SEO

Self Storage SEO Guide: 8 Steps To The Top of Google 2021

Marvin Magusara

Marvin has over 7 years of experience working with some of the largest global brands and digital agencies. Despite his vast experience, Marvin is still obsessed with learning and testing SEO theories to stay ahead of the curve.

Self Storage SEO Guide: 8 Steps To The Top of Google


Furthermore, the U.K. makes up around 43% of the European self-storage market and has the most storage per person of any country in Europe. The report estimates there are now just shy of 2,000 self-storage 'stores' in the U.K. (1,997) operated by 998 brands in total. This amounts to 50.5 million square foot of storage space, or 0.74 square foot per head of population.  (Cushman & Wakefield)


This guide will discuss the specifics of self storage SEO from the perspective of the SEO experts themselves.

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What is Self Storage SEO?


Self Storage SEO is the extensive process of improving a self-storage facility's website's on-site and off-site signals to increase online visibility for relevant searches. Increased online rankings on the Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs) allows self-storage facilities to fill their empty units, raise their prices and expand their business while establishing themselves as the leading authority figure in the industry.


Search Engine Optimization Crash Course


Search Engines such as GoogleYahooYandex, and Bing use bots to crawl through the billions of pages on the Web. These bots "read" each page and sort them in an index where complex algorithms determine the page order after a query is made in the engine. Currently, Google's algorithm uses over 200+ ranking factors to classify each website and match the query's relevancy correctly. If we factor in the RankBrain AI and account for personalized search results, it's well over that.


To put it simply, SEO is the process of optimizing a website to ace Google's checklist of what a perfect site should be. The higher you score with Google, the higher your rank becomes. Every SEO specialist strives for their website to reach the top of the first page and subsequently rank as the top site of specific keywords. Some of these keywords include "cheap self storage U.K." and "self storage London." 


Why is SEO important for self storage facilities?


No one can deny that the self storage industry is growing. According to Sparefoot's Self Storage Industry Snapshot, there are over 49,000 storage facilities in the U.S., with an annual industry revenue of $39.5 billion and 10.6% of households that rent a self-storage unit.


If you own a storage company, this means that whilst there is great demand for self-storage, there is also great competition. To get an edge, you need to invest in an effective SEO strategy to improve your online visibility. Every time a user searches for "storage unit near me" or any related keyword in your city, your storage facility should be right at the top, ahead of your competitors.


Still not convinced? Read our case study on how we achieved #1 rankings in over 300 cities in the U.K. Through white hat link building, content marketing, extensive technical and On-page Optimization, WhatStorage saw an increase of over 30,000 organic traffic and thousands of qualified leads per month.


With nearly 40,000 storage facilities operating in the U.S., maintaining a top-ranking position for your brand is paramount. Search engines report that 26-32% of people searching on their site click on the first link on SERPs. So just appearing on the first page of the results will do wonders for your organic traffic. Data shows that the average page 2 traffic is a measly 11.96%, meaning that 88.04% of all queries on Google stay on page 1.


SEO vs Traditional Marketing Methods


Most storage facilities still rely on traditional marketing methods such as flyers, billboards, and other print ads. So, we understand if you're somehow apprehensive of SEO. 


However, with everything turning digital, your company must adapt to the virtual landscape. You don't want to end up like past household brand names who are now precautionary tales to businesses adverse to change. Blockbuster and Polaroid are great examples. These giant companies lost their competitive edge because they lacked innovation.


Here are a couple of unique benefits that SEO can provide for your storage facility:


Targeted leads


While a beautifully designed ad in a magazine or billboard will create exposure, most of your viewers may not be interested in a storage service. On the other hand, people typing keywords on a search engine like 'self storage near me' is relevant to your business and can indirectly attract new customers who are actively looking for that service.


You'll Save Money


Traditional advertising can be costly due to its reliance on expensive resources such as printing out flyers or buying billboard space. Website visitors from Google have an average response rate of 15% compared to traditional marketing at just 2%, it becomes apparent that SEO will give significantly higher returns than other forms of advertisement.


Securing your Ranking Position 


SEO is a long-term investment and will take time to see results, but the payoff is greater than traditional methods which provide temporary gain. If you continue to invest your time and resources into SEO, you will maintain your ranking position on SERP above your competitors. 


 

Self Storage SEO Guide from the experts at To The Top…


Invest in Google My Business


Google My Business is a tool from Google that allows site owners to create and manage their business profiles. GMB profiles usually come out in the right column of search results. For instance, if you search "Pizza restaurants near me", you will receive a list of Italian restaurants closest to you. In addition, you will be able to see their business information such as contact number, address, office hours, and even COVID-19 restrictions on the right.


You can see a sample of GMB profiles down here.

(Insert Screenshot here)


Here is a quick guide on how to optimize your Google my Business profile:


Build your GMB page


First, go to Google My Business and click "START NOW" make yourself a cup of tea, or coffee and then complete the following steps:

Keep your business Name, Address, Phone Number (NAP) consistent.

Your Name, Address and Phone Number (NAP) must be consistent across the Web. Inconsistency lowers your 'Trust' score with Google, an integral part of their ranking algorithm.


Business Name


Keep your business name consistent across the Web, including your GMB profile, Yell, Facebook etc. If your business name is "Public Storage", then make sure you stick with that. You can get an edge in ranking by adding the town/city to your GMB name e.g. 'Public Storage - Chicago', but it's a grey area, approach with caution.

Address

Add your actual business address and ensure that this is consistent, especially between the website landing page and the GMB address.


Your address is particularly important because the local rankings are geo-relevant. Users searching near you are more likely to see your listing than Users much further away. 


The businesses nearest to the User gets an extra boost from Google in the rankings. However, the rankings can still be heavily influenced by local Optimization.


Phone Number


Try to use a local number here and keep the format consistent across the Web, especially between your GMB profile and website landing page.

Website URL

If you have one location, link to your homepage. If you have multiple storage facilities, create a GMB profile for each of your facility locations and link that GMB profile to your website's specific location landing page. 

Service Category

The obvious choice here is Self-storage Facility; however, you can add additional sub-categories - among them 'moving and storage'.

Hours of Operation

Add the correct hours of operation. You can add 24/7 as you are more likely to appear on the rankings if you are open at the time of the User's search, but would you really want those phone calls if nobody is going to answer them?

Business Description

Add a 150-300 words description of your business. Try to add your main target keywords and city in there, e.g. 'self storage facility in Chicago'. 


Add Photos


Add real photos of your business, this helps the conversion rate, and it also helps to complete your profile and show the legitimacy of your business. 


I wouldn't bother with tactics such as geo-tagging. I've yet to see a legitimate case study that shows it moves the needle.


Post Updates


Finally, post the latest updates on your business. It helps to keep your business engaged with potential customers, and the activity can also help with the rankings. 

And, that is all. Pretty straightforward?

For a complete guide on ranking your GMB on the local maps pack, check out our Local SEO Guide.


Invest in a Mobile Responsive Website


In 2021, it's not enough that you have a website. It needs to be mobile-friendly and mobile responsive. When someone clicks on your link from the search engine results page, they expect a website that fits well into their mobile screen.


According to the latest studies, over 64% of Google's organic search traffic comes from mobile devices. Based on that, you must create a website that will look nice to a vast percentage of your online traffic. 


A mobile-friendly site is a website where you can read everything clearly, and it fits inside your screen. Nobody likes to scroll left-to-right or zoom in and out just to see the website.


To illustrate, here are screenshots of the same website. If we look at them separately, the second figure does not look promising and may cause you to lose many online visitors.


(Insert Screenshots)


Talk to your web developer to ensure that your website is aesthetically pleasing, even on mobile screens. 


Get Listed on Local Business Listings/Citations


Local SEO is the process of increasing a website's visibility in the organic search results of a specific area. For instance, a storage facility based in Los Angeles would primarily want to appear in the search results of those in L.A. One important step is to ensure you appear on business listings and get cited on business directories.


There are multiple globally recognized business directories such as Yelp, BBB, TripAdvisor, Apple Maps and YellowPages. Getting your website cited on these business directories would exponentially improve your local visibility. 


Check with each directory for the guidelines on how you can list your website.


More important than the authority directories are the self-storage and location-relevant directories. This will help to boost your niche relevance for self-storage, and the local directories will increase your relevance to the location you're trying to rank in. You can find Self Storage citations here and Local directories here.


When creating citations, you need to give consistent business information. These include your physical address, contact number, business hours, products/services provided, and even COVID-19 restrictions. 


You may also provide images like the interior and exterior of your building to help potential customers locate you. If you want to keep it basic, stick with NAP - Name, Address, Phone Number.


For Self Storage facilities, you need to make sure that the physical address is exactly where it is listed online. One of the biggest selling points of self storage is convenience. You want to show prospective customers the correct distance from their house to your facility.


Get Reviews with an Online Reputation Management System


Set up a system to automatically collect positive reviews for your business on the major review platforms, primarily your GMB, Facebook, Yelp and dedicated review sites such as Trustpilot.

Reputation management also includes the monitoring and showcasing of online reviews. Online reviews play a key factor in converting a lead into a customer. Here are some studies that indicate how important having positive online reviews are:


  • 9 in 10 consumers consider an online review as trustworthy for a personal recommendation.
  • 72% of responders said that positive reviews help them trust a local business more.
  • 92% of users do business with local businesses if it has at least a 4-star rating.
  • 72% of consumers only feel compelled to take action once they've read a positive review.


For self storage facilities, offering quality service is the number one step in getting positive online reviews. You can also list your site on online review websites such as Feefo to collect genuine reviews from your customers. 


Using a third-party site will significantly boost the credibility of each review as it's increasingly more challenging to manufacture fake reviews. If you need help with monitoring, getting and showcasing your reviews from multiple platforms, contact us.


Onpage Optimization


Whenever Search Engine Optimization is mentioned, Onpage Optimization always follows. Onpage Optimization is the process of getting the right keywords/terms at the right places on the page to send topical, location and industry relevance to Google. The words in your content help Google define the main topic of your page to match your website with the most relevant searches.


There is plenty of debate on how to optimize your page. The group that says "just write for users and Google will do the rest" vs the group that will correlate the Onpage data of the top competing pages to optimize the page on a more scientific level. 


We believe in both, but since we're focusing on 80/20 here, let's keep it simple. Focus on the top 5 keyword placeholders.


  1. URL
  2. Title Meta Tag
  3. H1
  4. Subheadings (H2-H4)
  5. Content (including image alt tags)



When optimizing your website, don't forget that optimizing for robots and content quality must be given the same attention. Gone are the days when you reach the top results page by spamming your website with as many renditions of the keyword as possible. 


The algorithm has become more intelligent than that. For example, you can't just put "self storage in London" 100 x on your pages. Instead, every keyword has to be inserted naturally, which makes sense to the reader.  


Additionally, you don't want to create a jarring reading experience for your site visitors. Make sure that your content is readable and understandable. We generally use an SEO tool to run an audit of our content. We also optimize the meta titles and meta descriptions to get the most out of our keyword research.


Don't Write For Search Engines

Many SEO agencies will promise you optimized content. However, more often than not, they provide a barely readable article with keywords painstakingly jammed in the middle to please web crawlers. This strategy does not work anymore.


Whenever you write for your website, be it an article or a landing page, you should write for your audience. Google and other search engines have drastically upgraded their semantic search capabilities. Semantic search is the process of A.I. understanding natural language the way a human would through language indicators. Therefore, it plays a big factor in showing relevant search results.


Write as you would typically and sprinkle in the keywords in parts where they can appear, rather than just jamming them in there, hoping that they will work. You can actually hurt your SEO rankings by publishing bad content.


Optimize for the not-so-obvious Keywords


Successful SEO campaigns start with careful keyword research. You want to pick the best keywords high in traffic and low on competition to drive potential customers to your website. 

It's obvious that you'll want to rank for "storage [location]", but is that really the keyword that's driving the most traffic to your website? Unlikely, based on our experience with ranking no.1 for every city in the U.K. for 'storage [location]". 


Keep in mind that Users often use generic terms such as "storage units near me", "self storage". These keywords may look intimidating at first, as it looks like you are competing with every self-storage website in the country, but you're not. Google localizes these keywords, and you are only competing with your local competition for these keywords.


It's no question that search engines are becoming increasingly more intelligent. One of the most convenient innovations of search engines is its voice search function, allowing disabled people or people unable to type to access the internet. A query + near me, for example, is a usual search entry. Google, and other virtual A.I. Assistants like Siri or Cortana, will know what you're pertaining to when you say, "self storage near me" or "storage facility near me." Isn't that nifty?

Of course, you should still be targeting 'storage [location]' as a primary keyword, as well as any other keywords related to your service; business storage, container storage, crate storage, student storage, commercial storage, car storage etc.


Build Editorial Backlinks and Internal Links

Perhaps one of the more challenging parts of SEO is the process of building relevant links to your website. Backlinks, also called inbound links or one-way links, are links from one website to another one. Search engines, especially Google, consider backlinks as "votes" for a page. Simply put, a page with a higher number of backlinks will receive a higher ranking than with a lower number.


There are a ton of link building tactics out there. But let's focus on the 80/20 here and keep it simple. Stick to the methods below to keep your link building campaign efficient and not waste too much time experimenting with different tactics that may or may not work.

Guest Posts and Sponsored Posts

Take your top competitors, plug them into Ahrefs Site Explorer (or any similar tool), navigate backlinks, and filter the links to live, dofollow, content, and DR30+. Export the links, and now you have a list of high-quality websites you can approach to publish a blog post on and get a backlink to your website. 


You can offer them great content for free as an incentive or give them a fee for their time whilst still publishing great content!

Local Community Backlinks

Links should come from websites that are ranking and carry authority. Plus points if they're from the same niche and local community as your business!


Engaging with the businesses around you is always a good thing. However, it is especially more crucial if you own a self storage facility. For one, a great majority of your customers are local businesses --- from that small souvenir shop that needs a place for their stock or the family-run catering business that needs space for their supplies.


So, by communicating with these local businesses, you're hitting two birds with one stone by increasing your SEO ranking and engaging with your community. Not a bad deal at all. 


Take note that local backlinks must be relevant. Here are some common ways to get local community backlinks:


  • Contribute to local business blogs
  • Collaborate on an event with local businesses
  • Provide relevant content in the form of a guest post or sponsored content to their site
  • Issue a press release to local news outlets
  • Sponsor a local school
  • Donate to a local charity
  • Attend local business meetups, think chamber of commerce or BNI.
  • Ask your partners such as Removals, Man and Van, skip hire companies you work with to link back to you.
  • Leave a testimonial on your vendors' websites and ask them to link back to you. Alternatively just ask to be listed on their resources page.


As a self storage facility, you can do X deals with local businesses where they advertise your business, in exchange for you promoting them. Having a mutually beneficial agreement will help both parties in multiple aspects.

Internal Linking

While backlinks help boost the authority of your website/pages and are much harder to get, internal links are entirely within your control and can be used to funnel the link 'juice' to the pages you want to rank. 


Instead of getting too technical with the internal linking, just keep one rule in mind; always take up the opportunity to internally link to any page you want to rank on your site wherever possible. Just make sure always to keep it contextual and relevant.


For your most important landing pages, add the link to your navbar menu and footer so that it gets the link 'juice' from every page on your site; although not as effective as in-content internal links, it's sitewide, so it makes up for the fact that it's not contextual.


Publish Blog Posts


Blogging requires a heavy investment on your part, and it would help if you had a content calendar with a good writer. It's essential that once you start a blog, you need to post relevant content consistently. Startup businesses generally contemplate whether or not they should have a blog section on their site. After all, if it's costly and requires a lot of attention, why bother?


However, if you want to increase visibility, brand authority, and SEO ranking organically and reliably, you need to have a blog site. It is one of the most important ranking factors of SEO. Additionally, a blog is imperative in building the credibility of your company. Here are some reasons why blog posts can be beneficial to your site:


Drive Online Traffic To Your Website

The main objective of having a blog is to improve your SEO ranking. Blog sites allow site owners the convenience to relevantly add optimized content. Therefore, your keyword research should not only be utilized for landing pages and home pages. 


Churning out fresh and insightful content allows you to use informational keywords related to self-storage to improve your online visibility.

Convert Online Traffic Into Leads

Online traffic, by itself, is not profitable. However, blogs present a unique opportunity to convert that online traffic into paying customers. Each piece of content allows you to generate leads and even convert them outright. Whenever you write a blog post, make sure to add a short call-to-action section at the end. It can be short and sweet like:


Are you interested in our services? Contact us now to know more!


Or


Call us now for more information!


Once you get their email or phone number, let your sales team do their magic!


Establish Topical and Niche Authority


With a blog, you can present yourself as an authority figure in the industry. The best content strategy is posting blogs that cater to the needs of your potential customers. Do a deep dive into the market and figure out their common questions and problems to understand how your product/service can offer a solution. 


By providing helpful information about relevant topics, they are more likely to do business with you as you've already proven yourself as an authority.


For a self storage facility, you can talk about storage ideas or home organization tips. To boost your local relevance, you can also publish location-specific articles. For example, let's say you're a storage facility in Manchester, then producing a moving guide to Manchester should be one of your priority articles to write. Moving and travel guides are usually the norm when it comes to storage facility blogs. And you know what they say, there's no need to reinvent the wheel.


Drive Long-Term Results


The great thing about blog posts is that they consistently drive results to your site, unlike social media posts that lose their effectiveness. Blog posts are now part of the search index and will always attract online traffic. However, it's crucial to update these articles whenever there is a paradigm shift in the industry to keep everything fresh and relevant. 


Self Storage SEO Is The Next Step For You!


Most storage facilities still rely on traditional marketing methods such as flyers, billboards, and other print ads. So, we understand if you're somehow apprehensive of SEO. 


However, with everything turning digital, your company must adapt to the virtual landscape. You don't want to end up like past household brand names who are now precautionary tales to businesses adverse to change. Blockbuster and Polaroid are great examples. These giant companies lost their competitive edge because they lacked innovation.


The bottom line is that your self storage facility can significantly benefit from SEO. You can increase your online traffic, improve search visibility, and establish yourself as an authority in the industry.


If you don't know where to start and have made it this far, contact The Top Agency! We are a digital marketing agency specializing in Self Storage SEO. We've worked with several self storage companies in the U.K., helping these facilities exponentially increase their online leads.


Contact us for a Free Website Analysis.




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