Keyword Research is a fundamental part of online marketing and it goes way beyond SEO methods. It is a practice used to find and research actual search terms people enter into the Search Engines when conducting a search. In order to be on point and achieve better rankings, you need the correct keywords.
Keywords are the blueprints from which all of your self storage marketing efforts are built on. Keyword Research is a fairly extensive, difficult task to perform but it must be done in order to rank highly on the Search Engines and drive targeted traffic to your website. Luckily, there are several great Keyword Research tools which provide valuable insight into what words people are searching for on the Search Engines. Keyword Research is the most important and high return action you can get in Search Engine Optimization.
The goal of your storage website is not to attain traffic, the goal should be to target and attain the right traffic – highly targeted, qualified traffic - which will result in rentals. The only way to get qualified traffic is through Keyword Research. Analyzing your traffic and being able to decipher whether searchers are entering your website for terms like “storage unit”, “storage facility”, “Chicago self storage” or something else entirely irrelevant is priceless information to have. From this information, it is easy to tell why people are or are not renting once they enter your website. Chances are, if customers are entering your website through highly targeted keywords (Los Angeles self storage) they are staying on your page for extended lengths of time, looking around your website and renting storage units from you. If searchers are entering from irrelevant terms (boxes or moving supplies) they are bouncing away from your page quickly and you are not seeing rentals.
Use a Keyword Research tool to aid and determine how much traffic each word attains each month and how difficult it is to rank for each particular term. A Keyword Research tool can tell you:
- How competitive the Keyword is
- What Keywords to use
- What Keywords are relevant
- If the Keywords will help drive users to your website
- If users will convert
Keyword head terms, like “storage” and “self storage”, which are not specific, can be great to rank for if you can do it but they tend to make up a smaller part of the pie than Longtail Keywords. Head terms are harder to rank for compared with Longtail Keywords because head terms are:
- Very Competitive
- Time Consuming
Longtail Keywords are more specific to your storage service and are thus easier to rank for. The Longtail Keyword term “Austin self storage unit” is much easier and less time consuming to rank for compared with the head term “storage”. Longtail Keywords also convert better than head terms because people are further along in the purchasing cycle, rather than head terms where people are more or less in a “research phase” of purchasing.
Think about if you are searching online for something which you are not completely familiar about – say Touchscreen Tablets. You may search for “touchscreen tablets” on Google and get an array of images for touchsreen tablets, general information about tablets, which one is best and why, reviews, etc…you get the point. Once you get through the research phase, you are more knowledgeable about Touchscreen Tablets and you then hone your search for the one you wish to purchase. Once you do this, you will be searching for “Apple iPad Mini” rather than “Touchscreen Tablets”. In this example, Touchscreen Tablet is your general head term which may or may not lead to a sale, where Apple iPad Mini is the Longtail Keyword term. Once people search using Longtail Keyword terms, they are essentially ready to purchase.
Self storage operators need to understand the demand, the amount of time you will need in order to rank and the competition for each keyword. Determine whether it is worth the time and effort spending hours trying to rank for a keyword which will bring in minimal reservations or traffic. Is it worth spending the time, money and effort trying to outrank the big brands or should you focus on Longtail Keywords and dominate your territory and niche? Most likely, your best bet is focusing your efforts on Longtail Keywords.