- Why Insights?
- Get in Touch
February 2, 2022
In today’s self storage industry, you need more than a website—you need a website that works.
But what does "work" mean? Using extensive analytics research, client interviews, and tracking of our existing websites, our design and website teams create responsive, accessible websites made specifically for self storage. Find out how our teams use the behaviors, desires, and needs of self storage customers to make websites that do just what you need them to!
At StoragePug, we make websites that work and look good at the same time.
One of the most important aspects of a working website is the conversion rate. We tackle conversions in two main ways:
Our design process is in constant motion as we are always doing research to improve the websites we make while also staying on top of the latest trends in user experience, web design, and SEO. We use data from millions of website sessions to drive our process.
StoragePug design philosophy is pioneered by the Director of Design, Ana Batista, who leads the charge on research, analysis, and implementation of data to make sure we build self storage websites that are as good as they can be.
When building a website, the most important question we start with is “who needs storage?” To Ana, this is the question that we are always trying to answer.
All of her research and design work is directed towards two goals: find out who is shopping for storage, and then figure out how they want to rent it.
By delivering a well-designed product, we share our success with the success of our clients (and vice versa)!
Picture two scenarios:
In scenario #1, imagine you have a self storage website that easily gets 100 unique visitors a month. You put a lot of effort into lead generation, and it’s paying off with more visitors each month. If only one of those visitors rents each month, that’s a 1% conversion rate. If you want to get two rentals a month, this means you’ll need to go and find 100 more people to visit your website.
In scenario #2, picture a website that converts visitors to tenants at a 3% rate. With just that small increase in conversion, you are gaining more rentals than scenario #1 with just 50 leads! You now have three rentals for every 100 visitors. If you manage to find those 100 additional visitors a month? Now that’s 6 rentals a month.
With those examples, it’s easy to see that conversion rates are a major factor in getting rentals for your self storage facility. That doesn’t mean it’s bad to attract more visitors, but you should also figure out why the visitors you do have aren’t renting. Get the most you can out of what you have before spending time and money to get more!
Pug Pro Tip: Increasing conversion rates is often more impactful than increasing visitors to your website! Before you try to get more people, try to figure out why the ones you are getting aren’t renting.
Now that we’re on the same page about conversion rates and their effectiveness, what does that have to do with StoragePug?
Well, that’s even easier to understand: In 2021, the StoragePug portfolio converted at roughly ten times the industry average.
The only way to know if your design philosophy is correct is to perform research.
StoragePug’s design team is constantly conducting research to better understand self storage customers. In the span of just a month, StoragePug’s researchers sift through hundreds of thousands of accounts, using a variety of tools to better understand people renting self storage.
These tools—such as Smartlook—allow us to see real data on customer behaviors such as the times they are most likely to use your website and how they access it. We can even see heatmaps of all interactions on the website.
The team also gathers data on self storage customer demographics and session details, such as gender, age, and whether they’re on mobile or desktop.
We use this information to better inform our design decisions, focus our attention, and make a website that has the best chance to work for our clients.
This all results in a significantly higher average conversion rate for StoragePug clients.
Pug Pro Tip: There are many factors that can impact your conversion rate: region, population density, market saturation, and the list goes on. You can’t (usually) control all of those factors, but there is one you can control: your website.
“We need self-storage websites that allow them to interact with us on their terms, from reserving a unit to paying their bill.” - Jim Mooney
So what does all that data get us? Why do we need it, and how does it lead to higher conversions?
The simple answer is that building the best user experience comes from thinking from your user’s perspective. We could create what we believe is the best experience possible, with incredible efficiency and exciting features that self storage owners love, but it could be a flop with customers.
If the design doesn’t work for the actual person you’re trying to turn into a rental, then it doesn’t matter how much you (or we) think it works.
Put another way: we make a website that works the way we know your customers want it to work.
We are in the world of two-click shopping experiences. If it’s not easy enough to rent the storage unit from you, they will find someone else that makes it easier.
Who needs storage?
The answer is everyone. Virtually anyone can be a possible self storage tenant. This means your website needs to be accessible to everyone.
If you get 100 leads a month and just one of those leads is unable to navigate due to a poorly-designed website, that’s a tenant lost every month.
And if you think that vision impairment is a problem for older generations that are less likely to rent, then think again. Vision impairment plagues all age ranges—13% of persons with blindness in the U.S. are under the age of 40, and that doesn’t even account for other less severe impairments!
Data and graphic from PreventBlindness.Org
At StoragePug, we take accessibility seriously. Whether it comes to making a site accessible and well-organized for web readers or easy to navigate without a mouse, accessibility is one of the most important aspects of design.
While our ultimate goal is always to shoot for as high an accessibility score as possible based upon WCAG standards, we have a minimum standard of AA with 4.5 or higher color contrast.
Our clients have a wide range of branding colors, and this minimum standard allows us to design websites that are fit for the majority of individuals while accounting for our clients’ brands.
Why is this important for your business?
Well, to repeat an earlier statement, every person looking for self storage that can’t navigate your website is a potential tenant lost.
You want the highest chance possible to turn every visitor into a tenant. That’s almost the entire purpose of your website. So why ignore a massive portion of your market impacted by color blindness and vision impairments?
Make sure your website is as accessible as possible.
“When you think about who is renting, it could be anyone. So it needs to be designed for everyone. It needs to be accessible for everyone.” —Ana Batista, StoragePug Director of Design
So, what does it mean to make a website work, and how does StoragePug do it?
By now, you know that a working self storage website isn’t just a website that can allow a customer to rent online. It’s not just a website where tenants can make payments or look for information.
A working website is a website that entices users to rent and pay online while making it as easy as possible to do both. StoragePug uses data-driven design philosophies and a passion for our clients’ successes to make self storage websites that get the job done.
View their stories and see what they had to say!
So why are you paying for a website that barely attracts tenants and can’t convert the visitors that make it to the page? Get a website that works.
Here are some of my other favorite posts about running a self storage business!