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How Search and Social Solved my Move

October 26, 2009

I’m doing the dreaded apartment move at the end of this month. But the move this time around has been a slightly different experience from the last. This time, I was more aware of how search and social could help make things easier, and I gained some key takeaways about how my own experience can help me to become a better search and social marketer.

The main problem when moving is trying to figure out how many boxes you need. I did a general search on “moving boxes” and although it wasn’t the top organic result, U-Haul (the only brand I recognized in the top three organic positions) appeared, which was a bit of a surprise since I only know them for their vans, and not for boxes.

I clicked on the U-Haul link and got taken directly to a page with customized moving kits. Once on their site, U-Haul help you choose box types and quantities depending upon the size of your home (ranging from a dorm room up to a 2-bed house). So easy. They also allow you to customize the kit you choose. For example, if you didn’t want a tape gun then you could just take it out and add another medium-sized box instead. Furthermore, if you overestimate on the box front, then no problem, as U-Haul buys back any unused boxes from you!

Key Takeaways:

  • Being in a top 3 organic position really is golden (above the fold, page 1, within the “golden triangle”)
  • Scent from keyword, to SERP listing (copy), to landing page is key
  • Brand recognition plays an important role in click-thru (even if the brand is appearing for an area in which you don’t normally associate that brand with)
  • Landing page guarantees help to reinforce trust and move people through the decision cycle

After my last DIY moving experience, I came to the wise decision of hiring movers to do it for me. However, finding movers is a slightly more complex task than finding boxes. It requires a higher investment, and there is a much bigger trust factor involved. Care is one concern, as is reliability (ie: not having someone drive off with my entire life’s contents in the back of their van!).

Rather than do a standard Google search, I first went to Angie’s List to get an idea of reliable movers in my area. Angie’s List is specifically focused on ratings and reviews of home service providers. Due to the nature of this site, I associated a higher trust factor with the reviews on here, rather than from the web at large.

I also sent a message out on Twitter asking if anyone could provide a recommendation. This is what happened:

[imeldak] Can anyone recommend any good residential moving companies in Portland Oregon?
Call me a push-over, but based on this interaction, along with the helpful information I found on their site, I would now recommend NorthStar Moving Corp (@movingpro) to friends and family I have in California, and anyone else who was looking for a recommendation. I even did a Follow Friday for them.

[movingpro] @imeldak i’m not in ur area but B sure 2 check reputation w/ BBB, yrs in biz, awards 4 service. Reputation saves u $

[imeldak] @movingpro Thanks. It’s a shame I’m not in Cali, otherwise you guys would’ve been perfect

[movingpro] @imeldak I’m sorry to! but check out our site there r lots of helpful tips 4 ur move

Key Takeaways:

  • Sometimes Google is not always the right search engine to use; it really does depend on the task
  • I trust recommendations based upon interactions with my Twitter contacts more than recommendations made on sites by complete strangers
  • Never underestimate the importance of listening to keywords on Twitter
  • Successful engagement on Twitter can earn brand advocates
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