easystoragesearch.com is a directory that allows users to search all types of self storage facilities in the United States and Canada. The website also provides articles and resources for people who are moving belongings and renting trucks.
I was greeted with a self explanatory logo and “easy-to-understand” top menu. Immediately, doctor I knew what the website was about. The focus of the homepage seemed to be the “find storage” ajax search box located directly below the top menu. Searching for a recognizable term such as “Denver” and “Houston” revealed a nice table of listing appearing directly beneath the search box (fig 1).
As people may not know that the search is limited to United States or Canada, I would suggest a state, country or zip code drop down box which could prevent typos as well. The author might also consider moving the search box application to a separate webpage.
As I moved my eyes further down, I could see more traces of SEO – Links to “More Self Storage Locations” near the footer were very obvious. Clicking on “orlando self storage” for example redirected me back to the home page with the search listing expanded. I was not sure if I liked this idea. Content duplication would be my main concern. If the author is concerned about SEO and Ajax, Google already answered the ajax crawling dilemma a while back.
I liked to talk about the storage search application further: There were 2 links in each listing; one descriptive link on the left to show the details of the storage service and another “reserve now” link on the right to contact the owner (or reserve the storage on the spot) – see fig 1. Clicking on the descriptive link revealed a lot more information on the deal (see fig 2) while clicking on “Reserve Now” invoked another screen for users to enter their contact details (see fig 3). Perhaps making the extra divs appearing upon mouseover might be a better idea. I had trouble navigating back to the listing page after clicking on the “Reserve Now” link.
The “Public Storage” advertisement near the footer looked a bit weird in my firefox. Perhaps the advert should be between the share button and the “Read more” link (see fig 4). Hang on, what is the “Read more” link doing near the footer?
The right column looked pretty standard and cramped with links. I was not sure if I was interested to click on any of them. All the other pages of the website looked quite normal to me. I lost interest quickly as there was nothing to keep me interested.
Putting myself in the shoes of someone who wanted to rent a storage space, I would be on the lookout for special deals and links to some discount coupons. The PODS promo code in the header was good but not enough. I then saw a storage coupon link at the footer and clicked on it… mmm not much of promotion going on.
easystoragesearch.com is a decent website with good content. I would love to see more user interaction and updates on the homepage. At the moment, it would be hard for someone to find the latest comment or articles added to the site.