The way people use the internet is changing. Consumers expect more from the companies they do business with, self storage websites are no exception!
61% of users said that if they did not find what they are looking for right away on a mobile site, they would quickly leave and go to another site.
When it comes to your website, the pages on the site need to cover certain areas of information and functionality. By having the right layout and information on your storage facility's website you can convert your web traffic into paying tenants!
At StoragePug, we break self storage web design down into categories:
- Self Storage Websites Should List Their Rates
- Online Storage Unit Rentals
- Online Bill Pay
- Contact Page
- Size Guide
- Storage Help & FAQs
- General Information
- Mobile Friendly [Important!]
If a storage facility's website can adequately cover these categories, it will be able to take care of any tenant's needs.
Self Storage Websites Should List Their Rates
The highest priority for self storage websites is to advertise (accurate!) rental rates. The hub for a facility to advertise online is its website, and leads who are shopping will want to see your rates.
There must to be a place that lists out up-to-date rates for tenants to see. It is counteractive for your website to display the different rates than a tenant will actually end up with.
To enhance the rental experience online, StoragePug websites display discounts, inventory, and can use push rates as well.
The user should have enough information to make an informed decision about renting from your facility. By informing leads and allowing them to rent online, you can take them off the market faster, and potentially before they have the chance to consider competitors.
Displaying discounts is a great way to entice new tenants to take action sooner than later. This can also help the tenant pick your storage facility over your competition.
Displaying inventory counts as they become low is another great way to create urgency. It lets the potential tenant know time is of the essence if they want to rent this type of unit.
Along with urgency badges, using push rates to increase prices as inventory dwindles is a great way to maximize your monthly income. If you are mostly full, it makes the most sense to wait it out for a customer willing to pay a higher price for the last of your inventory.
Reasons to show accurate rates on your storage website:
- Advertise the real time rates of your facility
- Tenants want access to enough information to make a informed choice
- Increase urgency by showing limited availability
Online Storage Unit Rentals
A great way to create tenants from your website traffic is through offering online rentals on your facilities' website. My favorite reason for offering rentals directly on your website: your audience is huge! Anyone with an internet connection can rent from you.
When we launched a new website for a storage facility in Morristown, TN and almost instantly they started moving up on Google searches. One day we received an excited call from the owner.
He called to tell us about a unit they just rented through their StoragePug website. His new tenant was moving to Morristown from Minnesota!
To save time they wanted to book a storage unit ahead of time, instead of worrying about it once they got here. It was a win for everyone!
Our client was able to get a new tenant before they had a chance to consider the competition.
Customers expect to have the option of conducting business with companies through their website. By making it easy for them to rent you can capture new leads you never knew where there!
By offering rentals on your website you can take a tenant off the market. That tenant becomes yours.
The rental process can cover multiple areas:
- Offering Tenant Insurance
- Sign Lease Online
- Take Payment to finish the Rental
Make your storage facility outshine your competition by adding a rental process to your website.
Online rentals can help new storage facilities increase their occupancy quickly.
Benefits of online rentals:
- Modern customers expect to be able to make a purchase on your website, so let them!
- Take the customer off the market
- Rent units from the traffic that is already coming to your website
Online Bill Pay
A great way to minimize delinquency is to offer online bill pay. Making it as convenient and easy as possible for tenants to pay their bill online increases the likelihood that they will pay, and pay on time.
It's important for the process to be just as easy to complete on a mobile device as it is on a desktop. The convenience of using a website is not effective if it can't be experienced on mobile.
Having a branded portal for users to log in to creates a sense of trust and security with online users, so avoid changing websites or user experiences if possible.
Online Bill Pay has many advantages for the storage facility, but also for your facilities' tenants:
- Make it easy for your tenants to pay you 24/7!
- Encourage signing up for auto pay
- Keep your customers happy!
Over the years, the proliferation of contact pages has lead to an expectation that any company's website should provide the means to contact that company. The storage industry is no exception!
Further, multiple channels should be available for the customer to contact through their preferred means.
A contact form along with an easy-to-find phone number, email address, and physical address should be more than adequate for anyone on the website to get in touch.
Your website is a useful resource for leads. It's a good idea to give visitors a reference on what size and type of storage they need in relation to the sizes you offer. The most common way to accomplish that is a size guide.
We have seen some really creative ways that size guides have been done in self storage web design. We have conducted multiple tests to test what is most effective in converting leads. We found that a simple picture showing items inside a unit was the most effective.
Storage Help and FAQs
Other pages for self that are helpful for visitors are FAQs, Storage Calculator, Storage Tips, and a sitemap. Any combination is fine, as long as the person taking in these materials can be better equipped to make a storage decision.
These types of pages can give leads a better idea of what it is like to store at your facility and how to make their time the best it can be. Most importantly, they should feel empowered to make the decision to rent, right then and there.
General information pages create a great opportunity for self storage websites to let the personality and flair of your business show.
A drone video is another great idea to outshine your competition, you can see what it looks like on Rocky Hill Storage's website. It's your website, so it should reflect you and your company's values and vision.
Self storage websites are a great opportunity to showcase your top amenities.
Different ways to convey this on self storage websites could be through a blog, an about page, a news letter, fun icons, or simply linking to different social media accounts.
A great example of a self storage blog is US Storage Centers blog, which can be found here.
Creativity in web design for self storage makes your facility stand out! You should not cut corners when it comes to your online presence. The more meaningful that you can make it, the more likely someone is to pick your facility over your competitor's to store their stuff.
Mobile Friendly (or Responsive)
This is the most important aspect in self storage web design! An ever increasing amount of search traffic is coming from mobile sources. It is more important than ever before to have a responsive (mobile friendly) website for your facility.
When we analyze the stats for any of our clients, all of them have more traffic from mobile sources than from anywhere else.
Self Storage websites should be regularly updated to stay ahead of the local competition.
If we look at the last 28 days for Ray Self Storage we can see that 57% of ALL traffic to the site came from mobile sources.
Interesting facts about mobile self storage web design:
- Mobile devices are projected to reach 79% of global internet use by the end of 2018.
- 57% of internet users say they won’t recommend a business with a poorly designed website on mobile
To read more about my favorite StoragePug features, take a look at Self Storage Marketing Playbook and Security with SSL Encryption. StoragePug regularly updates our blog with useful self storage marketing content.