While the internet disrupted most tried and true methods of marketing, it created a few of its own in doing so. And, arguably, SEO ranks at the top of that list. SEO stands for search engine optimization. When we say search engines, we’re talking Google, Bing, or Yahoo. It’s also a term most business owners have heard over and over again. And rightfully so. Pound for pound, SEO is the most cost-effective marketing strategy a business owner can deploy. 

Almost all purchasing decisions, from renting a storage unit to buying a home, begins with an online search, most likely on Google. Making sure your business appears above your competitors is critical for long-term success.

To help you better understand the importance of SEO and its effects on your business, we’ll break down some basics of SEO in the following sections.

Elements of a Google Search

There are three main elements of a Google search result and it’s important to understand each of them as context for SEO. Those elements are Google Paid Ads, the Map Pack, and organic search results. The paid ads section is where people pay to have their business listed at the top of search results. This form of advertising is called pay-per-click, or PPC. It’s an effective way to market your business, one which we’ll cover more in future articles.

Below the paid ads is typically the Map Pack. This is powered partially by Google My Business which is a service provided by Google. If you haven’t created a listing for your facility using Google My Business, we’d highly recommend it, as it’s another great way to get visibility for your business.

And, finally, the last element is the organic search results. This is the list of results the algorithm determines best meet the criteria of a particular search. When we talk about ranking high on search this is what we mean. And your approach to SEO plays a major role in getting you to the top of this list. 


Each of these elements plays an important part of any SEO plan as you shouldn’t simply rely on one more than the others. Building a plan that takes advantage of each element can lead to a successful SEO program. Meaning your website is discovered more often by the people searching for your service and/or products. This organic traffic means more organic leads for your business and can even lead to more revenue. Generally, organic traffic produces higher quality leads than those captured through an ad.

So, while it’s absolutely critical to rank high on those organic search results, it’s also important to have a presence in the maps section and possibly even the paid ads section.

First Page Envy

It’s important to rank high for one central reason: the average user wants their answer fast and accurate. They don’t want to spend their time going through pages of results to get the answers they are looking for.  In fact, most searchers rarely go beyond the first page.  First page results are the envy of business owners everywhere. The data behind just the top five listings on a search make it clear why.

Percentage of Total Clicks by Search Ranking

First: 27%-35% of total clicks

Second: ~15% of total clicks

Third: ~10%

Fourth: ~5%

Fifth: >5%

As you can see, it pays to rank high. And, unfortunately, even ranking just outside of the top five won’t drive a lot of volume compared to being in the top three. Now, you’re not going to achieve these high rankings overnight. Honestly, going from a rank of 100 to a rank of 20 for a competitive key phrase is a strong sign of progress. So, it’s important to celebrate those small wins along the way as scaling the rankings isn’t necessarily easy. However, at the end of the day, traffic results won’t really start to take off until you’re on the first page.

Set it, Again and Again 

If SEO had its own catchy tagline it’d be something like, “Set it. Again. And again. One more time. Ok, again.” You get the point. SEO is by no means, a set it and forget it process. Strong SEO performance requires you to constantly optimize and re-optimize your website and other digital assets. Google is constantly changing their ranking algorithm, your competitors are constantly doing different things, and there’s almost always a way you can further tweak and improve something – so it’s important that you are able to respond to those items as soon as possible when they require your attention. Otherwise, you risk losing some of your search visibility.

Stay Patient

We’re sure your grandmother, or even mother, harped on the importance of patience in your younger years. And while we’re not talking about patiently waiting your turn to open gifts on Christmas morning, it’s vital that you remain patient throughout your SEO journey. Like we mentioned earlier, SEO is not a set it and forget it process. It takes time and effort. It requires you to constantly reevaluate your digital assets and to stay current on the latest changes/updates to search algorithms. So, yes, patience is definitely a virtue when it comes to mastering your SEO.

It’s crucial to remember that, pound for pound, SEO is the most cost-effective marketing tool you can utilize for your business. Realizing and then addressing any SEO issues you might have is a gigantic step in the right direction. As many business owners think they can still rely on other tactics to drive sales. But in an ever-more digital world, if consumers can’t find your business online, well, you don’t stand a chance at converting them. 

For an even more detailed breakdown of some of the important essentials of SEO, check out our Operator Imperatives webinar on SEO here.

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  1. […] SEO and Pay-Per-Click (PPC) advertising. We discuss the essentials of SEO in this webinar and this article. This piece will solely focus on PPC advertising, or Paid […]

  2. […] SEO and Pay-Per-Click (PPC) advertising. We discuss the essentials of SEO in this webinar and this article. This piece will solely focus on PPC advertising, or Paid […]

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