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29 Jul 2019

Being Nimble and Adapting to Google Algorithm Updates

Jessica Heim-Brouwer

Content Coordinator

Oftentimes, Google algorithm updates don’t mean you need a website overhaul – but you may need to adapt. Learn how to keep your self storage site as prepared as possible.

What Do Google Search Updates Mean for Your Website?

Search algorithms are key decision-makers in what we see on a page of Google results. Although the search engine might seem like some sort of higher entity that ruthlessly “ranks” your organization’s webpages, there are indeed people behind it, constantly building upon its intuitiveness for an increasingly seamless user search experience. That’s why Google commonly implements one or more small updates daily – but it’s the bigger ones that can have a major impact on your self storage website and, in turn, your self storage business.

Core Updates and SERP Ranking

These search updates, also known as broad core algorithm updates, occur several times a year. Simply put, they alter the importance and weight of various page ranking factors (of which there are about 200). The changes are rolled out over time, with the end goal being to improve Google’s overall algorithm and show results of higher quality and relevance to all users. Importantly, broad core updates do not target any specific industries or websites; therefore, even if your site were negatively affected, there is nothing you would need to “fix” in response.

The March 2019 Google Core Update is a perfect example of one that was anticipated to have a big impact, which instead left SEO experts with generally inconclusive results. While some websites’ traffic took a hit, many reported having rebounded with revived ranking results due to rollbacks of some previous algorithm updates. The vague consensus was that this update aimed to reward sites with good user experience.

Core Updates and Your Self Storage Site

What’s Out of Your Control

When an algorithm update rolls out, you might notice some fluctuation in your page rankings – for better or for worse. But if it’s the latter, don’t fret, because Google isn’t out to “penalize” your site. Rather, it might have just rewarded different websites for other factors. Sure, no one likes to be outranked by a competitor, but the reality is that rankings shift when Google makes tweaks to the search algorithm.

Amid a quickly growing and particularly competitive industry, self storage companies are likely to face challenges outperforming bigger players with bigger marketing budgets that serve customers in the same areas. But as you know, the success of a storage facility hinges heavily on geography. As long as you’re employing marketing strategies truly intended to target and serve residents’ needs, you’re well on your way to SEO success.

What’s In Your Control

Often, there is no good way to “conquer” or “solve” a core search update. Google’s algorithm is not a game to try to beat but instead a marathon for which you are constantly training. However, there are ways to ensure that your self storage website is consistently doing the best it can.

For one, be patient. Don’t start over-optimizing your site in a panic – you will probably do more harm than good. For instance, keyword stuffing can be a considerable downfall of self storage businesses, as search engines flag and penalize the practice as a black-hat marketing tactic. Give the update a few months to roll out and keep an eye on your data for any spikes or dips in traffic. Do your research to check if there are any recommended actions to take on your website. If there are, and those changes also make sense based on the data, then slowly roll out and monitor the effects.

In addition, self storage marketers should always keep the following factors at the front of their minds and website decisions:

This is just to name a few. And if you’d like to learn more than a few, there is a full Periodic Table of SEO Success Factors that organizes them visually.

At the end of the day, maintaining these components on your self storage website is in your hands. The fate of Google’s very intricate and interconnected ranking formula, however, is not. Core algorithm updates, if nothing else, should be an opportunity to check in with your site health and SEO strategy and to reevaluate if necessary. In the meantime, keep yourself in the shoes of the individuals who need the solutions you have to offer, and they won’t walk away.