MyStore was a new business, so one of the main aims was to ensure that their new website could be found easily through online searches. The storage industry is very local in nature — customers will typically look for self storage within a 15 mile radius. As such, a strong presence on online maps and directories was key to ensure prospective customers can easily find the location of the storage site. The main goal was to get MyStore to the top of the search engine results pages for 'Self Storage Witney'.
Two of the owners of MyStore were also owners of House & Carriage, a local removals firm and Urban Element client. House & Carriage has a strong personality and individual style, which is clearly expressed through the website. There was a desire for MyStore to have a similar individuality to set it apart from the big chain storage providers. Key values for the business were defined as transparency (particularly around prices), quality and helpfulness.
The company intended to target both personal and business storage customers, so the site needed to address the differences between these audiences and meet their needs effectively.
As with all our new sites, the MyStore website needed to be mobile responsive in order to work well for customers whatever device they're using.
MyStore's brand had already been developed when they came to us, which allowed us to move quickly and get a holding page online in a short space of time. While the main website was being developed, the holding page was being crawled by search engines and helping to create domain authority ahead of the website launch.
A detailed consultancy phase was key to developing a site that represented the personality of the business and also met the needs of the users. We took time to understand the business, developing a detailed style guide and user personas that would help us to develop a website that worked well for the target audiences.
During the design phase UX team worked closely with MyStore to map out the user journey. The aim was to make it as simple as possible for personal and business customers to find the cost of a storage unit and contact MyStore to make a booking. This journey defined the design concepts and information architecture that we produced.
As we moved into the build phase we came up with some novel approaches to make the MyStore website as usable as possible for prospective customers. Using Ajax, the web development team created a room size selector that displayed the detailed information about each size of storage unit, including crystal clear pricing, without overwhelming the user. As many users won't know what size of storage they need, we developed a query form that allows users to submit a photo of their items for expert advice. All this supports MyStore's values of transparency and helpfulness.
Because of the local nature of the self storage industry, we made the decision to target location based search terms. Our search engine optimisation (SEO) specialist conducted detailed keyword research and created an SEO sitemap that would ensure the goal of ranking top for 'Self Storage Witney' would be delivered.
This research included an analysis of competitor sites and investigation into localised search volumes. As we were targeting users in a specific area, it was important to understand the search terms local people use when looking for self storage. Our research allowed us to target these users specifically – ensuring the site ranked well on search engines.
As well as the detailed keyword research, we also applied our technical SEO expertise to optimise the site. We considered the user experience (UX) of the site very carefully as this has an impact on how the site is perceived by search engines. We optimised the page load speed and user journeys through the site, which helps to encourage user engagement. As with all of our new sites, we used responsive web design to ensure the site performed well on all devices. This is an increasingly important factor for search engine ranking.
By the time the main website launched it was already ranking well for the search term 'Self Storage Witney'. The site is now in first position on search engine results pages for the terms 'Storage Witney' and 'Self Storage Witney'. It also ranks highly for broader storage search terms.
Using heat mapping and other analytics, we've been able to assess the usability of the site and the user journeys. Both are proving to be effective, with users navigating easily through the site content, low bounce rates and good levels of engagement.
Perhaps most importantly, MyStore received its first booking via the website within a few days of the facility opening. Booking have continued to come in on a regular basis through the website.
Thanks to Urban Element's process and project management, the MyStore website was ready in time for the completion of the building. This meant we were ready to go as soon as the doors opened and we had our first bookings almost straight away.
Charles Schmidt - MyStore Self Storage
If your current website isn't providing the right results for you, if you are looking to take the next step forwards with your online business, or if you are launching your business online we'd love to talk to you to discuss how we can enable you to reach your business goals.