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February 13, 2020
The best self storage websites engage with visitors by offering modern amenities that customers have come to expect from other industries.
A while ago, the StoragePug crew was traveling to Branson, MO for the MSSOA Annual conference. To get there, we needed to rent a car.
We started on Google and quickly found our way to the top car rental websites.
Each car rental company had plenty of information online, so we were able to inform ourselves and find the right size car based on the number of passengers and luggage we're bringing.
Once the decision was made to rent a minivan to get to Branson, we quickly finished the rental process directly on Enterprise's website.
Unfortunately, the status quo for self storage is to offer a basic marketing website that lacks functionality.
People who find your storage facility's website interact with modern rental processes in almost every other industry.
Why should self storage be different?
To offer the best self storage website in town, consider offering a sleek, modern online rental process directly on your domain.
A custom payment portal takes that experience one step further by letting your customers log in and pay their bills, sign up for auto-pay, view payment history, download their lease, and update their information.
The key to good self storage website design is focusing on a limited number of objectives for your users.
Before we jump in, let's look at the modern self storage web design from 10,000ft view.
The two features a self storage website must address are online bill pay and online rentals. Although it's important to leverage online marketing, current tenants have needs too! Give them an easy way to pay from their phone.
If your website is equipped with a payment portal, then your current tenants can also update their tenant account info.
Combining online bill pay and SMS reminders is a recipe to reduce delinquency. To go a step further, it should be easy for your tenants to sign up for autopay.
Online marketing is not nearly as effective if it isn't easy for a potential customer to become a current customer. To this end, online rentals are of paramount importance.
Businesses looking for commercial storage options really value online rentals and payments - if you want to break into this market, you need to have these convenient features!
The best way to convert these leads is an elegant website design and an easy online rental process. Pertinent information should remain visible throughout the process, the new customer should have expectations clearly set, and screen real estate should be maximized.
The process should be equally easy to complete on all devices.
After covering the essential functionality, a great way to expand a self storage facility website design is to provide resources for current tenants and leads. For leads, providing a size guide or storage calculator can help ensure they know how much space to rent.
For current customers, offering storage tips and a Frequently Asked Questions page provides them a way to have their questions answered easily and save managers' time.
As recently as a few years ago, ranking high in a Google search was easy. It was as simple as stuffing all pages with keywords and links.
Nowadays, hundreds of factors are taken into account when it comes to deciding search rank.
Providing a good user experience on your website is essential to SEO. A good design is the catalyst to a good user experience - Google takes that into account.
Make sure that your website has a sitemap and that it is submitted to Google for indexing.
For self storage, SEO is crucial to be found and furthermore local SEO is even more important. This process means using web design to optimize for self storage keywords, and then optimize those self storage keywords for your city, state, community, and target markets.
Unless someone is just surfing the internet on a whimsy, they probably want to spend as little time navigating a self storage website as possible.
The best way to help users navigate a website faster is to maximize the actionability of the above the fold contents.
To demonstrate, here is a heat map of clicks of Sherlake Self Storage with an above the fold marker for reference.
Above the fold line, there is a way to access anything a visitor might want to do on this website. Also notice that the two key functions (online bill pay and online rentals) show up twice above the fold.
Online curb appeal is just as important as curb appeal in the physical world. The design of a self storage website needs to reflect the quality of the facility.
The best self storage websites are a funnel for new customers and a time saver for managers!
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