Turning Web Traffic into Tenants: Conversion Rate Optimization for Self-Storage
Attracting potential tenants to your self-storage facility website is one matter. But getting them to reserve a unit and complete a transaction is what really matters to your bottom line.
That’s where conversion rate optimization, also known as CRO, can help.
What is CRO?
CRO stands for conversion rate optimization. CRO is a set of methodologies used to improve the conversion rate on your facility website. The goal of CRO is to increase the odds that a website visitor will carry out a desired action. For self-storage operators, that desired action is typically for a website visitor to reserve and move into a self-storage unit.
How is CRO Measured?
The conversion rate for your self-storage website is the number of new rentals (conversions) divided by the total number of website visitors in a given period, and multiplying by 100. For example, your website attracted 1,000 visitors in May. During that time you had 100 online move-ins completed through your website.
100 move-ins / 1,000 visitors = .01
.01 x 100 = 10% conversion rate
Once you know where your conversion rate stands, you can begin to optimize your website in order to increase conversions. That is the essence of CRO.
CRO Strategies for Self-Storage
With the supply crunch limiting the growth of new facilities and keeping rental rates elevated, self-storage operators must find new ways to drive incremental growth in other areas.
One of the most effective ways to do this is by using CRO techniques. Ask yourself what changes you could make to your website in order to increase conversions. It could involve rewriting copy, removing a pop up, or creating new landing pages.
What’s important to understand is that the conversion rate for your facility website is impacted by a virtually unlimited number of variables. Even small details like font size or background color could impact conversions. Small adjustments could generate big gains. On the other hand, some changes you might make could have an adverse effect. That’s why it’s important, whatever you do, to always look at your data to continuously track results and improve your tactics.
Below are some starting points for any self-storage operator looking to boost their conversion rate.
A/B testing is a crucial component of CRO that will allow you to identify opportunities to improve your website and test the effectiveness of any tweaks you make. With an A/B test, you can make a change to your website and gauge its effectiveness.
During the test, half of your visitors will see the website with the changes and the other half will see no changes. For example, you could change the text of a button to read “Reserve Now” to “Reserve Today”. When the test is concluded after a set period of time, you can compare conversion rates for each version to see what performed best. Based on the results, you can make the change permanent or try something else.
Focusing on the user experience is a primary way to improve your conversion rate. A good user experience increases the chances a visitor will transact on your site, while a negative user experience will increase the chances they leave without making a purchase. User experience covers everything from having readable text on your page to making sure your page load speeds are in line with Google benchmarks.
There are many factors that impact user experience, but here are some areas to start with to help you determine you need to make adjustments
- Use white space effectively. White space around elements make them more eye-catching.
- Provide clear and effective calls to action.
- Increase page speed.
- Avoid long blocks of text.
- Use images appropriately. Large, slow-loading images can have a negative impact. So will having no images at all.
- Maintain a consistent design across all of your web pages.
- Write compelling title tags, meta descriptions and headers.
- Offer an online rental option that allows you to accept payments online.
Offers and promotions
One way to encourage online visitors to reserve a self storage unit is with offers and promotions. Offers such as “First Month Free” can motivate website visitors who are looking for the best deal on self-storage in their area.
Online customers are likely browsing multiple sites to find the right unit, so having a deal that stands out can make a difference. Use A/B testing to see which types of offers have the greatest impact on conversions. You can also test to see if offer placement or wording makes a difference in how web visitors behave.
Offer online rentals
Part of boosting your conversion rate is about understanding user intent. Most customers shopping for storage online intend to reserve and pay online without making a phone call or visiting your physical location. When you offer visitors exactly what they’re looking for, they’re more likely to convert. By adding online rentals to your website, you can better serve the intent of the growing number of digitally-inclined self-storage users.
Provide social proof
Social proof is a marketing technique designed to inspire confidence and convince wavering website visitors that renting from your storage facility is a smart choice. Consumers tend to buy a product or service when they see that others have purchased the product and were pleased with the experience.
Reviews are one of the most commonly used forms of demonstrating social proof and one of the most effective. Other ways to employ social proof on your website include testimonials, sponsorships, or tapping a celebrity spokesperson or influencer.
If a potential customer visits your website and leaves without making a purchase, that lowers your conversion rate. But what if you can follow up with them later and seal the deal?
If you can get those leads who visited once to come back another time and rent a storage unit, it will improve your conversion rate. One way to capture leads is to collect email or phone numbers. This can be done with lead flows, pop-ups or other CTAs on your website, though you may need to offer something compelling to make it effective such as an exclusive discount or a local moving guide.
Create better content
Every website needs content. The challenge for facility operators is to create content that’s compelling, useful and aids conversions. Content can help inspire or persuade potential customers to do business with you in a number of ways.
A company blog is a great tool for creating content that helps increase traffic and direct it to converting landing pages. Include a call to action with your blog posts that encourages visitors to perform a desired action, such as reserve a unit. Another benefit of content is that it boosts organic traffic through SEO, which converts better than paid traffic to your site.
Reduce exit rates and bounce rates
As you focus on CRO, you’ll want to pay close attention to exit rates and bounce rates on your webpages.
- Exit rate: The percentage of website visitors that leave your website after visiting a specific page.
- Bounce rate: The percentage of website visitors that leave your website after visiting one page and not interacting with anything.
When evaluating conversion, bounce and exit rates for any given page on your website, consider the purpose of that particular page. For example, your unit listing page displays available units and enables customers to reserve a unit online. After they reserve a unit, they likely will leave your website and go on surfing the web. That page will likely have a high exit rate, but that isn’t necessarily a bad thing. However, it is a problem if that same page has a high bounce rate, as that means a high amount of website traffic is quickly navigating away without renting a storage unit.
Why are visitors bouncing from your self-storage website?
If bounce rates on your website are high (more than 50%), that is bad for your conversion rate. High exit rate and bounce rates are often a sign of technical problems with your website that cause it to load slowly or crash, or you are simply offering a clunky user experience. There might also be an expired security certificate and visitors are being warned that your site is not safe.
Keep in mind that about half of all your traffic comes from mobile devices. If your website is not optimized to be displayed on mobile, users on those devices are more likely to bounce quickly.
What is a good conversion rate?
What is considered a good conversion rate for one company could be considered bad for another. The average conversion rate for all e-commerce websites in the United States is around 2.5% to 3%.
Whatever your conversion rate may be, consider it your starting point. If you’re at 1%, work on getting to 2%. If you’re at 10%, shoot for 15%. Small optimization wins that increase your conversion rate by even a basis point here and there can add up over time and bolster your bottom line.
Closing the deal
At the end of the day conversion rate optimization is about having a website that helps you close the deal. When you can offer an error-free rental experience online, along with effective promotions, lead capture, and content like user reviews and blog posts—then you have more tools at your disposal to experiment with to see what tactics work best.
If your current storage website is struggling to generate the returns you think it should, see what a facility website from Storable can do for you instead.
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