Today's Local Media, Dallas, TX

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?

6 Auto Repair Web Design Mistakes — and How to Fix Them

6 Auto Repair Web Design Mistakes — and How to Fix Them

While we would all love to spend our money on basic bills and then enjoy the rest purchasing things to treat ourselves, often in life things happen that require you to then change your spending to take care of something you didn’t know you would need. Automotive repairs are one of the first things that pops into my mind when thinking about sudden emergencies that require extra spending.

While yes, you should take care of your vehicle with regular upkeep and maintenance, often damages or problems happen with little warning. And for the vast majority of people living in today’s world without a working vehicle is impossible.

But when you need repairs, advice, and quality service you might find it hard to pick who to go to. It doesn’t matter if you have a Honda, a BMW, or a Ford, customers today expect quality.

There are hundreds of choices in some areas for Auto repairs. With the speed and ease of the internet, most can find multiple choices quickly when your afternoon comes to a halt because something is wrong with your vehicle.

So websites and customer feedback online often are the first things possible customers see when trying to decide which shop to use. With that let’s look at the six worst auto repair web design mistakes and how we would fix them. Ultimately, that will help give your business a better first impression with possible customers.

1: Cluttered and Hard to Read Layouts:

One of the most common issues that I’ve found when looking over some auto repair websites around my city was that half of the sites were barely readable. Obviously one of the main objectives of a website is for people to be able to read and understand what it is your business can provide. Multiple sizes of font within the same pages explaining services, strange color choices with backgrounds or even the words, and odd layouts that leave you thinking the page was put together in five minutes.

Example of Jeffrey's Auto Web Design
Example: http://www.jeffreysautomotive.com/

While a fun or different website can set yours apart, a hard to read or cluttered page can turn away business. Even impressive looking designs can be hard to read when the pages become too packed with content. It represents your business online so make viewers think professional but also simple. Clean and simple with the base outline and easy to read fonts help viewers not have to strain simply to browse and understand your services.

2: Non-responsive site:

A website is responsive when it is designed to adapt to the screen size and device it is being viewed on. It adjusts to fit and look better with the screen on which the user is reading it on. This helps for people viewing your page on their phones, tablets, or other small devices. Often someone needing auto repair might be on the go or even in their car having issues when deciding that they finally need to fix that problem they’ve been putting off. A responsive design adjusts to help your viewers not have to adjust and work for themselves to experience your website.

When viewing an older website on a phone or tablet you most likely have to adjust and play with the browser to really view the site or find what you are looking for because the site’s print and design are built for a completely different screen. The design does not fit and forces the viewer to spend extra time searching and adjusting for what they need. Building a responsive site now has become a lot easier and many website design providers push it as the way to go to help your site transition to the mobile age.

3: Click-To-Call:

Keeping with the idea that many people will view auto repair sites on mobile devices, a click-to-call option is something that can be coded into your website that encourages viewers to at least call your business. And getting them to reach out even a little then gives you and your employees a chance to interact and sell your brand.

Auto Repair Fort Worth
Example: http://www.autorepairfortworth.org/

Most auto repair sites I see have their phone number plastered up top or somewhere noticeable each page (if they don’t, they will likely never receive any calls based off their site), but many of the non-chain places do not have a way where by simply tapping a number or link I could be talking with someone quickly about fixing my problems.

4: Reviews and Feedback:

Sadly for almost anyone that has owned and paid for vehicles for more than a few years, they have likely needed to get multiple repairs done over the years. And with that if they have used multiple repair shops it is because they had a bad experience somewhere before. Automotive repair shops often can pull customers in with solid reviews from past or continuing customers. Being a part of the Better Business Bureau or having certified techs can be encouraging as well. Show that off!

Wades Quality Auto Repair
Example: http://www.wadesqualityautorepair.com/

Having a page within the site that links to customer feedbacks sources (Google, Angie’s List, etc) or even has recent reviews on it shows potential new customers that your business can not only get the job done but also expects that they will be satisfied with the experience. Links and shortcuts to social media pages also help even if you don’t think social media matters as well. Facebook and Twitter pages can provide people ways to again communicate with a business, but also see feedback from other people in their own neighborhood.

5: List and Explain Services Provided:

Another thing common with most of the websites that I found around me for auto repair businesses was they listed what types of services they could provide. But even some of the best sites simply listed some services and then left it at that. While again you don’t want to clutter up a page on the site naming every single service your shop has ever done, giving customers some of the services that your shop specializes in can encourage them to make that jump to contact the shop.

TCM Automotive
Example: http://www.tcmautomotive.com/

Can you do alignments? Transmission repairs and rebuilds? Automotive customization? Naming some of the services that a business can provide and possible areas of expertise that technicians have over your competitor a couple miles down the road could make the difference.

6:Call The Customer to Action:

Multiple sites I viewed listed a little about the business, named a view types of repair that they can offer, and even had ways for me to contact them but were missing something every business site should have, something encouraging me to actually use them! A quick and thoughtful few lines trying to push me to use them.

Bills Half Priced Auto Repair
Example: http://billshalfpriceautorepair.com/

A sentimental line about family values and hoping to shake my hand at the end of a successful job. Something to encourage and welcome me as the viewer to make that step to contact them. The click-to-call option helps but often at the bottom of the main page and pages about services, the most encouraging and friendly sites did leave a feeling that I should reach out next time I needed help.

The field of Automotive repair is flooded in many areas. And again with mobile technology and the internet, potential customers looking to get that surprise issue fixed have the ability to quickly research what their options are when in need.

So improving and working on your website can pull customers in when often that is your first interaction with them in today’s world. Especially when it is an interaction that can decide in a few minutes if that person will ever contact a business or not.

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Moving Company Websites: 3 Updates to Make in 2015

Moving Company Websites: 3 Updates to Make in 2015

Moving Company Website Design

It’s March of 2015 and that means it’s time to do some spring cleaning. Every year it seems that the online landscape is changing a little more, and the moving industry is no exception. Just like your customers are evaluating whether they should move this summer, you should take a step back and take a fresh look at your website.

If you are a mover in a big city, it’s very likely that you have dozens of competitors. Every little improvement you can make to your website counts when it comes to increasing leads and business each year.

Even though many people are now recommending people move in the early spring or late fall to save money, the summer is still the busiest time of the year for movers.

Here’s a few things to consider whether you have a moving company website or are considering building a new one from scratch.

New images

If your images are a few years old then you could be missing out on customers. Studies show that high quality images are very important when customers are deciding between potential movers. Make sure you have great pictures of your trucks, your team, and your happy clients right on the home page.

Faster hosting

If you run a moving company then you know that every hour counts. When it comes to website design every second counts in terms of the time it takes your website to load. Make sure your site loads fast on every device. Every second delay is costing you business and bookings.

Fresh content

Very similar to updating images your content needs to be refreshed every few years. Think of this as putting a fresh coat of paint on a house every few years. It’s a small thing but can make a big difference. How do you describe your moving company? What does your “about us” page say about your history? All these things could stand to be reviewed and updated every few years.

Just like moving, updating your website doesn’t have to be painful. However, if you aren’t working with an expert you can suffer.

If you are a moving company who has a website in need of a refresh, give us a call or fill out our free website analysis form. We would be happy to look over your site and overall web presence. You might need a small tune up or even an entirely new site like we did for Olde World Movers. No matter what, you can trust that we will recommend the right thing for your business.

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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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.

 

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