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5 Tips to Help Self-Storage Operators Better Understand and Use SEO

By Rick Beal Comments

Recently, I’ve been focused on rebuilding my company’s website and digital presence. When I began this journey, the term “search engine optimization (SEO)” was just some abstract concept to me. I enrolled in college classes, read articles and engaged with vendors until I felt I had a good understanding of what it meant.

While I still think Google’s algorithms are part Magic 8 Ball, part black magic and some math, there are key points self-storage operators need to understand about SEO. I co-wrote this article with my associate, Julia Grignon, who’s an expert in the field of digital marketing, so we could combine my experience as a relative rookie with hers as an experienced account manager. We’ll try to give you a better picture of how to tackle SEO and attain the best results for your business.

SEO Tip 1: Practice Patience

Let’s say you recently opened an investment account. You completed your research, picked the right stocks and invested your money. Is it fair to say you’re not going to withdraw that money and retire off it the very next day? The same goes with SEO. There are mitigating and contributing factors, but overall, it can take months before you start to see significant changes in certain aspects of your program.

As with any financial investment, you need to actively monitor your efforts and make sure nothing changes for the negative. For it to truly grow over time, you also need to make regular contributions. The same concept applies to SEO. Regular website updates are required to meet the ever-changing algorithms of search engines and keep it running smoothly.

SEO Tip 2: Avoid Keyword Stuffing

Focusing primarily on keywords when it comes to website content is like Michael Bay directing another “Transformers” film. He concentrates on just one thing: the robots. He leaves out other important facets of a successful film such as plot, good acting and creativity.

Keyword volume will never be a substitute for good editorial content. You don’t want to pack your website with words that aren’t meaningful to the user. Keywords should be naturally peppered throughout your site, but they should also matter when Google starts to index your pages.

When writing website content, consider your audience. I wish Bay would understand this! Focus on the customer’s experience, both on Google and your website. Search engines will reward companies with increased brand visibility when they write for the user and focus on his experience. Senselessly loading your website with keywords won’t move the needle in your direction.

Keywords aren’t going away anytime soon. However, there may come a time when SEO as we know and understand it changes drastically. It’s entirely possible the power of the user experience will overshadow what most business owners currently understand as SEO.

SEO Tip 3: Use a Variety of Tools

A Swiss Army pocket knife is the ultimate survival tool because it contains a variety of blades, files, can openers and even a toothpick, all in a single self-contained unit. It’s been a favorite of mine for years. At first it was because of the TV character MacGyver (my adolescent hero), but later it was for its all-encompassing abilities.

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