers connect with local businesses.

Most Arlington businesses still DO NOT have a mobile friendly website design in 2014. That’s an amazing statement considering that most people now connect with businesses via their mobile phones.

Arlington is a huge commuter town due to all the visitors traveling to UTA, Cowboys Stadium, Six Flags, DFW Airport, and the Ballpark in Arlington. If you are buying a website in 2014 that is not mobile optimized, you are wasting your time and money.

2. Optimized Local Content

Arlington is a part of one of the fastest growing communities in Texas, it’s important to stand out between large cities Dallas and Fort Worth. That’s why optimized local content is critical to the mix when you are playing the internet marketing game.

SEO is about more than just copying and pasting “Arlington TX” ten times on your landing page, nobody wants to ready repetitive words like that! What makes your DFW area business unique to the local area? Why is it that you enjoy doing in Arlington? Do you have other locations outside of metroplex, or even outside of Texas?

3. Fresh Blog Posts

Do you like to read news or blog posts online? So do your customers! Helpful articles and blog posts for your customers will make sure you stay relevant in the eyes of local search in places like Google, Yahoo, and Bing.

Almost every search for a local business now starts on the internet. If you haven’t seen the latest internet meme, you know how fast things move online. If you don’t have a blog you are posting on regularly, you will quickly become yesterday’s news in the digital space.

4. Suggested Similar Services

From I30 to I20, there are many businesses in a small area you can connect with in the Arlington metroplex. If you sold carpet would it make sense to have a great relationship with a carpet cleaner? Absolutely! Networking is key to local marketing, and the internet hasn’t changed that one bit.

Just as you would advertise in your local chamber of commerce for referrals, the same is true when it comes to connecting in the digital space. The quality and quantity of your connections will make or break your local business online.

5. Accurate Driving Directions

People are commuting in and out of Arlington constantly, from throughout the DFW metroplex. That means the concentration of mobile searches in the area will be much higher than other surrounding suburban areas. Making sure you have accurate and easy to find contact information is a critical part of making sure that visitors to your website can become customers to your business.

If you don’t have your business phone number with a local area code like 682 or 817, you can forget about customers calling you. If you don’t have a local address that’s easy to read and listed on local maps websites like Google, Apple, and Yelp, you can forget about customers finding you. They might as well end up in Dallas!

Summary

If you truly want to stand out among the thousands of other Arlington businesses, you have to work smarter not harder. Internet marketing and mobile website design can be a fantastic strategy to get more leads and increase your annual revenue.

Google Testing Orange Review Stars for Businesses Again

It looks like Google has been testing large orange stars for the business ratings in the SERPs. I found that it is pretty consistent across browsers. I first noticed the change when using Google Chrome and searching the query “movers dallas.”

google shows reviews

For some reason, I had the hunch to check the same results on Safari and it seemed to still have the Zagat rating system… that is until you click on the listing and see that it showed the orange stars.  Being the nerd that I am, I also looked on Safari on my iPhone and it does show the stars.

iPhone search results

Google Much Improved From Zagat System

For local businesses, this is a much improved feature from Google. When they first changed to the Zagat rating system, I thought small, local businesses (with great reviews) were doomed because ratings and reviews were not showed prominently. If local business owners weren’t serious about reputation management before, this surely will force them to pay more attention. Here is a great guide for those to are concerned about the reputation of their business and how to manage it wisely.

What Are Your Thoughts On This?

I am curious of others opinions on this change. What are you noticing? How much does this help local businesses and SMB owners? I think it is definitely a step in the right direction.

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