web-presence

How the Digital Age is Transforming the Moving Industry

With hundreds of companies across the United States that provide interstate and intrastate services, the household moving industry is worth approximately 17 billion dollars. With the advancement of digital technology, more and more customers can get convenient help and assistance with their moves at affordable prices. When our office relocated, we exchanged services with a nationwide moving company (here and on LiveJournal). During the process, we learned a lot about how necessary technology is for an industry that is otherwise so manual and old-school. To learn how this digital movement is transforming the moving industry and keep your company from falling behind, read our short summary below.

Web Presence

Most of today’s moving companies are creating an online presence, which makes it easier for potential customers to learn about their services and fill out any forms that can allow contact. If you’re an owner of a moving company or service, it’s important to establish your own website and social media accounts to keep up with the competition. While it can be daunting to think about transferring all of your information online, it can allow people to learn more about your company and drive traffic to your site. You can even allow potential customers to submit a ‘lead’ form, get an instant quote, and read positive testimonials and reviews online as well. Be sure to check out our article on web elements for moving companies!

Digital Tools

The digital age has definitely spoiled most of today’s consumers, allowing them to get what they want when they want it. This is made possible thanks to the many digital tools that are available to the average customer, such as laptops, iPads, smartphones, and other electronic devices. More and more companies are hiring experts that enhance their websites and social media accounts for an optimal user experience across many platforms. This can take the stress out of moving and make it easier for people to get multiple quotes from several moving companies to find the lowest price. With businesses such as Amazon Prime that deliver items and quotes within an hour, people are starting to expect the convenience of instant gratification.

With all of this in mind, if you don’t work to enhance your customer’s experience on these digital tools, you’ll end up losing sales to your competition. Many traditional moving companies are even closing because they’re not keeping up with what customers want out of their online experience.

Applications

Smartphone applications are one of the most influential elements in the moving industry and are available on almost every mobile device. They can answer questions and inquiries on the moving process while on-the-go and include the following top applications:

  • Move Advisor: This application provides a moving timeline as well as the ability to create a complete inventory of household items.
  • MyMove: Customers can find helpful moving advice on-the-go, pricing estimates, and professional relocation assistance on this successful application.
  • Suddath Moving Guru: Suddath includes moving tips, a glossary of terms, and a moving planner that makes it easy for homeowners to figure out what and when they should pack.
  • State Farm Move Tools: This insurance company provides a to-do list as well as printable ‘smart labels’ that can be placed on moving boxes.

Having a digital presence is more important than ever for the success of your moving company. In addition to building a website and social media presence, be sure to focus on an SEO strategy so you can outrank the competition. Call us for a free analysis of your website today!

designing-a-website

Elements All Service Companies Should Have on Their Websites

One of the beauties of SEO is its applicability to a wide variety of industries. We’ve had clients across the spectrum – from health and beauty companies to auto repair shops. While the general rules of SEO are the same across industries, there are certain on-page elements that we tweak for specific types of businesses.

In this blog, we are going to go over the basic on-page elements that a service-type business should have. With a service-industry client, the goal of an SEO campaign is to drive traffic that will convert to actionable leads. For example, a local moving company that we work with wants to increase the amount of New York traffic to its site. Once a potential customer lands on the site, the goal is to get that person to take an action, either filling out a moving quote form or calling to request a quote. This idea is the same across a variety of service industries – from wealth management firms to insurance to CPA firms. The website needs to hook the user to inquire further.

Using this moving company as an example, we’ll walk through all the essential elements a service company’s website needs to capture the user’s attention and get them to act.

Phone Number

One of the most critical elements a site should have is a prominently displayed phone number somewhere in the top header. Providing users with an immediate means of contact will make it more likely to convert the casual browser to an interested and invested customer. Additionally, many customers browse results on mobile devices and might prefer the ability to easily call rather than trying to read the fine print on a small screen. Imperial Movers has the phone number listed in the upper right-hand corner of the header, making it easy to see and take instant action.

More than half of all web searches start on a mobile device. Make it easy for customers to give you a ring by including your phone number somewhere in the header of your homepage.
More than half of all web searches start on a mobile device. Make it easy for customers to give you a ring by including your phone number somewhere in the header of your homepage.

Quote Form

Somewhere on the homepage, there should be some type of quote or inquiry form that allows users to easily submit a request for additional information. Including a call to action button, like “Get a Free Quote” or “Ask Now!” may entice a user to take an action more quickly. Back to our mover example, Imperial has quote buttons in two very visible locations on the landing page. The top button is red, which catches the user’s attention. Try to use an eye-popping color to make the button stand out.

The Navigation Menu

A proper navigation menu for a service website should be positioned along the top of the theme in the corner. This layout makes the process of navigating quicker and easier for users to find what they’re looking for.

Professional navigational buttons can also provide benefits on a site that only has one page. In this situation, each navigation option should take the users to a specific point on a page that highlights key service perks.

About Us Page – Moving Company Example

Because a business is a brand, you must include an “About Us” page somewhere on the site. This page should contain information that explains the story of your business to build trust with the user. For example, the about us page for Imperial Movers (http://www.imperialmovers.com/about) discusses where the company is located in Greenwich Village, the company’s values, and shows pictures of the team that does all the moving. Additional pages give information on Imperial’s credibility and licensing information. All these elements familiarize the user with the company and make it more likely that they will book your services.

Including pictures of your employees at work can help instill a sense of trust, encouraging the user to take action.
Including pictures of your employees at work can help instill a sense of trust, encouraging the user to take action.

Easy Access to Helpful Resources

When customers shop for services, they like to have options, and the best way to successfully serve these shoppers is by putting social media functions on a website. The big benefit to using social media tools on a business site is that the channels will give your employees opportunities to interact with customers. Social media buttons also enable users to share information from your blog they may interest other potential customers.

Name, Address, and Phone Number

Somewhere in the footer of your site, you should list your company’s name, address, and phone number. This not only helps customers know where to find you, it is also an on-page element that is critical for search engine rankings.
Ensuring your site has all these elements in place is a great starting point for your on-page SEO and marketing strategy. By making it easy for a user to take an action, you’ll have better chances of converting a casual user to a paying customer.

 

Office

Search Engine Optimization Facts

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is a term that’s regularly mentioned in the world of digital marketing but is still widely misunderstood by business owners. Although SEO is now essential to any growing business, many developers and company heads aren’t sure how to incorporate it into their company’s marketing strategy. To help those of you who are still scratching your heads over the topic of SEO, here are four basic questions with clear and concise answers to clear up any confusion.

1. What is SEO?

In short, a well-executed SEO strategy enables a business to rank higher in online search results. For example, if you own a bakery in St. Louis, many potential customers looking for a local bakeshop would go to Google or another search engine and search terms like “St. Louis bakery” or “cakes St. Louis”. Most searchers stop their search on page 1 of results, which typically lists 7-10 local businesses. According to Austin SEO company Moonraker Marketing (http://www.moonrakermarketing.com), the majority of people will not even look at page 2 of search results, which means it’s critical for businesses to show up on page 1 results. Search engine optimization techniques optimize a business’ website to help it rank higher in search engine page results for a list of relevant, targeted keywords.

2. How Does SEO Work?

Because Google zealously guards the specifics of its search algorithm, one can’t point to a single factor and say that it’s the single most important part of an SEO gameplan. Instead, it’s better to stop and look at what on-page and off-page factors influence results. On-page factors are the factors on your website that influence your rankings. These include things like relevant site content, blog posts, site URL structure, and making proper use of tags, titles, and meta descriptions. Off-page tactics include link building and social media marketing. When on-page and off-page techniques are properly employed, the end goal is to boost natural, organic traffic and to create a website that users will want to visit again and again.

A good SEO campaign will increase your ranking on Google's search results.
A good SEO campaign will increase your ranking on Google’s search results.

3. What is White Hat vs. Black Hat SEO?

White Hat and Black Hat are terms that are used to differentiate between friendly (white) and predatory (black) forms of SEO. White Hat SEO seeks to improve a site’s search ranking while still providing a useful experience for a user and abiding by search engine terms of service. Black Hat SEO, on the other hand, employs tactics that are against Google’s rulebook to get results. Black hat techniques include spam comments, paid links, and keyword stuffing.

4. What is Local or Social SEO?

SEO has splintered in recent years as more platforms have become available to be leveraged. Today, local SEO seeks to dominate search listings in its area and is usually aided by products such as Google My Business or other location-specific searches. Social SEO aims to leverage social media to boost a site’s numbers and allow for a greater degree of interactivity with potential customers. Both types of SEO are vital in the world of business, and neither can be ignored for larger-scope issues.

Online Graph

Best SEO Tools on the Market

If you’re looking to drive more traffic to your company’s website, you can’t ignore the use of Search Engine Optimization (SEO). With several different types of SEO tools on the market, businesses are now able to analyze keywords, build backlinks, and even come up with content ideas to help with search engine ranking. While you’ll find a huge list of SEO strategies to choose from, not all of them are equally helpful or can fit your company’s needs. To help you weed out which tools are right for you, here’s our list of the SEO essentials that you should be using.

SEMRush

This all-inclusive tool can do a variety of things, such as researching keywords, determining keyword ranking, and checking your company’s backlink performance. SEMRush can even run a complete SEO audit of your website and monitor its results against the rankings of your competitors.

Used by online marketers and SEO experts, SEMRush is known for its user-friendly interface and easy navigation. Companies can sign up for a free 14-day trial to experiment with the software before completing a purchase and can sign up for a pro-account to access all of the tools it provides.

Screaming Frog (Spider Tool)

Screaming Frog has a powerful audit tool (Spider) that can index your company’s website and provide a detailed look at its SEO elements. Spider can even help your business find broken links and track various online elements, such as keyword elements for each page, HTTP status codes, the amount of internal and outbound links for each page, and meta titles and descriptions.

The Spider tool can 'crawl' through your company's website and track important information.
The Spider tool can ‘crawl’ through your company’s website and track important information.

If you want a complete overview of your site’s optimization level, Spider is the ideal tool to use. It’s PC, Mac, and Linux compatible, and is free to use for sites that have less than 500-pages.

Google Search Console

Unlike many other SEO tools on the market, the Google Search Console is entirely free. Because Google developed it, it works perfectly with the search engine’s algorithm. It also works with Google Analytics, which is a huge advantage in competitive markets and can give you detailed information on the performance of your company’s website.

By giving you a straightforward analysis of your site’s traffic and SEO performance, the Google Search Console can provide you with accurate reports that can expose problem areas. This process can help your company repair what needs to be fixed and improve your overall rankings on search engine sites.

With the right SEO tools, you’ll be able to get the most out of your website and find out how it’s performing on Google. There are many aspects to SEO, so make sure to choose a strategy that can help you manage several different areas of the process.

Meeting

SEO Explained: What You Need to Know Now

If you own a business, you probably understand the importance of marketing your product or services for both short and long-term growth. And if you’re concerned about selling your brand in the digital world, you’ll need to understand what Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is all about. As one of the fastest growing marketing tactics in the world, SEO is considered an essential tool in online marketing. Whether you’re part of a large corporation or a small, family-run business, SEO can help provide significant benefits to your company and extend its reach on the internet.

Defining SEO

When searching for a service or product on the internet, people will usually use a popular search engine such as Google or Bing. These search engines allow users to type a keyword or phrase into the search bar and bring up hundreds of results for viewers to choose from. Statistically, most people will click on a business website that’s listed on the first two pages, which is where your business should be if you want to be found. To get there, it’s important to have an SEO strategy in mind.

SEO uses a series of tactics to optimize your website for search engines. Most of these engines have created algorithms that can include site speed, keywords, updated and unique content, title tags, and meta descriptions, all of which are needed for a site to rank high on a search engine’s result page.

Providing Relevant Information

SEO was initially centered around keywords, and most companies could include them on their website and rank favorably on search engines. For example, let’s say that you owned a pet shop in San Francisco. Potential customers coming to your business would most likely type in keywords such as “San Francisco pet shop”, “pet supplies San Francisco”, or “dog food San Francisco”. If you used enough of these variations on your website, your pet store would rank well among search engine results.

Learning how to utilize SEO is crucial for any business.
Learning how to utilize SEO is crucial for the success of any business.

However, as businesses began cheating the system and overusing keywords for specific services and products, search engines started changing their algorithm and emphasized the importance of providing online customers with helpful information, rather than just keyword-stuffed content. This began a shift in the SEO field, requiring business owners to make sure that their site had relevant keywords as well as high-quality content.

For instance, the same pet shop in San Francisco would be widely successful in ranking if the website provided weekly blogs about pet-related topics, such as local pet events or the best dog parks in the area. If your business provides relevant online content that interests potential customers, search engines will pick up on it and boost your rankings.

Knowing Where to Start

SEO terminology can be overwhelming to many people, and the idea of implementing it for a website can be even more daunting. If you’re not sure where to begin, start by taking the Google Developer site speed test, which can provide information on how well your site is loading and performing. It’s also an easy way to learn how to obtain new traffic to your website. You can also reach out to a local Social Media Manager or marketing agency, like us, who can help optimize your site and let you focus on running your business.