Editor’s note: This post was originally published in August 2013 and has been completely revamped and updated for accuracy and comprehensiveness.
Everyone wants their storage website to rank #1 in search results. And lucky for you, there are tons of low-cost ways that self storage business owners can boost their search engine optimization (SEO). Having excellent web content for each of your facilities is vital when it comes to search ranking. Whether you own one facility or dozens, it’s important to make sure each facility’s web page has unique content that’s both crawlable for search engines and helpful for customers.
Facility descriptions help customers find out just what the heck your facility offers. Think of it like a short summary - a Cliff’s notes of where you are and what the facility offers. The content also helps major search engines index your page. When writing a facility description for your site, it’s important to keep both of these audiences in mind: potential tenants and search engines. Find out how to write stellar facility descriptions that win the hearts of both storage renters and search engines below!
As a self storage owner, you don’t have to be an expert at SEO - you just have to get a team of people who are on your side! The first step to writing fantastic facility descriptions is to hire a professional SEO team to help you highlight your facility in a way that brings in leads online, helps customers, and ranks well in search. By using the right keywords at the right frequency, professional SEO writers are able to optimize your page for search algorithms. Search algorithms use search engine bots to crawl the web and find key indicators that determine whether or not your site is useful to searchers and where it should show up in search results.
Hiring a professional to write your descriptions is the best way to get the elusive top spot on Google. Some self storage web marketing packages include professional SEO writing - don’t pay for professional web content that should be included with your website! Content writers and SEO experts already know the ins and outs of SEO best practices, but chances are they haven’t been to your storage facility. In fact, they may be states away! To help web marketing writers create the best content they can for your site, be sure to provide your SEO team plenty of detail for each facility, including:
NAP information: name, address, and phone number
Access hours or access options
If your manager lives on-site or your facility is unmanned
Amenities and storage options, like climate-controlled storage, RV parking, online bill payments, security cameras, drive-up access, and more
Any local landmarks, businesses, and more that customers can use to easily find your facility
Any local colleges, universities, military bases, state parks, attractions, lakes, rivers, or recreational camping areas (to help you rank for student, military, and RV, boat, and vehicle storage options)
What nearby cities or towns you’d most like to target
What sets you apart from your competitors
This is your facility’s time to shine. If your facility’s security is top-notch or your facility has recently been renovated, don’t forget to share that information with your web marketing team. Be sure to let your online customers know why they should choose you, what your property is like, what great features you have compared to your competitors, and how they can get in touch with you. For more tips on web marketing, check out our FREE e-book on how to design and create a great website for your storage business and download it at the bottom of this post!
Storage renters are your key audience and they’ll be #1 judge of your web content. It’s important to toe the balance between search engine optimization and helpful, curated content for users. You can bet that web visitors will hit the back button on their browser and start looking at your competitors’ sites instead of yours if they find keyword stuffing and spammy content on your site. SEO writers strive to find the balance between search engine optimization and the sweet spot of lead conversion. Here are some of their expert tips:
Don't go crazy on your keywords. Make sure you include relevant keywords, but do so sparingly and in a way that makes sense for readers. The word "self storage" should not be stuffed into every sentence on your page - and your competitors’ names should never be used!
Double-check your spelling and grammar. The more errors you have, the less professional you'll look to your online audience.
Create unique content. Never copy and paste content from one page to the next. Your users want to know what makes one facility different from another. Help them choose!
Be specific to your community. If your facility is in a college town, or you offer RV storage near a popular state or national park, be sure to talk about it! Help people figure out your business’s niche with smart content that’s local to your area.
Just like snowflakes, no two storage facilities are alike, so their descriptions shouldn't be either. What sets your locations apart from their competitors? Apart from each other? Do you offer wine storage when no one else does? Are you located in a safer part of town? Think about your selling points when a customer asks you why they should choose you over their competitors, and use that as your inspiration.
If Google loves your site’s content, you’ll be sure to bring in plenty of new leads every month. So how can you get Google to fall in love with your content? First, you have to understand how search engine algorithms work.
To rank your site, search engine bots from search engines like Google crawl the web to find keywords. The bots take note of certain words and phrases that you have on your page to figure out where to rank your site when someone searches for specific keywords or phrases. This process is called “indexing.” Search engines are more likely to crawl your pages and index them when you add fresh content. Think of writing new, unique content as a beacon that signals Google to stop by and check out what you've been up to lately. Here are a few things the experts use to help your facility pages rank well in search:
You need to incorporate the words your target market is looking for, and the sooner you mention them in your description, the better. Let's say your facility is located in Honolulu. Your potential tenants are likely searching for "storage units in Honolulu, HI" or something similar. It’s important to include your city, state, and other popular keywords that are relevant to your business, like "self storage" or "storage facility" in your content, along with the name of your property.
List your local "landmarks," whatever they may be. A landmark doesn't have to be something as famous as Mt Rushmore, either. Just think about what's important to your community's businesses and residents. Are you in a small town located near the only Walmart in the area? Perfect! Include that in your first paragraph. Other distinctive markers could be parks, lakes, military bases, elementary schools, intersections or whatever businesses you're around.
Who else could benefit from your storage facility's services? Think of all the surrounding areas that may have potential tenants, and make sure to mention those cities in your description as well. If you don't mention a nearby city or town in your description, you're not going to rank for it, and you've just lost those potential customers. Back to our ideal location – if you're looking to rank in Honolulu, be sure to include Waikiki and Kalihi-Palama as well.
Providing directions to your facility is not only helpful to your potential customers, but it's a great chance to provide search engines with more original content! Driving directions are useful for both tenants and search engines. Include the best way to reach your location from other neighboring communities that you’re looking to target.
Ready to beef up your facility’s description to rank better in search? Before you start, don’t forget to download our free ebook to learn everything you need to know about web marketing for your self storage facility, including how to evaluate your online SEO and facility descriptions.
Thanks for reading! If you liked this blog post, you may also like: Top 10 blog posts that will help you improve your self storage SEO, Local link building: What it is and how your self storage business can get in on the action, and DIY or Don't: When to call in the pros for your self storage marketing.