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How to Use Online Ads to Drive Self Storage Rentals

May 5, 2021

4 min

When looking for a self storage facility, most people begin by searching the Internet. They will also probably use Google, which has a 92% share of the global search engine market. 

After entering their search query (such as “storage near me” or “RV storage in Denver”), the first thing they will see on the Search Engine Results Pages (SERP) is the ads at the top of the page.

These ads are typically followed by the Google 3-Pack (a list of three local businesses with locations shown on a map). Finally, users will see the organic (unpaid) search results.

To be at the very top of the SERP, your storage facility needs to venture into the world of self storage online ads and pay-per-click (PPC) advertising.

What Is Pay-Per-Click (PPC) Advertising?

As the name implies, PPC advertising is an online advertising model in which advertisers pay each time a user clicks on their online ad. Although there are different kinds of PPC ads, the most common is the paid search ad—the ads that appear when people search for something. 

For self storage online ads, paid search ads are the most effective type of online ad because they can be hyperlocal—a key element for self storage facilities whose clients are usually located within a few miles of their facility.

In addition to paid search ads on Google, Facebook ads also allow your self storage facility to target very specific groups of people in your local area who might be in the market for self storage—including people who have recently moved, students, or people undergoing lifestyle changes.

Where To Advertise Self Storage Units Online

The two best places for advertising storage units online are Google paid search ads (using the Google Ads platform) and Facebook ads. 

Google Ads is one of the best places to use your online advertising dollars because Google is the most used search engine in the world. Although Microsoft Advertising (formerly Bing Ads) and Yahoo also accept paid search ads, they are not as widely used as Google.

As with search engines, there are many social media platforms. However, Facebook is the largest—with more than two billion people using it every month. It is also one of the more affordable social media platforms for advertising, with an average cost per impression of $1.54 (compared to $12.16 for Twitter).  

Both Google Ads and Facebook Ads offer ad management platforms designed to let small businesses easily create and manage their online advertising campaigns. However, some self storage facilities choose to use self storage marketing companies to manage their online advertising efforts. Depending on your staffing and comfort level with online marketing, this may be a viable alternative for your facility.

Tips for Using Google Ads for Self Storage Online Ads

The Google Ads platform will walk you through the process of creating your ad—from choosing the geographic area you want to target to the keywords you should use. (Be sure to use the Google Keyword Planner) Here are some tips for maximizing the process:

  • Use location targeting to choose the area around your self storage facility. Most self storage customers are located within a few miles of a facility. You’ll want to figure out which radius is most effective.
  • Use negative keywords to prevent your ads from showing up in searches that aren’t relevant. Negative keywords let you exclude search terms from your ad campaigns.  “Storage” is a broad concept. Thus, you don’t want your ad to show up in searches for “cloud storage.” Therefore, “cloud storage” or “storage containers” are negative keywords to include in your ad campaigns.
  • Use ad extensions. Ad extensions are extra pieces of information you can show with your ad. Ad extensions to consider include site links (links to pages on your website), callouts (text about your business), locations (shows your address), and call (shows your phone number). Be sure to link these extensions to your Google My Business listing. 
  • Test your ad copy. One advantage of paid search ads is that you can easily try different phrases or wording to see which is most effective. Try out different headlines and ad copy to see what your area resonates with.
  • Ensure your landing page relates to your ad. The landing page is where potential customers go after clicking on your ad. Make sure this page closely ties into the information in your ad and has several calls to action (CTAs)—such as “Rent a storage unit.” 
  • Measure results. Google provides metrics for tracking the effectiveness of your ad campaigns. Pay particular attention to impressions (how many times your ad is seen in a search), clicks (how often someone clicked on your ad), conversions (how often someone responded to a CTA once they landed on your website), and spend (how much you spent each month).

Finally, just because you set up a Google Ad doesn’t mean it will appear each time someone searches for your keywords. If your competitors are also using the same keywords, you’ll be bidding against them to have your ad appear.

This is because every time a search is entered into Google, it triggers an auction to determine which paid search ads are displayed. The ads that appear are based on three factors: bid amount (how much you’re willing to pay), quality score (how relevant your ad and landing page are compared to other advertisers), and ad extensions. 

Facebook Ads operate similarly to Google Ads, but you’ll be able to target very specific groups of people depending on what you want to promote. For example, if you’re running a special on boat storage, you can target people near your facility who are connected to the Facebook pages of boat dealers or boat suppliers in your area. 


Using pay-per-click advertising on platforms such as Google and Facebook can be an effective way to drive more traffic to your website—thereby increasing your online rentals. Because each campaign can be easily customized, you’ll be able to adjust each campaign until you find one that works effectively for your facility.

Because you only pay when someone clicks on your ad, you’ll be able to keep adjusting your ad campaigns until they get results for you.

However, once customers are clicking on your ad, you’ll want to ensure that your website loads quickly, contains clear CTAs, and provides visitors with information relevant to the ad that brought them to your site.

Download our free eBook here to learn how to convert web traffic into rentals  >>

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