4 Critical Tactics to Increase Online Self-Storage Reservations

Small tweaks and changes can have a huge impact on how users engage with a self-storage business' website. This article offers facility operators four tips they can execute right away to help transform more clicks into real customers.

March 13, 2013

5 Min Read
4 Critical Tactics to Increase Online Self-Storage Reservations

By Katelyn Murray

In a perfect world, driving traffic to your self-storage business website would ensure you were generating an equal amount of leads. Although your pay-per-click (PPC) ads or Facebook page may be sending well-qualified leads to your site, if you arent converting a majority of those visitors into customers, its likely there's something is amiss.

Small tweaks and changes can have a huge impact on how users engage with your website and, most important, whether they complete a reservation form or pick up the phone. This article gives you four simple strategies you can use right away to help transform more clicks into real customers.

1. Hone in on Your Target Audience

The problem with many websites is companies try too hard to be everything to everyone. By casting a wide net in hope of covering as much ground as possible, they make the mistake of actually alienating the people who are most likely to become customers.

Hone in on your core demographic. Find out what theyre looking for and what makes them tick. Then provide a Web design, content, imagery, colors and more that strives to connect with them and get them to feel like your brand is a part of who they are. When visitors identify with your company, they also begin to trust you, which is the most important step in the sales process.

A great way to help you stay on track with your core demographic while building your website is to create specific buyer personas and use those to guide your decision-making. Learn how to do this by reading "4 Questions Answered About Buyer Personas," an article by Barbra Gago of the Content Marketing Institute.

2. Provide Facility Photos

In this day and age, consumers can find out whether they want to visit a restaurant, hotel or other local business simply by searching for photos of these places online. With the popularity of apps such as Google Streetview and social media websites, consumers are accustomed to knowing exactly what to expect from a business, be it a bakery, boutique or hardware store.

You absolutely must provide photos of your self-storage facility on your website. Not only do photos help build trust, they make it easier to imagine what its like to do business with you. Even more helpful is featuring photos of your staff on your website. Knowing his first visit will be met with a helpful, friendly face can make the difference between your visitor securing a reservation then and there or moving on to your competitors website. 

3. Write Engaging Content

The way people read on the Web has changed. That means business owners need to keep up with how their customers consume content and what makes them take the next step toward making a reservation or picking up the phone.

Generally, big ideas broken up into bite-size chunks of short, concise sentences are the most engaging. For instance, focus on organizing your content with descriptive headlines that will help the reader scan your Web page for the information theyre seeking. Not only does this allow you to connect more quickly, it prevents the user from abandoning your website for another when he cant instantly find what hes looking for.

Heres a little fact: On average, a user spends less than 20 seconds searching for the information hes seeking before he abandons a Web page. Think about that when youre deciding how to display your most important details. If youve sent a user to a page on your website from a PPC ad, think about how prevalently the information hes likely looking for is presented. You may have won the click, but if your customer abandons your page, your money and time have been wasted.

4. Place Calls to Action Strategically

A call to action is exactly what it sounds like. Essentially its asking your customer to do something next. Whether its learning more about your services or facility or filling out a form, placing calls to action throughout strategic areas of your website should be one of your biggest priorities.

Youll be amazed at how many of your visitors respond to a simple call to action where you might not have had one before. Unfortunately, you also might be surprised at how many of your calls to action are ignored. To ensure a call gets notice, first focus on what you think the user might want to do next. For example, if a potential customer is reading about your unit types and sizes, a couple of great calls to action might be to view photos of the unit interiors or contact a representative to check their specific availability.

A good rule of thumb when it comes to increasing the success of calls to action is to avoid asking for too much too soon. If a customer is in the research process, a call to action such as reserve a unit now is like asking someone who walks into a clothing boutique to buy the first pair of shoes he sees. Go easy on your visitor and really think about what he might want to do next.

When you think like your customers and where they are in the sales process, you can create calls to action that truly resonate with their needs. Thus, you increase the likelihood those calls to action will be taken.

There are several conversion-based tactics that can help your website become a better tool at driving storage reservations. However, if you follow the four basics outlined above, youll create an effective starting point to build on as you understand more about what it takes to convert your visitors into customers.

Katelyn Murray is a marketing manager with EZ Storage, a self-storage facility with three locations in the Boston-metro area including Framingham, Natick and Newton. For more information, visit www.ezstoragenow.com .

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