With so many channels in online marketing, it’s hard to decide where to invest your time and money. Lucky for you, I’ve found the best place to not spend any money and get in front potential self-storage customers: A free Google business listing.
Let me explain. Local searches have local intent. For example, a user goes to Google and searches “Storage units in Clarksville, Indiana” and the search thinks “this person is searching for a local business.” Once the search is returned, you’ll see a long list of ads, a map and the organic listings on the search engine results page (SERP). The ads in the ads section come from keywords that trigger them in AdWords, Google’s ad platform for search and display ads.
The next thing you see on the SERP is what we came here to learn about today. The local map results, aka “Google Maps,” aka “Google Places,” aka “The Snack Pack.” This section has had so many names over the years and the information has been collected by Google from a variety of sources.
The good news is, now you can get your self-storage business listed in the local finder by claiming your Google My Business Listing—all for free.
Benefits of Claiming Your Listing
Claiming your business listing gives you the opportunity to be right in front of potential local customers when they’re searching for your service. It also comes with the following benefits … if the first one wasn't enough!
Your listing will have the correct information. Google My Business allows you to provide the most popular search engine with your correct information. We’ve all been there—seeing published information about our business online that isn't correct. In your Google My Business account, you supply your information and can edit it any time.
Here’s a list of information you add to your account:
- Correct business name
- Hours of operation
- Categories that fit your business
- Phone number
- Photos of your business
Manage all your reviews. Your account also lets you manage all your reviews on Google. You can reply to your customers who leave positive and negative reviews. This is great for replying to unsatisfied customers and making things right.
Insights on how users discover you. Insights are like Google Analytics. If you aren't familiar with Google Analytics, that needs to be your next move after setting up your Google My Business account. Insights are broken down into six categories:
- How customers search for your business
- Where customers view your business on Google
- Customer actions
- Phone calls
- Photo views
- Photo quantity
Photos of your business. Imagine adding pictures of the interior and exterior of your storage facility, plus staff on Google for your potential customers to see. Google My business allows you to do that. Take advantage of this. Don’t just add three photos, either. Max them out.
Many self-storage operators will hire a company or person to set up their Google My Business account. This has its benefits, mostly being that they come out and take photos for you. Other than that, your account can be easily set up by you or an employee. Now that you know the benefits of having a free Google My Business listing, get out there and get in front of local customers searching for you.
Garrett Lang is an employee with Anytime Storage, which operates two locations in Clarksville, Ind. He has been working in the marketing industry since 2006, and has degrees from Indiana University in journalism and advertising. He began his career by producing Web design, which led to being Google Certified in AdWords and Google Analytics. He now loves search engine optimization and enjoys learning new ways to please the Google machine. For more information, call 502.643.9618; visit www.anytime-storage.com.