The majority of self storage enquiries now start online, as a result the first real impression people get of your business is your website.
Good web design is what turns visitors into customers. If your storage website provides a poor user experience, then you’re going to be hampering the efforts of any marketing activities you’re doing to drive people to your website.
In this article we’ll take a look at website design for self storage. We’ll cover some of the key areas that customers are looking for, cover the things that search engines are looking for, and give you some key storage web design tips to help convert as many visitors as possible.
Page Experience refers to a range of on site factors that impact the user experience on your site. Google has various page experience signals they measure, and failing at these signals will result in lower rankings.
However, you should obviously care about user experience with or without Google using it as a ranking factor.
Here are some of the most important user experience signals:
Mobile Friendliness – You can technically be mobile friendly by having a separate mobile version of your site that displays only to mobile devices. However, it’s better for many reasons that you find a web design company who can build you a responsive site that adjusts the look of the content based on the screen size.
Site speed – There are a surprising number of definitions of site speed, depending on what exactly you want to track. But what doesn’t change is the importance of making your site fast. Users are less likely to convert on a slower loading site than a quick one, and search engines are using site speed as a ranking factor. The web design company you choose for your self storage site should understand how to improve the speed of your site, and have a proven track record of creating fast sites for other clients.
Navigation and Location Pages
When it comes to navigation and location pages, the best approach will vary depending on your business goals.
If you have just the one location and you know you will not be looking to expand beyond this, then it’s perfectly reasonable to have the homepage content of your site targeted to this location.
However, for a lot of self storage providers, the end goal is to expand the business to multiple locations over time. If this is the case then you will want to ensure that these locations each have their own specific landing pages on the site, and that these landing pages are linked to in a way which makes it easy for customers and search engines to navigate to.
As we discussed in our post on self storage SEO, your important pages need to be only one or two clicks away from your homepage.
For smaller operators this is quite straightforward, you can link to each of your relevant locations from the menu, but for those with multiple sites you will need to consider implementing a more advanced navigation / menu structure to deal with this. This is something to talk to your storage web design, or online marketing agency about implementing.
A good example of this is Public Storage – with so many locations they aren’t able to have them all linked to from a drop down list so as well as having search functionality they’ve linked their more important pages lower down on the homepage.
If you have a high number of locations, in addition to the navigation you may want to consider having a search box on the homepage and location page to make it easier for people to find their nearest store.
Here’s an example from SafeStore:
Storage Facility Page Content
NAP – This refers to your storage location’s name, address, and phone number. It may sound obvious, but it’s important to have this on the page, and make sure it’s formatted correctly, and the same way you format it across the web on directories, Google My Business etc.
Directions to your site / Google Maps embed – This is very useful for your customers, giving them confidence they’ll be able to find your storage facility. But it also has a positive effect on search engine optimization for your storage site, Google loves the extra content that’s relevant to your location. Speaking of which …
Local information – It’s important for your page to contain snippets of text that mention local landmarks, nearby towns or talk about the work you’ve been doing in the local community. This shows search engines that your page is relevant to a search for ‘self storage in [location]’, it also helps differentiate the location page from all your other location pages.
FAQ’s – These are great for potential tenants as, by definition, you’re answering questions they’re likely to have. But it’s also great content for search engines, it’s more content showing them how relevant the page is to your target terms. On each of the location pages we’d keep these FAQ’s relevant to the location, we’d recommend broader FAQ’s relevant to all your locations be placed on a dedicated page.
Services – If you have 24/7 CCTV, heated storage units, coffee machine in a reception lounge, or anything else that users would care about, these should be mentioned.
As well as sorting out your location pages with all the content we’ve just mentioned, there are some other key pages and functionality you will want to consider for your site.
Quote functionality – This is very important for any customers coming to your site. Customers will want to know the prices of storage, and if you don’t display them on your site then you will need an option to get a quote. Without the ability to get prices easily you will be putting off a lot of potential tenants.
Booking functionality – Most people are used to being able to book everything online, and self storage websites are no different. Add in the advantages in terms of efficiency that come with online bookings and you can see why the ability to book online should be built into any website project you have planned.
Local area pages – These are pages that relate to towns / cities / areas surrounding your self storage locations. You won’t be able to include all the information you include on your main location pages, but you can still include enough information to show up when someone is searching for surrounding areas.
Additional service pages (e.g. Students, Business) – Having pages on your storage website for each of the key service areas can be a great way of increasing conversions from these customers. If you offer specialist storage services for students, or business facilities such as meeting rooms it is important to have specific pages to demonstrate how your self storage business can help.
What to look for in a web design agency
When it comes to choosing a web design agency there are a few things you want to keep in mind to ensure you get an agency that can deliver an ideal self storage website:
- Do they have experience working in the self storage industry?
- Ask to see their previous work: is it user friendly? Are the sites fast? Are they responsive?
- How big is your project, will they be able to match your needs?
- Have they got experience with quote and booking systems?
- What are the people like, will you want to work with them?
- Do they use a CMS (e.g. WordPress) that allows you to edit content?
- How much do they charge, is it competitive and within your budget?
- Do their service levels match your needs – How quickly do they respond?
If you’re looking for web design advice, once of the best people to speak to is Christel Land at Clover Four. She has worked with a wide range of self storage facilities and has plenty of experience when it comes to building websites for self storage.
Also, don’t forget a website redesign is a great stage to reassess your online marketing efforts, so please don’t hesitate to get in touch with us if you have any questions, or if there are any areas where you could make improvements.