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Teri Lanza

Teri Lanza
Editorial Director
tlanza@vpico.com

A Shoutout to SEO Newbies: See Beyond the Acronym to the Marketing Potential

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A guest installment by ISS Editorial Assistant Rachel Adams

Rachel Adams***It's no secret that creating and maintaining an online presence is a crucial part of your self-storage marketing strategy. Buzzwords like "search engine optimization" (SEO) and "Google rankings" have become central to the conversation. We are constantly told to build our online presence—create a Twitter page, create a Facebook page, gather reviews from customers—but do we really know the value of each aspect and how to implement it properly?

Truth is, I don't. I began working on an online project and decided to look further into all this SEO business. I kept hearing "SEO this" and "SEO that," but when it came right down to it, I realized I knew nothing about SEO beyond the acronym. I considered enrolling in a class, but I decided to do the ironic thing instead and turned to Google.

Search Engine Land is an awesome website to turn to for SEO beginners. A Periodic Table of SEO Success Factors categorizes and explains multiple factors that influence search engine ranking, including the importance of each factor and tools and supplemental articles to explain how to implement each one properly.

In my journey with SEO, I decided to pick only one or two factors on the Periodic Table to build at one time. By doing this, I can take the time to learn how to implement each element correctly and thoroughly. A great place to start is with content.

Content marketing is a crucial component in today's search-engine optimizing world. You probably knew content quality is extremely important, but did you know researching the correct keywords to use when creating that content is equally as important? I didn't. There are actually online tools that help you to identify the best keywords to use to yield the best search engine results. For industry-specific tips on content-marketing and SEO development, read the article, "3 Keys for a Successful Self-Storage Content-Marketing Campaign."

If you're still not sure where to begin, check out A Self-Storage Operator's Fundamental Guide to Web Marketing, an educational DVD from the 2013 ISS World Expo accessible through the ISS Store. Presented by Shari Sutton, owner, and Alicia Braach, marketing executive and social media manager, for Sutton Watkins Advertising & Marketing, this video discusses basic strategies and tools you need to generate online leads, including website design, search engine optimization, search engine marketing, in-bound links, directory listings and social media.

Other helpful (and free) resources include the following videos on Self-Storage TV, courtesy of PinDot Media, and the ISS "Online Marketing" topics page, which is chock full with free information.

Remember, it can take time to build your ranking. If you don't see results at first, be consistent with your efforts and continue learning about new and different strategies to add to your SEO mix. There are plenty of tips and ideas to implement, so don't be afraid to get in the game and try something new. Have some ideas to share with fellow self-storage professionals? Please post them using the comments link below.

Rachel Adams graduated from the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Arizona State University with a bachelor's degree in journalism and a minor in Spanish. Her passion for writing and culture propelled her journey through college and has continued to inspire her endeavors with VIRGO Publishing, where she contributes to "Inside Self-Storage" and "Professional Door Dealer." Contact her with questions, comments or ideas at radams@vpico.com.

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