What Is Rank & Rent? Definition, Types & Techniques

August 1, 2023

What Is Rank And Rent?

Rank and rent is a type of lead generation. The goal of the business model is to build tiny micro websites that focus on one service in one city. Leverage basic local SEO tactics to get your sites to show up at the top of Google for key search terms. Then people start calling, and these are leads. You can then sell them to a local contractor for a profit. You own the website, the tracking number, and the leads. But the small business owner pays to 'rent' your site.

What Is SEO?

SEO or search engine optimization is a method used to improve the quality and quantity of the audience coming to your website. SEO can draw local customers, increase brand awareness, and build credibility. In addition, SEO attracts organic traffic and makes your site more visible on Google.

BrightEdge says 53% of all website traffic comes from organic search. But when you're website is at the top of the search, you get a ton of eyeballs. As a result, you don't need to spend money on paid ads. Instead, the key is to employ the right buyer intent keywords. Then you get the highest quality traffic on the internet. 

What Is Rank In SEO?

Rank in SEO is where your niche website sits in the Google search engines. To rank higher in the SERPs, give Google what it wants. Start by placing the right keywords in the right place. In 2024, ranking is less about the quantity of your content and more about semantically related information based on machine learning.

So, use an SEO tool like Google Trends or Keywords Everywhere to optimize your content and get variations of the best keywords. The goal is to convince Google that your copy is the most in-depth. Then you'll get a better position and be more visible in its search engines. But you can hire an SEO agency to get results if you lack the skills or don't have time. 

What Is Rank & Rent SEO?

Rank and rent SEO is an effective way to capitalize on search engine optimization and make money online. A form of lead generation, the objective is to rank a website on Google. Then you rent it to a local contractor for a fee. The business model is an easy pitch to sell because you have leads in hand. But unlike SEO services, the rank and rent websites belong to you. So you don't need to worry about potential clients firing you when you rank them at the top of the SERPs. 

How Does Rank & Rent Work?

1. Choose a profitable niche

Target phone-driven businesses in a location with a population between 75,000 to 250,000. The goal is to pick a niche with low competition and high demand. Then, leverage tools like Google Trends and ahrefs to assess search volume. But be sure there are enough local business owners to service your niche. Then you have options when it's time to rent your digital asset. The secret is to dial down and get specific about your service. For example, create a rank and rent website for clogged drains instead of building a generic plumbing site. 

2. Pick a domain

An SEO-friendly URL can give you an edge over the competition. Google likes short domains. So aim for a domain name between 3-5 words. Include a specific location and main keyword to give context to your site. 

3. Analyze the competition

Research the competition and look for services that don't have companies in the Google map pack and the top three spots in the organic listings. You don't want to pick niches where the existing businesses have a ton of online reviews, local supremacy, or dominate the SERPs. So use software like SEMRush or Mangools to check out their backlink profile. Or a tool like SEO Quake to determine the age of the site and its level of content. Then leverage software like Moz to assess the domain authority. Again, choose niches where the competition has a weak online presence, no reviews, and a low DA so you can rank fast.

4. Invest in keyword research

Find keywords or search phrases you can rank for fast. Then use them in your content, title tags, and headings when doing on page SEO. You can leverage free tools like Keywords Everywhere or Google Search Console to determine what people are searching for now. Or take advantage of software like Moz Keyword Planner and SEMRush. See what keywords the competition ranks for and where they're lacking. 

Pro Tip: Another good resource for keyword research is Wikipedia. It highlights local and relevant search terms you can weave into the content of your rank rent website. 

5. Write good content

Google gives favor to websites that write good content and know what they're talking about. So your rank and rent content needs to be written in the context of the user experience but still demonstrate trustworthiness to appease the Google bots. Optimize your content with FAQs, lists, schema, etc. Include 1000-1200 words on the homepage and 500-1000 on each service page. Add a contact form, an 'About Us' page, and a clear call to action. 

6. Get backlinks & citations

Backlinks are like votes from other sites that tell Google you're an authority in your niche. The more 'votes' your site has from high-ranking sites, the better your domain authority. Use tools like ahrefs and SEMRush to see where your competition gets its links. Then you can adopt the copy-cat method to get the same.

Conversely, citations are your business's NAP (name, address, phone number). They can be listed anywhere online. Citations act like signals that tell Google you're legit. Use software like Majestic and Bright Local to find local options. You can also leverage local directory listings like Yelp, Brownbook, and Tupalo. Then create accounts on social media sites like Facebook, Google Maps, and YouTube. These platforms act as additional signals and develop a strong online presence.

Bonus: Create a Google Business Profile

GBP or Google My Business is your rank and rent sites listing in the map pack. By creating a GBP for your online business, you get two channels for leads. But that's two chances to rank at the top of the SERPs. Then optimize your listing with GMB ranking factors like geo-tagged images, on-point service descriptions, hours of operation, and post regular updates. 

What Are The Benefits Of Rank & Rent? 

  • The digital asset belongs to you. So you're in control of the payment arrangement, any changes to the site, etc., unlike starting a digital marketing agency where you spend time and effort ranking another business owner's site. But once you get them results, they don't need to keep paying for your service. So now you're out of income and need to replace them with another company.

  • Low start-up costs with higher margins than compared to physical real estate. (That needs considerable capital ($60K+) for a down payment). 

  • Rank and rent is a super scalable online business model with low start-up costs and minimal overhead. 

  • The business model doesn't require you to be an SEO professional or have experience with technical SEO to make money. 

What Factors Influence Your Search Ranking?

An Optimized Website

The overall website is crucial to your Google rankings. Each page needs to be fully optimized and provide search-friendly content. The key is to get to the point. Don't fluff around in your intro paragraph. Instead, write the answer in a Google-friendly format. Utilize content that both the Google bots and users expect to find. A third-party tool like Surfer can help determine what keywords Google wants and the best digital marketing strategy.

Then ensure that your website has fast load speeds and complies with technical SEO elements like meta tags, schema, HTML, alt tags, etc. According to OptinMonster, 53% of visitors will leave a website if it takes more than 3 seconds to load. You also need a mobile responsive site that shares skimmable and easy-to-digest information. 

Topical Authority

Create hyper-local and on-point copy for every webpage. Then add topical authority by adding fresh content. The idea is to make your copy the best for each keyword you want to rank. First, figure out every topic you need to create. Then write each article one by one. Interlink relevant pieces together to send a clear message to Google.

But this is one of the cutting-edge SEO techniques in 2024. It lets the SERPs know you're an expert in your niche. According to HubSpot, Google has over 200 ranking factors. But EAT(expertise, authoritativeness, trust) is still one of the most pivotal factors in Google's quality rate guidelines.

Backlink Building System

In 2024 backlinks still matter and should be part of your SEO efforts. Backlinks are like the fuel that runs the site. But for links to be effective, they need to be relevant, authoritative, and contextual. Use a tool like ahrefs or SEMRush to determine the best approach to increase your site's authority. In addition, backlinks can protect you from Google algorithm updates and can often decide who wins on Google. 

Focus On The User Experience

Google rewards sites that accomplish goal completion. So if your website best satisfies the intent behind a primary query or understands the users' search intent, it will rank higher in the SERPs. Next, create copy that's easy to read. For example, use takeaways or list the main points to highlight the central aspects of your article. Then your site is easier for the user to navigate.

How Long Does It Take To Rank #1 On Google?

You can rank number one on Google in as little as six weeks to six months using the rank and rent model without being an SEO expert. To be number one on Google, provide the best answer to a user search query. Google analyzes over 200 ranking factors. But with the rank and rent model, there's less competition because the focus is on the local market. So you get to the top faster. The key is to optimize your website.

Pick the right service in the right location. Don't target areas or niches that are too competitive, or it will take longer to get to the top of the SERPs. Instead, follow the rank and rent guidelines and complete your due diligence. Of course, you can always invest in paid ads for a quick win. But ads come with a price tag. Plus, you need the skills to create profitable campaigns. Even then, you can still lose money. 

3 Ways The Business Model Can Make You Money In 2024

1. Rent your sites for cash 

Rent your sites for a payment arrangement you decide on and make money every month on autopilot. Your site doesn't need to be at the top of Google to find a business owner. Once it's producing a steady stream of calls, it's time to rent it out. There are several ways to structure monthly payments:

  • Flat monthly fee
  • Pay-per-lead
  • Commission deal

Get a potential client to understand the strategy behind rank and rent. Then, highlight the benefits of the business model. For example, there are 13 spots on the front page of Google. Yet, according to Backlinko, only 0.78% of Google searchers click on the second page.

But if your rank and rent site has one spot and the business owner's company site is the second, then you dominate the local market. Use the leads-in-hand technique, giving a local business owner X amount of 'free' leads. Then they can see the value, so it's an easy sell. But be clear that the sites and the leads belong to you. If they leave you, the leads go to the competition.

2. Create an arbitrage business

Creating an arbitrage business is an option if you have a ranked website producing calls but can't find a reliable business owner to take your leads. Unfortunately, sometimes you can't rent a website even when it's at the top of the SERPs. It could be because there's not enough demand in the local market. Or there aren't any reliable companies to do the work.

So instead of losing money or wasting leads, start your own company. Hire a team and provide the service your site offers. You own the business but have minimal responsibilities around the day-to-day operations. Arbitrage is a way to capitalize on your investment. So you're still earning an income with your digital asset.

3. Leverage freelance platforms for some fast money

Leverage freelance platforms for some quick money. Consider that very few people have the SEO skill or ability to rank a website at the top of the SERPs. But if you need cash fast, go on sites like Upwork, PeoplePerHour, or Freelancer and sell your SEO knowledge. For example, find small business owners looking for website builds, SEO services, etc.

According to Fundera, 36% of small business owners don't have a website. In addition, data suggest that 94% of local websites aren't mobile-friendly. So there's a massive opportunity to make money with your rank and rent skills. You can also do SEO consultant services or run marketing campaigns for clients but sell them on the rank and rent model. Then they get twice the leads, and you get paid for SEO plus the rental fee for your online asset. 

How Fast Can You Make Money With Rank & Rent Lead Generation Websites?

You can make money with rank and rent lead generation websites in as little as six weeks. Because the focus is on the local market, it doesn't take as long to rank your site as it would at the national level. Unfortunately, with this business model, a lot of people still move way too slow. But the slower you go, the quicker you lose momentum.

To pay yourself in business, you need to produce results in the real world. So put out quality work but move faster. Stop overthinking and take massive imperfect action. You can build and rank multiple sites at a time. But each one can make you $500-$2000/month. The key is to leverage basic local SEO tactics. Adhere to the rank and rent guidelines around niche, location, and competition. Then you can scale fast, and you can earn passive income online. 

How Does Rank & Rent Compare To Other Business Models?

Rank & Rent vs. Dropshipping

Rank and rent get websites to the top of Google and produce leads you sell to small business owners for cash. But you own the website, tracking number, and leads. In contrast, dropshipping is about order fulfillment. You don't own the products you sell. Instead, when you get an order from the customer, your supplier handles all the heavy lifting, like shipping and delivery. 

Rank & Rent vs. Affiliate Marketing

Rank and rent drive organic traffic to its website because they sit at the top of the SERPs. They're in front of people actively looking for its service. But affiliate marketing relies on interruption marketing. So you need to use paid ads to get an online audience to click the link. You compete against established brands, but everyone is chasing the same market. So it takes being the best marketer. Or having a better ad and creating an offer people can't refuse to make money. 

The Rank & Rent Model vs. An SEO Agency

With the rank and rent model, the website belongs to you. So when your site is at the top of Google, it's prime digital real estate. If a client stops paying or no longer wants your leads, you can just find a new local contractor. With an SEO or digital marketing agency, you rank the client's site at the top of the SERPs. But once they're at the top, they may decide they don't need you anymore or no longer want to pay for your services. 

How To Find Clients For Your Rank & Rent Websites

Find clients for your rank and rent websites on the second page of Google. Or contact companies listed on Facebook Marketplace or that have a listing on Craigslist or eBay. But you can also look for potential clients on sites like HomeAdvisor or Angie's List. These are companies already paying for leads and understand the potential ROIs.

The difference between your site and a directory like HomeAdvisor is that your leads only go to one paying client. But unlike HomeAdvisor, which sells the same leads to multiple business owners. Your leads are exclusive to the company that rents your site. (This is a huge selling point for potential clients). Another option is to contact companies running paid ads on Google. They recognize the profits of online exposure and the value of the business model.

What Is A Digital Landlord?

Digital landlords act like a landlord in traditional real estate. But a digital landlord owns online real estate instead of physical property. For example, when you own a site at the top of Google search result, you own valuable online real estate because people want to go there. Then they access your services and are considered a lead. A digital landlord is a mediator between a potential customer and a local business owner.

But you don't need to invest $50K like physical real estate investing. Instead, your websites only cost around $500 to build and rank, and overhead expenses are minimal. ($25-$50/month). In addition, digital landlords aren't limited to making websites where they live. You can build sites in any city, any niche, anywhere in the world. For example, there are over 41,000 ZIP codes in the USA alone. But each one represents a local market you can capitalize on to make money.

How Does Local Lead Generation Compare To Rank & Rent?

Local lead generation is rank and rent, and it's one of the best ways to make money online in 2024. There are 5.16 billion people who use the internet. According to BrightEdge, 68% of online experiences begin with a search engine, and 53.3% of all web traffic comes from organic search. The focus of the local lead generation model is organic traffic. Get to the top of Google, and you're in front of a ton of eyeballs.

But you don't need to spend on paid ads. Instead, you drive free leads to your lead gen site and sell your leads to a local business owner for a profit. With the local lead gen business model, you own priceless digital real estate. Again, you don't need a ton of cash to start, and it's easy to scale. Build and rank websites anywhere in the world. There's no limit to how many you build or how much money you can make with each one. But this is how you harness time freedom and earn a passive income online in 2024.

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Ippei Kanehara

$52K per month providing lead generation services to small businesses

Ippei.com is for digital hustlers, industry leaders and online business owners.

His #1 online business recommendation in 2024, is to build your own lead generation business.

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  1. Hello Ippei,

    I appreciate your detailed and informative explanation of this page. However, I have a suggestion regarding a point you made: "Utilize tools like ahrefs and SEMRush to identify where your competitors are obtaining their backlinks. This way, you can employ a similar strategy to acquire similar links." Based on my experience and research on advice from other experts, I've found that obtaining backlinks often involves reaching out to the responsible parties at high-ranking domains and presenting the value you can offer in exchange for a backlink. Despite my efforts, I've encountered challenges in receiving responses from many high-ranking companies, making this process quite daunting.

    Considering this, I'm curious if you could share any alternative methods for acquiring backlinks from high-ranking domain owners. I'm eager to expand my knowledge and learn more about effective strategies in this regard.

    1. Hiya Mike! Thanks for taking the time to read my blog. Glad you liked the article. Happy to answer any questions you might have about the lead gen business model and how our coaching program helps our students get high quality links and rank their sites. You can book a call with this link: https://ippei.com/best/ and book a time to talk to one of our coaches. Thanks again for your support and best of luck in your journey.

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