Reimagining online booking for self storage space.

CLIENT: Kennards Self Storage  |  PROJECT: Responsive Website & Business Systems Integration

Kennards Self Storage is the largest storage provider in Australia and New Zealand. FIRST was briefed to “reimagine” the Kennards website. The existing site had been running for almost 10 years and was in need of replacement.”

Designing for a vision

Most importantly, the new site needed a responsive solution. Kennards’ site lacked mobile responsiveness, which was impacting on performance and the overall experience for customers. Some of the key goals were to:

  • Increase overall site visits,
  • Increase conversions,
  • Improve conversion rate (especially on mobile devices),
  • Improve SEO rankings,
  • Create a platform for dedicated SEM activity – landing and dedicated campaign pages etc.
  • Setup a single CMS to make updates simple and flexible across multiple domains,
  • Create a better overall user experience: 
    • Simplified rental process,
    • Improved Box Shop eCommerce,
    • Create well-structured informational content.

Approach

FIRST took a multi-disciplined approach. Technical investigation and scoping of the integrations between the inventory management and booking systems ran concurrently with research and the user experience design process.
The UX team developed journeys and flows for the unit rental process. Multiple iterations lead to a smooth, simple flow. Customers can rapidly find the perfect unit to suit their needs and make a reservation all on a single page.
The FIRST creative team worked closely with the KSS team to design a fresh website with the scope to grow. Special attention was given to the key process areas of the site – reserving and renting storage spaces, the Box Shop and all communications such as emails and SMS.

And we delivered…

The new website is built on an enterprise-level Content Management System (Kentico) which has been used to handle the cleanly structured modular content. The CMS gives the KSS team full autonomy to add and edit rich content across the entire site. This is especially useful for creating ad hoc campaigns and landing pages to accompany marketing activities both on and offline.
The KSS inventory management is fully integrated with the CMS and the booking engine had a ground-up rebuild so it now runs lightning-fast and efficiently. Autoscaling and load-balanced hosting means the site deals with any level of traffic.
Since launch the site has seen month-on-month growth due to its improved SEO performance and enhanced usability. The KSS team are realising efficiencies when dealing with customers, making their jobs easier.

Improving SEO – top of mind throughout

Kennards had two immediate SEO priorities:

  1. Improve their locational ranks
  2. Increase keyword coverage for the Box Shop

Incorporated into the new website build was a complete change to the information architecture of Kennards’ locational pages. FIRST created this new structure to:

  • Create a logical site structure based on geographical drill down 
  • Create state level and regional level hub pages

In order to increase keyword coverage for the Kennards Box Shop, FIRST created new category landing pages with the addition of a top level navigational hub. This was done to:

  • Allow for greater keyword coverage across new level category pages
  • Improve user experience and navigation
  • Create a top level landing page to capture generic Box Shop keywords

The site now ranks #1 in organic search for the generic term “storage” and has seen lift in categories across the board.

“Kennards self-storage was falling behind its competitors in the online space, we felt to regain a leading position we needed change. After a comprehensive RFP and response process FIRST was chosen from a big field. We felt FIRST committed to the process introducing and having the entire Team attend at each step of the way. FIRST were able to demonstrate an alignment with our intent that we were after a developer who cared enough and was passionate enough to help us achieve the goal of being the leading self-storage operator online. With their knowledge & experience FIRST delivered a website seamlessly without losing what online presence we had and significantly improving on all key metrics not long after going live. FIRST are a valued partner for Kennards Self Storage.”

~ Darren Marshall, Chief Operating Officer

The Kennards Self Storage website is a robust, extensible and successful website by every measure.