One of the most common questions we get from clients is whether they should have a blog on their self storage website, and if so, what should they post about?
In this article, we’ll go into a bit more detail on why you may want to run a blog on your website, and some of the reasons why you might not. Hopefully by the end of it you’ll be in a better position to decide on what the right approach is for your business.
What Are the Benefits to Having a Blog?
Firstly, let’s take a look at some of the main benefits that come from having a blog on your site.
Increased Website Traffic
This might be the main reason why clients think they need a blog, to drive more traffic and potential customers to their site. You’re essentially creating content that can be picked up and ranked in the search engines, can be shared on social media, and can be sent out to your mailing list.
All of this can potentially result in an increase in the amount of traffic coming through to your website.
A key point to consider is not all blogs will result in increased traffic. Not every post will be engaging enough to generate traffic on social media, not every post will rank well enough to actually generate traffic through search engines.
That being said, a well optimised and engaging blog section can drive more visits to your site, and the bigger your business is, the more likely your site is to benefit from this.
Show Visitors You Are Actively Investing Into Your Site
When correctly implemented, a blog can be a great way to show customers you are active and investing into the site on a regular basis.
If a customer can see topically relevant content on the site, it can help build trust in the brand and encourage them to take the next step.
Provide Relevant Information
Your blog can also be a great way of keeping your customers up to date with changes in the business. Whether it’s to announce a change in opening times, the launch of a new location, or new additional services, your blog can give you a central location to place all these relevant business updates.
What Are the Downsides to Having a Blog?
Now we’ve looked at some of the benefits of running a blog, it’s time to look at some of the downsides.
Requires an Investment in Time / Money
There’s no way around it, having a blog on your site will take up additional resources. Whether in time, or money, you’ll have to pay to keep it updated. Once you’re invested it becomes important to keep maintaining it. A blog that hasn’t been updated in years gives a worse impression than not having a blog at all.
One of the downsides that people don’t often consider is that a lot of the traffic you may get from a blog post is likely to come from people who aren’t your target customers.
Don’t forget your catchment area for customers is likely going to be a 10 / 15 mile radius or so around your facility.
If you were to write an article about ‘how to pack china for storage’ and managed to get it on the front page of the search results, only a tiny percentage of these visitors would actually be within your catchment area.
The percentage of relevant customers increases the more facilities you operate. This is why it makes much more sense for a business like Safestore to run a blog, than for a small single site operator. Not only are their articles more likely to rank in the search results due to their stronger domain, but there is a better chance that there will be a nearby facility for each blog visitor.
Who Should Have a Blog?
Looking at the benefits and disadvantages raises the question of who would likely need a blog on their website.
Here are a few questions to ask about your business to help you decide.
How many people do you service in your catchment areas? A storage business with multiple locations in a large city may serve a lot more people than a small rural location.
How do you want to be perceived? Will a blog positively improve the customer’s perception of your business?
What are your ambitions? If you’re looking to scale up into a multi site operator a blog may be far more important than for a smaller operator who wants to keep one location ticking over at a high occupancy rate.
What resources do you have available? Running a blog can be an additional and long term obligation, as well as bringing its own technical challenges.
Taking all these into account should help you determine whether a blog is right for your site. If you do decide to go ahead and put a blog on your site, the next step will be figuring out what to post about.
What Topics Should You Post About?
The topics that are useful to post on will change depending on what type of storage company you run, and what you’re hoping to achieve with your blog.
Bigger storage companies with facilities nationwide can use their blog to rank more general content, aimed at catching people earlier in the funnel.
This is content like ‘How to clean out your garden’, Or ‘Can you run a business from a self storage unit’.
These pieces of content are aimed at people who are only just starting to think about storage, and finding an article on your website gets your brand in their mind before anyone else.
This type of content won’t work for smaller storage businesses (it likely won’t rank, and any people who click on it likely won’t be in the business’ catchment area). Instead these businesses should focus on content that’s useful for current customers, as opposed to content aimed at attracting new customers.
Smaller businesses could also write posts on developments in their business that people might be interested in, or posts highlighting community engagement, or sponsorships that the business has been participating in.
Hopefully that’s helped to give you a better understanding of the pros and cons involved in running a blog. What works for one storage facility won’t necessarily work for another.
If you have any questions, or would like to discuss setting up your blog or any other digital marketing topics please don’t hesitate to get in touch with us.