Self-storage is subject to seasonal fluctuations, much like many other businesses. It just so happens that winter brings the perfect storm of renters leaving – with many customers looking for storage only through the summer, winter can leave facility owners looking around and wondering why they've suddenly dropped 10% from their occupancy rate.
So how can you stop this from happening?
Well, it turns out that one of the answers is pretty simple. By investing in a great website with modern SEO, you can keep those rentals coming through the facility doors – real or virtual.
An Online Search is the First Step
Put yourself in a potential future renter's shoes. They have some stuff they want to store, but they need to figure out where. What are they going to do?
Well, they're going to look around online. The amount of people using search engines increases year over year, and it doesn't show any signs of slowing down.
If your business has a bad online presence or no online presence, you're going to miss out on more and more users.
Back to your potential future renter. They're using Google to look around for a self-storage facility in the area they're interested in. They're scrolling through the different facilities in the area, looking at websites, photos, and reviews.
What if you're not on that list?
The only thing worse than a bad first impression is no first impression at all, so make sure you're fully investing in your online presence. Regardless of the season, having a good website will put you on the map.
Additionally, as a storage rental facility, you have the unique position of being a locally-focused business. You're not exactly targeting locations all over the U.S.; you want the people in or coming to your community to come to you for all their renting needs.
What that means is that the locals that are looking for you will probably rely solely on Google Maps or a location-based Google search. If they can't find your website, that's bad enough, but if they do see it and it's impossible to navigate, or is too simple and doesn't give enough information, they will move on. That website will serve not only as their impression of your online presence but their perception of your business as a whole.
Don't lose that customer with a website that isn't a good representation of who you are. Give visitors an accurate first impression instead.
In the Winter, an Online Search Might Be the First and Only Step
If you haven't thought about your website much, you probably hope that renters will spend time driving around and checking out different facilities or remember seeing your facility around their neighborhood. You might also be hoping that your current renters will have had such a good experience that they will recommend you to their friends and family.
Unfortunately, those tactics are becoming less effective by the day, and renters are even more unlikely to drive around the neighborhood and check out facilities when the weather is gross, and they don't want to leave the house.
Imagine your potential future renter again – it's snowing, raining, sleeting, or hailing literal golf balls from the sky. They hop on their laptop or phone and see your website; it has beautiful pictures and is an excellent representation of your facility. It's easy to use, and everything they need is right there at their fingertips.
Talk about a great first impression.
If you can give your website visitors the impression that you want to make things as easy as possible for them – the site is easy to navigate, the pictures are representative, and everything they need is in a convenient online portal – how could they not rent from you (I don't like this last half of the sentence -R)?
A Great Website + Killer SEO = Ideal Online Presence
Have you ever heard the saying, "The best place to hide a dead body is the second page of Google search results"? It's sad but true – the first page of Google search results gets 95% of all search engine traffic.
What does that mean exactly?
Well, if people in your area are searching "self-storage facilities near me" and your website doesn't appear on the first page, it's almost like it doesn't exist.
Don't worry though; it's not dead – it just needs a little resuscitation.
By investing in modern, user-friendly self storage website, you'll increase your return exponentially. You can start targeting keywords that make sense for your location, facility, and features you offer and work your way up that search result list.
You may be asking, why does all this matter?
Well, put simply, it doesn't matter how good your website is if no one sees it. So as established, if it isn't on the first page, it's invisible.
On the other hand, if you optimize your website and create effective PPC ads, you can start boosting your ranking. By raising your ranking, more people will see your website – and, you guessed it, when more people see you, more will rent from you.
Optimizing your website means taking advantage of how Google ranks websites and showing that it should prioritize you. For example, answers to questions asked by renters are on your website, your homepage has keywords that renters are using in their searches, and most importantly, your website is useful. That is, your website provides actionable functions such as renting or a place to pay rent. It may sound like "tricking" the search engine, but it's not – as long as you're representing yourself honestly, think of it as just speaking Google's language. It's looking through your site for certain things, and if it meets the requirements, it will prioritize your site to its users.
As online search engine traffic is always increasing, this is an investment that will pay off as soon as you commit to it.
Stay Warm and Full This Winter
This winter, bundle up and let your website do some of the work for you. How are you preparing for winter?