Case Study:
Self-Storage Facility

How Midland Self Storage Promoted Its Storage Business Using Our Marketing System

A successful self-storage business is highly reliant on getting its facility(s) found on Google. We’ve implemented our marketing system with several self-storage facilities, helping them dominate their Google rankings and fill their units. Here’s what we did to help one self-storage client in Midland, Texas get a 300% return on investment (ROI). 

Key Results

Where We Started

Here’s how the break down for the facility before we started our marketing campaign:

  • Total Units: 422
  • Occupancy when we began: 256 (166 vacancies)
  • Average monthly phone calls: 87
  • Google ranking: Position #36 (3rd page of results)
  • Google Maps (Google My Business) listing: Position #14
    • (Yes, they weren’t even in the top 10, meaning competitors from outside a 3-mile radius were ranking ahead of them).

The Importance of the 3-Mile Radius

Within a 3-mile radius of our client’s location was a population of 134,000 and 10 other self-storage facilities. The 3-mile radius is important because this is the typical market area for a storage facility. When you consider 10 facilities in such a small area, that’s a lot of storage spaces for a pretty small population.

Since 3 miles is a good point of reference, you can find similar information for your facility using StorTrack. Simply go to “Research & Reports” in the navigation and find “InSite Market Report”. Put in your address and set your radius to 3 miles (or greater) to see the population numbers, median income, and average 5”x5” rate near your facility.

Don’t Overspend on Google Ads

In the self-storage space industry, the national average cost-per-click (CPC) on a Google Ads pay-per-click (PPC) campaign is $7.75 (*according to Google Ads Keyword Planner). However, the CPC can range as high as $22-$25 per click in many markets. Going it alone in this type of climate can end up costing you way more than you want to spend. That’s one of the reasons our client turned to us to help them navigate this tricky marketing landscape. They wanted to avoid breaking the bank.

Although Google Ads can be a quick and effective strategy to get leads for your facility, it can often cost way too much when you calculate your average lifetime customer value (ALV). We have worked with several self-storage facilities throughout the U.S., and while it can get highly competitive when it comes to Google Ads, we’ve found a huge gap in the competition from an search engine optimization (SEO) perspective — meaning most facilities focus only on paid ads and not the organic “free” rankings.

Long-Term SEO Strategy

In fact, most self-storage facilities have no idea of how to initiate an effective SEO strategy on their websites. So while most of your competition in the storage industry is investing heavily in paid Google Ads, you can be focused on getting ranked in the organic search results and on Google Maps, which is much more cost effective.

On average, it takes us about six to nine months to get a facility ranking on the first page of Google. We prefer to focus on SEO and use Google Ads as a supplemental traffic source to improve your ROI.

Our Approach

For self-storage facilities, we focus on the following key areas:

A Strong Focus on Google My Business

The key to dominating your 3-mile radius is being the first thing people see in the Google Maps 3-pack when they conduct their “near me” searches. The only way to achieve this is to optimize your Google My Business listing. Therefore, that’s where we focus a large part of our efforts.

Your Online Reviews Are Crucial

If you don’t have a strategy in place for getting good reviews online, you are reducing your chances of ranking well on the Google Maps 3-pack. Our studies have shown that the better your Google reviews and the more reviews you have, the higher you’ll rank. Not to mention the better chances of being the facility prospects choose. That’s why our marketing system includes online reputation management as a core element.

We highly recommend you actively ask customers to leave a review. Although you might be worried you will get some bad comments, believe it or not, negative reviews aren’t the end of the world. In fact, a study conducted by fellows at Northwestern University showed that customers are most likely to purchase “a product ranked between 4.2 and 4.5 stars in online reviews”.

If you remain on top of your reviews, you can provide feedback right away, showing customers you care and are ready to make amends if you fall short on meeting expectations. This builds trust and helps create a more authentic online presence.

Call Tracking and In-Depth Analytics

Our strategy focuses on creating more phone calls for your business, therefore we utilize call tracking tools. We help you determine where your calls are coming from and ensure they are being handled properly. Using the call recording feature on our call tracking tools, we can hear how well your team is managing incoming calls and messages (see state regulations on call recording). In several cases in the past, we’ve found that some facilities were not even answering the phone or returning voicemails at all. If this is your reality, then precious revenue is slipping through the cracks. Our approach puts an end to this, immediately improving your customer retention potential.

We also utilize deep Google Analytics to determine which efforts are creating conversions on your website – phone calls, form submissions, and even emails. There’s so much to be tracked, but effective tracking is often overlooked by self-storage facilities. We take on this task and provide valuable insights that greatly improve your customer service.

The Results

So just what kind of results did Midland Self Storage see? Our marketing system helped improve their occupancy and positions on Google as follows:

  • Occupancy after 9 months: 376 (or just 46 vacancies compared to 166)
  • Average monthly phone calls: 115 (up 28 new calls per month)
  • Google ranking: Position #3 on the 1st page
  • Google Maps (Google My Business) listing: Position #1
  • New Monthly Revenue: $12,000
  • Increase in Annual Revenue: $144,000
  • Return on Investment (ROI): 300%

Translating Our Efforts Into ROI

If you calculate the average lifetime customer value for a self-storage facility at $1,200 (assuming an Average Customer Rate is $100, and an Average Length of Stay is 12 months. $100 x 12 = $1,200*), we increased the new monthly revenue by an additional $12,000 per month. That’s an increase in $144,000 per year and 300% on their investment for our marketing services.

Hands down, Google provides the most sustainable customer source for your self-storage facility. If most storage facilities are blowing it when it comes to SEO, you can take advantage of this online opportunity and make massive gains in your online rankings with a long-term SEO strategy. Let our team show you how to promote your self-storage business with our proprietary Search Engine Domination marketing system that puts you in the upper echelons of the “self-storage near me” searches in your city.

*Source: theselfstorageshow.com.

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