The Q1 2024 benchmarking report for UK storage providers has just been published. Learn how the top 9 UK storage providers perform across the digital space.
The latest Q1 2024 benchmarking report for UK storage providers has just been published. It covers the largest 9 national storage providers, including Safestore, Big Yellow, Access, Shurgard, Lok’nStore, Storage King, Ready Steady Store, Sentry, and easyStorage.
The research gives an inside track on who is winning the biggest share of voice online, and quantifies the gaps, risks and missed opportunities for other storage providers to win brand exposure locally, yield online enquiries, and ultimately let out units through digital performance. The report highlights quick wins that will improve enquiries from your online strategy and identifies the barriers that may be reducing your site’s ability to optimise digital performance.
To see a preview and contents page of the Q1 report, click here. To get a copy of the full report and the key takeaways, please complete the enquiry form or schedule a call.
Q1 2024 WINNERS LEADERBOARD
For a glance into just 6 of the metrics we evaluated these top 9 Storage providers on, check out our quick-look table below;
Continue reading for further detail on this quarter's top and poorest-performing care home providers, or request a copy of the report for the full review.
What The Industry Research Report Covers
The 70+ pages of research benchmarks each retailer based on 50+ metrics and indicators of successful digital strategy, including organic visibility, domain authority, paid media ads, conversion performance, technical performance, site speed, universal search, content, social ads, accessibility, and mobile performance.
Driving Optimal ROAS from Paid Media Channels
Some of the leading players in the space are high spenders on paid media channels such as Google, Bing & Facebook - but have a poor or sub-optimal conversion improvement strategy. Without an optimised, sophisticated conversion strategy that maximises the conversion rate, the return on investment is unsustainable or will underperform. Scaling spend on paid media is not achievable unless the conversion rate delivers optimal performance in the sector. Some in the space have paid media spend levels from 30k+ per month but dedicate minimal resources and budgets to conversion testing. Given the cost per clicks on ad networks will continue to rise, we recommend spending at least 10% of your paid media budget on ongoing conversion optimisation testing schedules to ensure your paid media ROI maintains long-term viability, competitive advantage, and sustainability.
Technical Website Compliance
Savvy digital marketers know that having a technically sound website is an essential component of a successful fully integrated digital strategy - plus a site capable of maximising conversion performance. Storage providers have the benefit of not needing to host ever-changing product pages that must be maintained, which is where we see brands in e-commerce sectors struggle. However, this can mean even a small amount of errors can hold a provider back from their competition.
In our last audit, Safestore flagged 88 4xx errors. In this quarter, it’s increased its 4xx errors to 103. This storage provider must address any broken links, as its errors are increasing each quarter.
Site Speed & Conversion Rate Performance
When 62% of consumers are less likely to convert if they have a negative mobile site experience, ensuring that your site is quick and easy to load makes a significant improvement on your overall conversion rates. Storage providers will want to come across as reliable and trustworthy at every touchpoint, so a fast, easy to use site is key for not turning customers away at one of the first hurdles.
The mobile site speed for this quarter ranged between 63 and 31, with easyStorage reporting the slowest site speeds. Additionally, only 2 of the 9 providers — Safestore and Ready Steady Store — reported a score below 50%. These brands should reduce and compress image sizes to help improve their mobile experience for customers.
Building Competitive Advantage with Domain Authority
Domain authority is an essential metric for measuring the effectiveness of SEO performance and helps create a reliable overall gauge of how effective your site is at achieving organic traffic, i.e. ‘free’ traffic that isn’t gained through sponsored ads. Working with a digital PR specialist would help storage providers identify promising backlink opportunities which, in turn, will grow their DA and increase referral traffic.
A ‘good’ DA really comes down to how your competitors are performing, however, it’s generally considered average between 40 and 50, good between 50 and 60, and excellent above 60. The DA range for this quarter ranged between 69 and 13, with Sentry at the bottom of the leaderboard. This brand — and Ready Steady Store, which also falls below 40 — must expand their backlink strategy, given that both brands are the lowest in this sector.
Organic Performance – Mobile & Desktop
A strong organic performance is strategically important as it ensures your site ranks above competitors for key, transactional keywords. When 93% of your customers won’t go past the first page of Google, your absence or lack of targeting for essential keywords will cost you conversions. With consumer behaviour changing in line with the cost of living crisis, we'd expect storage providers to be hit by a reduction in interest for their services, with potential customers choosing to either sell items they're no longer using, or store them at home if possible.
Eight of the 9 brands saw a loss in organic mobile traffic, with Sentry reporting a 91% loss. On the flip side, Ready Steady Store encountered a 180% traffic increase. These UK storage providers should look to develop a content strategy with its readers in mind, not search engines.
Universal Search Opportunity
Google Universal Search Results is an evolving opportunity to make your pages visible on a SERP (Search Engine Results Page). Universal results often appear before traditional listings and are eye-catching for users. Universal search results refer to rankings on a SERP that are not the traditional ‘blue line’ Google link, and a retailer can appear for universal search results without being strong in standard rankings. 'Local pack' results and 'reviews' could prove to be particularly useful to storage providers, who can share information about local sites, along with reviews of their services, directly from the SERP.
Safestore reported the most appearances for overall Universal Search results. This provider had 4,300 appearances for ‘reviews’. Big Yellow, which is second place for overall search results, out-performed Safestore for ‘people also ask’ and the ‘image’ category, making it a brand to watch.
The Longtail Keyword Opportunity
Longtail keywords are often considered high intent and potentially more likely to convert as a searcher is being more specific. Optimising for longtail keywords also puts your content strategy in a strong position to rank for retailer new search terms as they enter Google’s index. For storage providers, they should consider targeting location-based, or size-based long tail keywords, that tie into their availability.
Big Yellow is number one for the top 100, top 3, top 4–10, and top 11–20 longtail keyword appearances. Sentry continues to rank at the bottom of the list, though it’s increased its total 100 appearances to 237 in this quarter. This provider continues to report only 10 results in the top 3 positions, and it should assess its longtail keyword strategy to ensure it’s using phrases that are applicable to its audience.
With the number of Facebook users in the United Kingdom (UK) forecast to hit over 42 million users by 2022, it is not surprising that companies have jumped at the opportunity to advertise on the social media platform. Facebook’s UK digital advertising revenue has been estimated to have breached 2.6b GB pounds in 2019.
Below, we’ve included examples of Safestore’s Facebook posts. This storage provider should add more white space to its captions to make its content more attention-grabbing to scrollers.
Top Social Shares & Content
When it comes to social media and on-site content strategies, it is important to release content that has a longer shelf life. An article is considered 'Evergreen' if it has maintained its relevancy to an audience for longer. It's great for your brand engagement, but great for Google too, who will recognise content which achieves traffic over a long period of time. Content is relevant for brands in any industry, and storage providers should be looking to create informational pieces to educate about the value of using storage facilities.
Six of the brands prefer Facebook over other social media channel. Big Yellow has the largest Facebook account of all providers, with 20,900 likes. Though, Storage King surpasses Big Yellow’s Instagram reach with a total of 4,900 followers. All brands should find a balance between advertising their services and uploading helpful, inspirational content.
Website Readability & Accessibility
20% of people in the UK have a disability – 2 million of which are people living with sight loss. In addition, 1 in 12 men and 1 in 200 women have some degree of colour vision deficiency. When websites are not designed to meet these needs, retailers lose customer interest as they turn elsewhere. As storage facilities are a reasonably universal product that could be required of anyone, ensuring website accessibility is important in order to not alienate potential customers.
In our last audit, easyStorage reported 93 contrast errors, which it’s reduced to 76 in this quarter. This brand should fix the contrast between text and background colours to improve accessibility. Moreover, Ready Steady Store flagged 79 alerts, and, upon closer inspection, this brand should address its noscript element and fix redundant links to enhance the user experience for those with colour deficiencies or those using a screen reader.
GET THE FULL 70-PAGE Q1 2024 REPORT
To get a copy of the full report, please complete the enquiry form. If you want to talk to us about accelerating your digital performance, please call us on 01543 410014 or schedule a call with Mike Movassaghi.