Big Changes in Search Engine Optimization: Tips for Self-Storage Operators in 2014

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By Nick Bilava

The world of search engine optimization (SEO) changed a lot in 2013. This shouldn’t come as a surprise. Search engines are constantly finding ways to improve their processes and provide users with the best possible results. Every year, there will be alterations to which marketers will have to adjust. While this might seem daunting, it really isn’t.

SEO is moving in a direction that’s more similar to traditional marketing. Search engines want to provide users with useful results that lead them to quality websites that are entertaining and informative. In fact, search engines have started to rank websites based more on the user experience and less on SEO tactics.

In previous years, having effective SEO and ranking well in searches came down to knowing technical details that would lead to higher rankings and having the resources to make higher rankings happen. These are things the major search engines such as Google, Bing and Yahoo! have looked to correct in their search engine algorithms. Several updates to those algorithms were seen in 2013. Let’s take a look at some of the big changes and important things to know going forward.

Google Releases New Algorithm: Hummingbird

Google has had some major ranking updates over the last few years. These updates were designed to reward high-quality websites with useful content, less advertisements and more credibility while devaluing websites using SEO tricks that worked in the past.

The 2013 update was an entirely new algorithm. Hummingbird was designed to look beyond keywords and into human intent. Now when someone types a question into a Google search, Google will find websites that answer the question best. Hummingbird is still in its early stages and will continue to become more advanced as time passes.

Ultimately, if you’re using your self-storage website to provide useful information that can help those in need of your service, you’ll be fine. Focus on creating a great experience for your potential self-storage tenants and providing them with something worthwhile. Google will eventually reward you.

Important SEO Metrics

With all of the recent changes, metrics have also become more important. While user experience can’t be entirely understood through numbers, there are certain metrics that can help and also have increasing SEO value. The two metrics to pay attention to are time spent on site and pages visited. These are both great indications that you’ve provided a website visitor with something in which they’re interested. If visitors spend several minutes on your website and check out different pages, it’s a good indication they’ve found something worthwhile.

While SEO is changing year after year, taking actions to provide website visitors with a great experience and giving them useful information will never lose value. This is the direction in which SEO is moving, and that makes this constantly changing field much less overwhelming.

Staying up-to-date with the latest SEO news is important for self-storage operators. Online location is equally important as physical location in this industry.

Nick Bilava is the director of sales and marketing for Storage.com . He has been an active member of the storage community for over seven years and can be found at various industry events throughout the nation. His goal is to help self-storage operators market their business more efficiently and effectively.

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