Let’s start by answering this: what is digital marketing and why does it matter for Self Storage facility owners?
Digital marketing refers to the use of digital channels, such as search engines, social media, email, and mobile apps, to promote a product or service. It involves various techniques and strategies that aim to connect with the target audience, build brand awareness, and drive traffic, leads, and sales.
The last blurb is the most important piece. It’s a tool to drive traffic > leads > sales.
You’ve probably heard storage facility owners talk about using technology (such as ESS) to enable customers book online.
This is part of the digital marketing stack. As your Google Business Page, your storage facility website, your review process, your local SEO, your organic SEO, your Google Ads, activity in that local FB group, Sparefoot ads and so on.
Instead of providing you with three generic tips on how to improve your digital marketing I’m going to show you what we do. But first a little bit of proof.
Self Storage Facilities Who Trust Us With Their Digital Marketing
Storage HQ is the OG. Josh approached me about running a small SEO campaign for his storage facility (this is the link where you can read about it).
We did on-page SEO and ran a short campaign. We bounce between #2 and #3 for the primary keywords in his market. To this day he send us more referrals than anyone else.
As of writing this we are 4 months into this campaign. It was a brand new website on ESS but it’s creeping up bouncing between bottom of page 1 and top of page 2 for the primary keywords.
Storage website build in 2022. WordPress + ESS
Storage website build in 2022. WordPress + ESS. A really good example of what a website can do on it’s own. This site ranks in a few of the smaller cities for storage related terms without any on-page SEO or an SEO campaign.
Storage website build in 2022. WordPress + ESS. We started the SEO campaign this month (March, 2023). I’ll update this when it’s flying!
600 users from organic (GMB and SEO) last 28 days (Feb.) compared to 450 the month we began (Nov)
Currently building a new website to unify all of the facilities under one brand. Intention to start SEO once we finish the website which will be a WordPress + ESS website. Currently running Google Ads.
Currently building a new website for a ground up climate controlled facility development. Intention to start SEO once we finish the website which will be a WordPress + ESS website.
On-page SEO optimization for two small town storage facilities.
Self Storage Digital Marketing Strategies
Self Storage Websites
Once you hit a certain size you shouldn’t be relying on ESS’ platform for a website. There are real benefits to a consolidated site. For starters, the brand looks a lot bigger and reputable. The site will perform much better in SEO than individual ESS sites.
We recommend WordPress + ESS or WordPress + Storable. WordPress is unquestionably the best platform for small business SEO.
If you’re wondering what type of information you should include, take a look at the big REITs websites.
Size guides, FAQs or storage tips and features.
Make sure it’s easy to login, the phone number is very visible, an email is visible and it’s easy to rent a unit. If you’re big enough, consider a live chat option.
These aren’t overly complicated things to get right.
SEO for Self Storage
I wrote a monster post on SEO for Self Storage. I won’t cover it in as much detail as I did in that post so if you want a step-by-step walk through check that post out.
SEO is generally a really good option for self storage facilities. Typically, you are either in a small town with relatively small search volume and almost no competition where you can capture a lot of the market share.
Or you’re in a large town with massive search volumes and high competition where you can capture a little slice of the market share.
8% of 1000 searches per month or 1% of 8000 searches per month are both good outcomes.
1. Keyword and Competitor Research
The goal here is to understand:
How much search volume is there? I like looking at total search volume. I use Mangools, select the city or area I’m interested in and find the total search volume for self storage related keywords. The cool thing about this tool is this literally takes me 30 seconds.
If I’m looking at one facility or area I’d like to see at least 1000 searches per month. If you operate in multiple cities, it’s nice to see a few thousand searches per month across those cities.
How competitive is it? You can use tools like Mangools or Ahrefs to give you an idea but this is difficult to gauge without some experience translating these numbers.