Self Storage SEO in 2024: How to Rank Number One in Your Market

John Reinesch

We understand the unique challenges that self-storage facility operators face when it comes to organic search visibility. In the ever-evolving world of digital marketing, self-storage SEO has emerged as a cornerstone tactic to maximize online visibility and drive business growth. SEO is more than just an optional add-on to your marketing and tenant acquisition strategy. It’s the difference between lagging behind your competitors or leading the way in your market.

In the self-storage industry, traditional marketing techniques won’t cut it, and even online advertising can fall short without effective SEO strategies. The rising costs of advertising and the competitive landscape amplify these issues, creating a pressing need to revamp SEO processes.

Key Insights

  • SEO is not just about being visible; it’s about being visible to the right people at the right time. When potential customers are in need, your local self-storage facility should be at the top of Google.
  • The most important elements of an SEO strategy are optimizing your content and location pages, focusing on local SEO with Google Business Profile optimization, and building high quality backlinks to your website.
  • Don’t forget to consistently analyze your SEO KPIs and more importantly, make changes to your SEO campaign based on the data.
  • Consider hiring a professional SEO agency so you can focus your time and energy on running your facility.

Ensuring that your facility appears among the top search results when potential tenants are actively seeking storage units in your local market is crucial to attracting high-quality tenants. What is the consequences of being hard to find (or worse, invisible) online? Lost leads, empty storage units, and missed opportunities for business growth and expansion.

Yet, mastering self storage SEO isn’t straightforward for most owners and operators, leading to increased frustration and an inevitable plateau in tenant acquisition growth.

To summarize, SEO is critical for self-storage facilities due to the following reasons:

  1. Enhances online visibility and brand awareness.
  2. Drives targeted web traffic with high conversion potential.
  3. Builds brand credibility and trust.
  4. Offers a high return on investment (ROI).
  5. Aids in navigating the competitive landscape and boosting local presence.

Embarking on the journey of self-storage SEO is a strategic move that any self-storage business can make to reach their marketing goals. The following sections will delve deeper into understanding what SEO is, its key elements, implementation strategies, and the role that specialized SEO agencies like Asset Growth can play in your self storage facility growth journey.

Understanding Self Storage SEO

What is Self Storage SEO?

Imagine you’re a customer searching for a self-storage facility in your local area. You pull out your phone, open up Google, and type in “self storage near me.” The results that pop up are largely due to a process called Self Storage SEO. SEO, or Search Engine Optimization, is the practice of optimizing a website to increase its visibility in search engine results for relevant queries.

In the context of self-storage facilities, Self Storage SEO refers to the process of enhancing the online presence of your storage facility’s website. The goal is to ensure that when potential customers search for terms like “self-storage in [city name]” or “climate-controlled storage near me,” your facility shows up as a top result.

Why is SEO Crucial for Self Storage Facilities?

With over 1.5 billion square feet of storage space built in the last few years, the self-storage industry is more competitive than ever. Hence, the question arises, why is SEO essential for storage facilities?

The answer is simple – tenant acquisition. Despite the exponential growth of the self-storage footprint in the United States, most facilities serve a customer base that largely resides within a 3-5 mile radius. This means that your potential customers are your neighbors, and you need to ensure that when they search for local storage solutions, your facility appears at the top of the search results.

SEO is not just about being visible; it’s about being visible to the right people at the right time. When potential customers are in need, your local self-storage facility should be front and center. A robust online presence achieved through effective SEO strategies can significantly increase your facility’s visibility, leading to more inquiries and booked units.

The Role of Local SEO in Self Storage Businesses

Local SEO plays a pivotal role for self-storage facilities due to the nature of the customer base. As mentioned earlier, these customers often live within 3-5 miles of the facility, and their search queries usually consist of location-specific keywords like “storage unit + city” or “storage unit near me”. To tap into this customer base, a focus on local search engine optimization, known as Local SEO, can have the biggest impact.

Local SEO for self storage involves optimizing your website and online presence to attract customers from relevant local searches near your facility. It’s not just about appearing on Google Maps or having consistent contact information across all platforms (though those are important aspects). It’s about creating localized content, generating positive local reviews, and building a strong local backlink profile.

The local map pack results are one of the highest converting areas of the entire Google search results page. Only 3 storage facilities will show up in the map listings which makes this space very competitive but worth the effort to drive new tenants to your facility.

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    Is Traditional SEO Dead?

    SEO is not dead but has evolved quite a bit over the years. In competitive markets, focusing solely on traditional SEO will, at best, get you to the middle of the first page of Google.

    Instead, I focus on a full-funnel search approach for storage facilities. This strategy is how I occupy 3-5 spots on the first page of Google search results.

    Check out the five aspects of a modern Google search result below. These are in order of what shows up at the top of Google and what shows up at the bottom.

    1. Google Search Ads
    2. Google Ads in the map listings (location extension)
    3. Ranking organically in the map listings (Local SEO)
    4. Getting featured on aggregator websites
    5. Ranking in the traditional organic results with your location page.

    You’ll see that traditional SEO is typically the fifth thing a user sees on the first page of Google.

    SEO is still important, but I like to think about it differently and focus on figuring out how I can get featured multiple times on the first page of Google using the five tactics above.

    Anatomy of a Search Result on Google (SERP)

    Google ads at the top of serp

    The first thing potential tenants will typically see when they search for a self storage keyword is the Google search text ads.

    2 - Map ad plus organic map listings

    Next, the map listings show up on the search results. The first spot of the map listings will typically be an ad that you can set up through your Google Ads account. Underneath the ad, you will see 3 organic listings.

    3 - Aggregators and 2 storage brands

    Then we finally get to the traditional organic results. You’ll notice for competitive markets, 4 of the the top 6 listings are 3rd party aggregator websites.

    This means there are only 2 spots available for actual self-storage facilities, which makes ranking organically much more competitive.

    4 - remaining storage brands on the bottom of page one

    Finally, at the very bottom of the first page, we see the rest of the actual self-storage brands.

    Many tenants will not scroll this far down the page and most of the leads will be going to the top facilities listed in the images above.

    This is why we recommend our full-funnel search approach instead of focusing on traditional SEO. Prioritizing where to focus will depend on your resources (time and money).

    But if you are successful, you will have multiple ways for a potential tenant to find you, whereas your competitors may be only focused on one or two.

    Key Elements of Effective Self Storage SEO

    Crafting an effective self storage SEO strategy can sometimes feel like piecing together a complex puzzle. But at Asset Growth, we’ve cracked the code. The key lies in understanding and implementing the following essential elements.

    The Role of Keywords & Keyword Research in SEO

    Keyword research is the cornerstone of any effective SEO strategy. It involves identifying the search terms your potential customers use when looking for self-storage services.

    Our team at Asset Growth uses advanced tools like SEMrush and Ahrefs to conduct in-depth keyword research, ensuring you’re targeting high-traffic, relevant keywords that increase your visibility in search results.

    We have built our own keyword evaluation tool using Google Sheets that helps us evaluate which keywords will have the most impact. This is a critical step that many storage facilities skip. There are hundreds and sometimes thousands of potential keywords you could target, but you have to use your resources wisely and go through a keyword prioritization process to start with the most impactful keywords first.

    The goal of all of this SEO work is increasing your occupancy and NOI. If any SEO tactic is not aligned with that goal, than you are wasting your time and money.

    Optimizing Website Content for SEO

    The core of any effective SEO strategy is top-notch, optimized content. The text on your website should clearly communicate your services while incorporating the keywords potential customers use when searching for self-storage facilities. But remember, it’s not just about adding keywords arbitrarily. Google’s algorithms are smart and can distinguish between naturally incorporated keywords and forced ones.

    The most important aspects of your page to focus on when utilizing on-page optimization are (we’ll expand on this more later):

    • Title Tag
    • Meta Description
    • URL
    • Internal Links
    • Optimized Images & Alt Text
    • Headings
    • Semantic Keyword Usage in Body Copy
    • Strong Design and User Experience

    Importance of Website Speed and Performance

    A slow-loading website can be a conversion killer. Research shows that many visitors will abandon a website if it takes longer than 3 seconds to load. Google also considers website speed and performance when ranking websites, so it’s crucial to optimize your site for speed.

    Using this free tool from Google you can analyze if your webpage is fast enough: https://pagespeed.web.dev/

    Building High-Quality Backlinks

    Backlinks are like votes of confidence from other websites. When a reputable site links to yours, it signals to search engines that your content is valuable and trustworthy.

    Focusing on acquiring high-quality links from authoritative and relevant websites in your local market. This not only boosts your site’s SEO but also drives more referral traffic to your site.

    Be very careful of companies and vendors who do high volume and low quality link building. This can be a complete waste of money and even hurt your websites performance in search results. The backlinks that you acquire, should be from real websites that get organic traffic themselves.

    Importance of Data Consistency in Local SEO

    For local SEO, consistency in your business information across all online platforms is crucial. This includes your business name, address, and phone number (NAP). Inconsistent data can confuse search engines and potential customers, hurting your local search rankings.

    Ensure that your business information is accurate and consistent across all platforms, from Google My Business to local directories. By doing so, you can enhance your local visibility, ensuring your self-storage facility is easily found by potential customers.

    There are many tools that help with this. time consuming process like BrightLocal, Moz, Yext, and more.

    Importance of Location Pages For Multi-Location Facilities

    For multi-location self-storage facilities, the importance of creating dedicated location pages on their website cannot be overstated. Location pages are crucial for both SEO and providing potential customers with relevant, localized information. These pages are essential for several reasons.

    Firstly, location pages significantly enhance local SEO efforts. By providing detailed and unique content for each location, including address, contact details, services offered, and local landmarks or directions, these pages help search engines accurately index and present the facilities in local search results. These pages allow you to target keywords like “storage units + city name” for each of the locations that you have a storage facility in.

    Additionally, well-optimized location pages can rank higher in search results, making it easier for potential customers to find and select a facility near them. These pages also offer an opportunity to showcase the unique features and benefits of each location, catering to the specific needs and preferences of the local market.

    For a multi-location self-storage business, effectively designed and optimized location pages can lead to increased visibility, higher web traffic, and ultimately, more tenant conversions.

    Acquire and Respond to Customer Reviews

    Customer reviews are a powerful tool in managing your local SEO efforts. They not only improve your business’s online reputation but also enhance your visibility in local search results. Encourage your customers to leave reviews on your Google My Business profile and remember to respond to all reviews, whether positive or negative. This demonstrates that you value customer feedback and are committed to improving your services.

    More positive reviews help to boost your rankings in local search results. This should be something you do on a regular basis and not something you just do once and forget about.

    Step One of my SEO Process: Keyword Research

    Thorough keyword research is the foundation of an effective SEO strategy. It involves identifying high-value keywords that align with your target audience’s search intent and have sufficient search volume. Here are some best practices for conducting keyword research for self-storage SEO:

    Use multiple keyword research tools – Relying on just one tool like Google Keyword Planner can miss valuable long-tail keywords. Expand your research with others like SEMrush, Ahrefs, and Moz Keyword Explorer.

    Analyze search intent – Look beyond volume for each keyword. Gauge whether it matches informational, navigational or transactional searches. Focus on keywords with commercial intent.

    Identify long-tail variations – Longer, more specific phrases often convert better than single generic terms. Discover these by filtering tools by keyword length and digging into related/expanded ideas.

    Map keywords to pages – Organize keywords into logical groups that naturally align with your site architecture. This facilitates optimization and helps avoid cannibalizing pages targeting the same terms.

    Research local keywords – Include locally targeted keywords like “self storage Denver” for any geo-targeted pages. Local SEO can drive visits from nearby searchers.

    Monitor trends – Continuously add new keywords and prune outdated ones. Search intent evolves over time. Ongoing research ensures you target what users are currently searching for.

    Thoughtful keyword research provides the foundation to optimize pages around valuable search terms, drive targeted organic traffic, and boost visibility in search engines. Dedicate sufficient time upfront to researching and selecting the right keywords to pursue.

    Optimizing Pages for Target Keywords

    Keyword optimization is crucial for on-page SEO. This involves optimizing individual pages to rank for specific keywords. Here are some best practices:

    Title Tags

    The title tag is the most important on-page element for search rankings. Title tags should:

    • Contain the target keyword, ideally at the beginning
    • Be under 60 characters
    • Accurately describe the page content

    Meta Descriptions

    Meta descriptions summarize page content in 160 characters or less. They don’t directly influence rankings but can improve click-through rates. Meta descriptions should:

    • Contain the target keyword
    • Provide an accurate, compelling summary of the content

    Headers

    Use H1 and H2 headers to highlight important content and keywords. Only use one H1 per page – this is the main page heading. Use relevant keywords in H2 headers (but don’t over stuff keywords here).

    Image Optimization

    Optimize images by including target keywords in the file name and alt text. Use descriptive names like “storage-unit-sizes.jpg”. Alt text should briefly describe the image content.

    Internal Linking

    Link to relevant internal pages using anchor text with target keywords. This helps search engines understand relevancy and information architecture.

    Content Creation

    Create content optimized for ranking keywords by focusing on topics and questions people search for. Incorporate keywords naturally throughout the content. Produce long-form, in-depth content over 2,000 words when possible.

    Local SEO

    Local SEO refers to optimizing a website and content to rank higher in local search results. This is crucial for businesses that rely on local customers finding them online. There are several key factors to focus on for effective local SEO:

    NAP citations: Having consistent name, address and phone number (NAP) citations across directories, review sites and business listings. Inconsistency can negatively impact local rankings. Aim to have complete, accurate and consistent NAP details on Google My Business, Yelp, Facebook, Apple Maps, etc.

    Google My Business: Having a complete and optimized Google My Business listing is essential for local SEO. This includes high-quality photos, detailed business info, responding to reviews, adding attributes like menus or price lists. Engage with the GMB dashboard regularly.

    Reviews: Getting more positive online reviews can boost local search visibility. Encourage customers to leave reviews on Google, Facebook, Yelp. Respond professionally to any negative reviews. Keep an eye on review trends and your overall rating.

    On-page optimization: Use local keywords and geo-modifiers like “City” and “State” in page titles, content, alt text, schema markup. This signals relevance for local search intent.

    Link building: Get links from local directories, sponsors, community associations, local news sites. Focus on building a diverse, high-quality local link profile.

    Citations: List the business name, address and phone number across key local directories like Yellow Pages, Hotfrog, Citysearch. This helps reinforce the NAP consistency.

    ‘Near me’ searches: Optimize for “near me” style searches like “pizza places near me”. Include the business name, city and category in content to attract nearby searchers.

    Schema markup: Use schema like LocalBusiness and Geo Coordinates to highlight address, opening hours, location info for search engines. Make key local attributes machine-readable.

    GMB posts: Keep the GMB listing active by posting regularly about offers, events, news and more. This can drive visits from local searchers.

    Optimizing across these factors helps maximize visibility and conversions for locally-focused keywords and searches.

    Link building is a crucial part of any SEO strategy. The goal is to obtain backlinks from high authority and relevant sites to boost your website’s ranking and authority in search engines. Here are some effective link building strategies:

    High Value Link Building Strategies

    • Guest posting: Reach out to industry websites and blogs to contribute guest posts with a link back to your site. Focus on high quality, popular sites closely related to your niche. Provide useful, original content that adds value for readers.
    • Resource page links: Create lists, guides, tools, and other resources with valuable information for your target audience. Reach out to sites and ask to be included in relevant resource pages or roundups.
    • Influencer outreach: Identify key influencers in your industry. Follow them on social media, engage with their content, and build relationships. Reach out asking them to link to your content if relevant. Focus on long-term partnerships.
    • Link reclamation: Use tools like Ahrefs to find broken links on high authority sites linking to old or removed pages on your domain. Reach out asking site owners to update the links to relevant new pages.

    Effective Outreach Process

    • Personalize: Customize emails for each website, highlighting why your content specifically is a good fit. Show you understand their site.
    • Offer value: Explain how linking to your content can benefit their audience and add value for their site. Don’t make it all about you.
    • Follow up: If you don’t hear back at first, follow up politely after 1-2 weeks. Consider changing your approach and angle.
    • Build relationships: Reply promptly and maintain connections after receiving a link. Nurture the relationship for potential future partnerships.

    Leveraging Existing Assets

    • Update and refresh older evergreen content that still ranks well and has relevant backlinks. Outreach to sites linking to that content asking them to also link to the updated version.
    • Turn existing resources like guides and tools into linkable assets. Reach out to appropriate sites to request they link to the resources.
    • Promote new high-quality content through social media, email newsletters, etc. Make it easy for others to find and link to your fresh content assets.
    • Conduct PR outreach around data studies, surveys, and new product announcements that include linkable content.

    The key is persistence and regularly conducting thoughtful, strategic outreach. Link building takes time and effort, but high quality backlinks can significantly improve your SEO success.

    Technical SEO

    Technical SEO focuses on optimizing the technical elements of a website to improve search engine rankings and user experience. Some key technical SEO factors include:

    Site Speed Optimization

    Site speed is a ranking factor for Google and other search engines. Faster loading pages tend to rank higher in search results. There are various ways to optimize site speed:

    • Enable compression – Compress files like CSS, JavaScript, images, and HTML to reduce their size.
    • Leverage browser caching – Set proper cache times for static resources so they don’t have to load every time.
    • Minify code – Remove unnecessary spaces and characters in CSS, JavaScript and HTML to reduce file size.
    • Optimize images – Compress image file sizes and serve properly sized images.
    • Limit redirects – Minimize HTTP redirects which can slow down page loads.
    • Upgrade web hosting – Choose a fast, reliable web host.
    • Enable a content delivery network (CDN) – CDNs store cached versions of your site files on servers around the world for faster delivery.

    Mobile Optimization

    With more searches happening on mobile devices, having a mobile-friendly site is critical. Steps for mobile optimization include:

    • Use a responsive design – Ensure your site adapts smoothly to different screen sizes.
    • Avoid interstitials and popups – These negatively impact the mobile experience.
    • Size tap targets appropriately – Links and buttons should be easy to tap on a touchscreen.
    • Optimize page speed – Slow page loads frustrate mobile users.
    • Adapt page layouts – Design pages specifically for smaller mobile screens.

    Structured Data Markup

    Adding structured data markup enables search engines to better understand your content. Structured data can power rich search results like star ratings, images, and more. Common types of structured data include:

    • Schema.org markup – Use standard schema.org tags like Product, Review, Article, etc.
    • JSON-LD format – JSON-LD is the preferred structured data format.
    • Product data – Mark up product name, price, images, etc.
    • Review data – Mark up ratings, author, date, etc. for reviews.
    • FAQ data – Mark up questions and answers in FAQ content.
    • Breadcrumb data – Mark up site hierarchy with breadcrumb links.

    Technical SEO establishes the site infrastructure for an optimal search presence. By optimizing site speed, mobile experience, and structured data, sites can improve their rankings and visibility in search results.

    How to Monitor and Analyze SEO Efforts

    Monitoring and analyzing your SEO efforts is critical to your success. SEO is not a one-time task but an ongoing process that requires regular analysis and adjustments. Keep track of your website’s performance using tools like Google Analytics and adjust your strategies as necessary to stay ahead of your competitors.

    Set Up Google Analytics Tracking

    • Install the Google Analytics 4 tracking code on every page of your website. This allows you to capture important data on your site traffic and visitor behavior.
    • Set up events in Google Analytics 4 to track conversions, such as phone calls and booked units. Conversions allow you to measure the ROI of your SEO activities.
    • Link your Analytics account to Search Console to gain more granular data on organic traffic and search performance.

    SEO KPIs

    The main KPIs to monitor for SEO are:

    • Leads driven from organic search
    • New booked units from organic search
    • Closed won revenue from organic search

    With these 4 metrics you can get a complete picture of how your SEO program is performing and where you may need to focus to improve your ROI.

    Secondary metrics to track:

    • Organic traffic—This shows how much traffic is coming from organic search. Look at overall volume trends and traffic for target keywords.
    • Bounce rate – High bounce rates may indicate content is not resonating with visitors or pages are not well-optimized.
    • Pages/session – More pages per session implies visitors are engaged with your content.
    • Rankings – Track top keyword rankings in Google Search Console to see how you rank for target terms.

    Use Data to Optimize

    • Identify high-traffic pages as well as those with high rankings and conversions to optimize further.
    • Look for pages with high bounce rates or low time on site to improve content.
    • Expand content for keywords driving traffic but have low conversions.
    • Build more links to pages ranking on page 2-3 for target terms to try to move them up.
    • Adjust on-page elements on pages getting traffic but not converting.

    Regularly analyzing your data will reveal optimization opportunities and insights to refine your SEO strategy.

    self storage seo strategies - self storage seo

    The Role of Digital Marketing Agencies in Self Storage SEO

    As a self-storage business owner, you may wonder why you need a self storage digital marketing agency for your SEO efforts. Can’t you just handle it in-house? While it’s true that you could manage your SEO strategies internally, partnering with a professional agency can offer numerous benefits that can significantly boost your online visibility and business growth.

    How a Digital Marketing Agency Can Help Improve Your SEO Results

    A self storage SEO company provides expertise and proven processes that could be difficult to match in-house. At Asset Growth, our team of SEO experts understands the unique needs and challenges of the self-storage industry. We leverage our deep understanding of the market to tailor your SEO strategy, ensuring that your storage facility is easily found by potential tenants when they search for storage options in your area.

    Our agency can save you precious time by managing your SEO campaign, freeing you up to focus on the core aspects of your business. We use advanced marketing tools and software to optimize your website and monitor its performance, providing regular reports to keep you informed about your SEO progress.

    Furthermore, we handle all of the SEO tasks like keyword research, identifying high-volume, locally relevant keywords to target in your content. We also work on enhancing your local SEO by optimizing your Google My Business profile and building local citations, a crucial factor in improving your visibility in local search results.

    Common SEO Mistakes to Avoid

    Self Storage Facility owners should be aware of some common mistakes that can negatively impact search rankings. Avoiding these pitfalls can help ensure long-term success.

    Buying Links

    Buying links or participating in link exchanges in an attempt to manipulate PageRank is against Google’s guidelines. These artificial links provide no value to users and can result in penalties. Focus efforts on earning high-quality links naturally.

    Keyword Stuffing

    Over-optimizing and cramming pages with keywords can make content unreadable. Use target keywords naturally and in moderation. Write for users first, not search engines.

    Thin Content

    Pages with little unique, original content offer poor user experience. Search engines favor pages with in-depth, useful information. Ensure each page provides valuable insights.

    Not Monitoring Results

    SEO is an ongoing process requiring continual tracking and refinement. Regularly analyze performance data, search rankings, and user metrics. Adjust efforts based on results and evolving best practices.

    Boosting Your Self Storage Business with SEO

    SEO for self-storage facilities requires an integrated approach across multiple areas to be effective. Here is a recap of the key points:

    • Conduct thorough keyword research to identify high-value terms that customers are searching for related to self-storage. Optimize pages around these terms.
    • Implement local SEO best practices like accurate business info in directories, local content, and links to signal relevance in geographic areas.
    • Build high-quality backlinks from industry websites, directories, and other relevant sites. Prioritize contextual links.
    • Follow technical SEO basics like site speed, mobile optimization, structured data, etc.
    • Develop useful, in-depth content that answers customer questions and establishes expertise.
    • Track rankings, traffic, conversions and other metrics to gauge progress. Adjust efforts based on data.
    • Avoid common mistakes like thin content, over-optimization, shady link building tactics.

    An integrated approach is essential because no single SEO tactic in isolation will produce results. Keyword targeting must align with content strategy and link building.

    Local relevance factors need to be in place. The site needs a solid technical foundation. And analytics provide the feedback loop to refine efforts.

    By coordinating SEO activities across all of these areas, self-storage businesses can build visibility, traffic and conversions over time.

    Remember, SEO isn’t just a marketing strategy — it’s an investment in your business’s future. By prioritizing SEO, you’re positioning your self storage business for long-term success.

    We at Asset Growth are ready to help you take your storage business to the next level. Contact us today to maximize your occupancy and NOI.

    john reinesch

    About the author

    John's expertise lies in crafting tailor-made marketing strategies for the real estate industry that drive results. Whether it's optimizing Lead Generation funnels, implementing data-driven SEO techniques, or improving advertising campaigns, John will help find the biggest growth lever in your business.

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