How to Market a Self Storage Facility in 2021: 3 Best Practices
Marketing is in for a shake-up in 2021, and self storage marketing has to keep up with the evolution. The best practices of the past decade aren’t going to make the cut in 2021, so you need to step up your game to stay competitive.
Self storage marketing ideas that worked in the past are in need of an overhaul. The following information will provide you with an overview of three of the key search metric trends and best practices that will ensure that your potential customers will not only easily locate your site, but find value in the content.
Three Best Practices for Marketing a Storage Facility in 2021
Mobile-First Indexing: Your Self Storage Website Needs a Content Rich Mobile Website
Before we take a closer look at mobile-first indexing, let’s clear up any uncertainty as to what it means.
Back in 2016, Google announced that they would be changing the index algorithm to focus on mobile users. What exactly does this mean? Starting in March 2021, Google will get the information for your site from the mobile version. This means that the mobile version of your site needs to be as content rich and complete as the desktop version.
Now that you have a basic understanding of mobile-first indexing, here is a quick overview of the best practices that you need to implement for effective self storage marketing:
Responsive Web Design: Simply put, responsive web design means that your visitors can manually adjust the size of your website. Your website will adapt to any device it is being viewed on, your customers can provide feedback, and your site will respond to clicks faster.
Ensure Crawlability: It is important to ensure that the Googlebot can thoroughly crawl the mobile version of your website. Use the same Robot Meta Tags on your mobile and desktop versions. Avoid Lazy-loading content that only loads upon user interaction. (like swiping, clicking, or typing).
Identical Content: Mobile and desktop versions should be identical, including the same clear headings arranged in appropriate hierarchy.
Structured Data: Both mobile and desktop versions should have the same structured data.
Metadata: Title and meta descriptions of both versions should be meaningful and identical.
Check Images and Videos: Follow Google’s best practices when incorporating images and videos.
The Cookie is Crumbling: Marketing a Self Storage Facility in a Cookie-less World
What are cookies (and I don’t mean chocolate chip) and what is their benefit to marketers?
First-party cookies are small pieces of code placed in a customer’s browser when they visit a website, enabling them to have a more personalized experience. Among other things, first-party cookies are used to remember the contents of a customer’s basket, the articles they last read or the progress of a video they’re watching. First-party data, collected by first-party cookies, can be shared with or sold to other organizations as third-party data.
Third-party cookies are used for cross-site ad tracking, wider audience profiling and wider personalization in advertising (especially when searching for new users). Google is in the process of phasing out third-party cookies on Chrome during the 2020 – 2022 time frame.
Now is the time to implement best practices for managing this change. It’s a complex process and best stated by Scott Tieman and Brad Herndon on adexchanger.com:
“For the time being, we still have cookies, and there are ways to own and measure the data gathered with them in a privacy-compliant way. Now is an opportune time to prioritize first-party data and build ID graphs and other in-house data repositories that can be independently maintained. This can include demographic, behavioral, location-based, interest or response rate data which can be combined to form audiences and segments.”
For more detailed information read Adapting Digital Strategies for a Cookieless World.
Indexing Passages and Ranking Subtopics for Storage Marketing
Indexing Passages: Google is now “indexing” passages as well as web pages. Passages from a web page can now be treated as pages themselves when returning a search query. According to Neil Patel, “it’s a small tweak to help the search engine understand content better and deliver the best results to searchers.”
This allows Google to show pages where the answer to a user query is deep within the content of the page. Rather than rank a web page about a topic (RV Storage) Google can now rank a specific passage (How to Prepare your RV for Storage) for a search query. This a huge shift in how pages are ranked.
- Ensure content is holistic (covers all subtopics and key user questions)
- Ensure content is well structured and easy to navigate
- Implement schema markups (semantic vocabulary)
- Long-tail search queries can achieve relevant rankings
Ranking Subtopics: Subtopic ranking will make it harder to rank for high traffic broad keyword phrases but will benefit small businesses that are optimizing for subtopics and more niche categories.
Using Artificial Intelligence (AI) technology, Google can now understand a topic and its related interests better, delivering a wider range of results.These networks can deliver a greater diversity of content when a broad search is performed. For example, when one searches for “self storage,” Google can now understand relevant subtopics, such as self storage size guide, packing supplies, or U-Haul truck rental, and show a wider range of content on the search results page.
- Pages should be created for users, not search engines
- Develop an information-rich site that provides value to your prospects and customers and clearly describes your content
- Think about the words users would type to find your pages, and make sure that your site actually includes those words.
- Try to use text instead of images to display important names, content, or links. If you must use images for textual content, use the alt attribute to include a few words of descriptive text.
As always, technology is moving forward rapidly. As a self storage owner/operator, you want to keep your business and your self storage marketing ideas one step ahead of your competition. Be sure that your marketing agency or in-house marketing team are staying abreast of best practices for 2021.