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Does it make good business sense to create a blog for your self-storage operation? Blogging does require knowledge, time and effort, but it can also reap great rewards. Read pros and cons as well as other tips to help you decide.

David Austin

October 15, 2022

5 Min Read
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You can’t surf around the web these days without bumping into at least a few blogs. They’re popular for good reason: They’re a great way to share information, build brand presence and showcase a bit of company personality. But is blogging really worth the time and effort for most self-storage operations? The answer depends on your target audience, subject matter and current online presence as well as the scope of your business. Let’s dig deeper into the pros and cons.

Audience

Before deciding whether to create a blog for your self-storage operation, you need to determine your target audience and what you hope to gain. Let’s say your blog does terrifically well. Google believes you’re an authority in the field and that your website contains the definitive answers to common industry questions. Is that going to help your business? Perhaps, but one of the challenges of blogging for targeted readers (i.e., self-storage customers) is the global web audience isn’t the same as your potential clientele. Your facility needs to draw from your local market, typically within a few miles. Even a popular blog won’t necessarily generate many more tenants.

General questions about self-storage tend to be global, while local questions have zero search volume. Though Google provides local results when people are shopping, it doesn’t necessarily do so when they’re simply seeking information (unless they include your business name in the search). Thus, if your goal is strictly to convert readers into renters, a blog isn’t going to help that much. The effort you’ll expend could perhaps be more useful in other aspects of your business.

That said, blogs aren’t useless in self-storage. They can, for example, help with things like improving the customer experience (CX).

Subject Matter

So, if your endgame isn’t to turn readers into paying self-storage tenants, what would your blog be about? The truth is writing posts that inform readers about the industry can be a valuable part of a CX strategy. For example, explaining how to store items in your specific climate can be very helpful. You can also use your blog to communicate business news to tenants and prospects. If you’re offering a new-lease special or you just installed new site features, this is a great place to crow about it.

Crafting a blog that enhances the CX can directly improve your bottom line. Happy customers stay longer, leave good reviews and recommend your business to their friends. Writing for the website visitors you already have, including existing tenants, is the best choice for any self-storage operator who wants to start a blog.

Online Presence

Many experts suggest that writing a blog will help improve your company’s search engine optimization (SEO). The fact is that even though it can help you rank higher on Google, it’s helping your SEO in less than optimal ways.

For small, local businesses, the SEO you want to focus on is the “local pack.” These are the three results Google highlights in response to a query like “fish tacos near me” or “self-storage units for rent.” The top three local results get 44% of total clicks, far more than any other category. When you combine these with organic clicks from links that display below the local pack, it’s easy to see how the vast majority of a company’s web traffic comes from performing well in local search results.

For most self storage operators, aiming for the local pack is much better than aiming for universal traffic. While a blog may help you achieve strong universal SEO, that isn’t nearly as effective as focusing on your business name, address, contact information and reviews. Not only will local-pack results provide more traffic to your brick-and-mortar facility, they’re easier to achieve. If you aim for universal rankings, you have to compete with much larger businesses that have marketing teams and full-time bloggers. When aiming for local-pack results, you only have to compete against similar businesses in your area.

A good tip for performing well in local SEO? Post lots of facility photos and videos. Also, go after good views—and respond to them!

Size of Operation

If your self-storage business spans multiple states or operates more than 10 facilities, a good blog may help you rent more units. Once your target audience is big enough, branching out from a local-only SEO strategy to a national focus can help entice new customers.

The bigger your market area, the more valuable universal SEO becomes. If you can rank for common self-storage questions, you’ll be able to get your brand in front of lots of searchers. If you serve a large market, these users are more likely to be able to rent from you.

Blogging can also help establish your self-storage brand presence. If you stand out from the crowd, prospects are likely to go out of their way to rent with you rather than a faceless, unknown competitor. This strategy typically favors larger self-storage operators because they generally have more resources to spend on a blog, whereas a single-site owner may have too tight a budget or too little time. The bigger your business is, the more you need a blog.

To Blog or Not to Blog

Ultimately, the decision of whether or not to create a blog for your self-storage operation hinges on whether the reward outweighs the investment. Do not start a blog if:

  • Your primary goal is to get rentals.

  • You’re just trying to rank higher in local search results.

  • You’ll have to neglect other parts of your business to keep it updated.

On the other hand, if the following are true, then yes! Start a blog!

  • Your business serves a large area. The larger your reach, the more a blog can help.

  • It can help your tenants. If you’re answering local, relevant questions, your blog can improve the CX.

  • It seems like fun. You can create a brand voice, connect with customers and answer local questions.

David Austin is a content specialist at StoragePug, a Knoxville, Tennessee-based software company that helps self-storage operators attract new leads, convert them to paying tenants and rent units online. Prior joining the company, he worked as a content writer for the restaurant industry. For more information, call 865.240.0295.

About the Author(s)

David Austin

Content Specialist, StoragePug

David Austin is a content specialist at StoragePug, a Knoxville, Tennessee-based software company that helps self-storage operators attract new leads, convert them to paying tenants and rent units online. Prior joining the company, he worked as a content writer for the restaurant industry. For more information, call 865.240.0295.

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