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How to Audit Your Website’s Ranking
How to Audit Your Website’s Ranking

Wondering how your site is doing against the competition? We’ll show you the tricks to seeing how you rank!

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Written by Product_Team
Updated over a week ago

You can’t just type in “storage units in city name” and expect to get an accurate picture of how your website fares against competitors.

There’s a lot more that goes into auditing your website’s ranking.

Let’s take a look at ways you can more accurately judge your website’s search presence.

Before You Start

Let’s quickly preview what steps we’re going to take so that you can keep them in mind as we progress through each one:

  1. Localizing Your Search: We’ll cover why this is important and provide resources for how to do it.

  2. Perform Multiple Searches: We go into what searches you should perform.

  3. Judging Your Performance: You’ll learn how to put what you find into context.

Being a local business—a hyper-local business, in the case of storage—means auditing your search performance is more complex than if you were running an entertainment site or a recipe blog.

We’ll try to help demystify it.

Important Note: Going into this, keep in mind that these two factors are very hard to overcome in local ranking:

  • Proximity to searcher (especially in “near me” search queries)

  • Proximity to the center of your city (in “city name” search queries)

Always keep these two factors in mind when judging your site’s performance.

Also, know that a site with a strong SEO profile will still show up to the customers who are most likely to rent.

Localize Your Search

Localizing your search means performing the search from within your local market. This is especially important to remember if you don’t live inside your facility’s market.


Searching from outside your market will not show accurate results.

The vast majority of your customers come from within a few miles of your storage facility.

The high end of the range may shift based on how concentrated your market’s population is and how dense your competition is. If you have almost no competition and you’re in a rural area where homes are far apart, you may see customers coming from 10 to 15 miles out.

If you’re in a suburban or urban area with lots of competition, that shrinks to 5, 3, or even 1 mile.

There are two methods for localization.

Method 1: Physically search from your market

Grab your phone, hop in the car, and move around your market physically to perform your test searches.

Method 2: Trick Google

You may not be able to physically roam around your market. In these cases, you can trick Google into thinking you’re searching from a given address or set of map coordinates.

Check out this Help Article that gives detailed instructions on how to trick Google, including a video and step-by-step instructions with images.

Perform Multiple Searches

The first thing we think when someone says “I want to rank well” is “for what?”

Your query and your location are two major factors when you’re talking about ranking in the self storage world.

This is why you must perform multiple searches to get a complete picture.

Here is a short list of recommended searches:

  1. A search for every search term you want to target, such as

    1. Storage units near me

    2. Storage units in city name

    3. Self storage near me

  2. A search in multiple directions from your facility at various mile increments

    1. As makes sense, search in each cardinal direction

    2. Search at 1, 3, 5, and 10 miles from the facility

  3. Searches performed in target areas

    1. If you know you want to rank for a given neighborhood, search from it


Your results can wildly vary based on the search term and your location.

Maybe five miles east of your facility, you’re ranking #1, but you’re being outranked two miles west.

This helps you figure out what your competition looks like in your WHOLE market, and it also allows you to make informed decisions about placements for other marketing efforts, such as Google Ads and billboards.

Judging Your Performance

How you judge the website’s performance in search should take into account a handful of factors:

  1. Are you getting adequate rentals?

  2. How competitive is your market?

  3. Are you showing up in the Local Pack for your priority searches?


If you’re getting enough rentals from your site, that should already shift the discussion away from a red alert.


A highly competitive market shifts the radius in which you can expect to rank highly.

Because Google highly prioritizes proximity in local searches, they’re likely to show searchers whichever facility is closest to their location.

If you beat competitors that are closer, that means your site is performing well above expectations.

Local Pack

You should be prioritizing the Local Pack ranking in these tests.

The fact is that Google’s organic rankings favor very large websites that have national reach and national traffic, such as REITs and aggregators.

Local Pack rankings favor local businesses and level the playing field against large players. They also tend to get more clicks from local searchers than even the #1 organic rank!

How to Improve: Next Steps

If your rentals are hurting and you aren’t ranking where you want to, we need to now assess if there is something wrong.

Important Note: Due to the prioritization of proximity to searcher, not ranking where you want doesn’t mean there is a problem. Additionally, if you’re performing a city name search, your distance from the center of the city is also a major local ranking factor.

Review your profile and website with a neutral lens to help identify or rule out any issues.

If actual problems are ruled out, there are still a few things you can do to try and improve your ranking and beat competitors that are closer to your target areas than you are:

  1. Get backlinks! Especially backlinks from local businesses and organizations

  2. Get even more reviews (and get them consistently)

  3. Fully utilize Google Business Profile features (such as Products, Services, and Posts)

  4. Consider Google Ads if that specific market area is a priority

If you have questions about your performance even after looking yourself, reach out to!

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