What did we do before the Internet? We listed in the yellow pages, advertised in local newspapers, rented billboards, and maybe ran a radio spot or two.
But the Internet has changed everything. You can rent units on your website!
Today, when prospective customers need self storage, the first thing they are likely to do is run a Google search for units in their geo-location.
For example, if someone in Cincinnati needs a storage unit, he or she will search something like one of the following:
- Storage units Cincinnati
- Storage units Cincinnati Ohio
- Climate-controlled storage units Cincinnati
- Best storage units Cincinnati
What will they see in the search results for each term?
If your company is one of the options listed, you have a built-in business-development machine that's always churning.
When you make the most of Geo-Location SEO you are setting up the pathway for success for your self storage facility's website.
Why is Geo-Location Search Even Important?
When you run a storage facility, you don't have time to master the ins and outs of search engine optimization.
After all, you have a business to run.
But there are three primary reasons why you should focus on securing strong rankings for geo-location keywords and phrases:
Google Knows Where Searchers Are:
When you sit at your computer or even when you use a smartphone, Google knows where you are when searching.
If you're searching for something like storage units in Fort Lauderdale, it's going to share listings that are closest to your location.
People Search With Local Terms:
People almost always search locally for storage units. No one searches: "Where can I find climate-controlled storage units?"
Instead, they search something like: "Where can I find climate-controlled storage units in Orange County."
Not only do people search local, they want and trust local.
If in search results they are given the choice between a national storage unit-finder application and a local provider of storage units, they are going to choose the latter.
The Business-Making Difference of Being No. 1
Here's the truth about SEO and storage units: If your business shows up in the top spot, or even in the top three, for search terms similar to those listed above, you'll never have to advertise again.
Securing a top spot in relevant search rankings means that your units will always be full and that you can focus on other aspects of running a business — like long-term strategy, expansion and growth.
What you really want is to be previews in Google's 3-pack of local listings.
When someone enters a geo-location search term, Google typically responds with regular search results PLUS a small map with a "3-pack" of options.
As you can imagine, being listed in the 3-pack is an incredible driver of new business — but it requires optimization.
Conversely, if your business is buried on the third or fourth page of Google's search results, you're going to need heavy investments in other marketing channels to succeed.
You may need to spend money on pay-per-click ads that cheat you onto the first page.
And you may even need to go back to those 20th century-style tactics like billboards and radio spots.
Getting onto Google's first page for relevant geo-location keywords and phrases is a business-making landmark.
And here's the good news: It doesn't have to be hard.
Tips for Jumping Into Geo-Location Search Results
OK, so now you know the importance of appearing in geo-location search results.
But how do you get there if you're currently wallowing on the second, third or fourth pages — or even further back?
Here are 6 tips for getting started with geo-location SEO and making sure you're doing what's possible to climb in the rankings:
1. Google My Business and Search Console
Google offers a pair of tools that let you say: "Hey, I'm open for business!"
First, secure your free listing with Google My Business, which is what gives you visibility in Google Maps.
This is akin to indexing your physical location with Google, which, of course, owns a disproportionate share of the search market.
Then, register your website with Google's Search Console, which accelerates the process of Google indexing your site and including your pages in search results.
This is indexing your virtual location rather than your physical one.
You can invest in SEO tools that help you track terms and optimize your pages and posts.
But you can also use some workarounds if you're not ready to invest in search.
For example, you can use Google's related searches to identify different keywords relevant to your business.
If you run a storage units business in Oklahoma City, simply search "storage units Oklahoma City," and then scroll down to the bottom of the page.
You'll see a section called "Searches related to…" This section provides other keyword ideas that might help you hammer down on your location:
- Storage units Oklahoma City NW Expressway
- Storage units NW OKC
- Storage units in South OKC
- Storage units Oklahoma City OK
- Storage units OKC near me
The relevant keywords listed can and should become the focus keywords for your site.
But you may not want or need to invest in those tools just yet.
If that's the case, make sure you're using free tools available to you. For example, if your website is setup on WordPress, make sure you're using the free Yoast plug-in for SEO.
This plug-in helps you setup your site for maximum visibility, and it also helps you optimize each individual page and post for both readability and search.
Once you've secured your tools, free or otherwise, use them to optimize your posts and pages.
How? Make sure your focus keyword is included in the main headline (H1), add optimized sub-headers (H2s), include meta tags and a meta description with your post.
Any photos included should also have the keyword embedded in their titles.
Get the tools you need, and then use them to better optimize your content.
One of the best ways to look great in Google's eyes is to create regular content that's helpful to your audience.
You don't need to write or post each day, but it's good to have a regular schedule for content (weekly or monthly).
You can write about how to choose the right size of storage unit, how to organize for a move, how to decide what's worth storing and what should be donated, etc.
Each of these topics provides a solution to a subset of your audience.
Include your focus keywords as part of the call to action in each post, and you'll find that (over time) your standing in the search rankings begins to rise.
This is the most advanced tip on this list: Do some link-building. Link-building simply means finding other sites that will include a link (or multiple links) back to your site.
You can do this by writing guest posts for other businesses in your area, submitting op-eds to the local newspaper or other publications, creating industry-related infographics (with links embedded) that other sites might publish, etc.
When you have more links to your site spread around the Internet, Google begins to see your site as valued by its audience — and it ranks you more highly.
Make Geo-Location SEO as Easy as Possible
Let's say it one more time: Owners of storage companies are way too busy worrying about their day-to-day businesses to get caught up in SEO, content creation and link-building.
At StoragePug, we exist to make geo-location and other essential digital marketing tactics as easy as possible for busy entrepreneurs.
Are you ready to rise in the rankings and put your marketing on cruise control?
Get in touch with us at StoragePug to learn more about our services — or to schedule a free demo.
To read more about my favorite StoragePug features, take a look at:
- Self Storage Marketing Playbook [Free eBook]
- Self Storage Websites that are Fast, Modern, and StoragePug-Managed
- Self Storage Websites: 8 Ways to Convert Leads