The first thing most people notice when visiting a self-storage website for the first time is how aesthetically appealing it is. Because of this, a lot of emphasis is put into building the website. However, there’s so much more to having a quality website. Yes, you want to make a good first impression, but if the functional features of your website are not well-thought-out, the storage business the website represents is missing out on a huge opportunity.
A website can be a very strong marketing tool for self-storage operators. Here are some ways to look past its initial appearance to ways to make it truly profitable.
Websites are capable of doing many things, and usually include features to make life easier for self-storage operators and their customers. Convenience and simplicity can go a long way. Some features that can accomplish this include adding unit rates, sizing guides, and rental and payment capabilities to the website. With information on sizing and pricing, customers can answer common questions on their own. Rental and payment capabilities will save facility operators time during normal business hours and can also double as a 24-hour sales tool.
It’s incredibly important to show website visitors what they need to know about your storage facility quickly. Figure out what will benefit your company the most, then make that very visible and easy to find. If a first-month special is what motivates people to take action, make it too obvious to miss and easy to get from that point to your rental page. This isn’t to say that specials are the only thing that can drive people to take action. It could be different for each facility. Figure out what it is, then make it as simple as possible to find it on you website and for customers to act on it.
This is another incredibly important element to a strong website. When your customers are ready to rent or looking for more information about your facility, the navigation should require no thought on their part. This seems simple, but often we understand our own navigation while others might not. Make the terminology simple to understand and organize your website’s dropdown menus appropriately.
Websites can do so much more for storage operators than just look good. They can help generate revenue, save time and make the process of finding the right facility, renting a unit and making payments easier for your customers.
In addition, all of these are features that more self-storage customers are expecting when doing business with you. In some instances, a potential tenant might even leave a website if he can’t easily find what he’s looking for or conduct his business, such as reserving a unit. Instead, he’ll find an operator who does provide this online benefit. Take your website and operation to another level by focusing on your website’s functionality.
Nick Bilava is the director of sales and marketing for Storage.com. He has been an active member of the self-storage community for more than seven years and can be found at various industry events throughout the nation. Nick’s goal at Storage.com is to help self-storage operators market their business more efficiently and effectively.