Rant and rent websites can be a profitable venture if you are familiar with SEO, but first, it is necessary to understand how to create rank and rent websites. Fortunately, we have got the inside scoop.
What are Rank and Rent Websites
Before we get to the details, let’s cover the basics. What are rank and rent websites?
If you are already familiar with SEO, you are also familiar with local search engine optimization and how necessary SEO is to locally-based businesses.
Rank and Rent websites get built with these locally based businesses in mind.
The idea behind rank and rent sites is to build a website designed and optimized for local businesses – for example, plumbers in Chicago, Illinois.
Once the site is finished, a search engine presence is built, backlinks are created, and traffic is established, the site is rented to a local business within the niche in question.
Calls to the number on the site are tracked and forwarded to the business renting the site.
Benefits of a Rank and Rent Website
A rank and rent website is beneficial for the local business renting the website and the SEO professional who builds the website.
Benefits for the SEO Professional
The creator of the website profits from renting the site to a local business. By renting the site out, the SEO professional gets to earn a steady income, but they have the freedom of working for themselves and having minimal contact with clients.
Benefits for The Local Business Owner
The local business that rents the website gets to use the site to promote their business, and they get to keep any leads generated by the site.
Better still, the local business owner does not have to put the time and effort into building a website from scratch and growing it to the point where it receives adequate traffic.
Another benefit for the local business is that they don’t have to foot the expense of having an SEO professional on staff. No direct back and forth with an SEO expert is often preferred by business owners who can feel intimidated by search engine optimization professionals.
HOW CAN A RANK AND RENT WEBSITE BE MONETIZED?
Monetizing a rank and rent website can be done in three ways.
The Flat Fee
The first option discussed above is building the website, ranking it in search engines, and then renting the website to a local business for a monthly fee.
Another option to monetize your rank and rent website is to charge the business per lead generated from your website.
This requires tracking software that reports accurate leads so that the client can be billed appropriately.
The per-lead approach can be more appealing to small business owners because they will begin to get leads before making a significant investment.
The per-lead approach is often less popular among SEO professionals because it requires more upkeep every month than merely “renting out” the website.
Selling The Website
The last option is to build a rank and rent website and then sell the full site to someone interested in purchasing the site for their local business or interested in renting out the site to local businesses.
Selling a rank and rent website does give the SEO professional a more significant return on their investment in the short run. On average, a rank and rent website can sell for approximately two years of rental fees.
Another draw to rank and rent selling is that SEO professionals can “keep things interesting” if they want to try different types of niche sites.
Building Rank and Rent Websites
We’ve discussed the basic premise of the rank and rent website and the benefits and monetization options, so it’s time we looked at how to build the site.
Building a rank and rent website requires less graphic design talent and more SEO knowledge. Your first task is going to be choosing a niche.
Choosing A Niche
When choosing a niche for your rank and rent site, you want to select a profitable niche.
Choose a niche that will bring in good money when you rent out the site – this means choosing a niche with high traffic.
Choose a niche that you stand a chance in – this means not choosing a niche with high competition.
Choose a location that isn’t “overdone” – for example, big cities have a large audience, but they are also targeted by most SEO campaigns, which means more competition.
Choose a “hot” niche – this means a niche that others have an interest in so that you won’t struggle to rent your site once it is ranked.
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How Do You Find A Niche
The best way to get started in finding your niche is to use the Google Trends tool. The Google Trends tool will show you what people have been using Google to search for over some time.
Search through trending search terms and find one that sounds interesting to you. From here, plug that search term into the free Google Keyword planner tool.
Using the free Google Keyword Planner tool, you will find various related keywords and terms that have low competition and high traffic.
You may have to try a few different trending terms before finding a profitable niche, so be patient!
Buying Your Domain House
The next step after deciding on your niche is to buy your domain name. You ALWAYS want to buy a .com domain name so that your niche site has the most appeal to buyers/renters.
Use a domain registrar website to check the availability of various domain names related to your niche.
The best method of finding the top domain for a rank and rent site is to search for YOURKEYWORDYOURLOCATION.COM. So, if you are targeting plumbing in Pasadena, you would search for plumbingPasadena.com.
You are not picking a company name here or branding yourself, so you want to stay generic with your domain name. This way, your rank and rent site will have more appeal to renters and buyers.
When you buy your domain name, buy from a reputable domain registrar. Also, be sure to pay attention to their domain name transfer policy if you intend on reselling your rank and rent website.
Research Your Competitors
The next step in building your rank and rent website is to find out who your competitors are and what they are doing to be successful in your niche.
So, how do you find your main competitors? The first thing you want to do is go to Google and search for your keyword, and the location that you have chosen.
Keep in mind that the first few results that pull up are paid listings.
Ignore the paid listings and look at the organically ranked websites – these are your direct competitors.
Focus on the top two to three organically ranked websites listed.
In a new tab on your browser, go to Spyfu.com. Spyfu is an SEO tool that can tell you a lot about your competitors’ search engine presence and website activity.
One at a time, you want to type your competitors’ website URLS into the Spyfu SEO tool and click the spyglass icon.
This will pull up a domain overview for the associated website.
While all of the information that Spyfu provides can be useful, pay particular attention to
- What percentage of website traffic is organic versus paid?
- What are their top organic keywords?
- Where do they rank for their top organic keywords?
- What are their top pages for monthly SEO clicks?
- Looking at their organic ranking history, what are their top keywords?
- Who is backlinking the website?
- What exclusive keywords does the website rank for?
- What core keywords does the website rank for?
- Who are their main competitors?
Using a free Spyfu account, you will only have access to limited information, but even this information can be useful.
If you are interested in a paid account but have a limited budget, Spyfu is a more affordable tool. Still, if your budget is not limited, SEMRush is a more detailed and comprehensive option.
Visit Your Competitors Websites
Once you have written down the nitty-gritty details, visit each website and see your competitors’ offerings in terms of appearance and content.
Remember, you do not want to reproduce the content that your competitors are offering, but you do want to see what is working for them to get some direction.
When you visit your competitor’s, websites pay attention to
- The color schemes
- The layout of information
- The information
- The call to action
As you hop between the different competing websites, pay attention to what these sites have in common and any differences.
Commonalities can tell you what searchers are looking for when they search for this topic. Differences can tell you why one website ranks first on search engines where their competitors are ranked below.
Back To Your Keyword Research
Having researched your competitors, it’s time to do a little more keyword research.
You have already selected your target niche, but you need more than your target keyword to draw traffic to your site.
To find additional keywords related to your niche, you want to head back to the Google Keyword Planner tool.
Use the “Discover New Keywords” feature and type in your niche key term.
This will give you a list of related keywords and terms.
Again, you are looking for low competition and high traffic keyword options. These are the keywords that you are going to use to build content for your website and find relevant backlinks.
Pulling it All Together
The next step in building your rank and rent website is to put the website together. You don’t have to create an intricate website with lots of fancy features, your focus should be on your content.
Use what you have learned from your competitors’ websites to put together your site. Don’t worry if you aren’t a graphic designer, many platforms can make building a website simple.
Creatng Your Content
Once you have your website designed, it’s time to start creating content using the previously researched keywords.
There are a few things to keep in mind when creating your website content:
- ALL of your content needs to be informative and factual.
- Your content should be built on your keyword research, but it should not be oversaturated with keywords.
- Your content should be unique. No copying articles you find online and no spinning content you find so that it looks unique but is unreadable.
Keep in mind that your goal is to create a quality website with valuable information so that you have something to draw in those leads as well as backlinks from quality websites and interested renters for the site itself.
When you create your content, don’t just throw words on a page and call it done. Include multimedia features that will engage readers – videos, infographics, clean licensed images.
There is a saying that “content is king” – keep this in mind as you create your content. By adding unique and interesting content to your site and keeping it updated with dynamic content, your site has authority – something that is key in claiming a good search engine reputation.
Your content’s quality will also play a significant role in getting backlinks to your site from reputable sources.
Backlinks are links back to your website from other established websites. Ideally, you want links from authoritative websites in your niche, but you may not always be able to get authoritative backlinks right away.
When your website is still new, focus on the unique content we mentioned above. This content will give your site worth and can be the difference between getting a quality backlink or being refused a backlink.
Backlinks will play a major part in ranking your website. As other people link to your website, search engines see this as a vote of confidence in the quality of content that you offer.
So, where do you go about finding sites to link back to you?
Research your niche.
- Find blogs that are willing to exchange links with you or offer you a guest article spot on their site where you can link back to your site.
- Leave comments and recommendations on review or information websites without being “spammy.”
- Consider approaching websites with resource pages to see if you can get your site linked on their resource page.
Whenever possible, you want to get a link back without giving anything up on your site. This means that guest writing articles on other blogs is a great way to get your link out there and much preferred over the older method of “link swapping”.
Also, pay attention to who you are asking to link back to you. The more reputable a website is, the better quality the link back to your website is.
The reverse is also true – a link back from a website labeled as a spam site will make your site look bad.
Build Your Traffic
It is going to take a little while to build up your website traffic, but you have to be patient. Don’t be tempted to take shortcuts that can devalue your website.
Your focus should always be quality because the better quality your site is, the more traffic it will generate and the more appealing it will be to renters.
As you build traffic to your site, make sure you are always playing an active role in growing the website.
This may be by creating quality backlinks, writing and adding new content, or tweaking your website design based on analytics feedback and information.
Rent Your Ranked Website
The final step in your rank and rent website is to rent it out!
Start by researching local businesses that are in the niche you have chosen. Look through these local businesses and assess each business’s online presence.
Your aim here is to find a local business that wants to increase its online presence. This is going to be a business that is currently being beaten by their competition and a business that needs a “revamp” when it comes to their website.
Once you have identified potential renters of your rank and rent website, you need to pick up the phone and get in touch with them!
When approaching a potential renter, let them know what you can offer – a website with unique content and an existing traffic flow, and a search engine presence.
Remind potential buyers that the cost of renting your website is a significant savings over creating their site and building their traffic.
Rank and Rent Isn’t Easy Money
While there is money to be had from a good rank and rent website in profitable niches, don’t fool yourself into thinking that this is an easy money type of project.
You have to be committed to your site and work at building your site presence online.
Your first rank and rent website will likely be an exercise in patience and involve a learning curve, but once you get your process down, future rank and rent sites will come much more easily and you can build a nice sized website portfolio.