Mover Marketing – Google Adwords Case Study

Mover Marketing:  How to Turn $18K in Google Adwords (& Bing) into $136K of Revenue

I am going to show you, with hard data, how one local moving company spent $18,540.74 on Google Adwords and Bing Ads and cashed in $136,962.00 directly as a result of that spend.

Wow, talk about a huge return!

But before I dive into the hard data, let me tell you a quick backstory.

Back when I worked at (the travel site, not the now-defunct moving lead gen site, we spent well over 8 figures per year on Google Adwords  (8 figures = a bunch more than $10M per year).

Crazy huh?

Not really actually.   That 8-figure spend brought in more revenue than it cost us.   Everyone loves making more money than they spend!  That’s the name of the game, isn’t it?

When we started in 2012 we noticed that buying clicks from Google Adwords for terms like “Chicago Movers”, “Orlando Movers”, and “Atlanta Moving Companies” could drain your wallet faster than the blink of an eye.   Companies typically paid $10, $15, or even $20 per click.


I ran a quick check in the wonderful SEO/SEM tool Ahrefs to check the latest cost per clicks, and Ahrefs reports “chicago movers” costs $17 per click, “atlanta moving companies” costs $18 per click, and “orlando movers” costs $16 per click.

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Not much changed since 2012, did it?

With clicks costing so much, how can a local mover make a profit using Google Adwords or Bing Ads?    A bunch of companies certainly advertise on those terms:

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Looking at that data, I often wondered:

Can Local Moving Companies Make a Profit With Adwords?

I honestly thought that very few companies, if any, could turn a decent profit spending on Adwords (and Bing Ads) when paying $15+ for a single click.

Then I met a crew from an ad agency specializing in search engine marketing that claimed amazing results for one of their moving clients (a local moving company).    I asked to see the data, and they agreed to share.

Check these results out:

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Let me summarize for you:

Spend:        $18,540.74

Revenue:  $136,962.00

Now that’s a good return on investment!

Who performed this feat of magic?   Our good friends at TENSHI, an advertising agency who focuses on search engine marketing, who were nice enough to share their results (thanks TENSHI!)

Do they harbor some magic formula to mastering mover marketing, especially when it comes to SEM (Search Engine Marketing), and specifically Google Adwords and Bing Ads?   No, they don’t claim any Harry Potters on staff.   However, they do know their game and relentlessly optimize campaigns in order to lower click prices and maximize conversions.

Employing engineers who specialize in machine-learning (ML) and artificial intelligence (AI) certainly helps too.   To give you a sense of the complexity involved,  TENSHI applied two sets of machine-learning algorithms in this campaign to lower the costs over time and raise the conversion value per cost, all while optimizing for multiple location parameters.   It’s quite technical, but this human and AI approach ensured an optimization would take place every 15 mins to drive considerable results.

Take a look at this graph for example and you can start to understand great results don’t come overnight.  Over the course of 5 months, TENSHI accomplished the following:

  • Cut the average cost per click in half
  • Quadrupled the number of clicks

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Results didn’t pour in overnight, but took many months of careful optimization.

Take a look at this more detailed view:

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You can see the average cost per click dropping from $10.95 at the start of the campaign to $5.17 by month 5 and total clicks rising from 166 to 693 in that same time period.

So Can Your Moving Company Get These Results Too?

My favorite piece of advice to tell people when they ask if they can make money using Adwords in the moving industry is, “hire a really, really good expert.”

For example, our best SEM manager at Orbitz had degrees from IIT (one of the best technical schools in India), an engineering undergrad from Stanford, and an MBA from Northwestern.   He wrote programs that optimized our ads by the hour (or more frequently) in response to a multitude of variables, including location, booking availability and pricing changes.  Not work for the faint of heart.

So What Should You Do?

The high cost per click and intense competition for moving keywords can make Google & Bing advertising a dangerous game.  Tread carefully if you want to dip your toe into the water, and follow the rules of thumb below.

These apply if you plan to spend money on Google Adwords & Bing Ads, or any other paid ads:

  1. Track your ROI every day and make sure your tracking is accurate:
    • How much are you spending on ads?
    • How much revenue are the calls, clicks and emails turning into?
  2. Optimize, optimize, optimize!
    • What keywords, ad text, ad creative, and other ad characteristics perform the best?   Spend more on these and create variations of them.
    • What does not perform well?   Shut these off.
  3. Repeat this process every day (seriously)

I love when hard data proves me wrong about something I thought was nearly impossible.     This case study shows local movers can make a profit bringing in traffic from Google Adwords and Bing Ads.    Success requires constant vigilance and high levels of expertise, but the numbers don’t lie.

A big thanks to TENSHI for sharing their data with us!

If you’re a mover or mover marketing agency looking to increase your leads check out our free moving leads & review collection programs.  Take a few minutes and read our blog post on 3 incredibly simple things you can do to boost your SEO as well, it gives a couple super easy changes you can make to your website to boost your organic (free) traffic from Google and Bing.

Questions?  Leave a comment and we’ll try to answer!

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