Known as Google My Business until recently, Google Business Profile is the basis you need to cover and build from if you want to rank on Google Maps.
This is true for any kind of business, including moving companies.
Picture this: a family is excited about moving into their new home but frustrated about having to move all their belongings. Then, they remember that a business like yours could do it for them.
Naturally, they pull out their mobile phone, and open Google. From there, they put in their location + moving company (e.g. Buffalo moving company) and hit search. Among the first results on the SERP (search engine results page), they will see Google Maps results.
So, for a moving company in this area, it will be crucial to show up on that first page. Or, if the person searches for the above-mentioned term in Google Maps directly, then your goal would also be to show up among the first results, so your profile gets clicked on.
So, how can you secure that top spot (or one of them) on Google Maps?
There are many factors upon which your Google Maps ranking will depend. And you can learn about them in this guide to ranking on Google Maps as a moving business.
WHAT IS A GOOGLE BUSINESS PROFILE?
Google Business Profile is a Google product that allows businesses (stores or service providers) to create a free profile through which customers can find them on Google Maps and Google Search.
Businesses are allowed to share updates, photos, and contact information, connect with their customers, accept online orders, and even list their products and services.
Thus, when you set up a profile for your moving business, you can include your phone number, your website address, the services you provide, and much more that will help to direct your potential customers to reach out to you.
Finally, through the Google Business Profile, you can also manage your online reviews. Google reviews and ratings are also an important element of being able to rank higher on Google Maps.
The chances are, that you already have a Google Business Profile from before. But if you do not, then you should definitely set it up ASAP.
THE IMPORTANCE OF RANKING ON GOOGLE MAPS
Google Maps are so widely recognized that they have 154.4 million users every month. So, how do they help your business? What is the importance of having a Google Business Profile that ranks high on Google Maps?
First of all, almost 9 in 10 potential customers read online reviews before they make a purchase. And where can they do that? On Google Business Profile on Google Maps, of course. Let’s see which other data shows how crucial ranking on Google Maps is.
It Drives Calls
During the weekdays, businesses receive 94% of calls from their listing on Google Business Profile. According to the same source, businesses are most likely to receive calls from the Google Maps listing between 10 am and 12 pm.
It Saves Money
You must be wondering how ranking high on Google Maps can save you some money. Well, the higher you rank on Google Maps, the more calls you will receive from customers straight from there. Thus, you won’t be paying as much for your Google Ads paid search. The more people that click on the call option from your organic ranking on Google Maps, the fewer will have to click on the paid search results.
And as paid search works on the basis of pay-per-click, not as many people will have to click on the paid Google Ad, which means that you will pay less money for the clicks.
Directs People To Your Website
The Google Maps listing also offers a direct link to your website, not just to your phone number. Thus, many people will click on your website and find out more about your moving company, services, and all the information you are providing.
Thus, having a Google Business Profile for your moving company can direct more potential customers to your website, give you more calls, and save you the money you would have to pay per lead.
THE LATEST GOOGLE UPDATES
Google is constantly updating its products and adding new features. The same is with the Google Business Profile. So, here we will list the latest features and updates of Google Maps.
Only 3 Google Maps results show up in the results.
When googling a term, only three results will show up for Google Maps on the search engine results page. This is a change from before when 7 results used to show up. Thus, moving companies nowadays need to make an even bigger effort to rank higher.
Paid Results Are Included On Google Maps.
Google is now also allowing businesses to pay to show up among the top 3 Google Maps results. This is another new update that did not exist beforehand. Thus, some moving companies will also have to compete with the paid results not just in the search results on Google Search, but also on Maps.
Google’s Result Page Has A Different Look.
When searching for a term on Google, for example, Memphis moving company, the results page will usually look like this:
Here we can see that the top of the results is not reserved for Google Local Service Ads (this is, however, the case where available). Then, paid search results are what we actually do see first (the number will depend on how many businesses are paying to show up for that specific keyword on Google, in some cases no paid search results show up).
After paid search results, Google displays Google Maps results (top 3). Then, businesses are sometimes also listed on platforms such as Yelp. Finally, organic search results are displayed underneath all of the other results.
Fake Businesses Are Being Removed From Google Maps.
Spam used to be a big problem for Google Maps. Many fake businesses were listed on Google Maps in the past. This is one problem that Google Maps have been tackling. Most of these fake businesses have been removed from Google Maps, giving more space for real businesses to show up online.
WHAT CAN PREVENT MOVING COMPANIES FROM RANKING?
If your moving service does not rank on Google Maps, it could be due to one of the following (or more than one):
1. You need an office in the city where you are trying to rank.
Google will not allow you to rank for Memphis moving company if you do not have an actual office in Memphis that you can validate. Thus, you should direct your efforts to rank as high as possible for the city where you are located or a city where you have an office. This is a better recipe for success than trying to rank for surrounding areas where you do not have a physical address.
BONUS TIP: Google Maps Listing Will Depend On The Location The User Is Searching From.
The listings that show up on Google Maps also depend on the location the user is searching for. For example, it is not the same to google “Houston moving company” or to just google “moving company” while the user has their geolocation on somewhere in Houston.
For example, here is what Google Maps shows when a user googles “Houston moving company”.
Here we can see that it automatically lists all the moving companies in Houston, and if we were to scroll down, more and more companies are being added on.
Now, let’s see what the results look like when the user’s geolocation is based in a Houston neighborhood, Spring Valley Village:
Here, we can see that Google Maps is only showing listings in a radius of around 1-2 miles and not the whole area of Houston. Thus, Google also values proximity a lot when showing Google Maps results, not just authority and trust.
2. You have spammed Google with fake locations.
In your efforts to rank your moving company on Google Maps in the past, you might have spammed Google with fake locations. This could be seriously hurting your opportunity to rank.
3. Spamming your city in the company name and location.
Using the name of the city where you are servicing in the company name and location on your Google Business Profile can also hurt your ranking efforts. Instead, you need to stick to only using the actual name of the company on the profile, with no added cities for location.
4. In the citations across the web, you are displaying an inconsistent name, address, and phone number.
The information about your company is available from many different sources online. So, you need to make sure that the name of your company, address, and phone number are consistent across all of the sources.
Make sure to check and correct listings in sources where the real name, address, and phone number of your company are incorrect.
5. You do not have enough online reviews.
Online reviews, including Google reviews, are also an important factor that decides how well you rank on Google Maps. Online reviews also show social proof that your moving services have helped other people and that they would recommend it to others, as well.
Moreover, more potential customers will likely click on your Google Maps profile if they see that you have a high Google rating and a lot of positive reviews. On the other hand, even if your moving company is the first spot in the results, but does not have a lot of reviews, it won’t guarantee that you will get a lot of clicks. Not just clicks, but also calls, website visits, and, in the end, bookings
HOW TO GET YOUR MOVING COMPANY TO RANK HIGHER ON GOOGLE MAPS?
Before we can elaborate on how your moving business can rank higher on Google Maps, first you need to check if you are ranking already. There are many different online tools at everyone’s disposal that you can utilize to check where you are ranking on Google Maps.
Or, simply, put in the term you are trying to rank for in Google Maps and observe which spot your company is ranking at (if at all).
Now, let’s see which steps you can take to ensure you rank in the first three spots on Google Maps!
Claimed And Optimized Google Business Profile
First and foremost, you need to claim your Google Business Profile and optimize it fully. When setting it up, you need to put in the correct company name, address, and phone number (NAP).
Besides NAP, you also need to pick the correct primary category and make sure to include all the appropriate secondary categories for your services.
For example: “moving company” can be the primary category while “piano moving service” can be a secondary category. However, choosing your primary category can also depend on what your target audience is searching for more often.
Thus, ensure that the primary category has the biggest search volume so that a bigger number of potential customers can find you when googling services that you offer. Finally, also make sure that you give a detailed description.
Checklist for Google Business Profile optimization:
- correct company name
- local phone number (not 800-phone number)
- local address
- website address
- primary category
- secondary category
- hours of operation
- upload authentic photos
Hours of operation should also be put on your Google Business Profile. As a moving company, you should include the hours in which your operators are able to take calls as your working hours. Why? Because this means that your customers can be served and booked for a move even when your moving team is not necessarily working.
Finally, do not forget to upload authentic photos to your Google Business Profile. You should be adding them on a regular basis. Include photos of your moving trucks, your team of movers, the things you are moving, your team in action, and so on.
Finally, to have a proper Google Business Profile, you also need to respond to all reviews and questions and update Google Posts at least every 90 days.
Ensure Consistency In Online Citations
To rank high on Google Maps, you also need a lot of citations across the web. So, make sure your company is listed on many different directories (including local ones).
However, it is not enough just to have your moving company cited on the web. You also need to ensure that the company name, address, and phone number are consistent throughout all the citations.
Checklist For Online Citations
- remove duplicate listings
- check data aggregators
- utilize tools for citations (BrightLocal, AdviceLocal, Moz Local, Yext, WhiteSpark)
Managing Online Reviews
Online reviews are an important part of your moving company’s online reputation. To show social proof, you need to collect reviews from your customers. Thus, you need a strategy on how you will get more of your customers to leave a review, and a positive one at that.
First of all, you need to respond to all reviews, whether good or bad. However, when it comes to bad reviews, you need to go a step further and contact the customer who left a bad review to resolve the problem and try to make them satisfied with their moving service.
Online reviews influence the ranking on Google Maps and also how many people will convert. Thus, ensure that you have a lot of real reviews on Google, that they are positive, and that the overall rating is high.
How To Get More Positive Reviews?
Whenever on the job, your movers should be actively asking customers to leave a review. However, to get more positive reviews, they should first find out if the customer was happy with the move. For those who say yes, it will be easy to ask to leave a positive review, and even a testimonial video.
How can you find out if your customers were happy? Well, first ask how satisfied they were with their experience. Then, when they say they are satisfied, you can plant the seed and ask them to leave a review. Moreover, then you can tell them how important it is for your moving company to get feedback on how you are performing, so you can always keep improving.
Another thing to keep in mind is to direct happy customers to a Google Business Profile link where they can leave a review. On the other hand, for those who tell you they are unsatisfied, the trick is to send them a contact form where they can leave their honest opinion. With the contact form, the review won’t be public, but you can learn what needs to be fixed in their case.
Checklist For Review Management
- respond to all reviews when they come in
- ask for reviews on the spot, on the phone, through text messages, etc
- use tools such as ReviewBuzz, BirdEye, Podium, etc
- direct happy customers to the Google Business Profile to leave a review
- direct unhappy customers to a contact form to tell you about their moving experience
Search Engine Optimization (On-Page & Off-Page)
SEO, or search engine optimization, consists of efforts on your website and on other sources online to help you rank high on search engines such as Google, Bing, Yahoo, etc. Thus, it does not matter only what your moving company is displaying on its own website, but on other websites across the Internet, too.
What you need to optimize on your website to ensure ranking on Google and Google Maps:
- have a separate page for each one of your services, for the main cities you cover
- have unique content on each one of your pages
- do not have duplicate content on your website
- optimize Titles, Images, URLs, H1s,
- publish new blog posts and syndicate their content (Off-Page SEO)
When it comes to optimizing your online presence and website outside of your own web address (off-page SEO), here are the things you should do:
- claim and optimize Google Business Profile as shown in the steps above
- add your website to a citation management platform (AdviceLocal, BrightLocal, Moz Local, WhiteSpark, Yext)
- create a strategy for collecting online reviews
- add your website to data aggregators
- keep adding new citations
- get multiple do-follow links back to your website, internal web pages, and Google Business Profile
- signal Google your expertise, authority, and trust
- embed Map on multiple sources
The path to a high Google Maps ranking includes a lot of optimization and work in general. However, it is not impossible to rank in the top three spots with your moving company. If you follow the above-mentioned strategies and tactics, you should see real improvement in your Google Maps ranking as a moving company.