US Storage Search

US StorageUSStoragesearch.com is a directory for the self storage industry. The business model is to charge storage facilities a small monthly fee to list their facility on the site much like in the traditional yellow pages. In addition, they offer premium-priced listings on the site. 

The Goals
Because their business model required traffic in order to sell subscription-based listing to storage facilities, the company wanted to increase traffic through organic search. They were already spending money on PPC, and this was sufficient to allow them to sell the advertising. In order to be able to reduce PPC advertising expenditure and also sell more listings, they needed to be able to show traffic to specific geo-targeted pages. USStoragesearch.com wanted to rank on the first page of Google for top industry terms such as “self storage” and also for as many geo-targeted terms like “[city name + self storage”].

When USStoragesearch.com came to SEO Inc., the website had been online for less than a year and a half. The site was attractive and fairly user-friendly, but it was not search engine-friendly. They had signed up many storage facilities in hundreds of cities. The website included a search feature by city, state, and zip code. What the site lacked was any search engine optimization and, most importantly, rankings on search engines.

When we ran their initial ranking report, it was apparent that there was plenty of room for improvement. The website did not have any keywords ranking in the top 30 on Google, Yahoo, or MSN.  In fact, there was only one keyword ("find self storage") which ranked in the top 100 of any of those top three search engines.

The Challenge
There were some technical challenges which needed to be addressed in order for the site to rank. While the site visually had a page for every state and every city in the US, the URL was the same for all of these (usstoragesearch.com).  This meant that the search engines indexed one page when in reality there were tens of thousands of pages on site.

In addition to the obvious architecture problems, there were many other things that would need to be addressed and improved in order to achieve success.  Upon doing a competitive analysis, we found the following:

  • Only 23 total pages indexed by Google and Yahoo
  • Poor Link Popularity - Only 2 Inbound links according to Google & only 16 according to Yahoo
  • Almost no readable text content on the site
  • No internal text link structure

This site needed a full scale search engine optimization campaign, including web development to improve site architecture, code optimization, URL rewrite, aggressive link popularity campaign, and content generation.

The Strategy
After several conversations with our client, we decided that our Enterprise Search Engine Optimization package best fit the client’s needs, budget, and goals. Because the client also needed to make significant changes to the website in order to accomplish these goals, we included full consulting and site strategy through the web development process.

  • Search Engine Optimization (site-wide)
  • SEO Consulting & Strategy  
  • URL Re-write & database consulting    
  • Content Writing  
  • Moderately Aggressive Link Popularity Campaign
  • Web Analytics

We did a targeted keyword analysis for their industry and, based on results and analysis of competition, we decided to target the most highly-searched keywords, in addition to a full-scale nationwide geo-targeted campaign.

The first step of the optimization required that SEO Inc. create a strategy to get all city and state pages indexed by the search engine spiders, as well as create a robust internal linking structure.  In addition, these geo-targeted pages needed content, so we developed a simple initial content strategy that was designed to focus on all pages with more unique content being developed for the top cities and states. SEO Inc. developed the strategy, and the client’s web developer implemented most of it.  Once the architectural problems were fixed, SEO Inc. optimized the entire website and the integrated content.

The Results

The site did not have any organic search engine rankings for the top industry keywords and very few of their geographically-targeted keywords were ranking in the top 50 of the major search engines when the campaign began.

  • Traffic from organic search increased by 400%, from below 8,000 visitors per month to over 35,000 visitors per month
  • Within 1 year the website was in the top 10 on Google for several top keywords, including "self storage"
  • 59 geo-targeted pages ranked in the top 10 of Google
  • Pages indexed by search engines increased from 23 to almost 85,000