Moving in the Middle of High School – How to Prepare Your Teens

Moving in the Middle of High School – How to Prepare Your Teens

MovingCompanyReviews note:   We’re delighted to have Kerry Brown Hasbrook, Ph.D., Licensed Clinical Psychologist, write this post for us.   Dr. Brown Hasbrook is a well-known Child Psychologist in the Chicago area, and  moved in high school from Connecticut to just north of Chicago.    Her post below gives some fantastic tips and tricks on how to make the moving with kids (teenagers specifically) less stressful.

Did your chest or back tighten when you read the title of this blog?  If so, you are not alone!  Not surprisingly, relocating to a new town is rated as one of life’s most stressful events.  For you are not just transporting belongings, you are uprooting your social network, your schools, possibly your work, and all your well-worn paths to the neighbor’s house, the beloved coffee shop, church, and the gym.  When teenagers are added to the equation, moving inherently becomes more complicated.

moving with teenagers

Adolescence can be a period of turmoil for many, but also an exciting time in which they navigate social and identity issues.  With the increasing level of independence along with possibly an ability to drive, many teens delight in this new developmental phase.  Conversely, other teens struggle with “fitting in” socially, keeping up with the challenging academic curriculum, and managing both time and stress.  With that said, ideally, an adolescent could remain in the same high school setting until graduation.  When a family must move, however, doing so at the start of a new quarter or semester is recommended.  If for whatever reason that is not possible, parental care and concern, along with planfulness are essential for the entire family’s emotional well-being.

Below are a few suggestions for easing adolescents’ transition when switching schools:

  • Discuss the reasons for the upcoming relocation.  Explain that this move might not be optimal timing, but it is mandatory for economic, financial, or health reasons.  Since adolescence can sometimes be a time of self-centeredness or egocentricity, ensure your teens that transferring high schools is not an attempt at making their lives miserable.
  • Talk candidly with your teenagers regarding your feelings about the move.  Express your honest thoughts and feelings in an appropriate manner.  (This might require weeks of coffee chats with your girlfriend/therapist to get you to a sound place emotionally☺)  Anyone who has spent time with teenagers is aware that they have built-in “phony” detectors!  Acknowledging the difficulties associated with moving high schools and validating their feelings about such can be very impactful!
doubting teenager
teens have great b.s. detectors
  • Keep your thoughts and feelings on the positive side while simultaneously validating your teens’ feelings!  It might prove helpful to say things like, “I hear you saying that you feel like this move will ruin your life.  Thank you for sharing your thoughts and feelings with me.  I know it might feel scary leaving your friends, school, and sports for this unknown new town.  I have a feeling that this will all turn out well in the end.”   Conversely, avoid saying things like, “Get over it.  We’re moving.  End of discussion.”  Finally, although it can be difficult, try to hold back your emotional reactions to their mood swings and defiant behaviors.  Instead, try to uncover the feelings underneath these behaviors!
  • Involve your adolescents in selecting their high school, if possible.  If they are asked to participate in the decision-making process, their investment might result in a more positive adjustment.  Why not have them research their options based on their interests (i.e., academic, athletic, yearbook, drama) and desires (i.e., class size, public/private)?  Talking to the school counselor, the drama teacher, or the soccer coach ahead of time might also be helpful in increasing their comfort levels about this new adventure.  Finally, take a tour of the school ahead of time if that is a possibility!
  • Remind your adolescents that this is a unique opportunity to reinvent themselves!  Ask them if there are changes they would like to make regarding their reputation.  Specifically, do they want to remain known as “the party animal, “ “the star volleyball player,” or “the math whiz?”  Or, do they instead want to take on a new path by starting a teen advisory board at the local homeless shelter, play a new sport, or participate in the yearbook club?
  • Create a plan to assist your teenagers in maintaining their old friendships.  This is easier now than ever with the prevalence of social media and cell phones.  Remind your teenagers of the close relationships you continue to cherish with your old friends from childhood, college, etc.  Concrete examples might assist them in believing that their close friendships have the potential to remain that way forever.
  • Engage in a dialogue about how your adolescents can develop new friendships.  Participating in sports, plays, or clubs can be the perfect avenue for establishing friendships with like-minded peers with similar interests. Colleges look fondly upon a student who shows leadership abilities and consistency through this transition!
  • Request that the transcript and profile (explanation of grading system, curriculum, and school demographics) from the old high school be sent to the new high school.  When it comes time to apply to colleges, your adolescents will be one step ahead of the game!

On a personal note, my relocation from the East Coast to the Midwest (just north of Chicago) before eleventh grade turned out to be a positive experience.  I am grateful for the new friendships I developed while maintaining several of my old friendships.  Additionally, I enjoyed experiencing life in a different region of our country.  In addition, had we remained on the East Coast, I am unsure whether I would have achieved the highest honor in one of my sports or been offered the same scholarship.  Finally, I believe that our family’s frequent relocations armed me with an ability to quickly adapt to change and to relate to all different types of people!

Kerry Brown Hasbrook, Ph.D.

Licensed Clinical Psychologist

3 insanely simple SEO tips you can do NOW to boost your Google traffic (and leads)

3 mover SEO tips you can do NOW to boost your free Google traffic (& leads)

Every mover wants more free Google traffic.    This free, or organic, traffic comes to your website when you rank for terms people search for in Google.     People that search for terms like, “Chicago movers”, “Salt Lake City moving companies”, or “movers in Orlando”, see your company’s website, click on the result and land on your website.   Boom!  You now have an extremely qualified visitor that hopefully you can turn into a customer.

So how do you get on page one for certain terms?   Which terms will bring the most traffic?  Which terms can you rank for?    Great questions!   I’ll answer those in this blog post, as well as tell you how to do three simple things today that will get your moving company ranking higher for the best terms within a week or two.

Ok, let’s get you ranking!  Do these three simple SEO (Search Engine Optimization)  tips today and see your rankings and free traffic jump.  Oh yeah, we included a couple little-known bonus tips to give you an extra boost!

  1. Optimize your html title tag to mention your company name, city, and the word “movers”
  2. Make sure your html meta description tab contains a snappy description that sells prospects on your company
  3. Put your address and phone number on your homepage

Mover SEO Tip #1 – Put Your Company Name and City in Your HTML Title Tag

This tip is ridiculously easy for you or your web developer to make.  It should take no more than a few minutes and deliver results within a week or two.    See the bonus section to give this change an extra boost.

First off, what’s an html title tag?   It’s a little piece of code in your website’s HTML code that shows in the browser tab.   Here’s an example using J&J Metro Moving & Storage:

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Here’s what it looks like in the actual html code:

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Why is this important?   Because it’s what Google uses as the title your listing in search results!

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Why does that matter?   For a few HUUUUUUUGE, important reasons:

  1. Consumers use it to decide if they should click on your search result
  2. Google uses it to figure out which search terms your site should appear for.  Did you know consumers search for “Orlando movers” 450 times per month but only search for “Orland moving companies”  250 times per month?   Which would you rather rank highly for?
  3. Google watches how many people click your search result versus other search results.   If your listing entices searchers to click more than other search results then Google will rank you higher.
  4. Lots of consumers search on mover names!   Check out the search volumes for these movers in Chicago we got from SERanking, a great SEO tool we use.    2 Guys and a Van clocks in with 480 searches per month, Coffey Brothers Moving brings in 320, and The Professionals Moving Specialists has 210 Google searches per month.    Those numbers nearly match the more generic search numbers we see for Orlando (keep reading to see them)!
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So what’s the perfect title tag for your moving company?   Well, let’s see what the sites that do SEO (Search Engine Optimization – or “ranking high in free Google listings”) really do:

Yelp & the BBB:

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HireAHelper:

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Every one of them makes the company name an important part of the title.   Yelp mentions photos and reviews, the BBB brags about themselves, and HireAHelper includes the phrase, “Movers in Orlando”.

To give your mover website the best possible html title tag optimization, we recommend:

  1. Putting your company name first
  2. Putting a keyword for your city after.   For good keywords, check out the Google search volumes for these Orlando moving terms.  We pulled these from ahrefs.com, a fantastic SEO research too.
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    • “Movers Orlando” has the highest search volume, followed by “Orlando Movers” with a bit less.

Using our example, some great html title tags for J&J Metro could be:

“J&J Metro Moving & Storage – Orlando Movers”

“J&J Metro Moving & Storage – Movers Orlando”

I’d personally recommend the first, as consumers reading that result will likely appreciate the better grammar and click on it more.  Make the change today and see how fast you shoot up the search results for your company name and the keyword you chose!

Mover SEO Tip #2 – Pull Google Searchers in With A Compelling HTML Meta Description

You may be asking yourself, what the heck is a HTML meta description?   Great question!   In your website’s code, it looks like this.  This example is from Stallion Moving Services in Denver.

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Heh?  What is all that gobbly-gook?    Here’s the important part!   Google uses your site’s meta description as the text in your search result!    Here it is in action:

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You’ll notice that the words Google uses come right from the meta description in the code on Stallion’s page.

Why is this important?   A 2017 study of the top Google ranking factors by SearchEngineLand.com listed your search listing’s Click Through Rate (CTR) as a very important signal to Google as to how high they should rank your site in search results.

This means the more compelling your description, the more people will click on your listing, and the higher Google will rank you.

So how do you craft a crazy-compelling description that makes searchers want to visit your site?   Read these three simple tips to find out:

  1. Read the descriptions of the top ranking search results and use them as inspiration:
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  2. Read the ad copy of the top ads on the page for inspiration:
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  3. If you run adwords ads, look at your ads that perform the best and see what the ad copy is.  Use that to help you craft a great description.

Mover SEO Tip #3 – Put Your Address and Phone Number on Your Website!

This sounds incredibly simple and easy, and it is!   However, the number of mover website we come across that don’t list their address is astounding.   Here’s why your address and phone can help:

  1. Your address and phone help Google determine where your moving company is!   Without it, Google may have trouble knowing if you’re a Boston mover or Austin mover.
  2. Consumers may get frustrated and leave if they can’t easily find your address and phone on your site.   You want to know another signal Google uses to figure out how high you should rank?   The time people spend on your site after landing on from a Google search.   Don’t confuse them and make them leave right away, show them the info they want so they stay and give you a call.

Hopefully you found these three simple tips helpful.   Now what are you waiting for?  Go make the changes!

. .  . but before you do, keep reading for our bonus section that has a few little-known tips to help boost your Google ranking further.

Mover SEO Tip Bonus Section – Get A Quality Link (and More Free Leads)

Bonus time!  Thanks for sticking with us this far.   Do these three things to give your Google efforts a quick, easy boost.   One’s easy (under 10 minutes), one’s a little harder (15-30 minutes), and one may only work for those movers willing to put in more than an hour (but the reward is really worth it!)    On to the bonus tips:

  1. Bonus Tip #1 (free! takes 5 minutes):  Make sure your profile on MovingCompanyReviews has the link to your website, and that the link is correct.   Here’s a great example from Moving of America in New Jersey.
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    • Why is this important?   Because Google counts links to your website as votes for it!    All links are not created equal.   A link from a quality site (in Google’s eyes) counts much more than a link from an unknown website.   Google counts links from MovingCompanyReviews as high-quality links and a strong vote for your website.
    • IMPORTANT:  some websites will put a “nofollow” attribute on links to your site.  That tells Google to ignore the link and not give it any value.  Not us!  We want to pass the Google ranking benefit on to our movers.
  2. Bonus Tip #2 (free! takes 15 minutes):  Get enough reviews on your profile to make it on to our first page of search results for your city.   We rank our search results by the number and the rating of reviews, so take a look at your city and see how high you can go.   Here’s the great news – you can do this for no cost.    Just tell your customers to review you on MovingCompanyReviews.  Or better yet, try a free month of our Review Advantage review collection program where you can upload your past customers’ emails and we’ll give them free coffee for writing a review.     This will make your listing pop and stand out from others:
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    • Why is this important?   Because the higher your listing is in our search results, the more important Google thinks it is!    Google tends to give higher importance to links that come earlier on a page, and by ranking highly in our search results you can tell Google your site is important.
  3. Bonus Tip #3 (free!  takes a few hours): Get a real estate agent to recommend you!   We just rolled out this feature for top real estate agents.  We give them their own “recommended movers” page.   Getting an agent to recommend you will not only give you more referrals, but it will rank you higher in our search results and give you more clicks and leads.   We count a recommendation from an agent higher than a good review, so getting recommended is a fantastic way to shoot up our search results rankings.   Take a look at a great example of how a real estate agent recommendation makes a company stand out:

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If you know any agents interested, have them drop us a line at support@movingcompanyreviews.com!

 

Conclusion

Hopefully these quick SEO and mover marketing tips help your company increase your free Google traffic and free leads.   If you have deeper questions or would like to contact us, just drop us a line at support@movingcompanyreviews.com.

6 key differences between plastic and cardboard moving boxes

This post comes to use from BungoBox Orange County, who rents cool plastic moving boxes.    Plastic moving boxes can be a great option to consider when your moving.    Without further delay, here’s the top 6 reasons to consider plastic moving boxes, as told by the crew from BungoBox Orange County:

  1. Less Hassles and Nicer Experience. Once you get to your new home, and your movers have unloaded your boxes, you can easily unpack your items, and then stack your reusable plastic moving containers in your garage or spare room. The box rental company will pick up your plastic containers and you will not have to worry about where to store them, or how to get rid of them.
  2. Ever had a leak in your garage or attic? Plastic Moving Bins are much better for wet surfaces and will not get ruined in the same way that Cardboard can if they get wet.
  3. Save Money. Believe it or not, renting plastic containers from a “Green” or “Eco-Friendly” Moving Container company can actually be cheaper than buying Cardboard boxes outright.
  4. Convenience. If you rent Plastic Eco-Friendly boxes, most of these companies offer free delivery and in some cases free pickup after the move.
  5. Packing and Durability. Packing is considerably difficult if you have a hodgepodge of items, box sizes, etc. If you get a larger, standard sized plastic moving bin, your mover will have an easy time using a dolly and stacking these boxes into the moving truck.
  6. Simplicity. If you rent plastic moving bins from a reputable company, not only will you get free pickup and delivery, but often these companies provide a free dolly, twist ties, stickers, and other useful items that will help you ready your home for your moving company.

bungo box plastic moving boxes

There you have it.   The next time you move and start packing, take a look at using plastic moving boxes instead of cardboard.

Q&A With Platinum Movers – a quality Tampa mover

Platinum Relocations

We love to highlight moving companies from Moving Company Reviews.   Check out the Q&A below from Platinum Relocations, a Tampa mover with fantastic reviews.  nswering the questions is Matthew Brodis, the owner.

Can you tell us a bit about yourself and Platinum Relocations?

My name is Matthew Brodis.  I was a contractor for various van lines for over 21 years.  After seeing many mistakes being made with the larger van lines I knew I could do better on my own.  I took the initiative to push forward with creating my own van line called Platinum Relocations.  We’ve been in business for 4 years and have 15 trucks in our fleet.  We service everything from household, office and industrial moves and we offer white glove services for many different businesses in our area.

 

What sets you apart?  

When creating Platinum Relocations I knew what other van lines did well, we would do well.  So I read many reviews from various van lines in my area and focused on their negative feedback.  This allowed me to make sure I set myself apart from everyone else by offering the exceptional service so many others seemed to be missing.  With this focus we allowed ourselves to truly stand out and set ourselves apart.  This is very apparent by looking at our MCR reviews.

 

How did you get started and why?   

I was a contractor for various van lines for over 21 years.  After seeing many mistakes being made with the larger van lines I knew I could do better on my own.  I took the initiative to push forward with creating my own van line called Platinum Relocations.  We’ve been in business for 4 years and have 15 trucks in our fleet.  We service everything from household, office and industrial moves and we offer white glove services for many different businesses in our area.

 

What’s the best business decision you made in the last year?

Expanding to a second location and bringing in military contracts and offering SIT.

 

Why did you choose to become a MovingCompanyReviews.com customer?  

MCR leads have to the highest rate of becoming customers.  They are very serious about their move and have a much higher close rate than any other lead source I’ve ever used.  I love the fact that you can only upload reviews if you’ve actually moved with our company.  This isn’t the same for Yelp and most other review sites out there.

 

What’s the strangest or funniest thing you have ever moved?  

Strangest thing would be a custom built entertainment center that was 12’ tall and 23’ long.  It was custom built in the condo and wouldn’t fit through any door.  The customer had to cut it into 3 pieces.  Since it was in a high rise on St Pete beach, they hired a crane company to pull it through the french doors of the balcony and lower it to our awaiting crew below to move it to their new home.  The funniest thing isn’t appropriate for publication LOL.

 

Any parting words or advice for our readers?  

If you are a customer; read and trust MCR reviews for choosing a move company.  For companies not yet with MCR, sign up now!  The leads are excellent and the investment is truly worth it.

 

 

 

How to prepare kids under 10 for a move – tips and tricks from a child psychologist

MovingCompanyReviews note:   We’re delighted to have Kerry Brown Hasbrook, Ph.D., Licensed Clinical Psychologist, write this post for us.   Dr. Brown Hasbrook is a well known Child Psychologist in the Chicago area, and recently moved with her three children.    Her post below gives some fantastic tips and tricks on how to make the moving day (and the weeks leading up to it!) less stressful with kids.

It is not surprising that moving is listed as one of life’s most stressful events! After all, you are not just relocating your physical belongings, but you are leaving behind your community, your friends, your schools, and all the well-worn paths you created over the years! Moving becomes more complicated when children are part of the equation. Now, you don’t just have yourself and your worries with which to contend (e.g., How do I find the local grocery store, Will I make friends, etc.), but also a whole host of concerns from your children and their different perspectives. As you embark on this exciting journey, it is important to keep routines as consistent as possible.

When my family relocated from Chicago to a nearby suburb, our children were 3, 5, and 7 years old. Knowing that much of parenting lies in the marketing, I knew that how I presented the upcoming relocation to the kids was important. I also knew that I was serving as the main model based on my attitude and behavior about the move. On a basic level, they knew a relocation was impending given the “For Sale” sign in front of our condo and the numerous, quick clean up toys and flush the toilet sessions before showings. Since we know that change is challenging for everyone, especially if you perceive that you have little or no control over things, my husband and I tried to involve the children in an age-appropriate manner from the outset.

Let’s face it, looking at prospective houses and schools is tremendously easier without children present. Once we narrowed down the town, however, we felt it important to bring them along so they could share their input and visualize their “new life” in the suburbs. Seeing their new school, new neighborhood, and new house greatly managed expectations and appeared to help the move feel less scary! We requested a meeting with the principal so our kids could see a smiling and friendly face belonged to the leader of their new school. As always, they noticed things that my husband and I might not have noticed. After these trips to visit houses and schools, instead of rushing back home, we always made time to stop at local parks to play. Again, a new fond memory at a park made it easier for the kids to imagine playing at that park with their new friends sometime in the future!

We also took time to talk to our children about their feelings regarding leaving the only home and city they knew. We tried to validate their feelings of sadness, fear, and excitement by saying things like, “Thank you for telling me about your worries about making new friends. That is a really normal feeling to have when you move to a new town. Mommy feels the same way too, but I know we are a friendly and kind family. I am sure we will make friends really quickly. Just watch!” This ongoing, open conversation was really helpful as my youngest child expressed sadness regarding “really missing” her toys in the future. We reassured her that all her toys were moving with us to the suburbs. Had we not created an open conversation, we would not have known that she thought her toys were being separated from her! That brings me to my next point, make sure when packing items, that your children’s most beloved possessions (for younger kids it’s usually a lovey or blanket) are not packed in a box, but carried with them or you, if possible! Those items can serve as a great source of comfort (we, psychologists, call them transitional objects) during a stressful time! Make sure to mark the boxes with children’s bedding and toys accurately so they can be the first boxes unpacked in the new house! Involve your children in setting up their new bedrooms. Why not give them control wherever you can by allowing them to select paint colors, to choose furniture placement, and other unimportant details!

Finally, allow your children to connect with their old friends when appropriate. In today’s digital age, it is easier than ever to FaceTime, text, or call friends. The timing of visits and playdates is important though. If your children return to their old schools, or old friends’ houses before they have established enough connections or roots in their new community, it can be painful and delay their adjustment.

Kerry Brown Hasbrook, Ph.D.

Licensed Clinical Psychologist