2020 will be the year of the internet. From social media marketing to blogs and website content, taking advantage of all online platforms will be critical in 2020. Having an online presence is key and not showing up on search engine result pages or on Google My Business will make it difficult for potential tenants to find your facility and rent a unit. In fact, according to Statista, Google holds 87.96% of the search engine market.
With so much pressure on your facility to do well on Google, you may be wondering what you can do to set yourself up for success. Today, we’ll give you an overview of the latest Google features and updates that your facility should be aware of, and how you can help potential tenants find you online.
Search Engine Optimization
The first and most important way to improve your Google visibility is through Search Engine Optimization or SEO. SEO is the process of improving the quality and quantity of website traffic, which can help drive lead generation and improve occupancy. We’ve talked a lot about SEO best practices in the past, which you can read here, but SEO is the first step your facility should take if you aren’t currently doing anything on Google.
SEO involves optimizing your content, metadata, images, and more to help Google and other search engines find your page and share it with relevant users. This also means your website needs to be secure, fast, and mobile-friendly or it will be ranked lower than your competition with these features. With more than 200 ranking factors, learning and mastering these can take years, and unless you already have an expert on hand, outsourcing this to an in-house, industry trained team is often a more effective and financially viable option.
Google My Business
If you’ve ever seen this box on the side of a Google search engine result page or map, you’ve probably wondered how to create this for your facility. These boxes are pulling information from Google My Business, a free feature that allows you to add contact information, FAQ’s, and collect customer reviews.
Google My Business not only allows you to populate these boxes, but it provides detailed feedback on how potential tenants are finding and interacting with you. It tracks analytics on phone calls, website visits, and even the amount of searches your facility shows up in!
Set up your Google My Business page and fill out as much information as possible, including your address, website, operating hours, and company description. This not only helps Google understand where to rank you, but it also helps your target market understand more about your facility, and begin the rental seeking process.
Recent Google Updates
Once you’ve started using Google My Business and SEO, you may notice from time to time that there are updates to the Google My Business platform. For example, Google recently changed the way that customer reviews are shown.
Prior to this update, they showed up underneath a lot of the information in the Google Knowledge Graph (the box on the right-hand side of the page). Now, they’re prominently displayed in carousel-style design, making them more apparent and encourages people to read them, instead of scrolling past. While customer reviews have always been important, this means that your facility will want to work extra hard to get great reviews from tenants so that the highlighted reviews show a positive representation of your facility.
Additionally, Google recently announced that they would be phasing out the “Q&A” section of the Knowledge Graph. This means that it’s more vital than ever before that your company description, reviews, and other information be able to make up for the missing questions that were there before. Keep your profile updated and make sure to post regularly to keep it active and interesting to potential tenants. Be sure to keep information up to date. Your audience wants to see recent and relevant discounts and posts!
As you work on developing a strong Google presence, research and consider subscribing to websites that provide you with information about Google’s updates and how they’ll impact your facility. Always update information as needed, and don’t be afraid to reach out and ask the experts for help. If managing a Google My Business or SEO presence is overwhelming or not effective, outsource to industry-trained experts who can help with posts, optimizing your website, and keeping your facility at the forefront of digital trends and search engines.