“It’s the most wonderful time of the year
With kids jingle belling
And everyone telling you be of good cheer
It’s the most wonderful time of the year!”
The holidays are right around the corner and Google is fully embracing the holiday spirit by releasing new tools and features in Google My Business (GMB), like a digital marketing Santa Claus. From 2012 to the present day, Google has evolved into an entirely new world. Each change that Google makes to its algorithm makes search engine optimization increasingly challenging. As of late, Google seems to have a vested interest in the development and enhancement of Google My Business. Following the closure of Google+, Google’s social media platform, updates and new features in GMB appear to be never-ending.
Competition in the storage industry remains at an all-time high. As millennials rent homes and move year-to-year and baby boomers downsize to smaller homes, there is no shortage of self storage needs. The need to stand out from the REITs and other local competitors continues to be a priority.
Google has recently invested more in creating an online storefront for businesses, rather than pushing for certain website changes. Why is this? Google loves when consumers engage with its features and tools, and even more so when its features are used for direct conversions. The new features released in GMB provide engagement for consumers and additional conversion opportunities for local businesses. It’s the best of both worlds!
Google has dominated the search engine market since the 1990's and continues to hold 95% of the market share today, followed by Bing and Yahoo. More importantly, only 3% of people will make it to the second page of search results pages. A Google My Business listing enhances online visibility, making it critical for any facility’s online success. A GMB listing allows your facility to show up on map searches and location-based queries. Around 46% of all Google searches are location-based, making any help from Google this season a true “holiday treat.”
Google Posts- Decorate Your Google Knowledge Graph
As Google continues to develop the GMB platform, storage facilities must stay on top of the changes for a competitive edge. Google Posts, recently enhanced by Google, are your first step. A published post will display on your knowledge graph panel in the search results. A knowledge graph (shown to the right) is prime real estate in SERPs, increasing click-through-rates by 30%. Google posts can also include a photo and a direct call-to-action button. We all can be certain that Google loves “Google things”. Any way to strengthen your relationship with the world’s top search engine will be advantageous for your storage facility. By strategically posting about your facility, special offers, and more, alternative and long-tail keywords can encourage more website traffic your way.
Use these 4 tips from search marketing specialists for post optimization… our holiday gift to you!
- Avoid overly promotional language in your posts (i.e. BOGO 50%!!! ). Feel free to share special offers, but do so cautiously as to not come across overly salesy.
- Link relevant posts to an online rental tool, if available. Guide traffic directly to your facility revenue source meant to convert the lead into a customer.
- Post about special offers, facility announcements, upcoming storage auctions, facility hour changes, and other products or events.
- Posts will disappear after 7 days, so be sure to post once a week for optimal results.
Q&A’s- A New Level of Engagement
Google has a history of rewarding websites that engage with consumers. The new questions feature on Google My Business allows online users to ask a question directly from the Google knowledge graph, providing the same level of engagement as customer reviews. Both online users and business owners are able to respond to questions directly from the knowledge graph. This interaction easily evolves into an online conversation, increasing your brand awareness and online presence.
Q&A’s encourage user-generated content, which has proven to be beneficial for search engine optimization. By answering these questions, your facility can demonstrate expertise in the industry and establish relationships with new and current tenants. It is predicted that Google Q&A’s will be useful for voice search as well. Pay special attention to this, with voice search expecting to make up half of all search queries by 2020. Read below for some tips to make the most out of your Q&A’s:
- Monitor your knowledge graph to answer questions as soon as possible. Other users could potentially answer before you with incorrect information.
- Be sure to be logged into your business Google account while answering questions so the response appears to be from your facility.
- Post 10-20 questions yourself, providing some “frequently asked questions.” These should be easy to understand, rather than complex marketing material. Not sure about your questions? Talk to a professional before getting started!
Google My Business continues to spread holiday cheer with new and engaging features, allowing facilities to showcase storage units in a new way. Our prediction is that these features are just the beginning. Keep your facility competitive online by using these special surprises and stay tuned for more this holiday season. Cheers!