[BASICS] Google Business Profile for Self Storage

December 5, 2023

self storage google business profiles on cellphone
6 min

Having a Google Business Profile set up and optimized is the digital equivalent of having good signage at your storage facility.

For many customers, your Google Business Profile may be the only thing they see before choosing whether or not to rent from your facility. It's a crucial part of your self storage marketing.

Thankfully, setting up a Business Profile on Google is easier and more affordable (hint: it’s free!) than getting signage!

This article covers the absolute basics of your Google Business Profile, including what it is, why it matters, and how to set it up.

What is Google Business Profile?

Google Business Profile (or GBP) is a local listings service provided by Google.

GBP helps local businesses connect with customers, and it circumvents the normal ranking on the Google results page. It's an essential part of modern self storage SEO.

In fact, for local businesses, GBP levels the playing field against large chains.

You may know Google Business Profile by some other names:

  • Local Business Center
  • Google Places
  • Google+ Local
  • Google My Business

They’re essentially all the same tool that has evolved over time to what is today Google Business Profile.

BASICS of Google Business Profile for Self Storage3

When searching on Google, business profile listings appear ABOVE the normal website rankings. These Business Profiles also appear in Google Maps searches, unlike normal website results.

What Does a Google Business Profile Include?

Your GBP listing includes some essential business information that customers need to know, especially for a self storage facility. It also includes sections for you to add more detailed information, product listings, and more.

Maximize your online exposure and get more leads by optimizing your Google  Business Profile listing. Get our free Playbook!

Here’s a quick run-down of what you can include on your GBP:

  • Business name
  • Address
  • Phone number
  • Access hours
  • Office hours
  • Photos & videos
  • Products
  • Services
  • Languages spoken
  • Tags such as veteran or women-owned
  • Questions & answers

This list is changing all the time, with Google adding new ways to communicate aspects of your business with potential customers.

One other important part of Google Business Profiles is the Reviews section.

Customers can leave reviews on your profile and even upload images themselves. You can (and should) then respond to reviews, even the bad ones!

Why GBP is Critical for Self Storage Facilities

Would it shock you to know that almost half of your customers are finding you online first?

Here are some quick stats from the 2023 Self Storage Association Demand Study:

  1. A whopping 41% of renters find a facility through the internet.
  2. 24% come specifically through Google and online reviews (which Google facilitates).
  3. 30% find storage by driving past a facility

By following that data, you can see that Google is as important as having a sign at your storage facility!

Google—including GBP—brings in more self storage customers than flyers, phone books, billboards, social media, and aggregators combined (which come to only %17).

BASICS of Google Business Profile for Self Storage4

If that’s not enough to convince you your Google Business Profile is a critical (and FREE!) part of your marketing, here’s another point to chew on:

In local GBP results, small storage facilities can outrank large national chains (like the REITs).

A Good GBP is Better Than Rank 1

Rank 1 on Google is the most important digital marketing goal, right?

Well… Maybe not always.

You’ve heard it at seminars. You read it on another blog. Maybe you even paid a marketing firm hundreds of dollars (or more) each month to make progress toward reaching it.

BASICS of Google Business Profile for Self Storage5

What if I told you that getting rank 1 on Google’s organic search results wasn’t as important as you've heard?

Does rank 1 bring in more clicks? It does, there’s no doubt.

But does rank 1 bring in the most clicks? Is it essential for hitting your rental goals? Is it more important than rentals in general?

The answer to each of these questions is absolutely not.

Here are three things that matter more and are more easily attainable than organic rank 1:

  • Your Google Business Profile
  • Google Ads in highly competitive markets
  • Actual rentals and rentals-per-month goals

google business profile how to guide

Sometimes, operators get so caught up in their website ranking that they ignore the fact they’re getting rentals and are nearly full!

So, why is an optimized GBP a better goal than Rank 1?

  1. GBP results show up ABOVE the rank 1 website
  2. GBP results get more clicks during local searches
  3. Local profile rankings prioritize factors where you can compete with big players
  4. Organic (website) rankings prioritize large websites such as aggregators and REITs
  5. GBP results will show up based on proximity, which is a top driver of rentals
  6. It’s FREE and easy to do!

Most SEO advice out there is geared towards websites that want to reach national (or international) audiences. This is why they prioritize organic rank 1 positioning.

This isn’t true for self storage, which is a hyper-local industry!

Google Results Page Breakdown

Let’s take a quick look at where Google Business Profiles appear on the search results page.

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As you can see in this image, the GBP results appear below Ads and above website listings. This is what we call the Local Pack.

The image also shows the breakdown of clicks on the results page:

  1. Google Business Profiles: 42%
  2. Ads: 31%
  3. Organic Web Listings: 27%

How to Set Up GBP for Self Storage

Thankfully, setting up a Google Business Profile is free and easy.

Here’s how to create a profile from scratch:

  1. Sign in to the relevant Google account
  2. Navigate to Google Maps (google.com/maps)
  3. Search for your business address
  4. Click on “Add your business”
  5. Enter your business name on the new page and click “Continue”
  6. Follow the prompts Google provides to set up your profile

In some cases, you may find that your business is already listed on Google, but you don’t own the profile.

If this happens to you, you can click on “Claim this business” to take over ownership of the profile.

What Now?

You know what Google Business Profile is, why it’s important, and how to set it up.

The only thing left is to make it the best it can be and start obtaining those rentals!

You can grab our Google Business Profile Playbook for more details and to help make your self storage GBP the best it can be!

Here are some of my other favorites to check out!

At StoragePug, we build self storage websites that make it easy for new customers to find you and easy for them to rent from you.

Want to Become a Google Business Profile Pro?

Grab the Playbook below to get even more detail and to take your profile to 150%!

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