As I’ve written about before, moving companies live and die based on their ability to get a constant source of quality moving leads coming in so they can book jobs and make a profit and survive as a company. And one of the absolute best ways for moving companies to get a constant flow of moving leads coming in is to run a successful Google AdWords campaign for their company.
Google AdWords is hands down the best form of marketing for moving companies. When people need a mover, they go to Google. So as a moving company, your job is to get in front of potential customers when they are searching for a moving company to hire on Google. And Google AdWords allows you to do that.
I manage over a dozen AdWords campaigns for movers across the country, and every day I see moving companies get great leads and book jobs from their Google AdWords campaigns. Over the last five years, I’ve managed hundreds of thousands of dollars of moving companies’ AdWords budget, and I’ve helped those companies get leads, book jobs, and make money. Here are 10 tips I’ve learned that can help moving companies have success on AdWords.
1. Expect different results in different seasons.
One of the most unique and interesting factors at play in the moving business is the seasonality of the moving industry. The moving business in summers compared to the moving business in the winter is just a completely different business. Movers can feel on the top of the world in July and busier than they’ve ever been, and then come January they can feel like they’re about to go out of business.
The seasonality of the moving business is a huge issue that all moving companies have to deal with, and the seasonality issue will also affect your AdWords campaigns. Your AdWords campaigns are not immune to the seasonality issue.
In the moving season expect more search volume for your keywords, expect a higher conversion rate, expect a lower cost per conversion, and expect a better close rate (meaning, expect more of your leads from AdWords to turn into booked jobs).
AdWords still works well for moving companies in the winter, but in my experience AdWords performance is higher during the moving season. There’s more search volume for moving related keywords during the moving season, and the traffic seems much more serious and likely to book during the moving season. So when you run your AdWords campaigns for your moving company, expect to see different performance numbers in the winter compared to the summer.
2. Use hundreds of negative keywords.
One of the biggest mistakes moving companies make on AdWords is not using enough negative keywords. Negative keywords are keywords you add to your AdWords campaigns to block your ads from showing up on unwanted searches.
If I’m a moving company advertising on AdWords, I want to show up when people search for a moving company, but I don’t want to show up when a person is searching for how to get hired by a moving company. And I don’t want to show up on searches related to U-Haul, moving trucks, or automobiles because those searches are not done by people likely to be looking to hire a local moving company.
But when you target phrase match and broad match versions of keywords like “movers” and “moving companies” you potentially leave yourself vulnerable to showing up on searches like u-haul, moving truck rental, car movers, and how to get a job as a mover. So to block your ads from showing up on those unwanted searches, you should add negative keywords like truck, job, car, rent, motorcycle, van, and the list goes on and on. Usually I have hundreds and sometimes thousands of negative keywords in the campaigns I manage,
Another surprising pitfall you need to avoid is the term moving on and all the related things that go with it. There are a lot of broken-hearted lovers out there that go to Google and search for things like how to move on, moving on, moving on quotes, moving on lyrics, and things like that. Again, your phrase and broad match moving-related keywords can sometimes cause your ads to show on these unwanted search terms, so be sure to add negative keywords like “moving on,” lyrics, song, poem, and “moving on quotes.”
Using hundreds of negative keywords is a great way to help ensure that the traffic quality you get from AdWords is strong and that your ads show up on searches only done by people actually looking to hire a moving company. I strongly recommend that you use lots of negative keywords on your AdWords campaigns.
3. Make detailed ads and use calls to action.
When you advertise on Google you are competing with lots of other companies for the search users’ clicks and eyeballs. Your one little ad has to compete with the other 3 ads at the top of the page, the 10 organic results, any map listings, and the 2 or 3 ads at the bottom of the page. In order to get a strong clickthrough rate you’ve really got to make attractive ads that stand out and give the search users what they’re looking for.
People go to Google and search for things because they either have a question they need answered or they have a problem they need a solution for. In the case of the moving industry, people go to Google to solve their problem of finding a quality and trustworthy mover. So your job as an advertiser on those moving searches is to stand out from the crowd and show the search user that you are a quality and trustworthy moving company that can provide moving services for them and solve their problem of needing to find a mover.
You can show the search user that you are a quality and trustworthy company by having a great reputation, by having great online reviews, by having an informative website, and by providing a good customer experience on the phone. But before all that, you’ve first got to get the search users attention by getting them to see and click on your ad. Your AdWords ads are the first interaction a potential customer has with your moving company. And because of that, you need to make great ads that stand out from the crowd and give the search user a solution to their problem of needing to find a quality and trustworthy moving company.
There are hundreds of articles online that talk about how to make good AdWords ads, but in my experience, it boils down to three things.
a) Using the target keyword in the ad.
b) Having descriptive features that show customers the benefits of using your company.
c) Ending the ad with a clear call to action telling the search user exactly what you want them to do (and how to solve their problem).
So if I’m a Houston moving company, my ad for the keyword “Houston movers” might look like the following ad:
Headline – Local Houston Movers
Description Line 1 – Licensed And Insured. Since 2002.
Description Line 2 – Call Now For A Free Moving Quote!
Display URL – www.example.com/local-moving
This ad is simple, straightforward, and it gets the job done. It gives a person in Houston that is searching for “Houston movers” exactly what they’re looking for and solves their problem of needing to find a reputable, local moving company.
The ad headline uses the target keyword, Houston movers, and shows the search user we’re offering exactly what they’re looking for.
The first description line shows the search user that we’re licensed and insured, two things that are very important to moving customers. And we also let them know that we have lots of experience and a solid business by telling them we’ve been around for over a decade.
And in the second description line we use a call to action and tell the search user exactly what they need to do to solve their problem of needing to find a reputable local moving company… call us now and will give you a free moving quote and we’ll get the ball rolling and you’ll be one step closer to solving your problem of needing to find a mover… That’s what we’re telling the search user when we use that clear call to action.
4. Use the review extension.
Using ad extensions can improve your quality score, your clickthrough rates, and your conversion rates, but many advertisers still fail to effectively use all of the ad extensions that we have the opportunity to use.
One of the most under-used ad extension is the review extension, and the review extension also happens to be one of the best ad extensions for moving companies.
The review ad extension allows you to show a link to a third party review of your business right in the middle of your AdWords ad. You get to show a quote from the article, the source of the article, and in the quote area you link to that third party review of your business. And the best part is, you don’t even have to pay Google when someone clicks on the review and goes to that third party website and reads about your business.
If your moving company has been written about in your local newspaper or in a trade magazine, both of those would be great candidates for the review extension.
In my experience, having a quality review extension can significantly increase clickthrough rates, conversion rates, and lead to a much lower cost per conversion. I strongly recommend using the review extension.
5. Make a great testimonials sitelink.
Another great ad extension all AdWords search advertisers have access to is the sitelinks extension. Sitelinks allow you put links to other pages on your website under the main area of your AdWords ad. These sitelinks allow you to highlight other parts of your business that the search users will find helpful. For example, if you’re a moving company in Chicago and you’re advertising on a keyword like “Chicago moving companies” it would be great to have sitelinks for “Local Moving Services” and “Long Distance Moving.” This way, the search user can see both services and has option to click on either sitelink if they want more details about either of those two services.
Having sitelinks like that helps with the overall goal of adverting on AdWords, which is to try your best to give the search user exactly what they’re looking for. If you use these two sitelinks, then the search user in this example can not only find what they’re looking for (a Chicago moving company), but also exactly the kind of moving service they’re looking for specifically, either local or long distance.
In my experience the sitelink that performs the best for moving companies, consistently across the country, is a testimonials sitelink where you link to the testimonials section of your website. People who are needing moving services are nervous and they don’t know which moving companies are reputable and which ones aren’t. And this is why having a testimonials sitelink works so well. These nervous people looking for a good moving company love seeing customer testimonials and reviews, and having good testimonials on your website is incredibly effective. It plays into the social proof psychology concept, which basically shows us that humans put an incredible amount of stock and trust into something if they see that it has worked well for other humans in the past.
Because of the social proof psychology concept, using a testimonials sitelink with good copy in the sitelink headline and the sitelink description leads to a huge increase in clickthrough rates on ads what appear with this sitelink, and the conversion rates tend to be higher too.
Using a great testimonials sitelink is one of the smallest tweaks you can make to a moving company AdWords campaign, but it is also one of the most effective.
6. Make unique ad groups and ads for your geo keywords.
The best type of keywords for moving companies to advertise on are called geo keywords. Geo keywords are searches that include a geographic modifier in them. If someone searches for “moving companies” that is just a basic keyword and something I call a generic keyword. But if someone in Phoenix searches for “moving companies Phoenix” then that would be a geo keyword because it includes the geo modifier “Phoenix,” which is the search user’s way of telling Google that they are looking for not just “moving companies” but moving companies in Phoenix.
Geo keywords are super powerful for moving companies advertising on Google because that geo modifier signals that the search user is serious about calling and hiring a Phoenix moving company. Yes, if someone searches “moving companies” they are also probably looking to hire a Phoenix moving company, but you just don’t know that for sure. Maybe it’s a person earlier in the sales funnel just trying to get a basic idea of how to go about finding a moving company, or maybe it’s a person who wants to start a moving company and wants to learn about the competition for moving companies in Phoenix. Most people searching for “moving companies” probably want to hire a local moving company, but there are still lots of other reasons why a person could be searching the keyword “moving companies.”
But if someone searches the keywords “moving companies phoenix” or “movers in scottsdale az” then that shows really strong evidence that they’re farther along in the sales funnel and much closer to wanting to actually call and hire a moving company. Geo keywords are super valuable because they show a strong buying intent from the search user.
Since geo keywords are so valuable, it is important that you create individual ad groups for your geo keywords and make ads the match each ad group’s keyword. So sticking with the Phoenix area example, I would have individual ad groups for keywords like movers phoenix, moving companies phoenix, movers in scottsdale, and moving companies scottsdale az. And each ad group’s ads would match the ad group’s keyword. So the Phoenix ad groups would have ads that mention Phoenix and the Scottsdale ad groups would have ads that mention Scottsdale.
Remember, it’s all about giving the search users exactly what they’re looking for. So if someone is searching for a geo keyword for your main city or a related suburb, you want your ads to match their search as closely as possible. And having unique ad groups for each geo keyword allows you to do that.
Geo keywords have the highest conversion rates, the lower cost per conversions, and are the most profitable kinds of moving company keywords on AdWords. Make sure you find and target all of the possible geo keywords you can, and try to allocate as much of your AdWords budget to those geo keywords as you can.
7. Track all conversions.
One of the most incredible things about Google AdWords is that you can actually track results and know exactly how many sales, leads, and phone calls your AdWords campaign is brining in. Before AdWords came along, the results of marketing campaigns were always in question and it was mostly a guessing game. But AdWords changed all of that.
Now, with Google AdWords conversion tracking, advertisers are able to track how many conversions they get from AdWords, how much those conversions cost, and what ads and keywords produced those conversions. In AdWords language, a conversion is a goal that gets successfully completed. You can define conversions as sales on your ecommerce website, and more related to moving companies, you can define conversions as leads you get from contact forms on your website and calls to your business.
As a moving company, your conversions are contact forms on your website being completed and phone calls coming into your business. And with AdWords you can track all of those kinds of conversions. Specifically, when a moving company runs a campaign on Google AdWords, the company can track:
- How many contact form completions come from AdWords
- How many mobile “click to call” phone calls come from AdWords.
- And how many manually dialed phone calls come from AdWords.
Yes, that’s right. With AdWords, there is even a way to track manually dialed phone calls that come from AdWords. So for example, let’s say someone in New York City Googles movers nyc, clicks on your ad on their desktop computer, and then picks up their phone and manually dials the phone number they see on your website – there’s a way in AdWords to use conversion tracking to track that manually dialed phone call and be able to see that it came from AdWords traffic.
And not only can you see how many conversions you’re getting from AdWords, but you can also see where those conversions are coming from, in terms of what ads and keywords are leading to those conversions. And then you can take that conversion data and use it to allocate more of your budget to the higher-performing keywords and ads and make your campaigns more and more profitable.
AdWords offers tremendous conversion tracking opportunities, and I recommend that all moving companies take advantage of these great conversion tracking features in AdWords.
8. Use proper advanced location settings.
I can’t tell you how many moving company AdWords accounts I’ve audited where I find that they’ve been paying for clicks from states they don’t want to target and even other countries. Yes, this happens. Movers get onto AdWords, setup a campaign, set the location settings to target the city they do business in, and then still get a material amount of clicks from other locations, including places outside their states and even from people in other countries.
And I know what you’re thinking. You’re thinking, that’s okay I don’t need to worry about this, I have my location settings setup correctly. But odds are you probably don’t. If you’re a Miami moving company and you’re targeting the city of Miami or the Miami region, that’s not all there is to it. You actually have to open up a drop down inside of AdWords and make an additional targeting adjustment to only show ads to people actually in your targeted location.
AdWords gives you the option to target “people in my targeted location” or “people in, searching for, or viewing pages about my targeted location,” and the latter option is the default. And that default option is what causes movers to get clicks from states and countries outside their targeted locations. So even if you’re a Miami mover targeting Miami with your ads, you have to setup this advanced location setting correctly if you want to show your ads to only people in Miami.
9. Run a remarketing campaign.
Running a remarketing campaign is a great way to spend a little bit a money and get a big return. Remarketing campaigns show display ads to people who have previously been to your website. For example, if I go to your website, and then I leave your website and go to other websites that run Google’s display network ads, you can re-market to me and show me your remarketing display ads.
Remarketing to people who have already been to your website is a great use of your advertising budget because you get to target people who have already shown an interest in your business by visiting your website. So you’re advertising to an engaged, highly targeted audience. And the other thing remarketing allows you to do is to stay on the top of people’s minds and remind them about your business.
This kind of “remind them” marketing works. You can find multiple case studies from Google about remarking on this page.
And the best part is that remarketing ads are generally that not expensive at all. If you’re average moving cost per click is somewhere in the $10 to $15 range on the search network, then remarketing clicks might only cost a few dollars per click. And don’t forget, when you get a remarketing click on the display network it might take 500 to 1,000 impressions to get that click, so you can rack up thousands and thousands of impressions on your display ads with even a small budget.
Bottom line is that remarketing ads are a great way to compliment your search campaign and show people in your city that you’re a serious moving company.
10. Show up high on mobile searches.
The last AdWords tip for moving companies on this list is to show up in high positions on mobile searches. I recommend that moving companies try to show up in the number one spot on mobile ads, and if they can’t get to number one, then try to show up in the number two spot.
The reason why you want to show up number one on mobile ads is so you can get “click to call” phone calls from the call extension. The call extension is an ad extension where Google will show a phone image in your ad, and if someone clicks on that phone image they can call your business right from the ad without going to your website.
Mobile click to call phone calls are incredibly effective and very valuable. They often turn into long phone calls and booked jobs. However, it’s very difficult to not only get the call extension to show on low positions ads, but to also get people to scroll down the page on their phones and click on call extensions in low position ads. So trying to get click to call phone calls on low position mobile ads doesn’t really work.
To get those mobile click to call phone calls you need to consistently show up in positions one or two (preferably one), and that’s why it is so important to get your ads to show up in high positions on mobile searches.
Get In Touch
Success in the moving business comes down to getting a consistent flow of moving leads coming in each month, and I hope this article helps you accomplish that.
I have worked extensively with many moving companies on their marketing efforts, and I know the niche well. I have helped moving companies experience 300% year over year growth, going from 36 moves in a month to 144 moves in the same month the following year. I can help you take your moving company to the next level. I’ll help you dominate your local market by advertising on Google, and you’ll have leads coming in year round.
Contact me and let me know how I can help you.
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