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Tips to Easily Create and Maintain a Quality Website for Your Self-Storage Business

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By Jana Haecherl

Are you looking to create a quality website for your self-storage business? The shift to providing self-service tools and mobile optimization has made the process more complex, and you may be intimidated to jump into the online arena. But building a website doesn’t have to be a long, confusing or expensive procedure. Here’s some basic groundwork to help you easily create and maintain your facility’s site.

Do Your Research

If you want your website to include search engine optimization (SEO) and perform well for users, it’s important to first research your market, competition and industry website providers. Researching takes time, but it pays off greatly when it comes to creating a valuable website that generates leads and rentals.

Your Market

Researching your market requires understanding your facility’s demographics as well as your ideal customer. Market research helps you get the full scope of your prospects’ opinions, values and beliefs. It should answer these basic questions:

  • Who are your customers? Find out your average customer’s age, gender, occupation, income, lifestyle, educational attainment, household size and more.
  • What do your customers already buy? Find out what they’re already purchasing and their shopping habits. If your customers are avid online shoppers, this makes it a no-brainer for your business to offer online rentals.

To find the answers to these questions, use online market-research tools and information from your local chamber of commerce, university or college; or try a business-directory database. Your goal is to fully understand who your customers are as individuals as well as their needs and wants. Use the data you gather to make predictions and plan your website strategy.

Your Competition

By keeping a close eye on your competition, you’ll be able to plan an online strategy that helps you retain current customers and win new ones. A simple Google search is great place to start. Just type “self-storage” and your town’s name into the search box and see what’s out there. What makes the No. 1 result stand out from the rest? Which self-storage business has the most positive reviews in your area?

Next, check out your competitors’ social media pages. Often, tech-savvy businesses will have an active presence on social platforms, since Facebook is almost as popular as Google when it comes finding local businesses and information.

Don’t be afraid to ask around or mystery shop. If your customers have used self-storage before, ask where they rented previously and why they chose you this time. Explore the customer experience of using a competitor’s website and uncover the pain points. For example, if the website is slow to load or doesn’t work on mobile devices, this presents an opportunity for your business to win those mobile customers.

Website Providers

Just because your nephew has a degree in graphic design doesn’t mean he should build your website. In fact, the most cost-effective, high-performing self-storage websites are created by people in the industry who understand the unique needs of the business and can tailor your site to your storage consumer.

The website will need to work with your management software to offer seamless integration with unit prices and availability. This can be tricky if you’re working with a Web designer who doesn’t understand the storage industry.

Remember, you don’t want a high-maintenance website that requires you to update it manually whenever availability or rates change in your software. Find a Web-development company that offers software integration along with a variety of storage-specific website features, such as the ability to track online leads and accept online payments.

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