Internet marketing is quickly becoming a major part of all self-storage operations. And rightly so: Hundreds of thousands of potential renters use the Internet each month to find storage. The storage industry is not the only industry where the Internet plays a huge role. Almost any industry today must consider the Internet as an essential source of new business. In just a few years, we’ll probably be considering it our main source of new business.
Did you know that Internet marketing is available for a fraction of the cost of traditional marketing? In addition, the Internet allows you to display a plethora of information to potential renters, such as pictures, maps, unit sizes, prices and specials. In fact, you can even give customers the ability to rent instantly if you make this feature available on your website.
Internet marketing is flexible, meaning you can quickly and easily change your ads throughout the year. And arguably the best aspect of Internet marketing is that traffic, consumer patterns and behaviors, and the actions people take can all be tracked and monitored, making it easy for you to evaluate its effectiveness.
Because this topic is still likely new to some of you in the industry, I wanted to share common terminology of Internet marketing:
URL—the website address you type into your browser to go to a webpage.
Search Engine—I’ll just say Google. Google is the most widely used search engine. Some other popular search engines include Yahoo, AOL and MSN.
SEO—Search-engine-optimization. This process helps your website move higher and higher in the search-engine rankings when people type in specific words or phrases. The websites you see on the first page when you search for something are well optimized and are receiving most of the traffic.
PPC—Pay per click. This is a form of Internet advertising (and a major source of Google’s revenue) that allows you to only pay when people click on your ad and are taken to your website.
CTR—Click thru rate. This is the percentage of people who click on your ad out of all those who see it. The higher this percentage, the better.
CPC—Cost per click. This is how much you pay each time somebody clicks on your ad. In the self-storage industry it’s usually between $1.50 and $3.