Local Listing Management for Self Storage Companies
Digital Marketing Low Hanging Fruit: Part 3
Greetings and welcome to the final countdown! For those of you who have loyally read this guide thus far, I apologize for not jumping right in. But for the newbies who have just discovered this, I’ll break down the previous installments.
Let’s recap: I began the conversation by asking: “Are you getting the most out of your local traffic?”
Three of the main ways self storage owners and operators such as yourself can determine if they’re getting the most out of their local traffic is by measuring the effectiveness of their local SEO, local PPC (Pay-Per-Click) and online local listings. To help you out, I created handy guides packed with tips for grabbing some of that sweet, low hanging fruit for both local SEO and local PPC:
Again, the low hanging fruit in this case is your website’s ability to reach, engage and convert potential customers visiting your website – many of whom could be right in your backyard.
Like the previous two installments, I’ll provide some tips you can take advantage of today to improve both your occupancy and your revenue. Let’s get started!
What are Local Listings for Self Storage?
Your local listings are the information on a search engine results page (SERRP) that shows you locations pertaining to your immediate geographic area. It’s also referred to as your “map pack breakout.”
Search engines, like Google, will commonly show users the first three local businesses that best serve their search queries based on relevancy and geographic proximity. Check out our post on Google’s recent algorithm updates and how they might affect your Self Storage local listings.
How Can Self Storage Companies Use Local Listings?
Like local SEO and local PPC before it, local listings (if cited accurately and consistently) can truly make the difference between customers choosing your facility over your competitors.
Consider local listings to be the digital equivalent of providing detailed directions for a friend or loved one. You certainly wouldn’t want to provide that friend with information that was faulty or inaccurate. Not only would it hurt your credibility with that friend, your friend would also be leery to ask for directions from you in the future. Local listings work much the same way, but on an aggregate scale.
4 Local PPC Tips for Self Storage Companies
Check out these 4 tips proven to boost your local listings and – in turn – help drive occupancy and revenue:
1.) Don’t Sleep on NAP (Name, Address, Phone Number) Inaccuracies!
As mentioned in the parentheses above, the NAP refers to your topline business information – your company name, address and phone number – and how it’s submitted (or not) to the hundreds of directories available online. Remember the example I gave about providing your friend with accurate driving directions? This is exactly where it comes into play.
If you’re curious to see your storage facility’s local listings for yourself, I’d recommend entering your business information into Moz Local.
This will help you see where you stand, and where you stand to improve. A solid local listing should be somewhere in the neighborhood of 85%* or greater. If yours isn’t quite there yet, you have work to do.
You can improve your local listings score by manually submitting your topline business information (name, address, phone number) to directories applicable to self storage, or to the four main data aggregators (Axciom, Factual, Neustar & Infogroup). That will help clean up inaccuracies that could be hurting your score.
Don’t have an individual who can submit your business information to hundreds of directories? There are always dedicated agencies that do this sort of thing every day.
*Don’t fret about that 85% talk. Even Facebook doesn’t have a perfect score (hovers around 99% accurate). Partner with a reputable SEO and they’ll get your local listings squared away. Hopefully you weren’t unpleasantly surprised at your score!
2.) Include High-Res Photos for Search Engines to Pull Up for Customers
I’m not necessarily suggesting fancy filters and stock photos of people eating pizza sitting atop moving boxes. Unless, of course, that’s authentic to your brand. But, do a quick search in your search engine of choice and pull up the pictures that come up with the map pack breakout. The first three results should yield pictures, hours of business, a working phone number, and applicable reviews.
If you’re going to have to include pictures of your storage facility anyway, why not do it different – and better – than your competition? Use photos that capture the amenities you have available, but do that with your best foot forward. Chances are, your competition are using generic pictures. Showcase the spaciousness, cleanliness and any other competitive advantage that can give you a leg up over your competitors. Remember – you’re submitting these pictures to entice potential customers. This may be your only opportunity to make a lasting impression and a sale with your customers.
3.) Striving for the Five Star Review
Consider a review as an equivalent of a celebrity endorsement. Users can leapfrog stages in the buyer’s journey and skip to the finish line to see how real people have experienced a product or service. Something to consider – positive reviews work for you long after the lights go out, but negative reviews can be equally damaging.
You can partner with a website like Trustpilot that can help you manage and compile your reviews and suppress negative word of mouth as it crops up.
A quick search on websites like Yelp, Angie’s List, The Better Business Bureau, Foursquare and others can also help you see what people think of your storage facility. If your storage facility has earned a fair share of negative reviews, consider that as an opportunity to make improvements and find the insights within the feedback to win over the next customer.
Either way – don’t be content with where you stand! The more positive reviews your storage facility has, the more local, real endorsements are earned. Work for that elusive five star average!
4.) Don’t be Irrelevant During Your Time
Search engines serve users information based on relevance. Utilizing geo-targeting sends a strong signal to Google that your storage facility is especially relevant to users searching for solutions within your service footprint.
One way to optimize your website for this crucial tactic is by modifying your header tags (h1 and h2) with the cities and states in which you do business.
I don’t want to lose you in the weeds here, but I’d also recommend utilizing Schema markup for important business information. This will point search engine crawlers and spiders to specific information you want search engines to index more quickly and efficiently. Schema essentially serves as a highlighter for search engines. Visit Schema.org to learn more.
Time to Count the Low Hanging Fruit
In this guide we’ve covered some ways to improve visibility in local listings, which could have a positive impact on occupancy and hopefully revenue. Of course, this low hanging fruit is just the tip of the digital marketing iceberg. If you’re feeling overwhelmed with where to start, we’re here to help!