Rental Website Checklist: Optimize For More Reservations

When you look at your website visitors and compare them to how many reservations you get, the numbers could be pretty scary. You’re doing a great job of getting people to visit...

When you look at your website visitors and compare them to how many reservations you get, the numbers could be pretty scary. You’re doing a great job of getting people to visit your rental website, but you could be doing more to convert them into paying customers. However, you might not know why you’re not getting as many rentals as you would like.

If you’ve spent any time looking into eCommerce, you’ll know that a high-converting website is worth its weight in gold. However, working out what you need to do to make your website convert better can be somewhat of a challenge. That’s why we’ve created the rental website checklist.

This checklist will serve as a guide to how you can optimize your rental website and increase the number of conversions. It will also help your website rank higher in Google and attract even more visitors, all of whom are more likely to place a reservation thanks to your changes.

Getting started: What makes a great rental website?

The idea behind a great rental website is simple. You’ll be able to give your perfect customers the right amount of information to convince them that they need to rent a product or service from you. But this can often seem easier said than done, and you may need some guidance on how to achieve it.

For a rental website to be great, there are a few things that need to come together:

  • Your products
  • Your brand
  • Your copywriting
  • Your website design

You’ve got your products, but you need to make them shine. The way you present them needs to inform customers and answer any questions they have before making a reservation—equally, your copywriting needs to combine your branding with the needs of your customers.

Of course, your branding needs to be clear across every page on your website as it is something the customer will relate to. This ties into your website’s design and how users navigate it to find the products they want to rent. If this process is too complex, you could be losing a lot of customers.

Keeping these things in mind, here are eight things that you need to get right to take your website from ‘okay’ to ‘GREAT.’ These are what you should consider when leveling up your rental website.

1. Understand your customer

Before you get started, you need to make sure you understand your customer. This will inform how much detail to include, what benefits to highlight and how you need to photograph your products. First, you need to know who your customer is and what they want from you.

Your website content should tell a story that matters to your customers. You need to do your homework and find out what makes them tick so you can understand who your customers are. It can be good to think about their age, gender, lifestyle, and motivations to create a clear picture.

2. Provide the right amount of detail

It’s essential to provide enough detail on your website to help customers answer any questions they may have before making a booking. It should cater to current and potential customers and consider that some may be experts while others have less background knowledge about what they’re renting.

This is why all of the information on your website should be useful and understandable without patronizing customers. Your content should strike a balance between features (stats about weight, materials, etc.) and content that translates to a less tech-focused person. It would be best if you also were mindful of communicating the benefits of your rental products.

For more in-depth advice about product descriptions, please read our blog post about standing out from competing for rental businesses.

3. Great product photography

One of the biggest challenges online rental stores face is that customers often can’t touch or try products before renting them. That’s why your product photography is so important and is one of the critical factors contributing to a great rental website. So, you should get out there and shoot some actual content.

You may have product images from manufacturers on your website, and they can work well, but you need to bring them to life. For example, a bike rental store could have people cycling along a local trail, whereas an event rental store could have decorations shot in an inspirational setup.

4. Consistent branding

The branding of your rental business isn’t just about your logo or what you post on social media; it’s about everything you stand for. The branding of your rental website can be make-or-break when it comes to connecting with visitors and converting them into returning customers.

You need to ensure that your branding is consistent across your website, whether customers are on the home page or a product page. So, you need to make sure you use the same colors, logo, and quality of images. This will help customers maintain a complete picture of your rental business no matter where they are on your website.

Please read our quick guide to branding for rental business owners for more in-depth advice.

5. Aspirational content

It may be surprising, but most customers (excluding your mom) aren’t renting from you just because they love you. Instead, they are looking for products that solve a problem or help them do something. So, it would be best if you made it clear that the products you rent out can do this for them.

Your website content should answer an aspiration, and you need to think about what that may be. For example, are you going to help them have fun? Enjoy their vacation? Make their wedding special? Help them shoot better videos? These are the kinds of questions you need to ask yourself when writing your rental website content.

6. Content that sounds human

When it comes to getting everything on your website, it can be easy to slip into bullet points or uninspired wording. However, you need to go back through it and make sure it sounds like something a customer would like to read that answers their questions and speaks to their aspirations.

It would help if you thought about who you’re writing for and how they can connect with your brand. Your writing should be authentic and speak to a customer like you’re having a conversation. This will make them feel more comfortable and confident in their decision to rent something from your online store.

For more in-depth advice on copywriting, please read our blog post about rental website content that converts.

7. Clear call-to-action (CTA)

Each page on your website aims to lead customers to hit the “Add to Cart” button. So the call-to-action elements on your website should stand out among the rest of the content on your website. But how can you make them stand out to customers?

You should make sure the area around a button is uncluttered, and there are no obstacles to block the user. It should be one of the first things they see when they visit your website; for example, if your copywriting pushes the button further down the page, you need to redesign it.

8. Social proof

Finally, social proof adds creditability to your rental website and can really boost conversions. It can come in the form of reviews, Instagram photos, and testimonials. Adding this kind of content to your website is a great way to build customer trust and encourage rental behavior.

Remember, customers usually see your brand for the first time when they visit your website, so they don’t have any trust to build on. By adding social proof to your website, you can provide them with a basis for confidence that will develop as they need more. It can be the difference between someone renting from your business or one of your competitors.

Please read our blog post about using past rental customers to get new ones for more in-depth advice about social proof.

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