How to Create a Self Storage Website That Drives Growth With Stora
In this guide, we’ll walk you through the nitty-gritty of how to make the most of your Stora self storage website. It recommends dozens of best practices which will help you rank better on search engines, and convert more of your website visitors into paying customers.
Stora takes care if most of your performance for you, giving you a fast SEO optimised website. But there are still some things you need to keep in mind to ensure your Storefront isn’t being penalised by search engines.
Keep your image sizes small
The most likely thing to slow down your Stora website is the file size of your images. We recommend that you resize your images down to 1920 pixels for the longest side and ideally optimise them for web use. This usually means saving them in the JPG format, which is designed for high compression with minimal loss of quality.
When saving images, aim for a balance between quality and file size. A good rule of thumb is to keep your images under 500 KB, but if you can go lower without sacrificing too much quality, even better. Tools like Adobe Photoshop offer “Save for Web” options that let you control quality and see the resulting file size. Alternatively, online tools like I Love Img can automatically convert your images to JPG and also compress your images without much visible loss of quality.
Determine and correctly use keywords
Identifying and utilising the right keywords on your homepage is essential for search engine optimisation (SEO). Conduct thorough keyword research to determine terms and phrases your target audience uses to search for products or services like yours. Once identified, strategically incorporate these keywords into your homepage content, including headings, subheadings, and introductory paragraphs, while ensuring the content remains natural and user-friendly.
For self storage websites this usually means incorporating the name(s) of the towns or areas near you, as self storage customers will often search for “Self storage in X”. Don’t miss out on getting discovered by potential customers. Do your keyword research and adapt your website content accordingly to improve your website’s discoverability.
Update and add content regularly
Keep your website content fresh and up-to-date. Regularly updating your site with new and relevant content, such as blog posts or service offering updates can help engage visitors and encourage repeat visits. Fresh content is also favoured by search engines, which can improve your site's SEO performance. Why not establish a content update schedule to ensure you get new content live frequently? Try using Stora’s Tasks feature to remind yourself.
Pro-tIp: When you create something new, don’t forget to create links to it from other parts of your website. At the very least, add a link to your footer, but also consider where else within your homepage or site page content it might make sense for it to be linked.
Write engaging, concise website copy
Crafting concise, compelling website copy is crucial for capturing user attention and conveying your message efficiently. Research shows that users often skim through web content, with only 16% reading word-by-word. Therefore, it's important to keep the copy brief and to the point.
Here are some recommendations:
Be clear and concise: Use clear, straightforward language. Avoid jargon and overly complex sentences. Aim for short paragraphs and sentences to enhance readability.
Prioritise information: Start with the most critical information. Users should understand what your site offers within seconds of landing on your homepage.
Use bullet points and headings: Break up text with bullet points and headings to make information easily scannable.
According to a study by Nielsen Norman Group, concise, scannable, and objective copywriting resulted in 124% better usability. By following these guidelines, your Stora website will engage users more effectively, communicate your message clearly, and get them further along the buyer's journey.
Use real, high-quality photography
Use high-quality photos that resonate with your brand and appeal to your audience. Ideally these will be real photographs of your facility and service as that is typically what a self storage customer needs in order to work out if they should trust your business with their belongings. If you put the effort in to get great photos, you’ll likely see the benefit in your bookings.
Include a video on your homepage
Videos capture attention quickly, offering a great way to showcase your business. They cater to the growing preference for visual media over text. When done well they make information more digestible and memorable. You can include a video on any Stora Storefront Homepage intro layout, either embedded in the page or in a pop-up.
Ideally, your video is professionally made, conveying the key aspects of your business in as short a time as possible with a clear call-to-action. Studies show that visitors are more likely to purchase a product after watching a related video — so don’t sleep on this one!
Add social proof
Be sure to update the social proof elements available to you in Stora like customer reviews and link your social media accounts. Social proof builds trust and credibility by showing potential customers the value others have found in your products or services. Displaying positive reviews and endorsements prominently can influence purchasing decisions and enhance your brand's reputation.
Utilise the pop-up form, footer banner and info bar
Stora gives every account these tools, which can be tailored to suit your business. If used well, they can all nudge your visitors towards booking or getting in touch.
The Footer Banner can be used to push visitors towards booking when they reach the bottom of your web pages. Ensure it’s on, and well tailored to convey a message that will convert your visitors into paying customers.
The Info Bar appears above your navigation and helps you draw attention to a piece of high-value content of your choice, and/or your preferred direct contact method.
Ensure your logo is set up correctly
A well-presented logo is crucial for establishing your brand identity on your website. Ensure your logo is cut out cleanly with no white space around it, as this creates a more professional and streamlined look. Also, be mindful of its size - a logo that is too large can increase the height of your header, unnecessarily pushing content down the page. Ideally, your logo should be visually striking yet modest in size to maintain a balanced and effective web layout. While we give you an extra large logo option, maybe think twice before using it.
Optimise your header navigation
Effective header navigation is crucial for a user-friendly website experience. It should be intuitive, helping visitors find what they're looking for with minimal effort. With website navigation less is often more and you should try to limit the number of links to only what is fundamental. Here's what we recommend:
Limit the number of links: Research suggests that too many choices can overwhelm users. The rule of thumb for navigation menus is to have between 5 and 7 items. This aligns with Miller's Law, a psychological principle stating that the average person can hold about 7 items in their working memory. Your customer portal login link and call-to-action button take up 2 of these slots, so try to only add 3-5 more.
Prioritise essential links: Include only the most critical links in your header navigation. Think about what your users are looking for and what you want them to see first. If it’s not vital, consider keeping it focused on what’s most important for the visitor to see in order to make a purchasing decision. Anything else can be included in the footer.
Short and clear naming: Use short, clear, descriptive labels for navigation items. Avoid using jargon and make sure they’re easy to understand.
By adhering to these guidelines, you create a streamlined navigation experience that helps users find what they need quickly and efficiently, making it more likely they’ll book with you.
Analytics and search insights
Set up Google search console for your domain
Setting up Google Search Console for your domain is vital for monitoring and maintaining your website's presence in Google Search results. It helps you understand how Google views your site and optimises its performance in search results. After verifying your domain, you can use the Search Console to track your site’s search traffic, see which queries bring users to your site, monitor and resolve issues, and understand which sites link to yours. Regularly reviewing the insights provided by Google Search Console is key to improving your site's SEO and user experience.
Track your performance with Google Analytics
Implement Google Analytics via the Storefront Configuration page to track and analyse user behaviour. This tool provides insights into how visitors interact with your site, what content they engage with, and where they come from. Even if you don’t plan to use it today it’s worth having it installed from the start. Why? Some day you may well decide to hire external marketing help, and they will want to dig into your data to work out how to help. Start collecting the data today so it’s there when you need it.
Stora gives you all the tools you need to create a successful, engaging self storage website. You can make the most of the tools provided to you by following these guidelines, helping you create a powerful online presence that resonates with your audience and automatically drives sales growth.
As always, Stora’s industry leading support team is here to help. Should you have a question about anything in this guide, just let us know.
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