Local search terms make up 46% of Google searches, and optimizing for them can be very powerful for your business. If your rental company isn’t optimized for them, you could miss out on a great number of potential customers who are going to your competitors instead. Therefore, local SEO is essential for any rental business that operates in a local area.
We want your rental business to succeed, so we’ve put together a guide for optimizing your Google listings and website for local searches. We hope you come away with actionable tasks that will go a long way in helping your rental company get more traffic and orders from customers.
What is local SEO?
Local SEO is a form of Search Engine Optimization that improves the visibility of local businesses in Google search results. This is particularly true for brick-and-mortar stores that have a physical location. If you follow the best practices laid out in this post, it can improve the organic traffic that goes to your website.
Before you get started, you should do some keyword research to determine the kind of search terms people use when looking for a rental business like your own. For example, many people will search for “item + rental + location” when looking to rent something as people will usually pick the items up from you. So if someone is looking for a bike in Victoria, for example, they will likely search “bike rental Victoria.”
Now, let’s see how you can improve your rental business’ local SEO.
Optimize for Google My Business
The majority of people who come across your business will do so with your Google My Business profile on Google Maps. This is because Google loves to share content that it can verify, and Google My Business is essential to making sure they know who to show your business to.
You may have noticed that when you search for local businesses on Google, the search results look slightly different from more general searches. At the top of the search results, where you would usually find ads, you will also see a map followed by three results with brief information about each business. This is called the “snack pack.”
For the most visibility for your rental business, this is where you want your company to appear, and it is an excellent way to see how your business profile should be structured.
Let’s use “bike rental Victoria” as an example:
We first see a map with many red dots indicating where bike rental places are in Victoria, with three results below. These are the ones that Google feels are the best results for the search terms and are likely to be the ones most people will click on.
If we open up the first result, we can see why it finds itself at the top of the Google Maps results for our search term “bike rental Victoria.” It has all the required information filled out, plus photos and plenty of reviews to show trust in the business.
This is the structure you should be following, and if we were to open up the website for this business, we would see that this information matches that seen on the website. Essential elements to have on your profile are:
- Address (Must be your exact location)
- Phone (Must match the one listed on your website)
- Business description
For that last one, you will need to ask your customers to review your business after their rental. This is often easier for rental companies as they will most likely interact with customers as they return their items.
So, if you haven’t created and verified your Google My Business listing, then we recommend it is something you do straight away.
Optimize everywhere your business appears online
In the old days, it was very important for companies to have their rental business listed in local newspapers. In the internet age, that’s just as important.
Something Google looks at when determining where a company should rank is where its website has links from and that all the information matches that on your website and Google My Business profile.
So, while registering your rental business on as many local directories as possible, it is crucial to ensure your information is consistent. That means the way you enter your postcode (5555AB vs. 5555 AB) and your phone number (+31612345678 vs. 0612345678).
Additionally, you will more than likely have social media for your rental business, so this information needs to match up there as well. It can also be a good idea to share your Google My Business profile on your social media as it will create a direct link between the information about your business.
Optimize your website content
The term “content is king” gets used a lot in SEO circles, and that’s because it’s true. Every page is your website is indexed in Google and presents an opportunity to target a geographic search term and for people to find you in Google search results.
Each page on your website should be optimized to rank for the search terms people will use to find your business. Therefore, your URL, title, header, meta description, and body on each page should contain high-volume search terms. For example, a bike rental company in Victoria may choose to write about cycling routes or tours in Victoria.
Google also likes to see your websites write content about their local area as it shows that they are embedded in the community. This means that people looking for local businesses in your industry will be shown your business in their search results.
One last thing to include is a Google Map at the bottom of your website showing where customers can find your business. This is not only great for the customer experience but will also help you in the eyes of Google when it is deciding where to rank your business.
Get inbound links from local websites
Inbound links can be powerful for your results in local searches as they show Google that you are a real business supported by the community.
This local page might be the British Columbia tourism website that shares information about the local area and activities in our example above. This would be a perfect website to link back to your website as it supports your Google listing and opens you up to an audience of people looking to visit the area.
Or there may be local bloggers who write about attractions in the local area where they recommend things people can do when they visit. Again, this is not only a great link to your website but also exposes you to your ideal target audience.
Finally, you can participate in local community events like charity fundraisers and festivals. This could mean supporting them with donations from customers or attending as a vendor. This will result in some foot traffic from those attending these events and provide you with free digital PR from local organizations.