Why Self Storage Marketing Should Focus on Conversion Rate Optimization
While you’ve no doubt heard the term SEO (Search Engine Optimization), sinceit has saturated every digital marketing conversation over the last 10 years, the term CRO (Conversion Rate Optimization) seems a hile you’ve no doubt heard the term SEO (Search Engine Optimization), sinceit has saturated every digital marketing conversation over the last 10 years, the term CRO (Conversion Rate Optimization) seems a lesser-recognized marketing strategy. The great difference between the two is that SEO aims to optimize for machine behavior, while CRO optimizes for human behavior, in this case the site user.lesser-recognized marketing strategy. The great difference between the two is that SEO aims to optimize for machine behavior, while CRO optimizes for human behavior, in this case the site user.
Conversion rate measures the percentage of visitors to your website that complete a desired goal (a conversion). This may mean filling out a contact form, becoming customers, or downloading an app. For the self storage industry, reservations and rentals are typically the measured conversion.
Analytics & user feedback + Improved website performance = CRO
To execute this process well, you’ll need to understand:
How users navigate around your site
What actions they do/do not take
What are the barriers to completing a conversion (reservation)
Optimizing for conversion rate means working to improve what happens after the user makes it to your site, as opposed to optimizing for search engines which focuses on the before (how many clicks you get, which keywords are driving traffic, who clicks to your site from the search results). The focus with CRO is pushing more users through the funnel and getting the most qualified leads, not simply getting more traffic or volume of leads.
Conversion Rate Optimization benefits your business in a few key ways:
1. Collecting Insights for User IntelligenceOptimizing for user experience means cultivating a better understanding of your potential tenants. You’ll find which language, imagery, and design choices best suit their needs during the reservation process.
Website areas we often see success changing & testing according to user insights are:
- Rates & Specials: This item is first for a reason. Aside from facility location, this is a huge decision-making factor for prospective tenants. Testing specials, and assessing the rates of your facility’s nearest competitors is a website change from which you can expect to see marked results.
- Reservation Process: Lengthy reservation forms with seemingly unnecessary fields, and demands for a credit card to reserve a unit are often off-putting for users who just want to complete the initial process quickly and without commitment. Also, if the costs displayed across the site do not match in the reservation form or rental process, you can expect users to feel a lack of trust and leave the site.
- Rates Page Scroll Time: Your rates page is where users are price shopping and making their final purchasing decision. Therefore, this page on your site is the most important. If users, especially those on mobile with a smaller screen, need to scroll excessively to get the necessary information to reserve, they are likely to bounce back to the search results page on Google. For self storage facilities, this means placing only important information above the unit size and rates table. Think just the basics: contact info, hours, or images, but no massive graphs of copy.
- Imagery: High-quality photos of your facility give internet users a glimpse at your facility’s conditions enough to make them feel more secure about reserving with you. Make sure your facility photos are high quality and doing the job of selling your product.
- Reviews: Highlight your positive reviews on your website to show trust and credibility. Feedback from other tenants will serve to strengthen a user’s trust in your business.
2. Anticipating Better ROIYou’ll be making more of the resources you have by testing and making site changes for a higher conversion rate. Analyzing results to better user experience for those already coming to your site means not spending time and money striving to bring in more users (who may or may not be qualified leads for your business).
Wondering which types of data allow us to call a winner when it comes to testing and site changes? Here’s a list of a few strong indicators:
- Which page users land on first
- Which features users engage with
(where on a page do they linger)
- What channel brought them to your page
(referral traffic in Google Analytics)
- Devices/browsers they use
(desktop vs. mobile vs. tablet)
- Where users abandon your site
3. Creating Better User ExperienceOptimizing for conversion rate is a never-ending game, as you’re always trying to increase the number of reservations made online. Understand that the self storage user journey is important in how you design your site and integrate with digital marketing efforts. Foundationally, a clear path from the units & rates table to the reservation form means you’re helping guide the user through the sales funnel, making them less likely to bounce back to the search engine results page looking for something else (also known as Pogo Stick-ing). Aside from assisting with conversion rate for your website, this simple user journey will also be communicated to Google through user signals, and can contribute to better ranking for your page.
At this point, the “search intent” of its users is Google’s primary ranking factor. Search intent refers to the ultimate goal of the person using the search engine, most of which can be clustered into “do, know, go” intentions - do something, know something, go somewhere. Satisfying a user’s search intent means driving those users to conversion on your page, while Google sends more users to your page (as you prove that users can confidently complete their goal from that page).
To recap, and put conversion rate optimization simply:
Identify your ideal action on the site
Create a web design to guide the user appropriately
Track user behavior through analytics and heat mapping
Run A/B tests as you make changes and optimizations
Reduce friction and continue ongoing optimizations
The essence of this process as Automatit sees it is “don’t guess - know.” Testing may not always provide instant gratification and remarkably clear results, but in an effort to put the user first, it will ultimately yield the best results.