When you’re launching a website, you have one big problem to solve: how are customers going to find your rental business? In the rental industry, people are likely to find your business in search engines as they’re looking for rental products, often in a specific area. By optimizing your website around relevant search terms, better known as Search Engine Optimization, your pages can rank higher for those searches.
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is the practice of continually optimizing a website to rank higher in the organic search results on popular search engines like Google. But there’s more to SEO than optimizing your website.
SEO should involve more disciplines within the realm of digital marketing, including content marketing, website design, and link building. The sites that perform best in Google do more than website optimization; they’re good at marketing in general. Still, there are a few basic steps that optimize your rental website for search engines. In this starter guide, we’ll focus on two fundamental parts of any SEO strategy: keyword research and content optimization.
When it comes to SEO, keyword research should be your first step. That’s because you want to optimize your content around search terms people type into Google. You want to find keywords that are relevant to your business so that you can rank your webpages for those terms.
Here’s a good method for finding the best keywords for SEO. You want to create a big list of keywords you think are relevant to your rental business. You can use Google Sheets, Excel, or anything else that works for you. In the beginning, ask yourself which words and phrases people might use to find your rental products.
For example, if you’re in the bike rental industry, a person might search for rental bikes in Amsterdam. In this case, the keywords would be along the lines of bike rental in Amsterdam. Because you don’t want to rely on guesswork alone, enter these keywords into Google to get a list of suggestions. Add these to your list as well:
Don’t be too picky as you’re dreaming up keywords. We’re going to select the best ones later. Once you have a nice list, go to the Google Keyword Planner in your Google Ads account. Don’t have an account? You can create one for free. Although the Google Keyword Planner is designed for Google Ads campaigns, it’s also great for SEO research.
To use it, find the Keyword Planner under Tools & Settings at the top of the page. Here, you have two options: discover new keywords based on your products or service, or get search volumes and historical data for your keywords.
Click “Discover new keywords.” to get more keyword ideas that people have actually searched for. Enter terms that are relevant to your business, or enter a domain to get keyword suggestions:
Add these to your file and go to “Get search volume and forecasts.” Paste in your giant list, click “Get started,” and click “Historical metrics.” Here, you will get the average number of monthly searches and other historical data for your keywords. The report will look something like:
Now, with this report and a healthy dose of common sense, you want to pick the most valuable keywords for your rental business by looking at the average number of searches and competition. These will be your target keywords. Keep in mind that less competitive keywords have a better chance of ranking first, although they usually have less volume. To make your rental website appear for your target keywords, make sure to use them when you’re writing product descriptions and other content for your rental website. Where exactly? Keep reading.
Now that you did your keyword research, let’s talk about how you can optimize your website and product pages around keywords. Whether you go with a competitive keyword or not, the process for Google SEO is the same. This checklist covers the basics for most of your pages. Insert your target keyword:
Include your keyword in your page’s URL.
Your title tag is the most important place to include your target keyword from a Google SEO perspective.
Including keywords in H1 and H2 headers tells Google that your page focuses on a specific keyword and topic.
You probably know that you want to use your keyword multiple times on a page. However, it’s important to use it at least once at the beginning of your content. Ideally, in the first 50-100 words.
Use synonyms to avoid overusing your target keyword. For example, change things up by using “cycle hire” instead of “bike rental” every once in a while.
It’s time to wrap up this Google SEO beginner guide. There’s so much more that goes into SEO for rental businesses: technical SEO, link building, content marketing—the list goes on. This guide covered the fundamentals you need to get started with SEO, and will surely keep you busy for now.