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The ISS Blog provides a series of insightful, industry-relevant posts to help readers keep abreast of the latest trends in the marketplace as well as premium content and educational offerings. Read the thoughts of the ISS content team and other industry experts on issues related to self-storage challenges, news, operation, development, marketing and much more.

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How Will the Yahoo/Bing Merger Affect Your Self-Storage Facility's Online Marketing Campaign?

By Amy Campbell Comments

By Brandon Honeycutt

For self-storage operators, online marketing plays a big role in gaining company awareness and generating revenue. Search-engine optimization (SEO) is the biggest part of online marketing, organically optimizing your site for search-engine crawlers and potential tenants alike.

Search-engine marketing (SEM) allows you to pay for sponsored listings on search engines, bidding on how much you’re willing to pay per click. Both are important parts of a successful online marketing strategy.

Up until now, there were only three major search engines where marketing consultants concentrated their online marketing efforts. Known as “The Big Three,” they are Google, Yahoo and MSN/Bing. Each search engine has been running on its own algorithm, which is what it uses to generate search results. That meant online marketing funds had to be allocated to three separate search engines for paid search advertising (PPC).

Recently, however, Bing and Yahoo struck a deal to merge in an effort to compete with Google, the dominating search engine with 65 percent of the market share. The merger will not be fully completed until 2012, but search-engine results have already been affected with Yahoo basing 90 percent of its search results on data collected from Bing. If you perform a search on Yahoo, you’ll notice at the very bottom of the search-results page a small message that reads “Powered by Bing.”

What does this mean for your self-storage company? First, you’re only really optimizing your site now for two search engines, Google and Bing. Finding what works best for these two search-engine algorithms as far as SEO goes will be easier than trying to please all three as you did in the past. These search-engine algorithms are still constantly changing, however, so it’s still important for SEO consultants to stay up to date on any changes involving the way the search engines determine which results to show for any given query.

In addition, this merger can mean your paid search-advertising campaigns will no longer need to be spread out to three separate search engines. This will allow you to stretch your advertising dollars further and place higher bid amounts on your paid listings to achieve higher placement for those sponsored listings.

With Google still being the dominating force on the Internet, allocating more marketing funds to the search-engine giant can result in increased click-through rates and more traffic to your website. The Yahoo/Bing merger allowed the new partnership to capture a combined 29 percent of the market share. These statistics should be strongly considered when constructing an online marketing budget for pay-per-click advertising.

Another statistic to consider is 93 percent of all online traffic is generated from search engines. In an extremely competitive industry like self-storage, maintaining constant online visibility in the search engines is a crucial part of staying ahead of your competition. In the technology-driven world we live in today, attaining a high placement for the search terms relating to your self-storage business is one of the most important parts of online marketing.

Stay ahead of your competitors and keep facility occupancy levels high by implementing a proven method of online marketing for self-storage with a SEO/SEM plan customized to meet your self-storage company’s needs and your budget.

Brandon Honeycutt is a content writer and marketing consultant for Storage Marketing Strategies, a full-service website design and online marketing company catering exclusively to the self-storage industry.


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