Tactical SEO Basics For Self-Storage Businesses

October 11, 2012 7
Tactical SEO Basics For Self-Storage Businesses

[ by Marc Nashaat, Powered by Search ]

The year 2011 proved the self-storage industry was recession-proof. But capturing tangible business leads in downtimes is not as simple as being in the right industry. If you want to improve your lead acquisition and conversion rates, you need to make sure your customers can find you. Search engines are at the heart of this endeavor, so making sure that your website is optimized for search is becoming increasingly important to maintaining a competitive advantage.

Local, Local, Location
As a self-storage company, you might expect that it is important to rank for general phrases like “self storage,” and it is, but not as much as you may think. Research has shown that when a user searches with geographic intent, local results have higher conversion rates than do organic results. These are customers who are looking for a vendor offering services in a specific location. They know what they want, and they know where they want it.

Keyword Research
An important step to understanding what keywords you want to rank in search results for is performing keyword research. You can do this with free tools such as the Google Adwords Keyword Tool.

Let’s suppose your storage facility is located in Chicago. The first thing you want to do is determine what potential keywords you should be targeting. Going into the keyword tool, we type “Chicago Self Storage” and set the query to “Exact Match.” We specify searches from the United States, and ask to only be given keyword suggestions that closely resemble our own. This gives us two things: First, we get the search volume for our specific keyword(s), and second, we get keyword ideas that are closely related to the searches performed by our target customers.

Here, we see that “self storage Chicago” and “Chicago self storage” are the heavy-hitting keywords with a combined total search volume greater than the sum of the remaining phrases. These are the keywords we want to target. So what do we do with this information?

Actionables
You should add these to your to-do list.

  • Make sure that your website’s title tags contain relevant keywords: “Chicago Self Storage | Your Facility Name”
  • Every page of your site should have a unique description containing targeted keywords.
  • You already have a Google Places listing, right? Make sure that your name, address and phone number follow the exact format that is displayed on your Google listing.
  • If your website covers one location, make sure your name, address and phone number are included in the footer or header of every single page, not just the homepage.
  • If your website promotes multiple locations, make sure each location has its own dedicated page with name, address and phone number on display.
  • Submit your NAP to local citation sites such as YellowPages, Yahoo etc.

Content Optimization
The key to ranking for these phrases is to have content on your website generated around them. How can you do this? Here are some suggestions:

  • Write articles that include your target keywords as anchor text, and reach out to other industry-relevant blogs to have them submitted as guest posts— like here on The Storage Facilitator self-storage blog.
  • Create your own blog and post regularly, including keyword anchors that link back to other pages on your site. Fresh, updated content makes your site appear more relevant to search engine site crawlers.
  • Develop infographics, videos and other interactive content relevant to your neighborhood or niche. Include a link back to your site, and promote on social media and across the web.

Marc Nashaat is an enterprise marketing consultant at Powered by Search and is responsible for the SEO operations at Public Storage Canada. Reach him at marc@poweredbysearch.com.

  • http://www.aussie-storage.co.uk/ NatalieDiaz123

    Really informative but the content optimization is getting the much helpful and popularize these days for the optimization process specially for the onpage optimization

  • mansour

    i found this really informative, and now know how to ensure high rankings to apply for commercial websites.

  • Julian K.

    This is a very good article for beginners like myself. I have a storage facility in LA and I find it incredibly difficult to rank well in Google. I’m going to try these strategies and see how they work. One thing though, I read online that Google is now penalizing websites that “over-optimize”. How do I make sure that I don’t over-optimize my website? I’m not sure what would entail over-optimization.

    • Marc Nashaat

      Hey Julian, thanks for your comment and great question. This is a bit of a complex issue and there are many different views on the matter. Over-optimization is certainly a concern with SEO and it essentially deals with Google’s philosophy that websites should be built around users and not search engines. This can include your link building strategy (linking to your site from other sites you own), keyword density (stuffing your content with targeted keywords), redundant title tags (using the same keyword on every page of your site) etc. Over optimization can be looked at from both micro and macro perspectives. On the micro side of things you can have overly optimized title pages:

      Here’s an example of an over-optimized title tag:

      Chicago Self Storage | Self Storage in Chicago – Chicago Self Storage Units

      vs.

      Chicago Self Storage – About Us | Company Name

      On the macro side, having “Chicago Self Storage” on every page of your site would be considered over optimization. While you still want variations of your target keywords on all of your pages you should make sure that they are variations and not identical. It is also very important that you make sure that title tags are relevant to the page content. If a page on your site is listings your partners and affilliates then there is no need for you to include “Chicago Self Storage” in the title tag.

      Likewise, over optimizing content would involve over-use of keywords. Some people argue that keyword density should be no more than 1-3% of the content that surrounds it, others venture as high as the 10% mark. I personally try to stick closer to the lower end of that range.

      This only scratches the surface of the over-optimization topic but there is tons of information online. Rand Fishkin of SEOmoz put together a great whiteboard video on avoiding over optimization. You can check that out here: http://www.seomoz.org/blog/6-changes-every-seo-should-make-before-the-over-optimization-penalty-hits-whiteboard-friday

      Thanks for reading!
      Marc.

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