Self Storage PPC

What Is PPC And What Does It Stand For?

Are you running a self-storage company and looking for ways to grow your business? There is a large number of new marketing and promotional techniques that can help get your business in front of a wider audience. 

One way to manage all these available marketing channels and evaluate what might work best for you is to ask yourself the following question: 

If my marketing program could target one ideal customer, who would that be?

I would say your ideal customer is one who:

1. Is actively searching for your product/service.

2. Has high purchase intent for that product/service.

3. Is in your local geographical market.

Fortunately, PPC (Pay Per Click) advertising gives us the opportunity to target such customers. PPC, also known as SEM (Search Engine Marketing), refers to the strategy of using paid tactics to gain visibility on search engines and drive website visits. It is a model of advertising whereby advertisers pay a fee each time one of their ads is clicked. 

Essentially, it is a way of purchasing website traffic, as opposed to ‘earning’ organic traffic with SEO (Search Engine Optimisation). It can be a very quick and efficient way for a business to gather website visitors, and potential new customers, particularly if they are setting up a new website or targeting a new geographical area. 

PPC Basics For Self Storage Industry

The rapid advancement of technology in the last few years has changed the competitive landscape for self-storage companies. Twenty years ago it wouldn’t have been unusual for a self-storage company to not have a website and still operate successfully. Nowadays your website is the bare minimum needed to compete. 

Once you have a website, the next important step is to make sure that it is visible and attracts users. PPC is a great and efficient way to make your website visible. One of the most common PPC advertising options available is Google Ads, with the Google Search Engine commanding over a 90% share of the global search engine market. 1* (Statista 2022). Simply put, if you are not running your PPC campaigns on Google, you are missing out on the majority of users that are actively searching for your product.

Before you being the process of setting up your Google Ads account, there are two important steps required in order to set it up for success:

1. Set Goals For Your PPC Campaign

As is true with any marketing strategy or indeed business activity, it is always best to have clearly defined and easily measured goals when you begin your PPC campaign. These goals need to be in line with your overall business objectives. 

For example, you may have acquired a second storage facility, located in Texas. Your overall business objective is to grow your market share in that area of Texas. You have recently built a website but mainly rely on referral business in the area. Our goal for a Google Ads campaign may be to acquire 20% capacity from our ads campaign in the first 3 months. This may work out to be 10 Storage Units, or 10 Google Ads conversions over 3 months. 

Setting Goals such as this will allow us to measure the success of your Google Ads campaigns, as well as help with forecast potential costs and required budgets for your campaign. 

2. Keyword Research & Industry Analysis

The next step here will be to conduct in-depth keyword research and industry analysis, to determine: 

  • What are the keywords google users are searching when looking for products or services similar to yours? 
  • How do these keywords perform in my area, in terms of searches, competitiveness and cost? 

You can use free tools such as Google Keyword Planner and Google Trends to get suggestions on keywords similar to the ones on your website. These keywords should then be compiled into one group that is descriptive of a product or service you offer. Ideally, you would be looking for keywords with high search volumes, and as low competition as possible, as well as being mindful of the average CPC’s for each keyword.

For example, I have a storage business, and I want to promote my new product: ‘Flat pack Storage Containers.’ So I would have one ad group to promote this product, and I would conduct keyword research for terms such as ‘flat pack storage container’ ‘flat pack storage’ and flat pack storage near me’. Using keyword planner I can see these terms are moderately competitive, with strong search volumes of 500 per month in Vancouver. The average CPC (Cost per Click) for these terms is $3. So there is the potential to receive 500 clicks per month, at $3 each. A budget we could suggest here would be $1,500 per month. 

We can also further forecast the amount of desired actions (conversions) we may receive and their potential cost. So if we can say on average, for every 10 website visitors we get, 1 will end up purchasing or renting a unit from us, then we can determine that from 500 clicks, we will receive 50 conversions or sales. 

These 50 conversions will cost us $1,500, and so our cost per conversion becomes $30. For this campaign to make sense and be profitable, we would need to ensure our profit levels on a standard storage unit far exceed $30. 

Once you have clear goals that align with business strategy, a comprehensive list of keywords to target and a budget and conversion estimate, you are ready to build out your new campaign. 

How To Build A PPC Campaign For Self Storage PPC

When setting up a Google Ads campaign, the first thing you will need to do is add your website to the account. The aim of our paid Google Ads campaigns is to drive people to that website, and then get them to complete a desired action (conversion) such as a sale or calling your business. You will also need to add basic information such as your payment and tax. 

If you don’t have a website available, you can still create Smart Campaigns and Local Service Ads that link to your phone number instead. However, at Salt Water, we always recommend having either a website or a custom landing page to direct people to your Google Ads. This will help to boost your conversions and reduce your costs. 

Next, you will begin to build out your campaigns and ad groups. Your campaigns will control setting such as campaign type (search, display, etc.), individual budgets and location. When entering the location you wish your campaign to target, you can avail of radius targeting, entering a location and targeting a radius area around that location. This can be particularly useful for a storage company, as customers tend to use facilities close to them. 

You can also enter your bidding strategy at this stage, which essentially tells google what you want to focus on when competing with other advertisers at the ad auction. It may be Maximise Clicks, Conversions, Impression Share etc. Here at Salt Water we always recommend beginning on a Maximise Clicks Strategy and then switching to a Maximise Conversion strategy once you have enough Conversion data.

Once your campaign is set up, it can then be broken down into sub-sets known as ad groups. Each ad group will link to the same group of ads and the same landing pages. This is why it is vitally important for your keyword lists to be very consistent at the ad group level. E.g You may have a search campaign, with one ad group targeting general self-storage, and another targeting mobile flat pack containers. Another important aspect here is the keyword match type you use: 

Broad match: Ads may show on searches that relate to your keyword.

Phrase match “” : Ads may show on searches that include the meaning of your keyword.

Exact Match {} : Ads may show on searches that have the same meaning as your keyword.

Once you have your keywords added, the next stage will be to draft the ad copy that your potential website visitors will actually see. The search ad available on Google is a responsive Search ad, where you can add multiple headlines and descriptions, and Google will automatically optimize to present the best combination.

You can also add ad extensions, such as site links and image extensions, which provide the user with additional information and can boost CTRs.

PPC Management & Tracking For Self Storage

Perhaps the most important aspect of a Google Ads campaign is ensuring you have your Conversion Tracking set up via Google Ads. This can be done via Google Analytics, Google Tag Manager, or with a direct integration between your website and google ads. Conversion actions allow us to make our Google Ads measurable and report on ROI, which is an essential function of marketing. You may have conversion actions such as website sales, contact form submissions, or secondary conversions such as a website page views or button clicks. You can learn more about Salt Water’s Conversion Set Up as Part of our Fee Free program here.

The other essential component of any Google Ads campaign is the management and optimization process. When running a Google Ads campaign, it is crucial that you regularly check your ads performance and traffic quality, and optimize your accounts in order to boost conversions. Here are some quick optimization steps for your Google Ads account:

1. Search Term Reports

The search term report is where you will find all of the search terms users searched when presented with your ads, as well as the keyword that was triggered, and stats such as how many clicks and conversions each search term received. 

One of the most important steps in optimizing a Google Search campaign is combing through this search term report and removing any keywords that aren’t relevant or aren’t performing. It is crucial to understand the intent behind a user’s search so that you can more accurately predict whether your website content will be relevant or not, which is a prime indicator of conversions. 

2. Ad Copy Optimization

As part of this optimization process, you should also regularly view your ads performance in each ad group, to see how they are performing. I would suggest re-tweaking your underperforming ads periodically, by adding new headlines, CTAs or making use of features such as pinning or dynamic keyword insertions.

3. Bidding Strategy

As your Google Ads account evolves and optimizes it may be time to re-evaluate your bidding strategy. Generally, we would start accounts on a maximize clicks strategy to gather data. However, as the account optimizes, you may switch to maximize conversions, maximize conversion value, or even manual CPC. Manual CPC allows you to set your max CPC bids on each campaign, ad group and even keyword. It provides you with much more control over the optimization process. However, it takes particular Google Ads knowledge to run effectively. The most important thing is that you don’t make a sudden decision to change the bidding strategy too early, based on a small data set. Campaigns should be allowed to run for at least a month before analyzing the bidding strategies’ effectiveness. 

Benefits Of PPC Marketing For A Self Storage Company

1. The Ability to Target your Ideal Customer

2. Immediate Campaign Set Up and Quick Optimisation

3. Quantifiable, Measurable Results

Top 5 PPC Marketing Tips For Beginners In The Self Storage Industry

1. Conduct in-depth keyword and industry analysis to forecast costs and opportunities.

2. Utilise geographical and radius targeting to ensure you reach the right customers.

3. Ensure conversion tracking is set up correctly and counting valuable conversions.

4. Closely monitor search term reports, especially with broad & phrase match keywords.

5. Regularly analyze and optimize ad copy, CTA’s and extensions.

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