Already set up your self storage business's Google My Business (GMB) account? Great! Check out these tips to make your business listing even better to attract more leads and win more tenants.

Business NAP

  • Make sure your NAP (Name, Address, and Phone) on the listing matches the NAP on the website.
    • Business names should be entered as the real business name and what is shown on your signage.
    • Do not add a name modifier to the listing. (Example - Business Name: Best Self Storage, Added Modifier: Kansas City)
    • Name modifiers can lead to your listing being suspended as Google will see it as an attempt for you to manipulate how you show in the search results.
  • Any differences can cause confusion for Google and your customers.
  • Google and users/customers can make suggestions on your listing based on the differences they find between your website and listing.

Business Categories

  • Make sure your business category is correct on your GMB listings.
  • Primary categories hold more ranking power, so choose the most appropriate for your business. Example: Self-Storage Facility
  • Add secondary categories over time rather than all at once. As long as you select categories that are applicable to your business, you can max out the secondary categories.
  • Having an inaccurate business category could impact how you show up in results.

URL / Link to your Facility Page

  • The link on your GMB listing should link to your Facility page, not your homepage - you want to drive your customers directly to the information they are looking for.
  • We recommend using a tracking (campaign) link to your listings - the tracking link tracks your GMB Maps traffic in Google Analytics for you.

Here is an example of what the recommended tracking link looks like:

https://storedgedemo.website.storedge.com/1234-storage-st-kansas-city-ks-66205?utm_source=GoogleLocal&utm_medium=storEDGE&utm_content=GMB

If you do not have the tracking URL already on your listing, or it was removed, just include the following tracking/campaign piece to the end of your facility/unit prices page URL:

?utm_source=GoogleLocal&utm_medium=storEDGE&utm_content=GMB

Log in often and check to make sure your information is still valid

  • As mentioned above, Google can suggest edits based on information it thinks is true from crawling your site - Google will make edit suggestions but typically waits for you to approve the edits before publishing them as the edits may not be correct.
  • Outside users can suggest edits (even if the information they are editing isn’t true) and Google will usually go ahead and approve the edits from outside users since Google assumes a real person is suggesting the edit based on fact.

Images of your Business

  • Add photos that are relevant and best represent your business.
  • Do not add stock images or images that are mass used in other places or by other companies - Google is smart enough to know what is an original image vs a stock image.
  • Do not delete images unless they truly are a misrepresentation of your business - keeping images on your listing helps with ranking as Google uses the data from user views and clicks on the images to help determine your relevance and prominence.

Business Description

  • Add a business description to your listing.
  • You can use this section to add a keyword rich description about your facility - just be sure not to keyword stuff or make the content look unnatural to a human reader.
  • What to include:
    • What you do or the type of business you are
    • Unique attributes that set you apart from your competitors
    • Let customers know if you are locally and family owned
    • Valuable keywords
  • What not to include:
    • Sales pitches, offers, discount information, ect
    • Misleading information
    • Links/URLs
    • Prohibited content that violates Google’s content policy

Google Posts

  • Create a post that shows your events, products, services, and specials on Google search and Maps.
  • Effective posts should include a photo, an inspiring headline, a brief description that includes only necessary details, and a clear call-to-action.
  • Posts provides customers more information about your business and can help influence their decisions as they are searching.
  • These do not hold ranking power so it is encouraged that the information added only be useful to the customer and not an attempt to rank higher.

Take advantage of the Q & As

  • This is a very useful and powerful feature that is often overlooked.
    • The information provided will help Google understand your business better and will help Google know if your business should be shown in the search results for queries related to your Q & A’s.
    • Q & A’s also help the customer understand your business better and can help answer their questions and help them make a decision quicker.
  • Go ahead and add some Q & As to the listing - these aren’t reviews, so it’s ok for you or your staff to go ahead and add some of your most commonly asked questions.
  • Users not associated with your business are allowed to answer questions, so be sure to monitor the questions that are left on your listing so you can make sure they are given the correct answer.
  • Since your Q & As show up in the search results, it wouldn’t hurt to add some keywords in your answers where it is appropriate, just be sure not to keyword stuff it.

Google Reviews

  • Ask your customers to leave a review about their experience and ask them to be as detailed as possible.
  • Google reviews have several benefits
    • Increase brand trust with Google
    • Increase local SEO
    • Provide useful feedback from the customer to business owner
    • Have the potential to Improve Click-Through Rate (CTR) and conversions
  • It is also important to understand that since Google cares about customer experience and making sure the results that it shows customers are relevant and are going to be helpful to them. With that being said, if your listing doesn’t have any reviews or you haven’t received a review in a while, it is recommended that you do not do the following:
    • Review your own business listing
    • Have your employees or anyone else that is not an actual customer leave a review
    • Provide incentives to customers for positive reviews
  • Fake reviews are a violation to Google’s content policy and don’t provide a good user experience to Google’s users. If a fake review is reported to Google or if Google is able to make the connection, Google will take action. Google will lose trust in the content on your listing, remove your reviews (fake and real reviews), and your listing can even be suspended and no longer be shown on search.
  • Copying and Pasting Google Reviews to your website is not recommended as there is a good chance Google will notice and penalize you for it.
    • Copied and pasted reviews can be considered duplicate content.
    • When you copy and paste a review to the website you are giving Google and customers the impression that the review on your site is originally written on your site.
    • Copied and pasted reviews no longer have the true author attached to them - the person that published the copied review on your site is then the author of a review left by someone else.

Note: Copied and pasted reviews are not the same as having a widget on your website that pulls your Google reviews in for you via an API - Google Reviews Widget is ok to have and is available on the latest storEDGE website platform - Talk to your account manager about adding this widget or to see if you qualify to move over to our new website platform.

Ideas on how to get organic reviews

  • Encourage office management to directly ask customers to leave a review.
  • Have a sign in your office reminding customers to leave a review on Google My Business.
  • Send out an email with a link to your Google reviews, either after move in or after move out requesting the customer share their experience on Google My Business.
  • Google wants to see organic reviews - so we always advise not to offer incentives for positive, 5 star reviews and don’t have family or employees leave fake reviews to help increase your review count.

Thanks for reading! For more help with Google My Business, check out these posts: How to set up local listings like Google My Business, Yelp, Apple Maps, Bing Local, and Facebook Local, How to get more Google My Business reviews without having to nag customers, and The scoop on the latest Google My Business updates: Texting, Q&As, and more!