A Guest Installment by Derek Whitney, Lackland Self Storage
If your local audience is having trouble finding your self-storage facility online, you are likely missing some core values of search engine optimization (SEO). Following is a list of key SEO components and tips to help you improve the search rankings within your target market.
1. Localized keywords
You may not be ranking locally because you have not sufficiently narrowed your keywords. Specificity is your friend when it comes to being seen on the major search engines because all the general keywords have been taken over by firms with millions of dollars to spend on SEO. You’ll know you have set up your local keywords correctly when your conversion rate goes up sharply.
2. Google+ Local
In the past year, we have seen Google+ (Google Plus) get a ton of attention from all types of SEO and social media gurus. Part of the reason why we’ve heard so many good things is due to local searches on Google. It has been proven that claiming your own Google+ Local page will help tremendously with your local SEO. Just make sure that when you create your company profile page you claim your own URL, enter the correct phone number and address, verify your page, and keep it up to date.
3. Competitive backlink research
Be sure to investigate the Web profiles of your competitors to see if you have missed any link-building opportunities. There are many ways in which you can simply copy the link profiles of your competitors to help raise your profile on the major search engines. Just make sure you link to websites that make sense for your self-storage operation.
4. Narrow down your PPC campaign
Try casting different phrases with a pay-per-click (PPC) campaign and switch keywords when you have to. Depending on where you are locally, you may have missed a keyword that could bring you all sorts of Web traffic. PPC campaigns are relatively inexpensive and much quicker when it comes to determining key phrases that will be successful for you in organic search listings.
5. Google’s Disavow tool
If you have noticed your traffic is down a little, you should check out your own backlink profile. If you see it’s filled with junk links, you should use the Google Disavow tool to get rid of all bad links within your profile. These shady links can cause Google to punish your website. Get rid of these low-quality sites being directed to your website and keep your link profile up-to-date.
6. Review sites
It’s a good idea to encourage customers to review your business on major review sites. Using sites like Yelp, Yahoo Local, Google+ and other major social media platforms helps with search engines and brand awareness. The major search engines also take note of the attention customers give your Facebook and Twitter profiles. Encourage conversation on your social media pages and make sure to link to them.
All of the major search engines undergo constant change, which means you need to keep a close ear to the street to stay abreast of the latest changes. Monitor your search rankings and determine where the rules may have changed if you find that your strategy is good but your ranking is suffering. SEO is a long-term discipline; do not be frustrated with short-term fluctuations in your search rankings. Aim for consistency within your local market, and you will see a rise in business.
Derek Whitney blogs for Lackland Self Storage, a family-owned business with several locations throughout New Jersey and Pennsylvania. Derek enjoys blogging about self-storage social media, SEO and local search.