One of the most common ways that customers discover their ideal storage facility is through an internet search, so ensuring your site is visible should be a top priority.
In this article we’ll take a look at why Google Ads (formerly known as AdWords) are an important aspect of your digital marketing, and cover ten areas you can review to make your adverts even more effective.
The Importance of Adverts
Let’s take a quick look at what these potential customers will see when they type in a search for storage in their area.
The below screenshot was taken searching in Philadelphia on an iPhone.
That’s one big ad, taking up the entire screen. And this isn’t a fluke. Wherever you are, the chances are that the storage related search engine results you want to appear in are dominated by ads.
The search results are the main way new customers will find your self storage facility, so you can see the importance of implementing an effective Google Ads strategy.
Now we can see the importance of ads, it’s time to get stuck into how you can make sure you’re spending your money well.
How to Make Your Ads More Effective
The approach to managing Google Ads will vary from industry to industry, so it’s important to understand your customer and optimize your advertising campaigns in the right way.
We’re going to take a look at some of the key areas that are important in the self storage industry, and give you some actionable advice to get a better return on your budget.
Match Your Account Structure to Your Locations
If you have multiple storage sites, you will almost certainly want to have different search campaigns for each site, as this allows you to set separate budgets for each of them.
This way you can adjust individual budgets to match the occupancy rates of each site – lowering spend when you are full and increasing it as more space becomes available.
Each campaign should have location targeting settings that will show to users close to the storage facility, as people won’t travel across the country to find you, they’ll want a local storage operator.
Add Negative Keywords to Remove Irrelevant Storage Searches
This is one of the more important aspects of optimisation when it comes to reducing wasted spend.
Negative keywords are your way of telling Google what searches not to show on.
As an example, let’s say you’ve added the keyword “storage units” to an ad group in a campaign targeting Pittsburgh. This keyword will trigger on good searches like ‘storage units in Pittsburgh, but will also trigger on bad searches like ‘IKEA storage units’. To stop this you can add IKEA as a negative keyword.
To find out which negative keywords you should be adding to your account you can look through the search term report. You can find that under the keywords section in your account.
This will show you the actual searches that have triggered your keywords. Look for keywords that aren’t relevant to your services, and make sure you add negative keywords that will stop the irrelevant searches without preventing the searches you do want to show on.
Use Location Targeting to Prioritize Customers Who Are Closer to You
As we mentioned before, you should be setting up different campaigns for different locations. So how do you stop someone from Boston triggering your campaign for your Birmingham storage facility? Through location targeting.
In your campaign settings you can set your location targeting under Locations.
If you want to get more granular you can type in a city, or to add radius targeting click ‘advanced search’.
How far out from your location you target is dependent on what country you’re in (people will be willing to travel different distances in different countries), and also dependent on what town or city you’re in as well.
We’d recommend starting out by adding multiple overlapping locations, and reducing these over time when you can see which ones aren’t working as well.
Here’s an example of four overlapping radii around San Antonio, TX:
Create Keyword Insertion ad groups
One of the issues that self storage companies face is how to target multiple small towns around the main town or city in which the storage facility is based.
On the one hand, you want to have your ads and keywords mention these small towns, so you have a better quality score and more relevant ads.
On the other hand these small towns may not have enough search volume to justify creating and managing ad groups for each.
One of AdWord’s best tools to help with this is keyword insertion. This is a way of adding the keyword that triggered your ad into the ad itself.
Let’s say you have a keyword “storage near littletown”, you just add the keyword insertion code linked above into your ads, and then your ad will read ‘Storage Near Littletown’. You can do this for all the small towns and villages near you, and the ad text will be replaced with the relevant keyword when it’s triggered.
This helps create relevant, targeted ads, without your accounts becoming too complex.
Create a Keyword Targeted Campaign
Another storage specific issue is that often people will use self storage when they’re moving house. In this case they might research a storage business close to the location they are moving to.
Your location targeted campaigns above may not capture these people, as they could be moving from too far away. In this case you can create a campaign that shows people in a much broader area, but only if they use your location in their search.
For example, someone moving from Miami to New York would be searching for ‘storage in New York’ but would be located in Miami. A keyword targeted campaign would ensure this person is targeted.
Put offers in your headlines
It’s good practice when running a storage facility to run promotions and offers to incentivize new bookings. If you’re not doing this, or need some inspiration of what promotions to run you can check out our post on the best self storage promotions and offers.
If these offers are good enough to encourage people to sign up, then they should be front and center in your ads. Below are a couple of examples of storage companies doing just this.
Set Up Multiple Remarketing Audiences
Remarketing is a way of advertising to people who have previously been on your site.
You can imagine there are many reasons why someone might visit your site and not convert, it doesn’t necessarily mean they didn’t want storage from you, often they might just be shopping around. Make sure you keep your storage facility at the top of their minds by showing your ads to these people on the different sites they visit.
However, you can set up remarketing audiences for people who have interacted with your site in different ways.
This way you can show one set of ads to people who have half-filled out your quick quote form, and another to those who haven’t started getting a quote, but did use your space calculator on your site.
That way you’re showing the most relevant ads possible to people in different stages of the buying process.
Use Automated Bidding Strategies on Your Campaigns
Google has been pushing automation tools in Google Ads a lot over the past few years. One of the best things that it’s added is automated bid strategies.
These essentially work by you choosing a bid strategy to focus on a particular area for your campaign (e.g. say you want to maximize the number of conversions your campaign can achieve within its daily budget, or the number of clicks), and Google will set and change your bids to achieve this.
Google uses machine learning to do a lot of the things you would be doing in the day to day management of your account. It will notice that by bidding less on a particular keyword you could increase how often it shows, which in this case will likely lead to more conversions.
Link Your Google My Business Account to Google Ads
If you’re not using Google My Business (GMB) yet, you should be. Assuming you are using GMB, then linking it with your Google Ads unlocks location extensions that will put your location directly in the ads.
On top of this, they allow your ads to show on Google Maps and in the local pack on the search results as you can see below:
Track phone calls on your website for each location
Google lets you track phone calls on your website from Google Ads. This is great news as most people won’t call you straight from your ads if they haven’t heard of you.
Most people who call you will click an ad to visit your site, then if they want to call you they’ll call the number displayed on your website.
The link above shows you how to set it so this number displayed to the visitor will be a tracking number that will be logged in your Google Ads account.
Assuming you have a different page on your website for your different locations, you can add a different tracking number for each one of these, giving you much more data about how your ads are performing.
There you have it, our list of the 10 changes you need to make to your storage facility’s Google Ads to make them more effective. If you need any help implementing any of these improvements to your Google Ads account please don’t hesitate to get in touch with us.
If you want to read more, check out our guide to SEO for self storage companies.