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5 Easy Ways to Improve Your Self-Storage Facility’s Pay-Per-Click Effort

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Most of your campaign should be set up using phrase match. This means a search must include the phrase you’ve designated in the search. For instance, if you bid on the term “storage unit,” your ad will appear when someone searches “Miami storage unit” or “storage unit for rent.”

Your ad would not appear for searches of “rent storage” because the term “unit” was not in the search. Don’t forget to make sure you have plenty of negative keywords, because your ad will still appear for “CD storage unit” with phrase match.

4:  Buy Your Own Brand Name

For some reason, this one riles people. There are a number of self-storage owners who run otherwise top-notch PPC efforts for their facilities who outright refuse to bid on their own brand name. Most feel that since they invested heavily in search-engine optimization and rank well, they shouldn’t “have to.” This is a mistake. There are three important reasons to bid on your brand name.

First, it increases authority. Studies have shown that if a user sees your ad at the top and your organic results below it, you’ll seem more trustworthy. Clients that trust, move in.

Second, you’ll increase your quality score. You can expect click-through rates in the 25 percent-plus range, which also has the effect of increasing your whole account’s average quality score. This, in turn, will lower your account’s average cost per click.

Last, if you don’t bid on your brand, someone else will. Buying a competitor's brand name is certainly allowed on AdWords, and you don’t want your competitors up the road snagging reservations when the user was searching for you. By the way, you can also bid on your competitor’s name.

5:  Use a Unique Phone Number to Understand Effectiveness

It’s easy to look at a monthly bill coming in from AdWords and wonder if you’re actually getting your money’s worth. However, not everyone knows just how easy it is to answer that question. Sure, you have conversion tracking in place on your website so you can see how many PPC visitors take an action, but are you also tracking the number of phone calls your AdWords campaign generates? If not, you could be missing about half of the total bookings.

Twenty years ago an additional phone number was quite an expense, but these days you can get one for as little as a dollar a month. Companies like will let you create a new phone number in minutes so you can count and listen to the phone calls generated by AdWords.

Just make sure to use this number in your “call extension” tab in AdWords and have it placed on the PPC landing pages on your website. Don’t forget, you can use a unique phone number for every marketing activity you do. Double down on what works!

PPC advertising can be a valuable marketing strategy for self-storage operators in busy markets. By following the simple steps above, operators can drill down to the vital components that make this type of advertising more successful and will be rewarded with more self-storage reservations.  

Craig Barrett, director of search marketing for, has created pay-per-click marketing campaigns for a variety of companies, from big companies that spend millions of dollars  a month to smaller ones with minimal budgets. Craig also has a fundamentally sound grasp of most digital-marketing activities. Follow him on Twitter: @craigabarrett.

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