Local search is an essential area of focus for any storage company, but in our experience it just isn’t given the same importance as the organic listings or top of page adverts. As a result, storage providers are missing out on what can be a very effective channel for driving customers.
In this article we cover Local Search Ads – what they are, and how they can be used to quickly boost your visibility in the local search results.
Why Local Search Is Important
Searches for self storage are almost always location based.
We know that customers don’t travel far – according to SSAUK 75% of customers travel 20 minutes or less to their store, and location is a key factor in the purchasing decision.
Google has also been pushing the importance of local search on mobile and how it connects customers to stores as you can see in this graphic.
Image credit: Google
It’s easy to see how searches with local intent are extremely important for storage companies, with maps results much more likely to be visited by customers in search of a convenient store.
This Is Where Local Search Ads Come In
While there are plenty of things you can be doing to improve your Google My Business listing’s performance in the search results, Local Search Ads (also known as promoted pins) are a quick and reliable way to boost visibility.
These ads allow you to pay to advertise your business at the top of the local listings on both mobile and desktop. Here’s a couple of examples to demonstrate:
Here’s how these adverts appear on mobile:
And here’s an example on desktop:
You can clearly see how prominent these adverts are – in the second case there are two adverts displayed before any other listings are shown.
These can be very effective for storage companies, and can be set up quite easily – they are managed through your Google Ads account and are charged on a cost per click basis.
We don’t need to spend time justifying the value of these adverts, instead we’ll take you through the steps required to make sure you have a chance of appearing in these spots.
How to Set Up Local Search Ads for Your Storage Business
There are a couple of prerequisites in order to be able to display these ads. Firstly you’ll need to have a Google Ads account that you’re currently advertising with, and secondly you’ll need a verified Google My Business profile.
Both of these things are essential parts of an effective marketing strategy for any storage company – so we’ll assume you already have these (if not you need to read our article on Google My Business).
Step 1 – Make sure your Google My Business listings are up to date
You’re going to be linking your Google My Business (GMB) account to your Ads account, so you want to make sure it’s up to date with all the correct information.
Head over to https://business.google.com/ and pay special attention to addresses and phone numbers. Google has a support article available here if you don’t know how to edit your listing.
Step 2 – Enable location extensions in your Google Ads account
Head on over to your Google Ads account and navigate to the ‘Extensions’ under the ‘Ads & extensions’ option in the side column navigation.
Click the plus button and select ‘Location extensions’ from the dropdown.
From here you will be prompted to select your listing from the accounts you manage.
Technical note – You will need to have access to the GMB accounts to be able to select them, so if your Ads login and GMB login are different you will need to grant GMB access to the email address used to login to Google Ads.
(Note to agencies managing client accounts, you will also need to have access to the GMB profiles to do this)
Step 3 – Ensure ‘Call extensions’ are enabled in your account
Enabling call extensions in your account isn’t a requirement for these adverts to show, but is very much recommended. Chances are you already have these running, but just in case you don’t we would recommend following Google’s call extension guide to make sure these are running and tracking conversions.
Following the above steps should get your local search ads up and running. If you want to get more advanced, there are certain strategies that can make these ads even more effective, such as bidding more for those customers who are closer to your location.
We already employ this strategy with our clients and find it to work extremely well. Google even make mention of this when targeting customers near a location:
Image credit: Google
Reviewing the Performance of Local Search Ads in Your Account
Once you have these ads running, you’ll want to be keeping an eye on how they perform.
The easiest way to do this is by using the segment button on your current view (campaign, ad groups, keywords etc).
If you click the segment button and then select ‘click type’ on the drop down you will be able to see all your campaigns broken down by click type – giving you detailed insight into how your location extensions are performing.
If you’re asking yourself what each of these click types are then you may want to check out this useful guide.
Wrapping It Up
So there you have it, a quick and easy way in which storage companies can gain some additional exposure in the search results.
While we can see a lot of the larger storage providers have this already enabled, it’s an area that a lot of the smaller companies may overlook. Considering the importance the storage industry places on online marketing it won’t be long before Local Search Ads are being used by everyone, so make the most of it while you can.
As always, if you have any questions on implementing this for your storage company or any other questions on your current marketing approach please don’t hesitate to get in touch.