Rank & Rent Lead Generation: Local SEO Guide

Let’s face it, working in SEO can be a real challenge, especially when you’re dealing with the ever-changing ranking algorithms and factors of the almighty Google. 

And don’t even get me started on the delicate balancing act of meeting your clients’ demands while sticking to your best practices. It’s enough to make you wish you could just avoid clients altogether, right?

Well, what if I told you there’s a way to simplify your life as an SEO expert? Say hello to rank and rent lead generation, where you can rent out your website and avoid the client circus altogether. Sounds like a dream come true, doesn’t it?

What is Rank & Rent?

Rank and Rent SEO is a simple yet effective method of generating leads for local businesses. The concept involves creating a new website that is optimized for a specific niche, such as plumbing or roofing, and then renting out the site to local service providers that are interested in those leads.

Rather than taking an existing website and trying to rank it on search engines, practitioners of Rank and Rent SEO create a new site that is tailored to a specific niche. This involves creating quality content, performing on-page optimization, and building a backlink profile to ensure that the website ranks highly on search engines.

Once the website starts to draw traffic, the SEO professional rents the site to an actual business, along with the leads that it generates. The challenge is to set up call forwarding and tracking in a way that properly forwards leads to the businesses.

The beauty of Rank and Rent SEO is that it’s a win-win situation for both parties. The business that rents the site benefits from a pre-built, already-ranking website that is bringing in traffic, and the SEO professional gets paid for the site’s rental.

You can easily spot a Rank and Rent website because it typically contains generic information that caters to a particular niche.

Another way of doing Rank and Rent SEO is to sell warm leads to local businesses instead of renting out the website. This method can also generate good revenue for the SEO professional.

Rank & Rent Benefits

1. You Own the Digital Asset

When you create a website for Rank & Rent Lead Generation, you own the digital asset. That means the website, tracking number, and leads all belong to you. You’re not beholden to a client or dependent on their approval for any changes or updates to the site. You have complete control.

2. Minimal Client Interaction

Unlike an SEO business, with Rank & Rent Lead Generation, you don’t need to interact with clients much, if at all. There’s no need to convince them of anything because you’ve already got the results to show them. This means less time spent on meetings and phone calls and more time focusing on your business.

3. Very Scalable

Rank & Rent Lead Generation is very scalable. You can start by ranking a minimal site and then move on to the next. Plus, you can implement cut-and-paste methods for templates or outsource SEO services and tasks. This allows you to scale your business quickly and easily.

4. Low Overhead Costs

With Rank & Rent Lead Generation, your sites don’t require much effort or maintenance, making this a lucrative online business model. You don’t need to spend money on Google Ads or other forms of paid advertising. Plus, the overhead costs are low, making it an excellent option for those on a budget.

5. Reduce Risk

Instead of going all-in on one big authority website, Rank & Rent Lead Generation allows you to reduce your risk by spreading it across many smaller sites. This way, if one site loses its rankings, you have others to fall back on. This can be a smart strategy for those who want to minimize risk and maximize profits.

Rank and Rent Drawbacks

1. It’s a Numbers Game

Ranking websites on search engines is not an exact science, and not every website will rank high. Therefore, to increase your chances of success, you must build many websites. It requires a lot of effort and time, so it may not be suitable for those who want to see immediate results.

2. Intense Competition

As more people discover the benefits of rank and rent, it’s getting more competitive. Skilled SEOs and new site owners are entering the market, making it challenging to stand out from the crowd. So, if you decide to go down this route, be prepared for a tough battle.

3. Hard to Rank on Google’s 3-Pack

Google’s 3-Pack displays the top local results when someone searches for a local business. It’s challenging to rank on the 3-Pack if you don’t have an established business or address. This makes it difficult to get a Google My Business (GMB) profile and five-star reviews. Without a GMB listing, it’s harder to gain credibility with potential clients.

4. Less Trust from Customers

When you rent out a website to a business owner, they will use it to generate leads for their business. However, your client’s customers may be less inclined to trust them because of a lack of reviews and verified GMB listing. It’s essential to build trust with potential clients, and this can be difficult if your clients’ customers don’t trust the business’s legitimacy.

How do I get started with Rank & Rent websites?

Step 1: Pick a niche

So, you’re thinking of creating a rank and rent website, but you’re not sure what niche to focus on? Well, let me tell you that not every niche is going to work for this business model. Here are a few things to keep in mind when selecting a niche:

  • Go for high-ticket niches: Choosing a low-dollar niche or one with abundant leads won’t generate much income from renting out the website or selling leads. So, opt for a niche with high-ticket items or services that will fetch more money.
  • Avoid highly competitive niches: It’s easier to rank in a niche with less competition. Going for a niche that already has plenty of established websites will only lead to frustration.
  • Pick the right geolocation: While large cities might seem like an attractive option, they also mean more competition. So, choose a location that has good potential and less competition.
  • Look for a quick sales cycle: This is crucial if you plan to sell leads. Ensure that you have a steady stream of warm or hot leads who are ready to make a purchase.

Take your time to decide on the perfect niche for your rank and rent website. Remember, you’ll be spending a lot of time working on it and learning as you go. If you have a list of potential niches and geolocations, keep them for later. You can always build more rank and rent sites as you get better at it.

Step 2: Choose a domain

When picking a domain name for your site, you want it to be specific enough that you can incorporate niche- and geolocation-related keywords, but generic enough that you can sell it to someone down the line without interrupting their current branding. 

The best way to choose a domain name is to create a combination of your main keyword and the location you’re targeting. 

For example, if you are looking to create a rank and rent site for plumbing service in Chicago, possible domain names could include “plumbingchicago.com” or “chicagoplumbing.com.”

Step 3: Analyze your competitors

Don’t skip this step in the process. You’re trying to rank a non-branded website in a highly profitable niche, and you need to know what others are doing that’s working. 

Begin by typing your main keyword and target location into a search engine and write down the first three non-paid URLs. These will be your main competitors.

Next, log in to your favorite SEO research software, such as Raven Tools. Type the first competitor URL into the search bar and wait for the software to analyze it. 

Gather as much information as you can about your competition, including 

  • top-performing content
  • highest-ranking keywords
  • backlink profile
  • traffic from organic search

Once you’ve collected all this information, examine each competitor’s website. Take note of how their websites are organized, the content that is presented, and the elements that are used on each page. Compare layouts, calls-to-action, color schemes, and imagery. Try figuring out who the target market is for the site.

Having this information will be crucial to building your own website. You want it to stand out from the crowd but not so much that it will turn away users. One of my favorite tools to look at a competitor’s URL is to create a custom website URL quality grader by bringing in Raven metrics, Alexa, Moz, and majestic metrics. By segmenting the score based on what influence a given metric has, we can see what is good, okay, and bad. Based on the metrics you choose, you’ll get a composite score.

Step 4: Keyword research

Since you don’t yet know which business will eventually take over your site, your goal is to find high-traffic, high-conversion keywords that will attract plenty of visitors.

As you start your research, focus on your chosen niche and check out what your competitors are already doing. Begin by entering your main seed keyword into your SEO research tool’s keyword planning section. This will give you a wide range of related keywords, including many long-tail options that are perfect for internal services pages or blog posts.

Take some time to consider which keywords are most relevant to your overall niche and target audience, and use them to develop your strategy.

Remember, your site’s keywords are crucial because you’ll be monitoring your keyword rankings as you go along, and you’ll use this information to pitch your site as a potential “rental property” to a business. 

So, make sure you know which keywords you’re targeting with each page and keep an eye on how they perform.

Step 5: Create quality content

You’ve probably heard that “Content is king.” Well, it’s true, especially when it comes to ranking a non-branded website. Since your rank and rent site doesn’t have any brand authority yet, it’s crucial to make sure that the words on each of your pages are optimized with strong keywords, focused on the user, and provide helpful information.

First things first, start by creating your core pages. These should include your Homepage, About Us page, and the pages for your niche’s main services. These pages will likely bring in the most traffic and potential qualified leads, so it’s essential to make sure they are well-written and fully optimized.

Once you have your core pages nailed down, consider creating some blog posts. You can always add more later on to improve your site’s rankings and visibility, but creating a few informative, interesting, and relevant pieces can help you gain some ground quickly.

Adding engaging elements, such as images, videos, infographics, and downloadable assets, can help boost traffic to your content and increase shares, ultimately making your site more successful. So, get creative and start creating content that will attract and engage your audience!

Step 6. Set up Google My Business (GMB)

If you want your business to show up in the Google Maps map pack, you need to register your site on Google My Business (GMB). This step is essential as the map pack appears above the organic listings in most local search results. This means that Google Maps listings receive more clicks, which leads to more leads for your business.

The good news is that the entire process of registering your business on Google Maps can be done through the GMB dashboard. However, Google will need to verify your business phone number or address to ensure that it is legitimate and meets their guidelines.

You can find a complete list of ways to verify your business on the GMB help page. This includes verification by mail, phone, or email. If you choose mail verification, you will need to request it through the GMB dashboard, and Google will send you a postcard with a code that you will need to enter to verify your business.

Once you have verified your business on Google Maps, you will have access to the GMB dashboard options. This includes the ability to create a profile for your business with a description and images, as well as the option to accept reviews from customers.

It’s important to note that phone and email verification options are only available for some types of businesses. In most cases, you will need to have an established and visible presence to qualify for either of them. 

So, don’t skip this crucial step and get your business on Google Maps today to boost your local search results!

Step 7. Build backlinks

If you’re looking to improve your website’s search engine rankings, one of the quickest ways to do so is by building a strong backlink profile. But what exactly are backlinks and how do they help?

Backlinks are simply links from other websites to your site. When another site links to yours, search engines like Google see it as a vote of confidence in your content. This means that the more high-quality backlinks you have, the more authoritative your site will appear to search engines.

So, how do you get these valuable backlinks? One way is to make sure your business is listed on important directories such as YellowPages, Yelp, and Manta. These directories allow you to list your business’s name, address, phone number, logo, and a link back to your website.

You can also use SEO tools like Whitespark, SemRush, or Ahrefs to analyze your competitors’ backlink profiles and find opportunities to build your own.

Another important element of off-page SEO is building up your social media presence. Creating profiles on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, and YouTube not only gives you another way to connect with potential customers, but also provides backlinks to your site.

All of this is known as foundational link building, and it can be enough to get you ranking on page one of search results in some niches. However, if you’re in a more competitive space, you may need to build a more robust backlink profile with tactics like guest posting, web 2.0s, and press releases.

Remember, building a strong backlink profile takes time and effort, but it’s worth it to help your website gain authority and climb the rankings.

Step 8. Rent out your website

So, you’ve been working hard on your website and have started to see some decent traffic and rankings. Congrats! Now, it’s time to consider making some extra cash by renting your site out to local businesses.

Start by doing a bit of research on businesses in your area that are in the same niche as you. Look for ones that have low-quality, poorly ranked websites or no website at all. Once you have a list, pick up the phone and give them a call.

When you speak with the business owner, let them know about your awesome website and how it comes with pre-existing content and a steady flow of traffic and leads. Show them how your website can greatly benefit their business and explain that your rental fee is much more affordable than building and ranking a site themselves.

If you’re not having any luck with lower-ranking businesses, try going up the chain a bit. Sometimes, businesses that rank on the second page of search results understand the value of a high-ranking website but just haven’t been able to crack the first page. This might be an easier crowd to make a sale with.

How do you make money on Rank & Rent?

You can monetize your rank and rent site in the following ways:

  • Flat Fee Model: With this model, you charge a fixed monthly fee to your client, regardless of the number of leads generated. This is a straightforward pricing model that is easy to scale, and it allows your clients to budget accordingly. It also makes it easier for you to plan your resources, knowing that your revenue is fixed.
  • Pay Per Lead Model: This pricing model charges clients for every qualified lead that comes through your pipeline. While it may be time-consuming to count every lead, it can be a good option if you are just starting and not sure how many leads you will generate. However, you need to ensure that the leads are of high quality, or your client may dispute the pricing.
  • Commission Deal: Under this model, you earn a commission on every closed deal resulting from your leads. This model requires a high level of trust and transparency, and it can be challenging to keep track of all the deals that close, start, or are completed. It is best to use this model with people you know and trust.
  • Affiliate Model: With this model, you receive a small fee for every lead generated for a larger lead broker. This model offers low commissions, and the reliability of the brokers can be questionable.

Overall, the flat fee model is the most straightforward and efficient way to generate leads for local businesses. It offers a win-win solution for both you and the client, allowing you to create a sustainable relationship while delivering quality leads. By charging a fair fee and keeping their phone ringing, you can increase your retention rate and scale your business.

Is Rank and Rent for beginners?

Let’s face it, ranking a brand new website for competitive keywords can be quite the challenge. And even if you do manage to rank it, maintaining that position is no cakewalk either. As a beginner, you need to be patient and willing to put in the effort to learn all about SEO, which can be a bit of a steep learning curve.

To add to the challenge, SEO is constantly evolving, especially when it comes to local SEO. Keeping up with the latest trends and changes can be tough while building a solid foundation of knowledge. But don’t worry, there are plenty of fantastic resources out there to help you on your journey.

However, if you’re just starting out and looking for a quick and easy way to make some money, Rank and Rent may not be the best choice. While it’s a great business model with many untapped markets and opportunities, it’s not the easiest path for beginners.

That being said, compared to ranking an authority site or even a smaller niche website, Rank and Rent can be a bit simpler. So, if you’re up for the challenge and willing to put in the work, Rank and Rent could be a great way to start your SEO journey.

Is Rank and Rent legal?

Ranking and renting websites is totally legal! However, there are a few things you should keep in mind to protect yourself and your business.

Firstly, it’s always a good idea to talk to a lawyer and make sure you have all the necessary liability waivers and disclaimers in place before renting out your website. It may also be a good idea to look into getting a small business insurance policy to cover any unexpected losses.

One thing to be aware of is the possibility of inadvertently offending a customer through the content on your site. Even if it wasn’t your intention, if your client suffers a financial loss because of this, you could potentially be held liable. So, it’s important to be aware of what’s being posted on your site and take steps to prevent any unintended consequences.

Another potential scenario to consider is if someone gets injured while visiting a retailer that you’ve rented your website to. While the retailer may have liability insurance, your site is essentially an endorsement of that business, so you could potentially be dragged into a legal situation and incur legal fees, even if you’re not directly responsible.

All in all, ranking and renting websites can be a great way to make some extra cash, but it’s important to take precautions to protect yourself and your business.

Is Rank and Rent worth it?

If you’re willing to put in the work, the Rank and Rent method could be a lucrative opportunity for you.

There are around 10,000 cities, suburbs, towns, and more, which translates to thousands of niches to explore.

Yes, competition is tough, but don’t let that discourage you. You just need to keep at it and not give up. Remember, most of your competitors will likely drop out of the race.

Plus, when you’re putting time and effort into ranking and renting websites, you’re also building valuable skills that you can leverage in other areas. Think of it as an investment in your future: You could start a digital marketing agency or even a blog that generates revenue.

Final Thoughts

Even though rank and rent may not be the best fit for everyone, it has worked for some, especially those who sell lead generation courses.

Personally, I’ve tried building a lead generation site and made some money.

If you want to learn about my strategies, sign up for my online business coaching.  

Interested in receiving one-on-one mentorship for building an online business? Join my online business coaching program.

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