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5 Steps to Mastering Self Storage PPC [2022]

July 20, 2018

Call tracking software allows you to track the ROI of your marketing tactics and ad spend, It is an investment worth pursuing for your storage facility.
5 min

[This blog was updated in October 2022]

A great customer experience and a strong website are a self storage operator’s best marketing tools.

But what if you don’t have those yet? Or what if your website is so new that Google and other search engines won’t rank it? What if you’ve got some negative reviews that are tanking your SEO?

Pay-per-click advertising can get you in front of your customers and help you build up the marketing base you need to excel in the self storage business!

Running a successful pay-per-click campaign can bring you new renters for cheap, but only if you execute it properly. In this article, we’ll go over five steps you can follow to get the most out of your PPC marketing dollars and get your ads in front of potential customers!

Pay-per-click advertising is, as the name suggests, a way to get your ads in front of potential tenants by paying whichever platform your tenants are using. The cool part with PPC, as opposed to other styles of marketing, is that you only pay when someone clicks on your ad!

Download our Self Storage Marketing Playbook eBook here for free.

However, if you end up with people clicking but not renting, you can waste a lot of money fast!

A good PPC campaign puts ads only in front of people who can (and will!) rent at your facility.


Do You Need Google Ads?

Not every business needs self storage PPC ads. If your website is showing up on local search engine result pages, potential renters are already seeing you!

The Local Pack gets more clicks than PPC. And, the vast majority of self storage renters will be coming from within ten miles of your facility, unless you’re in a very rural area. So if you’re doing well in the local pack when you search in your town, you may not want to invest in PPC ads.

5 ways ebook

On the other hand, if you’re area is swamped by REITs, even a good website and strong SEO might end up buried. If that’s your situation, pay-per-click advertising can let you cut in line for a reasonable cost. 

When you do start Google ads, follow these steps!

1. Target Your Location

A significant majority of your customers will be coming from within a few miles of your facility. That means your PPC ad campaign should be targeting the same areas! If you don’t tell Google (or whichever service you use) that you want to show ads only in a specific area, you can end up paying for clicks that have no chance of renting at your facility.

Google lets you choose a specific radius from your center point that it will show ads in! Depending on how urban your area is, you may be able to advertise in as small a space as 1 mile from your facility and get results.

If you’re in a very rural area, you may need to advertise in a 10- or 20-mile radius to actually get your advertisement in front of new renters.

2. Bid On Exact Keywords

Narrow down your campaign to a few specific keywords. If you cast your net too wide, you’ll catch clicks that aren’t looking to rent a self storage unit, wasting your marketing dollars.

Start with the basics, like “storage units near me.” Since you’re advertising only to people in a certain radius of your facility, you can be certain that people using this search term are a good fit for your business.

If your business offers large vehicle parking, start with simple terms like RV parking and boat storage

Be specific with your keyword targeting. This process is very different from using keywords in your content - local landmarks and geographical markers can be great for your content, but with ads, you need to find people looking to rent storage space immediately.

3. Use a Strong Call-to-Action

A call-to-action is a marketing strategy that urges your reader to take the next step in the customer journey. Thousands of permutations exist - everything from “Click Here!” to “Improve your business with our free trial” can give your reader an idea of what to do next.

For self storage, focus on simple calls-to-action in your PPC ads. “Rent online” or “Move in with no long-term commitment” are simple, direct, and effective.

If you have a particular discount or deal that your tenants love, highlight it here! Your ad will be showcased alongside several others targeting the same keyword, so you need to give searchers a reason to click yours instead of someone else’s.

4. Check Out the Competition

Having a hard time writing the ads? See what the big players are doing!

The REITs have gigantic marketing teams cranking out ads that will get clicks - you can simply browse around and imitate what they’re doing.

That’s not to say you should copy them verbatim - but you can see what they’re targeting and try to do them one better! If they’re offering a free month-after-a-year rental, advertise your free 7th-month deal.

You don’t have to have a research department to capture your share of potential renters. You can offer better rates, better amenities, or better branding, all without needing to drop five figures on marketing.

5. Link to Your Google Business Profile

Be sure you link your ad campaign to your Google Business Profile!

Connecting the two will enable your ads to show up on local searches and Google Maps, instead of only on browser searches. Local searches are very likely to result in a purchase that same day, so getting your business in front of local searchers is vital.

A complete GBP is one of the best marketing assets a local business can have. If your GBP is filled out, accurate, and hosts a large number of good reviews, that might be all you need to generate online demand.

Check out StoragePug’s Google Business Profile Playbook to see how you can optimize your listing and get in front of your customers.

Bonus Tip: Take Advantage of Extensions!

Google offers “extensions” to your ads that will give your potential customers more information. Research shows that ads with extensions get higher click-through rates, which means more rentals.

Location extensions highlight your address, a map to your location, or the distance between the searcher and your business.

Callout extensions let you highlight a specific deal, service, or specialty. These can help you differentiate yourself from the competition and bring customers that are ready to purchase, rather than those that are just browsing.

Structured snippet extensions are longer than callout snippets and show up like Google’s featured snippets. These capture a huge amount of traffic, so if you can generate a featured snippet, you absolutely should. 

These are only three of the extensions you can add to your ads. Google offers many more ways to enrich your ad campaign, and you should take advantage of all of them! Lots of them can even be automatically generated by Google if your ad campaign is attached to other Google features.

To read more about my favorite StoragePug features, take a look at:

StoragePug is a modern marketing company for self storage. We create intelligent marketing websites that allow you to rent units & take payments through your facilities' website.

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