To determine which of your self-storage web marketing efforts are working and which are a waste of a time/money, you must have ongoing tracking in place. When you implement performance tracking to accurately measure the impact of every marketing campaign, you can learn from your missteps instead of repeating them.
For starters, familiarize yourself with Google Analytics, a free, powerful and easy-to-use reporting tool. Once you create an account and implement it on your site (with cut-and-paste code), you can track various metrics for your website. Pay attention to visitors and page views numbers, and discover which other sites send the most traffic your way (a.k.a. referring domains). Which major search engine drives the most traffic? How often do visitors directly type your URL into the address bar? Are your listings on Craigslist, Citysearch and Yelp effectively sending over potential tenants?
Monitor your bounce rate, or the percentage of folks who visit your website and then leave right away. Why are they leaving? Switch up content on your home page to test what works. Google Analytics also helps you understand the average time visitors spend on your site, which pages they look at the most, how many of them complete forms, and how much revenue you actually collect through online bookings and payments.
The app also generates clear, visually compelling graphs that let you observe and compare month-over-month, year-to-year and even day-to-day evolutions. Easily add annotations to certain dates on the graphs to reflect whenever changes are made— you announce a promotion, remove a large photo from your site or launch a new Facebook page. Then watch how these specific changes impact performance.
Next week, the self-storage blog will expand on this theme with a breakdown of more performance tracking tools that help you understand how web marketing is working for you. No more flailing in the dark! We would love to hear your opinions or answer any questions in the comments below.