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Enhancing Your Self-Storage Digital Footprint Through Business Listings and Customer Reviews

Building a digital footprint is critical for your self-storage facility, regardless of the size of your market. Thankfully, there are two easy ways to expand and improve it. Discover the role business listings and customer reviews in your online presence and how to maximize them.

Jessica Johnson

July 7, 2022

6 Min Read
Enhancing Your Self-Storage Digital Footprint

We’re living in a digital era, one in which consumers have instant access to information. This means your self-storage facility’s digital footprint has never been more critical to connecting with potential renters. You must meet them where they are, and the vast majority have shifted to shopping on the web.

Thankfully, there are two key components to your online presence that are relatively simple to manage: business listings and customer reviews. Here’s why each matters greatly to your success and how to make them outstanding.

Claim and Create Your Business Listings

Accurate and consistent business listings will help you better position and market your self-storage brand, enhance search engine optimization (SEO), and make your operation accessible to customers when and where they need you. These online listings contain all the critical details about your facility such as name, address, phone number, website, hours of operation, map, amenities, etc.

But it doesn’t end there. A business listing is also an opportunity to catch and hold a customer’s attention. A human’s average attention span is less than nine seconds. That’s all you’ve got to hook the audience’s eye and get them to absorb your information. You can do so by adding photos and videos to your listings. These perform better than plain text, as the user can interact with them quickly. Studies show that visual content receives 416% more interaction than written content alone.

There are many listing sites available—almost too many, in fact. You need to focus on the ones that are going to be most relevant for your self-storage company. Some are industry-specific while others are universal. For example, Yelp is often used for finding restaurants, while Angie’s List is used for finding services such as plumbing or cleaning. The most important business-listing sites are Google and Facebook, making these a must. Yellow Pages and Bing are also recommended.

The goal is to get your self-storage facility found online as quickly as possible. Optimizing your business listings with relevant keywords and accurate information will help. Following are three simple steps. Keep in mind, the more information the better!

  1. Fill out the information completely, accurately and the exact same way on each site.

  2. Complete the “about” section by adding relevant keywords your customers use when searching for self-storage. The Google Keyword Planner can help.

  3. Add visual content such as photos. Aim for at least three per category—interior, exterior and staff working. Also add any images that represent your branding such as your logo or signage.

If you’re feeling like this is time-consuming, it’s well worth the effort. There are also great paid resources and automation tools you can use to simplify this task. They allow you to create your business listing once and deploy it to the different sites.

Why Reviews Matter

The second prong in the strategy to improve your self-storage facility’s digital footprint is online customer reviews. Here are a few quick stats:

  • 80% percent of consumers trust online reviews just as much as a personal recommendation.

  • Customers are likely to spend 31% more with businesses that have excellent reviews.

  • 92% of users will use a local business if it has a least 4-star rating.

  • Reliability, expertise and professionalism are the most important reputation traits for a local business.

  • 86% of customers will hesitate to make a purchase from a business with negative reviews.

Now more than ever, a positive online presence is vital for your business. Customer reviews are the largest source of social proof trust, which can encourage prospects to make a purchase. Positive ones result in more sales and boost SEO, making your facility more visible.

Each reviewer is providing your business with unique content, and each search engine has a way of indexing and surfacing it. The more you can feed the content machine, the more favored your self-storage brand will be by the algorithms. Remember, SEO helps the customer find your business quicker!

Think about your own online shopping experience. Like many people, you’re probably more inclined to make a purchase after reading positive reviews and less likely if you see an alarming number of negative ones. It makes sense: If most people are having a good or bad experience, why would yours be different?

Gather Online Reviews

The happier your self-storage customers are, the more likely they are to share a review on multiple platforms, increasing your multi-channel footprint. Moreover, you can learn things about your business through these assessments. For example, if reliability, expertise and professionalism are the most important traits for local businesses, you need to hire staff that fits these attributes. If a customer tells you something is important to them, it’s an opportunity to implement social listening skills. Execute on what your customers tell you, or they’ll easily move on to your competitors.

So, how do you get online reviews? Simple: You ask! After a new self-storage tenant moves in, ask them to share a review of their experience with your business. You can even make the process easy by providing them with a link or QR code via in-office signage, text or email. Research shows that seven out of 10 people will leave an online review when asked.

Once you have reviews, display them publicly on your website, social media channels, print ads, fliers, online banner ads and more! Be creative and interactive with the posts. This is your time to shine and show the audience why you’re the better choice than the competition.

Turn Around Negative Reviews

Most self-storage operators don’t consider a negative review a potential gift, but it is when handled properly. Your gut reaction may be to delete it and make it go away, but this isn’t the answer. Instead, be responsive, apologetic and offer a fair resolution. This is the way to shift the mindset of the displeased consumer. You’ll also earn the respect of prospects by showing them your end goal is to create a positive outcome.

If your self-storage business gets a negative online review, do the following:

  • Respond immediately.

  • Be authentic. Admit the mistake, if warranted, and apologize publicly.

  • Correct any inaccuracies mentioned.

  • Highlight all your strengths in the response.

  • Write like a person, not a business.

  • When necessary, take the conversation offline to fix the issue.

If this feels too time-consuming, again, there are great paid resources and automation tools you can use to track, manage and respond to reviews quickly. Don’t be leery of these programs, as most are user-friendly and easy to learn. You can also attend online training sessions and rely on help forums for answers to commonly asked questions. The more you manage this task, the quicker you’ll become a pro.

A good online reputation is one of the most powerful marketing assets a self-storage facility can have. Accurate, detailed business listings supported by positive customer reviews offers traction in online searches. This’ll lead to greater exposure and new customers.

Jessica Johnson is vice president of Storage Business Owners Alliance LLC, a buying group for U.S. self-storage operators. She has more than 20 years of business experience in operations, finance, event management, and competitive market research and analysis. To reach her, call 248.245.900.

About the Author(s)

Jessica Johnson

Vice President, Storage Business Owners Alliance LLC

Jessica Johnson is vice president of Storage Business Owners Alliance LLC, a buying group for U.S. self-storage operators. She has more than 20 years of business experience in operations, finance, event management, and competitive market research and analysis. To reach her, call 248.245.900.

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