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  1. #1
    Jeff Supnick is offline Member
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    Default Low Cost Internet Marketing

    The very best advice I can give anyone operating a self storage facility beginning tomorrow would be to do the following. Type the words self storage and the name of your town into an internet search engine and note where your store is listed in the search engine results. Second is to register your site on Google Analytics, this is a free service that will allow you to measure the amount and quality of the internet traffic you receive on your site. The quality of that traffic can be measured on Google Analytics by looking at the length of time visitors are on the site, what pages they visited on your site, what key words they used to land on your site, where the visitors are coming from and whether or not the visitors are new or repeat visitors. Do whatever you can to increase the number of hits to your website by adding keywords to the text on your site and linking to as many important self storage sites as you can. Self Storage Talk is actually a great example of such a site, local chamber of commerce websites and self storage partner sites like Uhaul are also good examples. These "organic" examples are distinguished from pay per click which can be very expensive. To learn more about Google Analytics go to the following link: http://www.google.com/analytics/education.html


    You can than go back to Google Analytics to see the degree to which your traffic has increased as a result of your efforts. You can also check back with the search engine to see if your placement comes up in the ranking with the goal of being at or near of the top of the first page of search results. We do this for our management clients and you would be amazed at the results. You can also investigate hiring a consultant in the area of search engine optimization.

    If you do elect to undertake pay per click it is even more essential that either you or your consultant check Google Analytics are some other similar site to assure that the pay per clicks you are paying for are worth the costs based upon the quality and relevance of the visitors to your site.


    Jeff Supnick
    www.supnick.com

  2. #2
    Storman's Avatar
    Storman is offline Moderator
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    Great information, thank you. We are having our website built now, so I'm looking for as much help as I can get making it work at optimum level.

  3. #3
    MisterJim444 is offline Senior Member
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    Jeff:

    Thanks for sharing your insights. There is an ingredient that I have to add. If you are not tracking the follow-up of internet leads, like you do monitoring the success of your inbound phone calls, you are making a tragic mistake that will cost you rentals. Getting an email inquiry four days ago that you are just now getting around to answering does you absolutely no good. Any type of electronic communications should be responded to as a priority.

    If you have a “Contact Us” inquiry page on your web site and you should, make sure you include a telephone number line and a “What would be the best time to reach you” space. This way the potential customer is giving you permission to call them and telling you when you should. Don’t miss your appointment.

    Everyone should also have an automated reply that simply acknowledges receiving the prospects email and giving them a commitment when they will be contacted. You might consider adding a “Call to Action” coupon as a thank you for their inquiry when you reply. A free lock – waive the admin fee – you decide on the incentive. If that prospect sends out 2 or 3 or 4 emails and you are the only one who responds immediately with a thank you and a rental incentive – you have a much better chance of winning the sale.

    MisterJim444
    Learning Never Ends, But Will Time?

  4. #4
    MusicCity Gal's Avatar
    MusicCity Gal is offline Moderator
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    Great information! We get a lot of leads from our website and we respond immediately, but they get a message saying someone will contact them within 24 hours. And don't forget all of the social outlets, FaceBook, Twitter and YouTube. We are a Penske Agent and have received several inquiries from their website and we link back to them.

    Doing a search on your business once a week to see where you come up is something I have been doing for over 3 years now. Check them all, not just Google. You can check Yahoo, MSN and Bing. Almost ALL of those engines have business listings and they offer the option to "Claim the Listing". We have accounts on all of them. Merchant Circle is another great one. Also have your customers find your accounts and write reviews for you. And always watch for reviews, especially if you get a negative one. You will want to respond immediately.
    Stephanie Tharpe
    Operations and Marketing Specialist
    A+M Group, LLC
    Nashville, TN

  5. #5
    Jeff Supnick is offline Member
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    Default Low Cost Internet Marketing

    Great Point Mister Jim:

    I totally agree with you, there is no excuse for failure to follow up.

    Your thought about the email auto response is an excellent one. In addition to telephone mystery shopping, we mystery shop our managers via email. We also have worked on providing our managers with a generic email response which outlines the features and benefits of the store, which of course can be tailored to the specific customer email inquiry. Part of the reasoning behind the mystery email shop is to determine the length of time it takes for a response on the part of the manager.

    Unfortunately, we have seen some stores that do not get their fair share of internet leads which is tragic. I have not tested it but I believe that most of the leads that are generated from search engine or website traffic are in the form phone calls to the store rather than email inquiries. In other words, I believe many people are using the search result in a similar fashion to the Yellow Pages, to simply get the phone number.

    Does anyone have any data or experience with the split between phone calls and email inquiries that resulted from website traffic?

    I also wonder how posting of rental rates on self storage websites impacts the number of inquiries to the store.


    Jeff Supnick
    Supnick Real Estate
    www.supnick.com

  6. #6
    Jeff Supnick is offline Member
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    Default Low Cost Internet Marketing

    MusicCity Gal:

    Thanks for the response. When you access Goggle Alerts, you are able to view results for both Goggle and all other search engines at the same time.

    Jeff Supnick
    Supnick Real Estate
    www.supnick.com

  7. #7
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    Great thread Jeff.

    We're based in Scotland, so our data might be slightly different to the US.

    Internet enquiries are our most important source of customers, beating signage, Yellow Pages and referrals. I mentioned in another post that the big operators in the UK are spending a lot of money on internet advertising.

    We have a unique 0800 number and unique local telephone numbers to track our website enquiries. We get 36% more calls from the website than we get e-mail enquiries. So Jeff, your belief is correct from our data.

    We use both PPC and SEO.

    PPC may seem expensive, but we track every keyword and know which convert. Other than SEO and referrals they're our cheapest source of customers and the ROI is excellent.

    Another advantage of PPC is that you can test offers, wording and call to actions and get totally accurate data on how different ads perform by tracking the click thru rate and then conversion. We then use the winning combinations in our other advertising.
    One note, we use many different PPC ads. We have found that an ad that works well for one keyword may not work so well for another.

    The big players tend to use generic ads, so you can beat them by giving a local flavour to your ads.

    We've worked hard to climb the rankings for SEO. Again it's possible to beat the big players with their huge marketing budgets, by optimising for "local" keywords. As Jeff says type in the words "self storage" and your local town.

    Here's a great free tool from Google that will help you think up some more keywords. https://adwords.google.co.uk/select/KeywordToolExternal

    You can either get keywords based on the keyword you enter or you can enter your website (or a competitors) and Google will suggest keywords based on the content of the site.

    In the last year 2,498 different keywords have been used by searchers to find and visit our site. 63 of those have driven 80% of the traffic.

    I recommend to everyone to experiment with the internet. You're missing a ton of business if you don't.

    Steven
    Kangaroo Self Storage Glasgow

  8. #8
    RickyJ is offline Member
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    True, many people do call from the website. However, most websites are not designed in a way that will invite the customer to leave their information for a call back. My clients whose websites focus on capturing a lead from the customer instead of just providing information see an increase in leads received. In fact, I have one client that generates as many rentals from the lead forms as they do calls. So much depends on the design of the website.

 

 
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