When it comes to creating a successful self-storage website, there is good news and bad.
Let’s start with the good news: Websites and Internet marketing are a fraction of the cost of traditional marketing. They allow you to capture as many tenants as possible for the lowest possible cost per acquisition (CPA). Internet marketing is also extremely trackable. You can track visits, leads and click-throughs, and gauge your return on investment easier than you can with other marketing and advertising avenues. You can find out what’s working and where you should be spending your dollars.
Now for the bad news. Here’s a common scenario: You’re thinking about building your facility’s website and beginning the research when you’re hit with an onslaught of acronyms you’ve never even heard of: CTR, SEO, SEM, PPC and so on. You think, “Whatever happened to just having someone you know whip up a website for you?” Times have changed. Whether you’re updating a current website or building one from scratch, there’s a big learning curve regarding building, maintaining and marketing a successful website.
There are four main ingredients to achieving “love at first site” with potential customers: making a great first impression, having solid content, getting your website noticed, and keeping it fresh.
Hey There, Good Lookin’
First impressions count. Having a poor website can be compared to going on a date in your PJs. These days, it’s not enough to show up—you have to look good. If your website looks poorly maintained and out-of-date, potential customers might wonder if your facility is too. Your competition is only a click away. Are you prepared? Think about these questions:
What does your website say about your business? This comes down to branding. Use your logo and slogan to maintain the look and feel of your facility on your website. Think of it as an extension of your other marketing materials such as your brochure, banners, promotional items, etc.
If your feel is new and modern, go with a crisp, streamlined look for your website. Use clean lines, simple statements and contemporary colors. If yours is more of a friendly neighborhood facility, go with that design emphasis. Use pictures of your staff and customers. Talk about your community involvement and, most important, great customer service.
Is navigation easy? You can have a fresh, new and innovative website that’s out of this world, but if the customer cannot easily and quickly navigate it, he will move on.
What’s in it for them? Does your website offer the perks your customers seek? Are your prospects looking for online reservations? How about online account management? Do you have a coupon offer with a call to action? Does your website have information about your facility’s unique selling propositions? Does it highlight all the great amenities your facility offers, especially in comparison to competitors? To be successful, the website must be a resource for current and potential tenants.
More Than Just a Pretty Face
You can have a great-looking site, but that doesn’t mean anything if potential customers can’t find it when they’re searching online. A great website has the cosmetic component and a solid foundation. This foundation should be built with search-engine optimization (SEO). Bottom line, you need to rank in searches. Are you high on the list when potential customers are searching for self-storage in your area or not even on the first page? To achieve higher ranking results, do the following: