40 million people in the U.S. move from one residence to another every year. But, moving can be one of Americans’ most stressful life events. That’s where you come in.

The demand for moving companies has risen steadily in the last 5 years. This year, the moving industry is expected to net a whopping $18 billion in revenue, with nearly 16,800 moving businesses competing for space in the U.S. alone.

With thousands of movers in your state, how do you focus you moving company marketing to get found first?

Word-of-mouth marketing and referrals are great. But these days, most consumers research potential moving companies online before they reach out. If your company isn’t near the top of their search results, you’re missing out on a lot of potential customers. That’s where search engine optimization (SEO) can help.

Here are 7 ways you can improve your moving company’s SEO

1. Secure a website.

First things, first. Have you been operating without an actual business website? Maybe you’re making do with a Facebook page alone?

It’s not a bad place to start, but you shouldn’t stop there.

Having a website gives your business credibility online. Not just with consumers, but with search engines too — which can really impact your SEO. Many movers fall into the trap of thinking a Facebook Business Page can serve as both. Facebook is a great tool for getting found on social media and managing customer reviews. But just as one of your movers can’t handle a whole job on his own, neither can your Facebook Business Page.

There are a lot of website builder tools online, or you can leave the heavy lifting to the pros. Software like Thryv gives you a mobile-ready website without the hassle of maintaining it yourself.

2. Check your load time (page speed).

Turns out load time isn’t just a moving term. Google has used page load time as a ranking factor for years. Why? Consumers like fast-loading websites about as much as they like fast-loading (and unloading) movers.

In addition to a better user experience, a website that loads faster is also more likely to be crawled by Google — more often. When that happens, Google gains confidence in your site’s content and accuracy, and they’re willing to recommend it higher in search results.

To see if any of your pages are having page speed issues, use a tool like Google’s PageSpeed Insights or GTMetrix. Both tools offer suggestions on how to improve your page speed. Pro tip: Many times, simply optimizing your images for web use (making their file sizes smaller) can help your pages load much more quickly.

3. Make your site more user friendly.

Remember how high the level of competition is in the moving business market? That means if consumers don’t love your site, hitting the back button and returning to search results for the next company in line is easier than ever.

So when consumers land on your site, you must do everything you can to capture their attention and make it easy to find what they need.

Fast wins for site usability:

  • Design – Apply your moving company’s brand consistently across your site. Not sure about your brand? Choose simple colors and images, sans serif fonts, and use lots of white space. Pro tip: Warmer colors imply you can get the job done fast. That’s why so many moving business brands use oranges and yellows.
  • Navigation – Don’t make it any harder than it has to be to find the important stuff. Users need to know where you operate, the services you provide, pricing, and how to get in touch. Make all of those things clickable in your navigation, and prominently display them on every page of your site.
  • Mobile Readiness – Google and other search engines prioritize mobile-friendly sites, because more and more consumers are searching on their phones instead of on computers. For more on mobile readiness, read our blog on what mobile friendly really means.

4. Stack up some great content.

Once you’ve mastered the basics, SEO experts will tell you the true differentiator for your website is sharing helpful content.

As Google and other search engines cater their results to the increased frequency of voice searches, they’re working hard to ensure the sites they recommend answer verbatim consumer questions.

So before you start blogging about any and every moving topic you can think of, take a moment to consider what your potential customers might be asking search engines. What sort of questions would your ideal customer have about moving?

A few topics to consider:

  • Advantages of hiring a moving company over doing it yourself
  • How much insurance moving companies are required to carry
  • A pre-moving checklist

5. Navigate potential issues with Google Analytics.

Once you’re confident your site is ready to impress, monitor it closely.

Google Analytics helps site owners monitor a number of important things like:

  • How much traffic your website is getting
  • Where that traffic is coming from
  • Which pages are the most popular
  • Audience information like age, gender, interests and technology

Even if you don’t feel tech savvy enough to dig through the data Google Analytics provides, it’s still a good idea to track your site with Google Analytics. That way, if you decide to hire an SEO expert down the road, this helpful data will be available to them.

To set up Analytics on your website, see the step-by-step guide from Google.

6. Overhaul your Google My Business listing.

Google is smart enough to realize that a person who types in “movers near me” is looking to compare local moving companies. To make it easier for users to get the information they need quickly, Google serves up a few of their own local results before they provide any other organic results (like your business website).

While various factors impact these results, the first thing you need to do is claim your Google My Business listing. Once you own it, you can start to optimize your Google My Business listing.

7. Make some neighborhood friends.

Time to get your shmooze on. Though backlinks (links from other websites to your own) aren’t as important as they once were to SEO, they can still make a difference in your search rankings.

To find potential link partners, look for websites that list relocation resources for the cities you operate in. Or, consider reaching out to sites that are also marketing to people who are moving — like furniture rental companies, residential contractors, even local cable and internet providers.

Pro tip: Some Chambers of Commerce offer relocation resources on their websites. Find these by typing “relocation resources chamber of commerce” into a Google search.

When you find a site that lists moving companies, reach out to them and see if they’ll recommend you with a link to your website.

Keep On Truckin’

These are just a few ways you can improve your visibility on search engines.

If you think you’re ready to take your SEO to the next level, see our in-depth look at the top 4 Google ranking factors.