Rank & Rent - Local Lead Generation Business Model (Local SEO)
In this article we’ll discuss the rank and rent business model. Usually, rank & rent is used for local lead generation via SEO.
SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization and means techniques and methods to rank organically high in the search engines, primarily on Google.
That’s important as nearly all of the traffic from search engines is coming from the first page.
However, the business model of r&r is (forced to) adapting to changes as Google’s search engine updates roll out, and I witness the most successful players in this field using this lead generation method more and more with PPC (pay per click) traffic.
But I’m getting ahead of myself here.
What’s The Value Of Rank & Rent? What’s The Point?
The goal of r&r is to rent out (or sell) leads to local companies - for a profit, of course.
This method of local lead generation is done via (local) SEO.
So instead of helping companies with their websites and local lead generation (this would be the “agency” business model), a person who follows the r&r business model would rank their own assets/lead generation websites.
And sell these leads in a second step to companies. If all leads generated go to one company, the site basically is “rented out” to that company.
Hence the name “rank and rent”.
Next, let’s see how rank & rent works…
Rank & Rent - How Does It Work Exactly?
The rank and rent mothod follows the following checklist:
- Research and pick a great niche
- must be profitable with a relatively high customer LTV (lifetime value), for example home services, plumbers, roofers, (large) painting projects, medical niche, legal, webdesign, computer repair, or landscaping projects, but not lawn mowing, not pizza shops, not nail studios, etc.
- low/weak competition (not SEO optimized but on page 1, low domain authority), easy to rank, smaller cities
- ideally an emergency niche (urgency & price elasticity)
- Build your asset (lead generation website)
- Rank/optimize your website
- Rent out the site/sell the leads
Rank & Rent SEO - How Is It Different To “Normal” SEO?
Generally speaking, with r&r you’re targeting local keywords, not national or global, high-competition search terms.
In addition, you’d try to find and target a niche and/or city with low/weak competition.
That means, it’ll be much easier for you to rank your website/lead generation asset than if you’d try to rank for high-competition, broad terms on a global scale.
That’s exactly what makes this business model so attractive: Fast & easy wins that still have a lot of value for local businesses who’re looking for leads (and ultimately more business).
Local companies will happily pay for leads if they see a positive ROI from it.
And even if you don’t want to deal with local business owners, you can easily offer your leads to lead generation (CPA) affiliate networks.
Most of the affiliate networks will be happy getting leads from your rank & rent properties, because the leads are fresh and targeted/warm.
Rank And Rent Websites - Examples
Plumber-Pros.com - “Plumbing Services Made Simple”
GetPlumbingQutes.com - “Get 3 Estimates from Qualified Plumbing Pros in XXX”
LocalTreeServicePros.com - “Find Local Tree Service Pros In Just Two Easy Steps!”
LocalPainterQuites.com - “Compare Free Estimates From Local Painters”
LocalRooferQuotes.com - “Free Roof Sealing Estimates From Local Pros”
LocalPavementQuotes.com - “Asphalt Sealing Estimates From Local Pros” and “Compare bids from local asphalt sealing contractors.”
LocalRemodelingQuotes.com - “Find Local Remodeling Pros In Just Two Easy Steps!”
LocalJunkRemovalQuites.com - “Find Local Junk Removal Pros In Just Two Easy Steps!”
Rank & Rent Courses
There are a few r&r courses, but you’ve got to make sure that the course is either very new/recent or updated frequently, as Google updates constantly force changes and adaptations to new circumstances.
That’s especially true if you purely rely on free/organic SEO traffic.
Pros & Cons
What I Like About The R&R Business Model
First, you learn highly valuable skills through applying the rank & rent method.
Organic traffic generation through SEO, website creation, copywriting, and professional lead generation to name a few.
Furthermore, you’re providing a highly valuable service to clients. (DFY local lead generation)
Generally speaking, the r&r business model doesn’t require a lot of money/investment to get started.
And if you’re successful with ranking your website, you can expect a nice, positive, and consistent cashflow.
As long as the leads are targeted and coming in frequently, your client will be happy to pay for them.
SEO on a national or global level can be much harder, and the competition fierce on high-traffic keywords.
That’s why local SEO/rank & rent can be a very good entry into SEO, and it’s a very interesting business model overall, as you’re creating web assets that you can sell at a later point.
Obviously, the business model also has some downsides…
What I Don’t Like About The Rank & Rent Business Model
Google prefers to see “real” companies in the “Google My Business” section of the search results.
And while a “quote aggregation service” provide value to the visitor, a successfully ranked website - without a real company behind it - often does not provide any value.
Furthermore, Google prefers to present the best and most accurate data in the GMB section, and would rather like to collect advertising dollars from local companies.
And that’s why there’s a high risk of your r&r website being delisted from the GMB section.
Plus, if the competition is very low/weak, at any time a new competitor could enter the space and squeeze you out of the market.
Obviously, this can happen in all industries and niches, with almost all business models, but it’s exactly the low barrier to entry that creates a dangerous scenario.
In addition, it seems very likely that Google is looking to only grow it’s advertising service from here.
That’s why the free, organic search results - especially for local, commercial keywords - will likely lose over lead generation services and companies that dominate the first (paid) search results that are displayed even above the GMB section.
That’s why personally I’d rather focus on the professional lead generation and funnel parts than putting too much emphasis on the ranking/SEO part.
And if you can make that model work with paid (PPC) traffic, you’re in a very good spot.
Closing Thoughts On Rank & Rent
Digital, local lead generation is a very interesting niche, because it can be extremely lucrative.
As we pointed out, generating leads for local business can be done in various ways:
- client SEO (agency business model)
- selling leads through affiliate networks (mostly done by driving paid traffic to lead generation websites)
- renting out a ranked lead generation website (rank & rent)
I particularly like the fact that through r&r you learn extremely valuable skills.
This can not be overestimated, as **every company in every niche needs more leads for their business **.
However, the biggest players are utilizing more and more paid traffic (PPC) to drive highly targeted traffic to their lead generation websites.
That way they align their interests very much with Google’s, because G is making a ton of revenue through their advertising platform.
It’s a win for the client, as he finds the most relevant link at the very top of page 1 of the search results.
It’s a win for the lead generation company, as they bank the difference between their ad spend (costs) and revenue from selling the leads or renting the page.
And it’s a win for Google, obviously. (Ad revenue)
Through this PPC (pay per click) model the method becomes more of an arbitrage-type business model.
Plus, this business model can be extremely profitable because it’s very scalable. (New niches, more keywords, more locations, …)
But there’s no doubt that - no matter how the exact methods change over time - online lead generation will only grow from here.
I hope you enjoyed my article and stay awesome,
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