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A Step-by-Step Guide to Launching a Superior Self-Storage Website

If your self-storage business doesn’t have a website, you’re missing out on potential customers. You also aren’t offering existing tenants the online functionality they want. Here’s how to launch a superior website that’s well-optimized for discovery, meets the needs of today’s consumers and helps generate more revenue.

Al Harris

June 15, 2023

5 Min Read
A Step-by-Step Guide to Launching a Superior Self-Storage Website

If you operate a self-storage facility today, you need a website—plain and simple. And, no, a Facebook page doesn’t count! Without a website, your business is missing out on a huge source of sales leads. Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, industry internet leads have grown 15 percent to 20 percent or more, while the number of walk-ins has declined. That means more potential tenants are shopping for your services online.

So, you need a website. In fact, you need a superior website. Here’s how to create one.

Ready to Launch

With the online tools and platforms available today, you can have a professional self-storage website up and running in just a short time. All you need is a domain name, a host and a website builder. It’s really that simple.

The domain is the URL a user types into a browser to access your site. Domains ending in .com are the most common and recommended, though there are other options available. Register the name of your choice with a provider such as Go Daddy, Google or Namecheap.com to name a few. A domain costs $10 to $20 per year, and you’ll need to renew it annually. Don’t forget, or it could get swooped up by someone else!

Once you have a domain, you’ll need a host. This is a service that stores your website data and manages your online traffic. This is an ongoing cost of about $50 per month.

Finally, you’ll need to build the website itself. There are three main ways to do this:

Use a builder platform. There are many available such as Squarespace, Wix and WordPress. These platforms allow you to get a website up and running quickly at a low cost. Their primary function is to drive leads to your business. Your ability to automate further will be limited, though, as these tools aren’t created with the needs of self-storage operators in mind.

Hire a professional web developer. This can help you achieve a more customized website that has the features you need to automate your business, such as online rentals and data analytics. On the downside, you’ll need to contract for continued maintenance and support—unless you have the technical know-how to handle it internally.

Choose an industry-specific provider. A vendor that specializes in building self-storage websites is likely the surest way to get everything you need to start automating your business effectively. A website tailored to this industry will be ready go “out of the box,” so you can list available units, offer online rentals and accept payments. Plus, it’s likely to integrate with other self-storage software products.

Include These Features

At a minimum, you’ll want to include the following information on your self-storage website:

  • Facility name

  • Address

  • Phone number

  • Email address

  • Good property photos

  • Unit availability and pricing

  • Payment methods accepted

The more content you add, the more discoverable it’ll be by search engines. Consider additional details such as:

  • An “About Us” containing details about your business

  • Staff photos and bios

  • Blog posts about moving, storage and your local community

  • A list of frequently asked questions

  • Your policies and procedures

Enable Automation

With a basic website, you can now be found by prospects looking for self-storage online. Ensuring it’s optimized for search engine optimization (SEO) and investing in Google Ads will further boost discoverability. But if you stop there, you’ll miss opportunities to convert more site visitors to paying customers. To fully monetize your website, you’ll need to invest in tools that enable automation, such as:

Online reservations. Your prospects should be able to reserve and rent units online. This is especially helpful when your office is closed. It also allows you to capture customers who prefer to shop online. Most people today will keep looking if they can’t book and pay for a unit right on your website.

Online payments. This functionality can automate the billing process and reduce the need for manual invoicing and payment collection. Autopay enrollment and text reminders can help ensure payments are made on time and reduce the risk of delinquency.

Account access. Give customers access to their accounts 24/7, allowing them to view their rental agreement, make a payment or update their contact information. This reduces the need for service representatives to handle routine inquiries, freeing staff to focus on other tasks.

Automated marketing. Your website is the ultimate marketing tool. Not only will it attract new customers and showcase unit availability and pricing, it can collect customer data and send automatic emails, reducing the need for manual outreach.

Take It to the Next Level

Once you have your self-storage website up and running, there are several ways to make it even more powerful:

Incorporate analytics and tracking. Evaluate your website performance using tools like Google Analytics. The data can be used to track customer behavior, optimize marketing efforts and identify areas for improvement.

Improve the user experience. Consider features such as online reservations, live chat support or a portal to improve interactions with tenants.

Optimize for search engines. SEO can help your website rank higher in search results, increasing visibility and attracting more customers. Consider optimizing your content, metadata and links.

Integrate with other services. Having a website that integrates with your self-storage management software is essential, as it allows you to update inventory and adjust prices in real time, among other benefits. An application program interface (API) allows different systems to communicate with each other and share data automatically. You can use APIs to automate routine tasks and provide a better customer experience. Here are some useful integrations:

  • A payment gateway that allows you to accept online payments. It sends information to your management software, which updates the customer account.

  • A reservation system that automatically syncs with your management software and allows customers to book units online. This reduces the need for manual entry, saving time and reducing human error.

  • A customer-relationship management (CRM) system that allows you tracks prospect and tenant activity and targets users with personalized marketing campaigns.

A superior website will help you make more money and grow your self-storage business. To maximize its benefits, make sure your site is optimized for the best user experience and leverages automation and marketing strategies that drive more revenue.

Al Harris is the editor of Storage Beat and content manager at Storable, an Austin, Texas-based supplier of cloud-based access control as well as management software, marketing services, payment processing, website development and other services. He obtained his degree in journalism from Virginia Commonwealth University. For more information, call 888.403.0665; email [email protected].

About the Author(s)

Al Harris

Content Manager, Storable

Al Harris is the editor of the "Storage Beat" and content manager at Storable. Based in Austin, Texas, Storable is a provider of self-storage technology, delivering a full suite of products including management software, websites, access control, insurance, payment processing and an marketplace for renting self-storage units.

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