In case you didn’t see the most recent Google local search update, searchers can now filter the top local search results. After they search “self storage near me,” the top three local results - called the 3-pack by search engine optimization (SEO) specialists - will be shown at the top of search results. If not enough Google Reviews are available or if the market is undersaturated, Google will only let you filter by hours of operation, as you can see in the image below.

A screenshot of a Google search for self storage near Olathe.

The top three local results for self storage near Olathe.

In a competitive, saturated market (like restaurants in a metro area), searchers can filter local results with even more options using a simple “near me” search. In the search below, you can see I’m now able to filter by cuisine and price in addition to hours and rating.

A screenshot of a Google search for restaurants near Olathe.

The top three local results for restaurants near Olathe.

Here’s where it gets interesting: a search for “best self storage near me” prompts Google to automatically display ratings next to the top local results. Ratings did not display for these same results in the the first “near me” search, but they show up so users can filter when “best” is added.

A screenshot of a Google search for best self storage near Olathe.

The top three local results for best self storage near Olathe.

Even more interesting: in competitive markets, Google is pre-filtering 3-pack results for “best/near me” searches. When I conducted the same search for restaurants near Olathe and added “best” to the query, Google automatically filtered out any restaurants below 4.0 stars from the 3-pack results.

A screenshot of a Google search for best restaurants near Olathe.

The top three local results for best restaurants near Olathe.

What does this mean for self storage? As the self storage market becomes more and more competitive in your area, you can expect ratings-based filtering to play a big role in your business’s placement in local search results. Potential customers can already sort their local search results by star rating, and as the market becomes more crowded, Google will continue to automatically filter local search results by star rating.

If your business has a low star rating, you’re less likely to appear in top local search results.

If you’re not managing your Google reviews or you have a star rating lower than 4.0, it’s time to make a game plan to get more reviews and boost your star rating. If you are already managing your Google reviews, you might still want to crank up the heat a little. Competition is getting tougher and tougher, and the emphasis on reviews is on the rise.

Increasing your star rating is completely doable with a little targeted effort, but it can be a little intimidating at first. To make it easy for you, we’ve collected our top 10 best resources for managing your facility’s reviews and boosting your overall star rating. Check them out now or bookmark them in your browser for later so no matter what, you’ll always have review management help at the ready.

Feature image for the Google My Business blog post.

#1: How to Get More Google My Business Without Having to Nag Customers

Because Google Reviews are trending up in importance, I’ve been researching and writing about them a lot lately. Our most recent blog post covers a vital aspect of review management: getting more reviews in order to increase your review score. When you have only a handful of reviews, one or two negative reviews really hurts your average and kills your overall star rating. The best way to get rid of these negative reviews? Bury them under a pile of newer, better reviews. Use our tips to find out how to get started managing your Google Reviews and how to ask customers to leave Google Reviews for your business.

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#2: 4 Ways to Be Successful at Online Reviews and Business Listings

Online reviews and business listings really go hand-in-hand. If you have duplicate Google listings, not only does it hurt your search engine ranking, but also it makes it more difficult for users to leave reviews. If you purchased your self storage facility from a previous owner, your facility could easily have two Google listings with reviews on both, or you might have only reviews on the one listing and not the other. Check out this article to find out how to manage your online listings, create routines around reviews, and respond to negative reviews.

Feature image for the online reviews and business listings blog post.

#3: How Voice Search will Change Local SEO

While the title doesn’t mention reviews, don’t let this post fool you: understanding voice searches like, “Siri, find self storage in Waukesha, Wisconsin” is an essential part of managing your facility reviews. Voice search is largely to blame for the increase in popularity of “near me” searches that offer local search results. As you found out above, local search results offer a huge opportunity your business to outshine the competition with excellent reviews. Plus, did you know that it helps your SEO when customers answer simple questions and use conversational language in your reviews? Find out what voice search has to do with review management and local search results in this blog post.

Feature image for the Google Local reviews blog post.

#4: The Importance of Google Local Reviews and How to Get Them

This blog post is from way back in 2013, when Google My Business went under a different name and had just started emphasizing user reviews. But don’t let the date of this article fool you: the expert tips on how to bring in more reviews for your business are evergreen. From follow-up messages to automated emails, to simply placing a sign by your cash register, there are dozens of tricks businesses use to consistently bring in new reviews. Learn how you can implement these ideas at your storage facility in this blog post.

Feature image for the good, the bad, and the ugly blog post.

#5: Customer Reviews and Self Storage: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

This entertaining look at online reviews and their effect on the self storage industry will really get you thinking about your goals for review management. While you may think the worst thing your business could do is have zero customer reviews, it might be even worse to have only five star reviews. Although this seems counter-intuitive, having a completely positive set of perfect-score reviews tends to appear dishonest - like you’re filtering out or hiding negative reviews. Consumers are actually more likely to trust favorable middle of the road reviews over perfect reviews. Storage facilities can change hands a lot, and consumers know that. If your business has old reviews that are less than perfect, but your new reviews are trending up, you’re on the right track. Read more about it in this post!

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#6: A Manager’s Guide to SEO

This article doesn’t cover reviews in-depth, but there are plenty more tips vital to customer satisfaction, managing your business online, and boosting your local search ranking. After all, reviews are all about building relationships with your customers and establishing yourself as a reputable business in the community. When it comes to earning your star rating, there’s nothing quite as powerful as looking your tenant in the eyes after providing great customer service and asking them to leave an online review. This article will help you get back to basics when it comes to online reviews.

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#7: 5 Easy Ways to Rank Better in Google Search

Besides offering tips on how to improve your rankings, this recent article shows you how to evaluate your current ranking in organic search, local search, and review ratings. Including business reviews on your website can not only help you get more reviews, but it can boost your website’s SEO, as well. When a new review is displayed on your website, it counts as fresh content for your website to search engine bots. Reviews can also help your site rank for long-tail keywords like “storage units near Frontier Park in Olathe, KS.” Check out more unlikely ways that reviews can help your website’s SEO in this article.

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#8: Why It’s Important to Encourage Renter Reviews

The old “word of mouth” marketing strategy is the basis behind the popularity of online reviews. The unbiased, honest feedback about your company from previous tenant is the most powerful marketing tool you have. These reviews add legitimacy to your business, promotes your amenities and upgrades, and brings in new leads at zero cost to you. For more persuasive thoughts on why renter reviews matter to your self storage business, check out this excellent article.

Feature image for the Google+ blog post.

#9: How to Use Google+ to Increase Your SEO

While you’re looking at Google Reviews and search engine rank, you can’t forget this important SEO-building tool. Google+ is not the most popular social site compared to giants like Facebook and Twitter, but it’s effects are long-lasting at building up your website’s search ranking. Google+ has a variety of features that offer great benefits to businesses - all for free. Check out this article to learn more about this free marketing tool and how it can help you bring in more reviews, convert leads, and boost your search ranking.

Feature image for the how to deal with negative reviews blog post.

#10: How to Deal with Negative Customer Reviews

You’ll find even more tips in this article for how to deal with those dreaded one-star reviews. Sometimes negative reviews can be unfounded or just plain incorrect, and other times they’re from an unhappy customer with a legitimate complaint. No matter what the reason behind the review, it’s important to look at negative reviews objectively and respond in a calm, collected way. Whether you’ve actually done a disservice to the customer or not, there are many ways you can combat negative reviews. Find out a little more about this sensitive topic here!

Thanks for reading! If you liked this article, you may also like: What You Need to Know About the Google Possum Algorithm Update, How to Choose Between Facebook Ads and Google AdWords, and A Quick and Easy Guide to Social Media (Infographic).