Submitted to Investment Real Estate by Bessie Haddaway, Marketing Coordinator, The Storage Group.
Whether you are a new storage facility owner or a seasoned self storage professional, it can be a bit overwhelming when determining the components of your facility’s overall marketing strategy. How do you decide which marketing methods will work best for your facility? What strategy will give you the fastest results? How do you get your website to appear at the top of search engines, like Google? There are a lot of things to take into consideration while determining your strategy! This marketing guide will discuss the answers to all of those questions and more.
The Importance of a Responsive Website
The first part of a comprehensive marketing strategy is to a have website that is responsive. A responsive website automatically adjusts to the type of device the website visitor is using, whether that is a tablet, smartphone or computer. More and more potential customers are searching for local businesses on their smartphones, while they are on-the-go. One of the best ways to make sure your self storage facility is easily found and ranks well in the search engines, is to have it display and function properly on mobile devices. Keep in mind, Google ranks responsive websites higher than non-responsive websites.
Another key component of having your self storage website rank well is to be sure that it loads quickly. This is important because 53% of people will abandon or leave a mobile website if it takes longer than 3 seconds to load, according to Google. Most storage facility owners and managers want their facility website to appear in the top Google search engine results. The importance of a having a mobile-friendly website will continue to increase as Google focuses on mobile-first indexing to determine rankings for keyword searches. In other words, websites that are responsive are more likely to appear as the top search engine results.
SEO for Long-Term Results
Search Engine Optimization or SEO is a long term marketing strategy that helps your self storage website appear in the results of Google, Yahoo and Bing keyword searches. SEO involves the strategic placement of industry and location-based keywords within the content, headers and other areas of your website. Search engines crawl and display optimized websites in the search results that best relate to the keyword terms a potential tenant types in. It is essential that you trust the expertise of your online marketing strategies to an experienced SEO professional. Make sure they follow the best practices set by Google and stay up-to-date with the many search engine algorithm changes throughout the year.
If your facility is in a large city or has a lot of competition, it is crucial that your self storage website has monthly SEO updates for the best ranking and performance results.
Another important way to improve your website’s organic search engine ranking is to regularly write blog posts that help address your tenants’ self storage needs and questions. This is an opportunity for storage facilities to share storage tips, how-to’s and other useful information. Blog posts also provide Google with new content to crawl on your website. New, relevent content gives your website credibility with the search engines. Google’s fundamental goal is to display the search results that offer the most valuable content to its users. If your blog post can do that, your website will be rewarded with higher search engine rankings.
Want Fast Results? Try PPC!
If you want to increase website traffic, calls to your facility and storage unit rentals in a short period of time, Pay-Per-Click Advertising orPPC may be the best marketing strategy for you! If you have a new facility, it is especially important to rent out your storage units quickly to increase your overall occupancy rate.
Pay-Per-Click Advertising uses self storage and location-based keyword phrases to display your ad in the search engine results of Google, Bing, Yahoo and YouTube. The ads are highly customizable to your specific facility. Details, such as starting at prices, special offers, phone number, type of storage units and more can be included to easily tell potential tenants more about your facility. One of the best things about PPC is that you only pay for people who click on your ad and go to your website.
Your PPC ad can also appear in the search results specifically for mobile devices. A recent Google study found that over 50% of on-the-go searches have local intent. That means more and more customers are searching for local businesses from their cell phones. Potential tenants, who see your ad on their smartphone, can take advantage of the Click-to-Call feature and press a single link to dial your storage facility directly from your Pay-Per-Click ad.
Another reason PPC works well for the storage industry is because of the extensive audience targeting capabilities. Marketing self storage facilities is locally focused. PPC allows you to target by address, radius around your facility, Zip Codes and more, to make sure your ads are only reaching people in your specific market.
Pay-Per-Click Advertising is also available on Facebook. Contrary to popular belief, your ads can click through to your website and not just to your Facebook page. Not only can you target ads by keywords and location but you can also target based on user behavior and life events. Facebook collects a lot data from their users, so you can also target by audience categories like “recently moved”, “starting college”, “apartment renters”, “recently divorced”, etc. This allows your ads to appear to people who are most likely to need self storage.
Both Google and Facebook, allow you to create a lookalike audience for PPC. The process includes uploading the email addresses of your current clients then, they create an audience that shares the same demographics and traits of your current clients. It is a great way to identify new, potential customers.
Online Storage Rentals: A Conversion Dream Come True
All of the above marketing strategies lead potential tenants to your website. But what really helps seal the deal is providing Online Storage Rentals from your website. If you just utilize your website, SEO and PPC, without having online rentals, then prospective tenants would have to call or visit your facility during office hours in order to complete a transaction. It is much better to get them to complete or at least start the rental or reservation process with you while they are searching for storage units.
Online self storage rentals save tenants and facilities time and money. In addition, they also offer tenants something that few other self storage facilities can offer, flexibility and convenience. This is something that you can emphasize on your website, PPC campaigns and other marketing materials.
With the ability to rent a unit online directly from your website, tenants who find out about your facility through search engines, Facebook Ads or Google Ads, can complete their rental transaction without ever having to visit the facility office. This is great for millennials who prefer to do transactions on their phones. Potential tenants will be more likely to rent a unit when they are already searching for self storage online at that moment, versus having to make a purchasing decision at a later date. With the technology today, people are used to quickly searching for what they want, compare prices and make a decision all at the same time. Having online rentals or reservations, help customers do just that.
- A fast, responsive website is absolutely necessary to rank well in search engine results.
- Monthly SEO updates is a best practice for highly competitive markets.
- SEO is a long term goal. Slow and steady wins the race.
- Blog posts can improve your website’s organic search engine rankings.
- PPC is an excellent marketing strategy for quick results.
- Pay-Per-Click Advertising is available for Google, Bing, Facebook and more.
- PPC can drive more traffic to your website plus, calls to your facility.
- Online storage rentals offer potential tenants convenience and flexibility.
- Online rentals save facilities time and money.
- Providing the ability to convert website visitors into paying tenants while they are searching for self storage online is essential.
The Storage Group has over 60 years of combined storage industry experience. A dedicated team of Internet marketing professionals specialize in Market Intel™, Reputation Management, Website Design,Search Engine Optimization (SEO), Pay-Per-Click Advertising (PPC) and Local Listing Management. The Storage Group was the first in the self storage industry to create an innovative online rental tool known as ClickandStor®.