Self-Storage SEO: Taking Control of Your Google Business Profile
- Setting Up Your Google Business Profile For Your Self-Storage Business
- Optimizing Your Google Business Profile for Self-Storage
- Increasing Engagement on Your Self-Storage Google Business Profile
- Maintaining Your Google Business Profile
- Making the Most of Your Self-Storage GBP
In case you missed the memo, Google My Business is now called Google Business Profile—and it is still as important to promoting your self-storage business as it ever was.
It’s important because these listings appear in Google Maps and Google Search.Your Google Business Profile is often the first thing a potential customer sees when searching online for the term self-storage.
Optimizing your Google Business Profile used to consist of completing it with your phone number, physical address, operating hours, business description and some photos and that was it. Google has since added features that enables operators to further optimize their listings by engaging with their customers.
Storable SEO research found that well-optimized listings, meaning everything listed below is optimized, have a 70% better chance of being found in discovery searches compared with under-optimized listings. Storable also found that self-storage operators with optimized GBP pages generated twice as many customer interactions.
Here is an example of monthly performance for a self-storage facility with a fully optimized Google Business Profile:
And here is how that compares to a storage facility in the same market that has an under optimized GBP:
In this post, we’ll walk through the basics of setting up Google Business Profiles for your self-storage facilities as well as ways to optimize them to increase discoverability and clicks.
When filling in the basic information about your self-storage facility, remember to be accurate and consistent. Inaccuracies and inconsistencies confuse visitors as well as Google itself. If the algorithm doesn’t understand your information it will trust it less and be less likely to recommend it to people searching for self-storage in your area.
Have the following information handy when filling in the Google Business Profile page for your self-storage business:
- Business name
- Primary Phone
- Business hours
- Access hours
When entering your business name, input the official business name of your storage facility exactly as it is written. Do not add additional keywords or phrases, as this will impair discoverability.
When adding the website to your Google Business Profile be sure to use a link that goes to that location’s specific landing page on your website, not your homepage.
Doing this should improve conversions if you offer online rentals, as users are taken directly into the transaction. Linking to your homepage creates a frustrating user experience in which the visitor has to search all over again on your website to find the specific location they want to rent from.
Be sure to set up your Primary and Secondary categories correctly as well. Since your primary business is self-storage, Self-Storage Facility is the recommended primary category for you to choose. This will help ensure that your profile is highly discoverable when customers in your area search terms like “self-storage” or “self-storage near me.”
The secondary category is your chance to appear in more relevant results by highlighting other servers you offer. Common secondary category options for self-storage facilities include:
- Storage Facility
- Automobile storage facility
- RV storage facility
- Boat storage facility
- Wine storage facility
- Moving supplies store
Select secondary categories that specifically represent the main core of your business, which is self-storage. Selecting categories that don’t serve as the core of your business, but more as an amenity, could violate Google’s Quality Guidelines and lead to your listing becoming suspended.
Too many businesses make the mistake of leaving the business description blank. This is your chance to tell your story to potential customers. Why should a storage shopper choose your facility over any other? Here’s your chance to answer.
Once you have the basics down, you can now move on to fully-optimizing your Google Business Profile to make it more discoverable and more likely a potential customer will engage with it.
As an operator, you know your products, services and prices best, so list those on your Google Business Profile. Be sure to include descriptions of each product and service, an image and link to your website. It is also important that you keep this updated and that you don’t list products, services, or prices that can’t be verified.
For example, you could list the different types (climate-controlled vs non-climate units) and sizes of storage units you have as products. If you offer different types of boat or RV parking you can list these as well. Having theses on your Google Business Profile can quickly signal to consumers that you have what they are looking for.
See below for a good example of using the Products section to the fullest:
Google provides different experiences for mobile and desktop users. Services and products are listed when viewing your GBP on mobile, while desktop users will see only products displayed. As mobile is responsible for a large portion of GBP traffic, it is important to fill out both sections to get the most out of every visit to your GBP.
See below how Products and Services are displayed on a mobile device:
Having clear, quality images of your self-storage facility posted to your Google Business Profile is essential to quickly gaining the trust of consumers. According to search marketing firm, Blend, businesses with photos receive 42% more requests for driving directions than those that didn’t. Profiles with photos also had 35% more click-throughs.
To showcase your self-storage facility to the fullest, be sure to include a photo of the facility as seen from the road, a close up of any major signage, inside your rental office, inside a corridor and a self-storage unit.
Google Business Profile pages provide several tools that allow you to engage directly with potential customers. Perhaps the most powerful of them are reviews.
Reviews are an integral part of your self-storage Google Business Profile. Having reviews helps legitimize your business in the eyes of those searching for available storage units. It may also directly influence their final purchasing decision.
To generate reviews, ask every customer to leave you one. One way to do this is to request that customers leave you a review by sending them an SMS or email with a link to your Google Business Profile.
Just as getting new reviews is crucial to your business, so is responding to all reviews left on your GBP.
When responding to reviews, keep your responses as unique and natural-sounding as possible. Templated responses appear robotic and don’t give off a good customer service vibe that attracts customers. Try not to take the negative reviews too personally. Respond to the negative reviews and offer to connect with that customer to find out if there is anything you can do to make their negative experience better for them. Acknowledging the customer goes a long way.
Posts are a great way to share more information about your business with potential customers on an ongoing basis. With posts, you can announce current offers and promotions such as a Back to School discount in September, as well any community events you might be hosting. Posts allow you to include a call-to-action button, which creates another click opportunity for the viewer to interact with.
Adding new posts adds to the content of the page and gives the user another reason to spend more time on your profile, and the more time they spend the more likely they are to convert. But if your posts come across as spammy or irrelevant it could backfire, so be sure to put some thought into your content and tone before you post.
The Q&A section is another valuable engagement tool that allows Google users to post a question about your business. Any Google user can post an answer, including you the business owner. Answering questions quickly is a great way to provide accurate information and control the conversation. When new questions are submitted, the account manager of the business profile is notified by email.
Keep responses short and concise, and avoid adding in any kind of sales pitch. Just stick to the facts. Since anyone can provide answers to Q&A questions, remember to report any that are false, rude or offensive to have them removed.
You can also submit your own questions and provide responses to them. This way you do not have to wait for users to submit questions in order to populate this part of your profile. Provide answers to common questions to convey additional information about your business potential customers might find useful such as “Do you provide climate-controlled units?” or “Can you rent a unit online?”
You have the option to receive quote requests and send messages to Google users interacting with your Google Business Profile. Messages can be sent via text or email. Enabling this feature can help you generate leads and encourage customers to interact with you, but be prepared to have someone on staff that will respond quickly.
The longer a customer has to wait for a response the likelihood that you will win their business decreases. If you can’t make that commitment, it is best to turn this feature off.
With your Google Business Profile set up properly, you should attract more Google users to your business. Google provides data Insights that allow you to track the performance of profiles for each storage facility you manage. Here you can see how many users clicked on your phone number to call your facility, the number of direction requests, search queries that users inputted to find your profile and many other data points.
It is important to maintain your profile and make updates if there are any changes, such as new operating hours. Make working your GBP listing a weekly task so that you can stay on top of reviews, posting, and keeping your services, products and basic information accurate.
Google Business Profiles are a tremendously valuable marketing tool, especially considering they are completely free to use. With a little effort, you can maximize the impact of each self-storage facility GBP you manage. Boosting the discoverability of these pages and tracking their performance should be an important part of your overall SEO strategy.
Your GBP is your opportunity to make a great first impression with customers. By making your GBP an in-house task to provide the best first impression and customer experience possible, you’ll show potential customers that you are the best storage solution for them.
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