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May 8, 2018
Matt, Tommy, and myself started StoragePug because we saw that there was room for improvement when it came to self storage websites and online marketing. We set out to create the best self storage website.
We believe that self storage companies should be able to build a strong online presence whether they have one or one hundred locations.
While there are plenty of storage facilities that have decent websites, many miss the mark. Unfortunately, many storage facility owners see a fully functional website as an unnecessary or exorbitant expense. Even worse, some have half-baked or completely out-of-date websites which reflect badly on the business.
According to BrightLocal, 97% of consumers looked online for local businesses in 2017, with 12% looking for a local business online every day.
Because most people have a computer in their pocket, the look and functionality of a storage facility website is becoming just as important as the look and functionality of the storage facility itself.
I look at self storage websites as a scale based on functionality. At the low end of the scale is the brochure website. This means that your website is slightly better if at all than just posting a PDF at your URL. This website might have some pertinent information such as hours, phone number, address, and email, but has no actionable besides a contact form at best.
In the middle of the scale is the website with limited and/or fragmented functionality. Limited functionality means exactly what it sounds like. You can do a few things but not everything. The most common is only offering reservations.
While this is better than nothing, this type of website will likely lose out to a fully-featured website. Slightly better is the fragmented website. This website might offer reservations, online bill pay, or even online rentals. It uses services that aren't integrated.
This means that users are direct off-site for any of these functions. Six in 10 consumers said they were concerned about credit-card fraud, and redirecting users to input sensitive information into a portal is not the way to gain trust online.
At the top of the scale are the good-looking websites that offer integrated online rentals, reservations, and bill pay. For an example, Ray Self Storage offers their users the chance to do anything they need to do online.
Whether it's renting a unit, signing their lease, using autopay, or moving out. Other key elements to the success of this website are the SEO practices, mobile responsiveness, and the appealing and easy to use UX (User eXperience).
For Google, 400ms of increased page load time, results in 0.44% lost search sessions. At StoragePug, we take this to heart. It's not good enough to only have a fully functional and integrated online marketing machine.
It's got to be fast. To make this happen, we use Google's Firebase for our database and content distribution and Amazon Web Services for our API. These services are proven on the basis of speed and security, so we use them as a foundation for our offerings.
It's one thing for a website to look good, but looking good and providing intuitive UX and functionality is what we strive for. The modern design we strive for demands elegant solutions for all of the functionality.
As the headline of Apple’s first marketing brochure proclaimed in 1977, “Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.”
Shoppers visit 3 eCommerce stores on average before an online purchase. If a facility's website is not the best looking, most intuitive, feature-rich, and easy to use then the likelihood of acquiring a new customer online is diminished significantly.
It's one thing to recognize the need for modern self storage websites with feature-rich user experiences, but a self storage owner or property manager likely doesn't know the ins and outs of web development or maintenance.
For StoragePug customers, this is a non-issue! We give as much or as little control to our customers based on their wants and needs. They don't need to worry about the day-to-day tasks of maintaining a website.
There is no need to check if it is working or if it has gone down. StoragePug customers get the best of both worlds: a top-of-the-line website and no work involved to get results from it.
To read more about my favorite StoragePug features, take a look at our Self Storage Marketing Playbook, Engage Self Storage Customers by Showcasing your top Amenities and Enable Website Discounts Through SiteLink.