Setting Up SEM
A good SEM campaign includes Google, Bing and Yahoo. It’s very easy to set up an account on any of these services from their homepage. Google’s ad program, AdWords, allows you to bid on certain keywords and target geographically. Google makes it very easy and intuitive to set up, but you also need to have conversion tracking in place to ensure a positive return on investment.
Storage keywords can be extremely expensive. In New York and Los Angeles, each click can cost upward of $14! Google has free tools to help you track conversions built in to its AdWords program. All you need to do is install a snippet of code from Google on your confirmation page, or whichever page shows up when someone has completed the desired action on your website. You can also use another program called Google Analytics to track how people are interacting with your website.
Third-Party Referral Sites
Capturing organic search traffic from Google is part science and part art. It takes time and hard work to rise to the top. But there are other ways to boost your online presence and get more tenants in the door today, such as getting listed on third-party referral sites. For example, sites that primarily offer moving, relocation and real estate services also host self-storage listings. For a fee, these sites will list your facility and drive traffic to your site.
In addition to sites in adjacent verticals, a number of third-party referral websites have popped up in the self-storage industry itself. These range from basic online directories to fully integrated marketplaces with online booking capabilities.
When people think about renting self-storage, some will still thumb through the Yellow Pages, but others will turn to Internet searches. Look for sites that offer the best user experience for your potential consumers, and make sure your company is listed on all of them.
Chuck Gordon is the CEO and cofounder of SpareFoot.com, an online self-storage marketplace. SpareFoot is 100 percent performance-based with no setup or monthly fees. For more information, call 202.257.2111; visit http://www.sparefoot.com/.