Why You Need To Launch Your Self Storage Website Before Opening
As you get ready to open your self storage facility, you’ll have a daunting list of tasks to complete: site or property acquisition, site preparation / fit-out, signage, smart entry systems, planning and building control, internet, insurance, plus loads more.
One thing that doesn’t need to be daunting is getting your web presence online.
Your website is your number one salesperson
With most of your prospective customers starting their self storage search online, a strong web presence is a key element of your business. With Stora’s new pre-launch website, it’s easier than ever to get your site online and start collecting leads and early customers, even before you have an opening date. This will make sure you fill your facility as quickly as possible once you do open the doors.
In this article, we’ll talk through the main reasons it’s crucial that you get your website live at least 2-3 months before you open.
1. Generate early brand awareness
The sooner you start marketing your business, the sooner people know you exist. However, until you open your doors, you must have a way to inform potential customers about your self storage business and the services you offer. A simple pre-opening website gives you the perfect destination to send these people to learn more about you.
Once your website is all set up, you can put the URL on your signage, your social media profiles, and you’ll give yourself something you can tell people about in the run-up to opening.
Tip: Yet to decide on your name and branding? Check out the Self Storage Brand Marketplace. You might find the perfect eye-catching brand for your business.
2. Start ranking on Google’s search engine
One of the best ways to get self storage customers is to reach the top of Google’s rankings for your key search terms (e.g. MyTownName Self Storage). People searching for terms like this are prime for conversion. They have a need and are seeking a solution – you must do everything you can to present yourself as a viable option, and you can’t do that if you’re buried deep within the search results pages of Google. The first page of Google captures at least 71% of traffic, and 25% of searchers select the number one result, compared to just 2.5% selecting the last result on the first page. The benefits of a prime search position are clear.
Unfortunately, it takes time to climb the Google rankings — especially for new domains — as older, more established websites will be given more authority. However, by putting your website online as early as possible, you’re giving yourself a head start which will pay off when you open.
Don’t worry about having a big, fully functional website ready for this stage. Instead, get a page live which includes relevant keywords. Search engines will then begin to identify the keywords on your page and start ranking you for them.
To take this stage to the next level, learn how to drive traffic to your website digital marketing.
3. Lead generation
One of the issues with opening a new facility is that the actual opening date can become a real moving target. When you can’t be sure what date you’ll open, it limits your ability to book in your first customers. As a result, you inevitably miss out on opportunities to sell. However, a pre-opening website gives you the perfect opportunity to generate leads, capturing the contact details of potential customers who can then be marketed to when you open.
We recommend including a short form on your site suggesting visitors sign up to get notified when you open. People don’t like filling out lengthy forms, so try to only ask for the fundamental contact info you need from them.
Pro-tip: Offer an exclusive opening discount to any website visitors who sign up to get updates. It’s an excellent way to get a few of these folks to convert to customers. It’s also something you can shout about on your social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter, driving people to your website (which also boosts your SEO!).
4. Plant your flag early as the leading self storage operator in your area
Self storage is a highly profitable industry that is currently underserved in countries like the UK and across Europe. Investors are beginning to realize what a great opportunity it is, and as a result, we’re seeing more and more facilities pop up.
Since the overhead to set up a facility can be pretty high and there are plenty of areas with enough people to warrant a new facility, the mere sight of competition in a given area can be enough to convince a potential new entrant to look elsewhere.
Ensure you’re known early to increase the chances you put off a significant competitor opening nearby.
How to get your pre-opening website live
There are, of course, a variety of platforms you can use or web development agencies you can hire to set up your website.
One option is Stora — an all-in-one software for self storage web sales and facility management, which provides you with a website where you sell your storage once you open.
Stora has a Pre-Opening mode, which you can use to instead collect leads from your website homepage. This lead info goes straight into your Stora Backoffice for you to use. Then, later if they become customers, all of the details are tracked in the same place.
Best of all, when you know your opening date, all you need to do is set it in Stora and turn off Pre-Opening mode, enabling your customers to rent and move in from then. There is no need to make any other changes or contact a development team to get a fully operational self storage web store live and collect customer payments.
Oh and did we mention it’s free?. That’s right you get a website, lead collection, and the ability to set up your entire facility (and much more) in the background, all completely free of charge until you open and start collecting payments.
Check out this example pre-opening web store created with Stora.
If you’d like to discover more about how Stora can help you get your self storage website live, book in for a demo call today to learn more.
Ready to get your self storage website live?
We think it’s a no brainer to get your self storage website online as soon as possible. It will help you generate brand awareness, collect early leads, rank on Google and potentially fend off competitors.
If you start investing in your web presence today, it’s sure to pay off in the long run and help you bring onboard your first customers as early as possible.