By Bessie Haddaway
The extensive use of mobile devices is changing the self-storage tenant experience from every angle. Mobile is at the core of how customers now find storage facilities. According to Google, more than half of all online searches come from mobile devices. With the use of phones to find local businesses on the rise, mobile use is also influencing website design, search engine optimization (SEO), pay-per-click advertising (PPC) and local search.
Your facility website is one of the first places to start when implementing your mobile-marketing strategy. A responsive website can help you reach most potential tenants who are using smartphones to find self-storage. It’ll adjust in size and format according to the device the customer is using, whether it’s a smartphone, tablet or computer.
Convenience is especially important to today’s customers. Tenants want to find storage facilities, rent or reserve a unit, pay their bill, and perform other tasks directly from their mobile device when it fits their schedule. With a responsive website, you can reach these customers when they’re on the go.
Two years ago, keyword searches including the words “near me” or “nearby” were among the most popular terms for organic search. However, Google reports a decrease in these types of searches. Most people now realize that GPS is used to determine the most appropriate search results on a mobile device. Search engines understand how important local businesses are and will display the closest and most relevant results based on a user’s location.
For this reason, it’s imperative that your website is regularly optimized for location-based keyword phrases. Monthly SEO updates are essential if your property is in a populated area or you have several competitors.
Monthly ranking reports display the keyword phrases for which your facility ranks and your website’s position on the search engine results pages (SERPs). Google Analytics reports allow you to track the devices your potential tenants are using to view your website as well as the sources of your website traffic.
Google will soon use a business’ mobile website, rather than its desktop version, to determine its organic search engine ranking. This algorithm change reiterates the importance of having a responsive website that can display and function fully on mobile devices. Facilities with a responsive website will rank better in the Google SERPs. This change in indexing doesn’t have a hard launch date, but it’s expected to happen in 2018.
PPC ads appear in the ad sections at the top and bottom of the Google SERPs. A storage operator only pays when a potential tenant clicks on the ad to visit the website. Most clicks from these campaigns come from people on smartphones.
There are some unique PPC strategies to increase your facility’s click-through rate and calls. For example, the click-to-call feature will display your facility’s phone number within your ad. Smartphone users can simply click the phone number to call you directly.
PPC campaigns can also be customized to include special offers, and increasing your campaign bids can result in improved ad placement where your ad converts the most. For example, if most of your PPC clicks come from mobile users, you can increase your bids by a certain percentage so that when someone views your ad on a mobile device, the bid automatically increases and the ad has better placement.
Since self-storage is a local-focused industry, targeting potential tenants within a specific mile radius will help you maximize your PPC budget. Location targeting allows you to only reach people searching for self-storage in your target market.
According to Google, 76 percent of the people who perform a local search on their smartphone visit a related business within a day, and 28 percent of those searches result in a purchase. Mobile searches help generate in-person actions and increased sales. Claiming your facility’s local listings and increasing your visibility on Google Maps will help your facility entice potential tenants through local search. Adding your contact information, office hours, business description, services and more will boost your local and organic rankings.
Google states that 50 percent of all on-the-go searches have local intent. Searches that include the terms “open now” are increasing. This demonstrates there’s intent to visit the business in person after the user finds the information he seeks. Online maps and directories also use the location of the mobile device when determining the best search results.
In summary, as you plan your mobile marketing, consider the following:
- Having a responsive website will allow potential tenants on mobile devices to view your website and learn about your facility. It’ll also help your website rank better as Google moves to mobile-first indexing.
- Most search engine users now know that mobile devices will take their location into account when displaying search results.
- Using the click-to-call function in mobile PPC ads allows searchers to easily call your facility.
- You can customize mobile PPC ads with incentives and special offers.
- Consider increasing your bids so mobile PPC ads have better placement in the SERPs.
- Implement location targeting to strategically use your PPC budget.
- Claim your facility’s listings on online directories and maps to improve local-search presence.
- Optimize your local listings by adding more information about your facility.
Incorporating these strategies will help your facility attract the growing number of potential tenants who use their smartphones to find local businesses.
Bessie Haddaway is the marketing coordinator for The Storage Group, which specializes in online marketing including website design, search engine optimization, pay-per-click advertising, local-listing management and more. She has extensive experience in blogs, social media posts and e-mail newsletters, and is proficient in a variety of social media platforms and marketing. For more information, call 407.392.2328; visit www.storageinternetmarketing.com.