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June 7, 2023
Rebranding can be scary.
It’s expensive to update the facility for your rebrand. It usually requires a new paint job, updated signage, and even changes to documentation.
At least online rebranding is easy since you can change the name on your website for free, right? Well, not really.
There’s even more to rebranding a facility than you might think! Whether you’re taking over an existing facility and changing the brand or you’re just trying to rebrand a facility you already owned, there are angles you may be missing.
Let’s take a look at some of what you should know!
Here are the basic steps to take on the digital side when rebranding your storage facility:
Each of these steps can be a bit more complex than they seem when taken at face value. There are considerations to make at each stage, and you’ll have choices to make depending on the state of your business.
Make sure to read on for some guidance on each step of your digital rebranding so you know what to do when rebranding a storage facility.
One of the first things to do when you’re rebranding is to decide what to do about the Google Business Profile.
It’s entirely possible to keep the old GBP. These profiles are typically tied to the address of the business, and so long as the business is performing the same service—which your storage facility will be—there are many benefits to keeping (and renaming) the old one.
That doesn’t mean there is never a time you want to start a new one, though!
Here are two scenarios to consider:
Scenario 1: The existing Google Business Profile is in great standing, with good reviews and a decent local pack ranking.
In scenarios similar to this one, it’s important to keep the old GBP in place. This profile has already built up credibility on Google. It has reviews, and they’re generally good ones, so it looks more attractive to customers.
Scenario 2: The existing GBP is in a bad state, with no reviews or very bad reviews.
It may be better to mark this old business as permanently closed and then create and get verified an entirely new profile. If you’re going through an actual rebrand and changing the legal name of your business, it’s acceptable to mark the old business as closed and make a whole new GBP associated with that address (and the new business name).
In this way, you can discard the bad reviews and start with a clean slate.
Regardless of which choice you make, you must be sure that the GBP you intend to use has accurate information.
This means the name, phone number, website URL, hours, and all other information that may have changed with the rebrand are updated for accuracy.
A new name usually means a new domain name.
Put simply, your website’s domain name is usually what comes between the www and the dot com. It’s what identifies all pages on the site as belonging to the same site—or rather, to the same domain.
Usually, people use a domain name that is somehow related to their business’s branding. Crazy Joe Storage might use a domain like “crazyjoeselfstorage.com.” If you are rebranding Crazy Joe to “Chattanooga’s Best Climate Storage,” you probably don’t want to keep the old domain name.
But what if Crazy Joe Storage actually used the domain name “selfstorageinchattanooga.com”?
In this scenario, the domain name isn’t tied to the old branding. It’s entirely possible for you to make use of the old domain name in a situation like this one!
There’s something else you should know about changing your domain name.
If you change the website’s domain name, Google will basically consider it an entirely new site. Because of this, the ranking on search result pages will change.
Google can take months to figure out how to properly rank a website.
Organic Traffic from a StoragePug Blog Post
Here’s an example of one of our blog posts. It was posted in February of 2022. It saw very little traffic due to poor ranking for upwards of seven months before Google started to increase its ranking.
We didn’t change anything about this blog post during that time. It just took Google that long to figure out what it was about and how to rank it.
If you change your domain name, be prepared for it to take months before Google settles on a ranking for your website.
Online citations are typically associated with a business’s address.
Citations are what we call your listings on online directories like Yelp, YellowPage.com, and even things like Facebook or Bing. Google Business Profile is technically a citation, too, but we talk about it as its own entity due to its importance.
These citations are important for a few reasons. First, they can help you appear more often in search results. Second, it’s another avenue a customer might discover your business.
And third, Google looks at the consistency of information regarding your business when it determines your search ranking.
If there are a few dozen citations for your business with the wrong information, Google might not feel confident pushing it in front of Google’s users. While having no other citations won’t always be a problem, having many bad citations is a problem.
There are many different tools you can use to check your self storage facility’s citations. Here are a few popular ones:
Some tools require premium memberships. Some have free versions that will get the job done. Whether you pay for the service or make use of a free tool, you should at least give a cursory glance at the existing citations and make sure to update the business name, address, phone number, website URL, and other relevant information on all pre-existing listings.
If you’re keeping the existing Google Business Profile, you should already know that you need to update the name and other information accordingly.
There’s one other thing you need to take care of, though: old reviews.
The fact you’re keeping the old GBP may mean it’s got great reviews. That’s awesome! But what if there are some negative reviews in the mix? Or what if there are many reviews that just haven’t been responded to at all, good or bad?
As part of your rebranding, you should make an effort to go back and respond to reviews from before the rebrand. This is especially true if management is changing.
By responding to these old reviews, you do three things simultaneously:
Just because the reviews are associated with the old brand doesn’t mean they’re not your responsibility. Whether you’re taking over a facility and rebranding it or you’re just rebranding your own self storage facility, customers won’t really care.
Your customers aren’t going to go through the trouble of understanding that you’ve rebranded, that management may have changed, and that things might be different now. They won’t excuse the old reviews just because they were for the old brand.
Good photos are essential for your only presence.
Without photos, customers that find you online won’t know what to expect. If they compare two facilities—one with great photos and one with no photos—they’ll likely trust the one with good photos more.
Your storage facility might blow the other one out of the water in every other way, but what’s the point if your customers can’t see that?
One way to confuse and potentially lose customers is to have photos of an old storage brand on your website or Google Business Profile. This is why you need to make sure you purge any old photos where possible and post updated photos!
Here are some tips:
When we talk about basic photos that might be missing, this means photos that show off things customers may want to see to make a purchasing decision.
The insides of a storage unit, a perspective of the corridors and drive aisles, shots of the security cameras, a photo of the gate, shots of the office interior, and other important locations or amenities.
There are many other photos you can include, but these ones (along with the others from the list above) are the most critical to include.
Rebranding can take a lot of time. Depending on your pace and individual needs, it could take months.
Once you’ve done the work, make sure to go back through and double-check everything! The last thing you want is to go through all of this work and find out that some of the information is actually inaccurate.
Maybe you ended up changing phone numbers halfway through the process due to the call tracking you’ve set up. Now, you need to go make sure you have the right number down on any listings! Or maybe you’ve opted for a different domain name than you originally planned, so now that information may not be correct on your GBP or other citations.
If you’re going to take the time and pay the money to rebrand a self storage facility, you should make sure to get it all right from the beginning. Doing so will set you up for long-term success!
Want to see more interesting self storage information and guides? Check out some of these posts: