StorageFront’s Creators Launch WebWorks for Self Storage, a New Service Division that Custom-builds Web Platforms and SEO for Chain-stores

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WebWorks uses the marketing and engineering achievements behind StorageFront to provide Tier 2 self storage operators with their own comprehensive web presence

When it comes to web marketing and SEO, consistency and proactivity are key. A [self storage] facility’s web presence is a critical asset that must be maintained long-haul.

Several months ago the web development team at StorageFront noticed some holes in a VIP client’s website.

The site looked fine to its owner; the problems lay in its appearance to web-based search crawlers. Certain design factors were hurting the site’s rank on search engines like Google and Bing, while making navigation overly complicated for humans. When the StorageFront team offered to fix the client’s search engine optimization (SEO) problems, another marketing solution for self storage operators was born.

This month Red Nova Labs – the company that created StorageFront (http://www.storagefront.com) and Self Storage Marketing Ahead (http://www.selfstoragemarketingahead.com) – unveils a new marketing venture called WebWorks for Self Storage. The service provides website design, sophisticated development, content management tools, SEO services, and web marketing consulting on an ongoing basis.

“We pulled the basic marketing and engineering behind StorageFront and moved it up the chain,” said Dan Miller, Red Nova Labs’ CEO. “Now operators in the industry’s middle tier – operators with 10 to 100 facilities – can leverage StorageFront and all the expertise that goes along with it. WebWorks will empower Tier 2 operators with a comprehensive web presence—a web presence they might not otherwise be able to create or afford on their own.”

Unlike conventional web design agencies that build a website, deliver a finished product, and then walk away – typically charging extra fees for additional help – the newly formed WebWorks team will constantly monitor the sites it builds and seek ways to improve them.

“We need to perform and earn our keep beyond good web design, which means delivering leads,” Miller said. “That’s what sets us apart—that and two solid years of singular focus on the storage industry.”

Red Nova Labs set up the service to echo its goals. Instead of making a sizeable investment in a website product that may or may not deliver, WebWorks clients pay a flat monthly fee per facility. There is no additional charge for leads. Despite the unique payment model, if a WebWorks client ever opts to cancel the service, the website remains live and the client retains ownership as with a conventional agency.

“There are a handful of other marketing services that cater exclusively to the self storage industry, but in truth they’re incomplete solutions,” Miller said. “When it comes to web marketing and SEO, consistency and proactivity are key. A facility’s web presence is a critical asset that must be maintained long-haul.”

When a self storage operator signs up for WebWorks, the parent company website will be built first.
Additional website sections can be added per physical self storage location. Each client’s website will be uniquely designed and coded; then a content management system (CMS) enables any self storage representative to log in and update content and pictures him/herself.

Based on Google tools, WebWorks’ SEO-centric pages will geo-target prospective renters in certain regions. Additional features that have been tailored to the self storage business include rent-now interface, mapping, driving directions, self storage tips module, storage calculator, and storage auction listings.

The WebWorks team will consult clients and make recommendations for sponsored advertising (pay-per-click) and affiliate marketing as needed for all major search engines (Google, Yahoo, Bing).

“WebWorks is full meal deal, that’s for sure. But the most valuable tool in the package is great tracking,” Miller said. “It’s the same functionality StorageFront clients are used to: They can log in and count their calls, clicks, inquiries, maps, direction and coupon prints. They can even track leads from other web sources—all through their own website. Other marketing agencies require login to someone else’s platform. That’s a serious shortcoming: If clients choose to leave the agency, they lose all that data.”

Marc Smith, former Director of Business Development at StorageFront, is leading the new WebWorks sales team and has already received five commitments, to be announced in March.

“It’s an exciting time and the early response couldn't be more positive,” Smith said. “As we enter the second and third round of client launches, our momentum suggests we’ll be supporting more than a thousand stores with WebWorks by year’s end. Our work in this channel is a vital component to any comprehensive web marketing strategy for self storage brands that are poised for growth. We're proud of the trust we've been given.”

Tom Cox, an SEO expert at Red Nova Labs, has been named WebWorks’ Web Visibility Manager. Cox will monitor each website’s productivity, suggest improvements, and handle any customer service needs.

"Search engines are constantly evolving and changing how they rank websites,” Cox said. “That’s why it’s critical to have a staff that is aware and responsive to those changes. My goal is to make sure clients’ websites are growing in terms of leads, traffic and SEO ranking—all while being transparent so clients recognize the value they are getting.”

About StorageFront (http://www.storagefront.com/)
StorageFront launched in 2009 to provide a web marketing resource for the self storage industry specifically, which now numbers well over 50,000 facilities in the U.S. and continues to grow. A bilingual web portal featuring search-by-amenity, geo-relevant sorting, and a friendly design, StorageFront serves both storage operators and renters with an advanced search engine that comprises the large majority of North American facilities. StorageFront is a product of Red Nova Labs, headquartered in Westwood KS.

About Self Storage Marketing Ahead (http://www.selfstoragemarketingahead.com)
The Marketing Ahead blog is directed specifically at self storage operators. Posts cover a range of marketing ideas and challenges unique to the self storage industry. Strong emphasis is on web-based marketing, where studies show more than 90% of prospective renters go first to seek self storage. Authorship is drawn from the team of marketing and SEO specialists employed at Red Nova Labs.

About Red Nova Labs
Red Nova Labs was founded and self-funded in 2009 as a web technology and marketing think-tank. The company is divided into two business models: services and products. On the service side Red Nova Labs support clients and partners, much like a development agency. On the product side the firm invents and run its own platforms. To support both business models, development engineers think up resourceful code generators that add practical ease to complex programming. That way, they can get to market fast with vibrant, multidimensional sites and apps. Once a product is launched, each business operates autonomously as a division, with full engineering and marketing support from Red Nova Labs.

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Carrie Royce
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