Potential renters searching for self storage units generally look within one to three miles of their homes to find a facility. Local search optimization helps brick and mortar businesses connect with searchers looking for rentals in their neighborhood. One of the most important steps in optimizing your digital presence is making sure your Google My Business (GMB) page is up to date with accurate information about your locations. GMB is the most important tool for managing how your business information is displayed in Google Maps and Google Search. It’s also the top local pack ranking factor according to Moz.

To attract more searchers to your websites – and your facilities, your GMB listing must be maintained with current business information including an accurate name, address, phone number, and website link (NAPW). The most important signals GMB sends to Google are proximity to searchers and categories. If you want a top position in local search, your GMB listings must be kept up-to-date.

Google My Business Best Practices

An optimized GMB page helps Google understand more about your business including who you are, what services you offer, where you’re located, and what your website is so they can crawl it for more information. The more Google understands about your business, the more likely you are to appear for different search terms. The first step to optimizing your GMB page and getting found by searchers is claiming and verifying your business listing on Google.

Complete Your Listing and Keep it Up to Date

After claiming and verifying your GMB listing, enter all of the complete data about your business location. Local search favors relevant results for searchers and businesses with the most detailed and accurate information. You want to convey to potential renters what your business does, where you’re located, and how they can rent a storage unit from your company. Be sure to use keywords, similar to how you would on your website, to clue Google in on search phrases relevant to your business.

Update Business Hours

Always keep business operating hours up to date. GMB offers the ability to customize your hours for holidays and special events. For example, if you’ll be closed on the Fourth of July, be sure that your GMB listing reflects this information.

Add Photos

Listings with photos help business listings perform better than those without. Businesses with photos in their listings receive 42 percent more requests for driving directions on Google Maps and 35 percent more click-throughs to their websites, according to Google. Your profile photo gets the most exposure and will likely have the biggest impact. This photo shouldn’t be the brand logo itself, but rather something visually appealing that represents what your company stands for or what you offer.

Google recommends adding a variety of photos to your listing including your logo, a cover photo that showcases your brand’s personality, and additional photos that feature your business, your goods and services, your staff, and interior and exterior images.

Remember, photos should be in focus, well-lit, have no alterations or excessive filters and should represent the reality of the business. All photos should follow Google best practices — be JPG or PNG format, between 10K and 5MB, and have a minimum resolution of 720px by 720px.

Encourage Customers to Leave Reviews

Online reviews have risen as one of the biggest trending signals for GMB listings. If your business has more reviews, you’re more likely to rank in Google’s top three results. This becomes increasingly important to local search when users search for “self storage units near me,” as Google shows the top three local listings immediately in the local pack results. Receiving ongoing reviews helps boost your reputation score and increases your GMB listing ranking.

GMB Listing Insights

Google now offers Insights on your GMB page, which provides analytical data about your business listing. Review these insights for data on how customers find your listing, where on Google they find you, and actions they take, including phone calls, photo additions, direction requests, and website click-throughs.

Importance of Local Search

Local search continues to be essential for self storage facilities, as many renters looking for a storage unit will focus their search close to home. In 2017, 97 percent of consumers looked online for local businesses, with 12 percent searching for a local business daily. Half of the prospects who did a local search on their phone went to a physical location within one day. When done right, SEO, including an updated GMB listing, can help drive your self storage facility to the top of local search results for a specific location.

Interested in learning more about local SEO and the buyer’s journey? Download G5’s latest eBook, 20 Digital Touchpoints: The Real Estate Marketer’s Guide to Understanding the Buyer’s Journey.