Building a Mobile Website for Self-Storage Customers: Context, Intent, Design and SEO

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There are a few other design elements that are important to consider when building a mobile website. Ensure consistency by carrying over colors, fonts, logos and other branding elements from your standard website. Cut as much content as possible and keep it simple. The words you choose should be keywords relevant to your business such as “self-storage.” A searcher should be able to find what he needs immediately.

In the case of self-storage, a user is probably looking for a phone number for the location nearest to him. Other important content elements that should appear on the main screen or within one click include name, logo, address, phone number, map, hours, unit sizes and a photo.

Your mobile website is a great source for lead capture, so it’s important to track and measure leads and conversions. Use simple forms on your mobile website to encourage website visitors to take action. A “contact us” form with an e-mail or phone-number field and text box gives searchers an easy way to request information. Offering real-time reservations with a call to “Reserve your unit now”  is another way to spur a visitor to action. A mobile website can help your storage business capture new tenants when and where they’re ready to convert.

Mobile Search: Get Found

Once you have a mobile-optimized website, how can you ensure potential customers find it? For a local-based business like self-storage, location is everything, and geo-targeting based on GPS is a great way to get the best results. Most of the people looking for self-storage on their phones will search for a facility nearby. The best mobile websites detect the user’s location and serve up the closest locations. This opportunity is available only on mobile devices, not desktops, due to GPS technology.

On-page search-engine optimization (SEO) will ensure mobile users are directed to your Web page. SEO includes paying attention to branding, keywords and website load speed. From the perspective of SEO and user experience, load speed is even more crucial to a mobile website since the user is often multi-tasking and may be impatient with a slow-loading page.

The maps section of Google, commonly referred to as Google Places, is gaining in popularity as a directory listing on mobile devices. Currently, 40 percent of users are accessing Google Places through a mobile device, and the percentage is on the rise. It’s free to claim your listing, so populate it with as much information as possible including name, address, phone number, logo and photos that are consistent with your website.

Pay-per-click (PPC) advertising is another important tool for optimizing your mobile website for search. Since a smaller screen means less real estate for search-engine results, it’s important your paid ad appears as one of the top slots out of only about three that appear on a mobile screen.

For the past several years, a simple desktop website and a PPC advertising budget was enough for self-storage companies to attract business, but as more users access the Internet through mobile devices, it’s more important than ever to go mobile. Smartphone visits to self-storage websites are on the rise. A mobile website can help your properties be everywhere. The time to build your mobile website is now.

Dan Hobin is founder and CEO of G5, which provides Internet-marketing services including website design, online campaign management and local-search optimization. With more than 20 years of experience in building high-growth technology companies, Hobin is responsible for overseeing the company’s overall strategic direction, planning and execution. For more information, call 541.306.3388; visit www.g5searchmarketing.com .

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