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January 8, 2019
Search Engine Results are now Locally-Relevant
By now, everyone knows that having an online presence for your business is not enough. It’s vital nowadays your storage facility can be found online.
That means integrating Search Engine Optimization best practices to make sure when people go online to search for a service such as “self-storage facility,” they find your business.
Google is the most powerful search engine on the planet, so ensuring that you appear high on its search results is what matters most. The challenge is that Google is changing its infamous algorithm every day (around 500-600 times a year to be exact) it seems, and it’s also changing the way search results are displayed.
Google is always updating its features and search results to reflect the changing habits of internet searchers. With an abundance of web traffic now coming from mobile devices and not traditional desktop or laptop computers, Google has updated its search results once again to optimize the results for the local user.
The company’s newest search results feature is called the Google 3 Pack. The Google 3 Pack is a search result feature that shows the top three results in a user’s area depending on the specific search.
When people search “self-storage facility” now, they are provided with a list of the top three businesses in their proximity, with the name of the company, the hours of operation, the town where it’s located, the review rating and number of reviews, a listing on a map of where the business is located, and a way to call the facility by pressing a button.
Getting your self storage facility into the Google 3 Pack will have a tremendous value to your business, helping it attract even more customers who are near your facility.
With the quick transition of web traffic moving from a computer to a phone, most people now search the internet for businesses that are relevant to them locally. They want to see search results that give them locations of a store near them, not the corporate webpage of a company they’d have to wade through to find a local facility.
Google responded to these habits of the internet user by creating the Google 3 Pack. That’s why Local SEO has become so important today. It’s more critical nowadays that each of your locations is searchable than it is for your corporate website.
People want search results that are locally-relevant to them. 85% of all multi-location brand-consumer engagement happens on local pages and not a company’s corporate website.
Studies have shown that searchers find organic search results more trustworthy than ads or other search engine results pages. So with the Google 3 Pack, searchers will get nothing but organic results, as it is based on relevance by location.
A few years ago, when it was called the Google 7 Pack, with seven results instead of three, the search results used to list a business’ exact location along with its other contact information. The change to the Google 3 Pack has removed the correct address, but it has added the feature that these businesses will now be listed on a Google map displayed above the list.
This is an excellent feature for your business, as more searchers will now navigate to the map view to see exactly where your facility is located to where they are or to another location they know.
One of the great things about the Google 3 Pack is that you will only be fighting for positioning with other businesses in your local area. This means you’ll compete with other self-storage facilities that have locations in your general region. One of the downsides to this, though, is that you will have to optimize this for each of your locations so that each facility can rank in the Google 3 Pack for its area.
At StoragePug we take extra time to ensure each location shows up the best for the Google 3 Pack.
There are a few steps you can take to help your business rank in the Google 3 Pack.
The Google My Business Page is a way for you to list your local business online by including your address, phone number, images and other information such as hours of operation. You can add a unique description of your business, upload a high-resolution photo and choose a category for your business. Google will pull the information from for its Google 3 Pack results. That’s why it’s essential all this information is filled out accurately.
The more positive reviews you have online, the better for your business. It's crucial that you are getting reviews on Google and not just on your website. More reviews help in both building trust in your business but also in building trust with Google.
The Google 3 Pack will pull the most relevant companies in a particular search for a location and also based on which businesses have the best reviews. This way, the user is given the most relevant search results.
It’s also essential that each separate website or page that you have for each of your locations is optimized. It’s vital that each of these pages integrates the city and region for each location in the title tag, H1 tag, page URL, page content and image ALT attributes. It would also be great to embed a Google map with your business marker into your landing page.
This includes just about any platform you can get on to help your business. For self-storage facilities, the top platforms would be Google, Facebook, and Instagram, although you may be able to find a way to integrate content on Twitter as well. The more significant presence you have on social media, the more relevant you’ll be to search engine results.
The more that other websites link to your page, the better. This helps boost your organic SEO. You can’t force other sites to link to you, but you can motivate them to do so by becoming involved in your community. If you sponsor local events or nonprofits or if you join a business organization, they’re likely to thank you by linking to your page.
Approaching the online presence of your self-storage facility on a location-by-location basis will help you consistently rank in the Google 3 Pack. As your facility becomes more locally relevant online, it’ll reap the benefits and rewards with more customers coming through your door.
To read more about my favorite StoragePug features, take a look at: