You Can Compete in a Crowded Marketplace!
“There is nothing like a good competition to push you even further. Embrace competition – you might surprise yourself!”Peter Economy
How do you gain market share when your in a competitive market? How can you do a better job than your competition? How do you attract customers, increase your bottom line, and build brand loyalty?
Understand Your Competition
Competition is about the individual market. First, you need to understand your competitive radius. The further you get from a major metropolitan city center, the bigger your competitive radius, and the further away from your facility your customers will live and work. Urban areas tend to have a much smaller customer radius than suburban and secondary markets. Understand your market.
Understand Customer Expectations
Customer expectations are nothing new. They want the same things they’ve always wanted: They want their problems to be solved, they want their technology to be user friendly, and they want to be treated as individuals, not “segments.”
Build A Significant Online Presence
Your budget should be distributed to the following:
- Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
- Local Search Marketing
- Reputation Management
- Content Marketing
- Search Engine Marketing (SEM)
“Your website needs to be more than a placeholder. It needs to provide value to your customers.”Christina Alvino
Prospective customers want a user friendly experience when they navigate your site on both desktop and mobile devices. Your visuals should be high-quality and provide an appealing image of your property. Content is a vehicle to educate, inform, and engage your potential clients. As always, they want solutions and they want to feel that you are writing specifically for them. Contact information should be available on every page, and unit details should be organized so that they are easy to locate and read on your site. A customer should have no problem reserving or renting a unit online. This is information that provides value.
Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
According to Search Engine Journal, 60% of clicks go to the top three organic search results.
- Research and identify your main keywords.
- Structure your site to be user friendly, not confusing. If users have to spend too much time looking for what they need, you’ll lose them.
- Understand what’s important in the SEO process:
- Title Tags
- Meta Descriptions
- Target Keywords
- Header Tags and Keyword Phrases
- Internal Page Linking
- Image Alt Tags and File Names
- Submit your new site or updated sitemap to all major search engines, with the expectation that it can take up to 6 months to be crawled.
- Off-page SEO and link building is the most difficult part of the process. According to Neil Patel, off-page SEO simply tells Google what others think about your site. Otherwise, why would people waste time linking to it?
- Analyze competitor websites to see what keywords they are ranking for and how their site is structured.
Local Search Marketing
Google business listings with great photos receive 42% more driving direction requests and 35% more click throughs to their website.
- Relevance – The more details, the better Google will understand your business.
- Distance – How far is each potential search result from the location?
- Prominence – How well known is a business. Search position, reviews, and positive ratings are factors.
Optimize Google My Business
- Claim, and clean your listing.
- Use Keywords in your business description.
- Add better quality photos.
- Try Google Posts:
- Part of your GMB listing, NOT a social media post.
- Google Posts are not indexed by Google.
- Increase listing interactions.
- Increase rank.
Eighty to Ninety percent of shoppers read online reviews before making a purchase. The use of reputation management best practices can help you understand when and how to react to what people are saying about your brand.
- Don’t be afraid to ask customers for reviews.
- Direct customers to sites where they can leave reviews.
- Respond to all reviews, both negative and positive. Create response guidelines or “canned” responses.
- Use positive reviews in your marketing.
According to Hubspot, websites with an active blog generate 67% more leads and 434% more indexed pages than those who don’t.
- Content Marketing involves the creation and sharing of online videos, blogs, and social media posts. It does not explicitly promote a brand but is intended to stimulate interest in its products and services.
- Optimize Content Marketing
Search Engine Marketing (SEM)
Search engine marketing (SEM) is paid search marketing. Businesses pay Google to show their ads in search results to motivated customers preparing to make a purchase. Google AdWords is a powerful way to grow your business.
- Use Google AdWords when you need quicker results than with SEO.
- Build store awareness in lease up, competitive markets, occupancy points.
- Set goals – More traffic? More conversions?
- Create separate ad groups – self storage vs. vehicle storage.
- Calls still dominate for reaching a business – call only ads are a great alternative to standard search ads.
Competition is a good thing. Embrace it. Learn, grow, and innovate. You may surprise yourself.