Why Hundreds of Google Reviews Aren’t Enough

April 23, 2024

hands holding a cellphone that is displaying google reviews for self storage facilities
5 min

So, your self storage facility has 200 Google reviews. Or maybe it has 300. 500?

You implemented this amazing program to get reviews. You made sure to ask every single customer. You’ve got more than any other competitor in your area, and you’re sitting at a nice 4.5 to 5.0 rating, too!

That’s not enough.

Getting a ton of reviews isn’t a silver bullet for your local ranking efforts.

More importantly, getting more reviews than all of your competitors isn’t a set-it-and-forget-it strategy. It’s not like you’ve succeeded and can retire your review initiatives once you have more than the competition. Don't stop getting reviews just because you're on top!

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Even once you have those reviews, you still need to keep getting them to maintain good review recency.

What is Review Recency?
The name kind of says it all! How recently did you get your latest reviews? It also goes hand-in-hand with review frequency, as in how frequently you get reviews.

If you work hard to get lots of great reviews and then stop your efforts once you’re on top, well, you may have just thrown out all of that work.

How Often Do I Need Google Reviews?

There is no one-size-fits-all answer for how often you should be receiving Google reviews.

For this reason, the best choice is just to try to get reviews as often as possible.

For some of you, that answer isn’t good enough. Maybe it’s even anxiety-inducing. After all, without a target to reach for, how do you measure your effectiveness? Well, here’s a tip for how to judge how well you’re doing in review recency:

You should be getting reviews at least as frequently as your competitors.

That’s it! That’s why there’s no single answer that fits for every self storage facility. If your market is full of facilities that barely get a review every few months, then just getting one review a month is enough to boost your review recency to the top! But if you have competitors getting, say, two reviews a month? You better aim to get at least that many each month, too.

1-page google business profile guide for self storage facilities

How to determine your review frequency needs

The best way to ensure you’ve got good review recency is to focus on review frequency.

Instead of worrying about if you have the newest reviews in your market, focus on getting reviews as frequently as competitors do. Here are some simple steps if you’re not super familiar with navigating the local pack:

  1. Pull up Google Maps and search for storage in your market. Keep in mind that you want to be searching from physically near your facility. It’s best if you actually travel to a specific neighborhood or area you want to rank for and search from there.
  2. Select the GBP listing for your top competitor. Whether they’re beating you or you’re just worried they might start to, you may as well start at the top of the list of competition.
  3. Select Reviews, Sort, and then Newest. This will put the newest reviews at the top of the list.
  4. Note down how many reviews they got each month for the last 6 months. It’s likely they won’t have the same number of reviews for each month, but jot them all down to get a sense of how many a month they get on average.
  5. Repeat the process for all other competitors. If you’re concerned about them as a competitor or if they are ahead of you at all on local rankings, repeat this process for their GBP listing.

Once you have all of this taken down, you can compare and see how you stand versus your local competition.

This will help you choose a benchmark for your own review-gaining efforts.

Does Review Recency Really Matter?

Like many SEO topics, the exact impact of review recency might seem hazy. Hard to really quantify.

But does review recency really matter?


In a case study shared by local SEO agency SterlingSky, the company’s client saw a drop in local rankings that correlated with them halting their review incentives program. When the client resumed the incentive program and started getting reviews again, their rankings improved once more.

Here’s a snapshot of how their client’s rankings improved over three months once they resumed their review incentives program. Note: red = bad, green = good.

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And this is just one example from across the SEO world. SterlingSky themselves have had numerous clients with this same experience.

That's not even mentioning all the other SEO experts who can back it up, too. And it's also in addition to how much a Google review is actually worth to your business.

While no one can say for sure how much weight a given ranking factor really has when it comes to optimizing for Google (or any other search engine, for that matter), it’s now pretty widely accepted by local SEO experts that the recency of your Google reviews is a Google Business Profile local pack ranking factor.

How to Get Frequent Reviews for Your Self Storage Facility

The best way to get more reviews for your storage facility is to ask.

In many cases, just asking a customer in the right way at the right time is all you need to do.

IMPORTANT: Do not incentivize customers to leave reviews. Google does not allow this (for good reason).

While you can’t incentivize customers to leave reviews, you can incentivize your team. If you’re an owner with managers who work under you, there are some things you can do to encourage them to get more reviews via an incentive program:

  • Hold a reviews-gathering competition. If you have multiple managers, hold a competition! This post has a video by our very own Tommy Nguyen talking details.
  • Have a reviews lottery. Every time a manager gets a review with their name in it, it’s a chance to draw a prize from the jar. This could be gift cards of varying amounts, for example.
  • Give bonuses based on reviews. Bonuses for managers aren’t uncommon. Why not tie part of their bonus to how many reviews they can get for your facility?

In addition to these programs, it could help to have your managers brush up on their self storage sales skills. The comfort they gain on sales calls will make asking for that review even easier!

Sales shouldn't be scary! Learn what to do and how to do it here.


So, does having lots of Google reviews matter? Yes.

Should you stop worrying about getting reviews once you have hundreds? No.

If you want the best chance to rank in your market’s local pack results, make sure you’re also continuing to get reviews to maintain your review recency.

How frequently you need reviews depends entirely on your market and the competition within it. Try to beat how frequently your competition gets Google reviews if you’re struggling against them, and try to at least match it if you’re already beating them.

Here are some of my other favorite posts 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.

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