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Self storage- Marketing strategy work 08 2021

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  • Self storage- Marketing strategy work 08 2021

    Been busy on developing and construction of our two new large locations (South 35th (35th) and Railroad (RR)). Want to step back and work on their marketing. You can see earlier posts about their startup and marketing.

    Right now I am concentrating on internet marketing in the following steps.

    Areas of discussion:
    1. Website.
    2. Sparefoot
    3. Google map- self storage
    4. Google- YouTube

    We have an SEO that works on our website. Searches increased to 748 up from around 600 the last three months. We reached a size where we could afford an SEO. Plus our last two spots in a larger Metro area it is needed. Our smaller town locations don't really need as strong an Internet presence.

    Attach1 below: Views up to 748, increase from around 600 the previous 3 months. 591 are new visitors. Bounce rate 80.90%, means they are going to a second page for more information. Average duration: :52 seconds. Would like this to be higher. Either I have to put more meaningful content on the website. Such as posts or YouTube on how to store, pack, renting uhauls, etc. Or need to switch to online unit registration, so they spend more time on the website. Google uses the duration to rank "engagement" or usefulness of the website.

    Attach2 : Devices used, evenly split "Mobile" phones 49.75%; Desktop or PC 49.10%. Duration on mobile phones is 56 seconds and PC 1:49 minutes/seconds which would be expected.

    Attach3: Search vs map views. 5,631 searches in total. 3,752 via the google map search. This is one of the reasons I want us to be in the top three recommended on the Google map listing.

    seo aug1.JPG

    seo aug2.JPG
    seo aug3.JPG

    Out of the Omaha area we are ranked on Sparefoot "recommendation" list:
    CB 35 15th out of 92 locations.
    CB RR 27th out of 92 locations.

    Plan to get both of them to the 1 or 2 spot over the next two months for the Omaha market. We are in Council Bluffs, but our CB 35 location model is built to attract Downtown and South Omaha renters. In order to do that we have to "Break" through the other 90 competitors on searches.

    Refresher from a prior post. Sparefoot has 4 ways they rank locations: 1. Recommended, 2. Distance, 3. Reviews, 4. Lowest price

    Recommended- is based on number of types of units available, Move in versus reservation %, views.

    Distance- measured from a predetermined Post Office Station location. You can't impact.

    Reviews- you can impact. Use the Sparefoot review request. Most locations however spend most of their effort to get "Google" reviews.

    Lowest price-

    Google Map- self storage.
    Hurray. Our CB 35 location "just" got to third spot an hour ago, and is now on page one recommendation for Google Maps.

    Google YouTube-
    We had been at page 7 on a google search, but now we have dropped off. Having SEO research. The reason I want this, if you do a google search on any topic. The Youtubes standout more than the website listings. Even if you had the top website listing, the YouTube listing would "POP" out more when looking at a search page.

  • #2
    Hi Clarkstoragellc,

    Congrats on moving your CB 35 location to page one on Maps. Local SEO is definitely #1 priority so that's a great milestone to hit.

    I had a few observations that are purely my opinion and solely intended to help so I hope it doesn't come off as overly critical:

    The videos on YouTube are over a year old with relatively low engagement so it's going to be harder to rank for them over time. I would try to continue to push out content (if possible) directed more closely to your keyword research.

    Regarding your website traffic, the site itself is pretty basic - it looks like an older WordPress site with very little content. Maybe this was designed intentionally for optimizing speed, but I would focus on content and utility and then optimize for speed using next gen images and caching (which you're already using Hummingbird, so gj)

    Unfortunately, it lacks any clear call-to-action for visitors or online features such as rentals, reservations, or payments (although the website clearly says "Online payments & account management", I could not find that for the life of me).

    I would also try to align your keyword strategy with your headings. Your H1 heading specifically, "Welcome to Clark Storage LLC" could be better used for something that you're trying to rank for vs. something that you're going to rank for naturally.

    Overall, my recommendations would be a complete website overhaul focused more on your SEO strategy (fixing thin content, keyword optimization, headers, text to html ratio, etc.), but if that's just not realistic then just closely aligning your website with your keywords your ranking for and adding more content and definitely adding some prominent call to actions.

    I guarantee you that your website engagement will go up and your bounce rate will go down if you map a concise customer journey for them to follow on your website. Afterwards, set your goal URLs within your Google Analytics and track progression to them accordingly.

    Again, this is just my opinion on all of this and I hope you don't mind me posting.
    Kevin Kerr
    Storage Commander Cloud Software
    k[email protected]
    Toll Free: 877.672.6257
    Direct: 951.867.4732


    • #3
      Kevin SC Thanks for input. I'm more the developer, operator, strategists; versus the SEO person. That's why I brought an SEO on, when we hit a larger 1mm metro market. Small town USA, only need a basic website, which is what we designed at the beginning.

      We "intentionally" process all contracts ourselves. Only online payment is possible and as you note its not easy to get to (thus no call to action). What I understand of Google ranking, we would be better having as much processed online via our website, the longer they are on our site the higher our google ranking. Thus we are intentionally "not" helping ourselves from that standpoint.

      As we note above we really have a two prong attack. Google/our website and Sparefoot.

      Sparefoot will always beat the best Storage location website as far as presence and ranking on Google. Thus I have focused and learned how to rank high on Sparefoot as our major strategy. Out of the 4 Sparefoot ranking categories, other than "distance" we can get to number 1 on the other three based on our efforts and understanding of Sparefoot.

      Google/Website, I laid out for our SEO the following "Broad Internet Marketing objectives", since I am not an SEO Tech. 1. I want us to be in the top three on Google map search. We literally just hit that. However they did it, I love my SEO person. 2. Want our Youtubes to show on Page 1 of a Google Selfstorage search. This has not advanced as much as we would like, thus they are adding focus to move that forward. They have noted Youtube ranking is not achieved totally in the same way a website ranking is increased. Will leave it to them.

      One keynote, I told them my "objective is to "not" have the highest ranking website" on a Self Storage google search. Being the top search out of 9 pages does not meet my marketing sense of impacting customers. Although this may be needed to move the Youtube video up, the SEO group will need to access that and how. As long as they meet my two major internet objectives, I'm fine if our website is on page 5 of a Google search.

      The current SEO did not design our original website. They have mentioned if we might re-build it. Has not come back up, as they have engaged on the two objectives I have given them.

      What would be beneficial for us from this forum is "Sharing". By us sharing our Google analytics other locations can compare. It would be nice if there were replies from "internet engaged" locations if they shared their Google data, as shown above. For example, we are at 700 engagements for the month; if 2 or 3 other users posted their data and they showed 7,000 per month, then that gives me great info, that I need to "understand" and "compare" internet experiences.
      Kevin SC

      If you could share or have other people share similar Google analytic data above. Thanks.

      Will send your suggestions which all seem viable improvements to our SEO person. Reminding him our objective is to "not" have the top Google website for self storage, but to be in the top three google map searches and for our Youtubes to be on page 1.

      Thanks for your input.


      • #4
        Hey ClarkStorageLLC,

        That all makes sense so thanks for explaining your intentions and again, I hope I wasn't overstepping by offering my suggestions - I honestly really enjoy going through other marketing efforts and offering suggestions where I can.

        Just to explain my position with the online features, if you're using external links for your online payments/reservations/rentals - that can lead to higher bounce rates and lower website engagement. My suggestion was more directed to including those on your website natively which would completely reverse that though. That's really why I mentioned the suggestion of a "website overhaul" because doing so typically involves integrating your website with your management software's API.

        With such a broad range of website partners available in self-storage that have already created their own integrations into most major management software platforms (The Storage Group, Automatit, Teel Group, etc.), it's definitely an option for operators if it ever becomes a priority.

        Regardless, I wish you the best on your digital marketing and congratulations again on the improvements!
        Kevin Kerr
        Storage Commander Cloud Software
        k[email protected]
        Toll Free: 877.672.6257
        Direct: 951.867.4732


        • #5
          Kevin SC

          My SEO went through your comments. He said the only one that merits our attention is redoing the website. He said the rest were built that way when it was first set up. He has been able to work around those issues getting our Google map ranking up.

          He did note to me something I had not noticed. Asked him why I couldn't see our Youtube. He mentioned Google has/is moving Youtubes off the main search pages and has put at selection at the top. For youtubes you have to pick the "other" selection, then youtubes. I have to rethink this second leg of my internet strategy. Will work on Google Ads next.

          Your comments are very welcome.
          Thank you.

          Other forum users, would be great if you shared your Google analytics for comparison purposes. Thank you.


          • #6
            Originally posted by Clarkstoragellc View Post
            Bounce rate 80.90%, means they are going to a second page for more information. Average duration: :52 seconds. Would like this to be higher.
            I'm no SEO expert but I always thought you wanted a low bounce rate. I thought the bounce rate was the % of people who left without clicking to another of your pages. Our bounce consistently runs between 20% and 25% (currently 20.8%). One of us needs to work on their website.

            Citronelle, AL 36522


            • #7

              Above, I would like the "Average Duration :52 seconds" to be higher.

              Sounds good. Please read our overlying objectives above with the SEO.

              Can you share your Google analytics as above? Thanks.


              • #8
                We are a single location facility in a town of 3,893. This is our first self storage operation. We opened in July 2020 and I developed the website myself using WordPress.

                image (17).png
                Citronelle, AL 36522


                • #9
                  Thank you very much the above is very useful.

                  I'm in an area of 100,000 getting 700 views per month versus your 457 views in a city of 3,893. I have about 140 other competitors, but still your info helps to give me a benchmark point to raise a question.

                  Your Session duration of 3m 02s is significantly greater than my :52seconds. Again this is a great benchmark for me to know I have a "question". Your website either has: a. Great content, b. They are tied to your website for online reservations or payments, c. etc. Or this was a one time deal, since for the month above it was a 108% increase.

                  Could you expand on the above or other potential improvement points.

                  Now I'm getting value out of the dialog.

                  Thank you.

                  Anyone else please share your Google Analytic info. More data points, means better info.


                  • #10
                    This is our first venture into self storage. I bought an old 20,400 sq ft discount store on 2.1 acres and had Janus do the 145 inside units. Replaced roof, AC and floor tiles. All in $29 sq ft. Opened July 2020 and 100% leased up after 11 months. Adding 20,200 sq ft Trachte Drive Up (135) units in parking lot which will be completed in 3 weeks. Cost almost $29 sq ft! Concrete, paving and fencing are expensive. I'm cheap so we use WSS software and love it ($45/mo, excellent call center $225/mo and 1.3% Credit Card Fee). No SpareFoot, Google Ads, SEO or any advertising except $90/week total in two local papers.

                    In the above 90 day chart our Users are down and Duration is up. The Users being down is because the first 6 months we were open we ran a $50/mo Gift Card GiveAway in conjunction with various local merchants which generated considerable traffic. The Duration is up because we keep adding to the website. The price list is new and is our most viewed page after the Homepage. Online rentals and bill pay is available but doesn't count on our Duration because it is just a link to I wish APIs were available so we could do these on our website but you can't have everything for $45/mo. We are about 50/50 Labtop/Cell Phone and 60/40 New Visitors vs Returning Visitors.

                    Citronelle, AL 36522


                    • #11
                      Cool Air can you tell us more about the Gift Card giveaway and how it worked!


                      • #12
                        For the first 6 or 8 months we were open we ran a Win a $50 Gift Card promotion on our Facebook page as well as two other popular local Facebook group pages. If you want to pan down our Facebook page at you can see them all. To win they had to go to our Facebook page and like the post, share the post, and comment on the post (don't think Facebook allows this but we never had any trouble). We drew the winner out at the end of the month and posted the drawing on YouTube on our website blog The local merchant usually would promote the GiveAway on their social media. One of the local Groups has more Members than the town's population. So the promotion builds goodwill with local merchants, gets our logo in front of thousands of people, gets traffic to our website and Facebook page. All for $50/mo.

                        We are a big believer in social media, even forums. Even though no one on here is going to rent a unit from us, Cool Air Storage got two free inbound links with this post and Google loves inbound links!
                        Citronelle, AL 36522


                        • #13
                          CoolAir thanks for the above.
                          Can you tell what content or activity is creating the 3 minutes?

                          Coupon sounds great. Will have to evaluate it.


                          • #14
                            Most of the time is spent on our Homepage as it has a ton of information on it for anyone interested in renting a unit. To start we have a clear call to action "Rent Now" button as well as availability button and prices button. Followed by comprehensive list of our features. Then the size guide. Directions. And several customer reviews.

                            The 5 pages of blog posts gets quite a few views. The Price List is the second most popular page but doesn't take long to see.

                            Long story short, the more useful information you have on your site the longer the duration.
                            Citronelle, AL 36522


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