Rank and Rent Method + Case Study

The Rank and Rent SEO strategy is a great way to make money with local lead generation.

This is a simple method of building a website to rank on Google for keywords that local search engine users are searching for.

Once you start generating leads from your ranked local website (calls, emails, general enquiries) you can start selling these leads directly to local small businesses.

This is the basic strategy of the Rank and Rent method.

Why Rank and Rent?

A contemporary sign on the exterior of a red brick building

Rank and rent websites offer a few benefits over many other digital marketing strategies.

Selling leads to businesses directly means that that’s your focus – as opposed to dealing with the actual factors surrounding running a physical business.

For less than $50 you can have a website up and running.

Once it’s ranked you can start selling the leads or you could so the entire website to small business.

With an actual business there are a ton of expenses and issues you’ll need to deal with just to get the business off the ground.

That doesn’t include the amount of time it takes to manage and run your own business with a physical location.

Another benefit of the rank and rent method is that you’re not limited to a specific niche.

For example, let’s say you started a tree removal business – All you can do to generate more revenue is remove more trees.

With a local lead gen website you can get into those niches with low competition anywhere on the planet.

You’re not limited to location, overhead costs, or other businesses, and you can switch into a different niche if you find yours isn’t profitable.

Whether you’re just starting out or looking to add an additional income source to your portfolio, Rank and Rent websites are the way to go!

How to Build a Rank and Rent Website

Starting a rank and rent website is like starting any other.

However, there are some things to keep in mind with a website based on local SEO.

Let’s take a look at how to build your own rank and rent website so you can start making money with local lead generation right away.

Step 1: Pick a Profitable Niche + Keyword Research

user experience website rankings

This is the most important step in starting your rank and rent website.

Choosing the right niche will determine whether or not your site will generate the right leads and be successful in the long run.

This is where most people make their biggest mistake that results in their lead gen sites never getting off the ground.

You’ll want to choose a niche where the business is able to afford to pay for your leads or buy the website outright.

For example, your local bookstore isn’t going to be able to spend $1,000 or more each month on leads for selling books.

On the other hand, a plumbing or landscaping company would have no problem shelling out the same amount if you’re able to help them grow their business.

Look for niches where businesses charge their customers a few thousand dollars for their services.

This way when you start reaching out to small business owners will be happy to buy leads for $100 each, or more.

As for keywords, those for local SEO are different than those for typical blogs or affiliate sites.

Search volume isn’t as important.

Instead, you’re looking for keywords in niches where you can quickly rank their website and start generating leads.

Using your keyword tool of choice (I like Ahrefs and KWFinder) start by doing a general search for a broad keyword like “Toronto landscaping”.

You’ll be presented with a list of related keywords and these are the search phrases you’ll need to include in your website content.

Step 2: Choose Your Website Domain

namecheap logo

Head over to a domain provider like Namecheap.com and pick up your website domain.

It’s important to choose a TLD (the .com part of the URL) for their country you’re ranking the website in.

For example, a Canadian site would go with .ca while a South African site would go with .co.za.

This makes it easier for the Google algorithm to rank your site for local searches, instead of larger and more competitive global searches.

Another thing to keep in mind is the type of domain.

There are three different types of domains you can choose from for your rank and rent site:

  • Exact match domain (EMD – londontreeremoval.co.uk)
  • Partial match domain (bobstreeremoval.ca)
  • Branded domains (thetreeguy.ua)

Avoid exact match domains at all costs and go with a partial or branded domain for longevity.

This ensures the website comes across as trustworthy to search engine users.

It makes it easier for them to find what they’re looking for.

Partial and branded domains are also easier to sell if you’re looking to offload your site to a small business.

Step 3: Build Out the Website

Women using a Macbook laptop to work on her own blog

If you’re reading this guide you probably already know how to start a website (domain, hosting, CMS).

In this post I’ll assume you’re using WordPress to build out your site.

For WordPress themes, I recommend going with GeneratePress if you’re looking for something simple, fast, and easy to design.

You can even use the free WordPress themes.

Don’t spend much time worrying about the overall design and layout of your site – it’s not important for generating leads.

After launching your site here are the main pages it should have:

  • Home page including relevant keywords and calls to action
  • About page detailing the products or services being offered
  • Services page going into more detail about the specifics
  • 3-5 sub-pages each covering a relevant industry keyword
  • Contact page with accessible contact information
  • Blog for sharing information and better search engine rankings

Each of these pages should have a minimum of 500 words and need to include relevant keywords.

This is a lot of work, especially in competitive niches.

Take a look at these amazing pre-built rank and rent website options. These will help you save time and start making you money with lead generation right away!

Step 4: Website Optimization

traffic google analytics

Once you build a solid foundation for your website it’s time to start optimizing it for local searches.

This process is known as on-page SEO and it’s one of the easiest ways to start ranking your site.

Take a look at this helpful on-page SEO guide by Moz. It’s a detailed post on how to optimize your local business website.

The key with rank and rent website is to remember that you’re hoping to rank for local searches.

That means instead of ranking for “plumbers” you’ll want to rank for “plumbers in Leeds”.

While the search volume is lower, there is less competition and these keywords are easier to rank for.

Step 5: Submit Your Website to Google

sitemap dashboard

To ensure your website is showing up on Google you can submit a Sitemap through the Google Search Console tool.

This is one of the best free analytics tools around through the Google platform.

The information it provides is invaluable and can be used to improve rankings and generate more leads.

To submit your website head over to Google Search Console and select “Sitemaps” under the “Crawl” option on the menu.

If you’re not already set up on Google Search Console you can use this helpful guide to get started.

Using the Yoast SEO plugin for WordPress makes submitting your website even easier.

How to Rank Your Local Lead Gen Website

The Google analytics dashboard showing new visitors and returning visitors

Ranking a local website is different than ranking an affiliate site or general blog.

There are different local SEO factors that the Google algorithm uses for ranking sites in local searches.

Keep in mind that you’re building a “legitimate website” that users need to view as a real business.

Even if you’re selling the leads, the website must be professional and well designed.

To rank a local website in the search engines, here are some factors to consider:

  • Having an optimized Google My Business listing
  • Using relevant local keywords and search phrases
  • Adding the website to relevant local directories
  • Creating helpful content on a regular basis
  • Building powerful and relevant links to your website

These are the most important local ranking factors for a lead generation site.

Getting into local SEO from affiliate marketing or display advertising will seem easier for most people.

This is because the competition is fierce for global keywords.

Local keywords, especially in smaller markets, have virtually no competition.


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