Today I show you how to rank and rent
Or rank and sell, whatever you want to do.
The point is, today you learn how to go out and rank a local business and then monetize it.
Great, let’s get started.
For those of you who don’t know who I am or you do and just think I’m full of it, here are a few achievements of mine:
- Currently, the highest rated SEO consultant on Google.
- Ranking on the first page of Google for “White Hat SEO” without link building.
- Arguably one of the youngest SEO’s who’s bringing in over $200k a year.
- I’ve sold local businesses before like this iPhone Repair shop with the methods I’m about to show you.
- Blah Blah Blah… ok, you get the point.
If you want the slideshow presentation and notifications of when I will be presenting on this post as well, please leave your email below:
Anywho, let’s start with why the hell you’d want to rank and rent in the first place…
Rank and rent is basically free income once you can get a business to rank on Google.
The hardest part I’ve found is pricing out your leads or selling the ranked business to a prospective client.
Step 1: Selecting a Niche
I’m going to talk about the tech niche because I’ve been able to rank several of my own websites in it but you can go with whatever you’d like.
More specifically iPhone Repair because as mentioned earlier I was able to sell the business after it ranked.
2. Choosing a Domain
When choosing a domain I would go exact match (keywords match your domain name) but you can still rank well if you don’t use an EMD.
I mainly use EMD’s for branding which makes keyword targeting easier.
Note: If you already have a website that isn’t an exact match domain, don’t worry, you will just want to brand your site as your target keyword.
Here’s an example of branding a site without an EMD:
The picture below shows a local SEO company I ranked.
Notice how the title seems as though the company is named SEO + City and after is the name of the site.
Yes, I know it’s not ranking in maps, I haven’t touched this listing since I initially did for my local SEO course but it was ranking #1.
Should I remind you, that you came to me for advice?
As far as hosting goes, I always recommend Siteground.
The only big difference between the two is the limited capability with Schema on Squarespace.
If you’re going to use something like Wix please follow the following instructions carefully:
- Sign up for Wix
- Take your computer and entire future and place it directly into the garbage.
Now that you have your domain, hosting, and CMS, it’s time to get your content going.
4. Keyword Research and Keyword Mapping
For keyword research, my go-to method is to steal my competitors’ keywords through Ahrefs’s or Semrush.
Or, I just use Google Keyword Planner and look at what people are searching for, easy enough right?
Yes, I use Google Keyword Planner.
I’m one of the few people left on earth who doesn’t hate it apparently.
Look, whatever, you can leave if you want but if you do you’ll never know how to rank your site so shut it.
So here’s what you’re going to do with your keywords:
In excel, pair 1 keyword with 1 URL with the following local based URL example list:
Note: On location pages, do not go for non-populated areas or for the same area you’re trying to rank your home page for.
Double note: Some pages like about, contact, etc. may not have search rates, that does not mean not to optimize them.
You should now have something like this:
Make sure everything is in red highlights until you’ve optimized it properly (I will talk about what I mean by “optimized” in a second).
If you don’t feel like making this keyword or benchmark map, you can get the template that I’ve already made here: SEO Audit Checklist Template.
Now what you need to do is to start grabbing averages for your different keywords.
Here you have a few options:
use my SEO software that does it for you.
The point is that you want to map out how much content you will need for each page in terms of word count, image count, video count, high-frequency words, etc.
If you do opt to use my software you’re going to need to pull the averages from the excel spreadsheet you’ll get after you run a scan and plug in the averages next to your URL’s.
If you have no idea what you’re looking at, bear with me for a second.
What we’re trying to do here is set up a map for our content and optimizations so we can keep track of what we’re optimizing and why.
So what we do is we take our URL, keyword, search rate, current word count, average word count, current image count, average image count, etc. and we put them side by side in columns.
Again if you don’t have the software you can just eyeball or guess how many words, images, etc. you will need for each of your pages but I really recommend you map it out regardless.
This allows us to do the following:
- Know what we need to add to each of our pages for a given keyword.
- Benchmark our data (SUPER IMPORTANT).
Benchmarking your data gives you the ability to see whether or not the things you’re doing is either helping or hurting your SEO.
As you begin to add content to your different pages, you will highlight the different portions of that were in red (deficits) to greens.
Note: as you add content to your pages you’re going to want to internally link to your most important pages with the anchor text that you’re trying to rank them for.
Try not to over optimize your links (2-5 internal links per page) or words (mention your main keyword 2-3 times at most).
Now you’re going to let your work marinate a little bit while you do a few other things.
5. Using GSC (Google Search Console)
Don’t forget to submit your sitemap after you install the SEO Yoast plugin if using WordPress.
6. Setup Your GMB (Google My Business)
If you don’t have a location and you’re trying to rank in an area that you’re not in, you’re going to want to make a post on Craigslist or Facebook looking for a worker in that area.
If you are trying to rank in your area and don’t have an office, you will want to verify your home address as a service area.
Here’s how you do both of these things mentioned.
Note: Do not get a virtual office or PO Box, don’t ask me why, just don’t do it, i’s a terrible idea and you’ll probably get your listing removed.
How to hire someone in a different area to get your business verified
- Put an ad up on Craigslist or Facebook and say that you’re hiring a “niche” expert in “ target location”.
- Once you get replies, tell your “niche” expert that you need a week for onboarding to get them set up with the leads, blah blah.
- Also, tell them you need to send them a Google postcard to get their area verified and you won’t show their home address.
- I would recommend setting up some PPC ads on Google to start sending them a few leads so they don’t get suspicious while you wait for your SEO to kick in.
If you are going to be using this method, make sure customers book their appointments through the website so you don’t have to worry about the worker stealing from you.
Method 2: Verify your own area as a service area
Go to Google My Business and click on the create new listing button.
The downfall of having service areas is that it is harder to rank because you can’t really build citations unless you don’t care about people showing up at your house.
A citation is your NAP (name, address, or phone number) mentioned across (hopefully relevant) indexing or non-indexing type websites.
Note: you can use Whitespark to check your citations.
What I generally recommend is to get the lesser known citations built to your home address (since no one is going to visit your house off of something like Hotfrog) and get the well-known ones like Facebook pages listed as a service area.
For building citations my go-to place is citationbuilderpro.com
In conjunction with citations, you will also need to optimize your GMB.
Make sure you get images of the following:
- 3x of inside location
- 3x of outside location
- 3x of workers
- 3x of services or workers working
You can, of course, add more which I recommend but getting the minimum is a must.
If you need someone in another location to send you the images but they won’t for some reason, just go on Google maps and take screenshots from the street view setting.
Before you upload your images make sure the image file names match what the images are of.
In terms of GEO Tagging, I wouldn’t worry about that sort of hocus-pocus.
Next, you need to choose the correct category for your GMB.
For this, you will type search Google for your main target keyphrase and see what categories your competitors have listed.
After you figure out what the most common category is you will use that as your main category.
Note: Don’t be afraid to add multiple categories, it could help.
7. Review Generation
You have a few options here.
- Black Hat review generation
- Grey Hat review generation
- White Hat review generation
For Black Hat, you can start messaging your friends on Facebook and ask them to leave you a review for your new business.
Something like, “Hey, “name” I’m starting a new business and you would be doing me a HUGE favor if you left me a quick review. Here’s the link: [insert Google maps link to your business]
Make sure you don’t get more than 5 reviews a day.
For Grey Hat, you can begin building content on your blog, YouTube channel, wherever you can generate a following, and then ask your followers to leave your business a review on what you teach.
For White Hat you can simply ask your customers for reviews (make sure they aren’t from the same IP address) and expedite the process by getting more clients through Google Adwords with location extensions turned on.
In any event, make sure you respond to your reviews, you apparently don’t get a true ranking boost until you do.
8. Building Content and Authority
This step is arguably one of the most important steps next to keyword mapping for the reason that we aren’t going to be doing link building in this guide.
…yes I waited till now to tell you there won’t be any link building
If I told you, in the beginning, you would have left ok?
But guess what?
All of the businesses that I have ranked, sold, etc.
NO LINK BUILDING
So technically the jokes on you.
I did lie a little.
The link building I do actually do is internal link building.
Which is why building authority through content is important because you can still pass valuable authority to the pages you want to rank with internal links.
In terms of the type of content you should create, I’d recommend something related to your overarching niche.
For instance, if you’re in the tech niche you’d create an article about computer repair and make it list based.
You could do something like: The Top 20 Ways To Remove a Virus in 2018.
If the post doesn’t rank the first time, well, relaunch your content with more tips, or more specific long tail keyword targeting based on what you’re showing up for in Search Console.
Here’s an example of the technique in action.
A few years back I had a client who owned a fishing lodge in Alaska.
He wanted to rank locally but didn’t have much authority so I created a post around the top fishing tips for beginners and using Brian Dean’s Skyscraper approach, I just double the highest average list count (was top 15 tips, we did top 38 tips).
9. Phasing Into Month Two
At this point, if you did everything correctly, you should probably be 2-4 weeks down the line from the initial start date of creating the website.
This is where we add to the existing keyword map but this time with analytics benchmark data.
In terms of your keyword map spreadsheet you will want to add new columns such as these:
Once you do, you will want to open Google Search console and Google Analytics and start pulling data based on a 28 day period
Again, if you don’t want to format all of this yourself, you can get the roadmap template here:
For GSC (Google Search Console) you will make sure to enable clicks, impressions, CTR’s, and average positions.
Then you select the page you’re benchmarking.
Then you filter by query’s and select the keyword you want to benchmark.
Now you plug in your benchmarks into your keyword map.
In terms of Google Analytics, you’re really doing the same thing except with bounce rates, conversions rates, dwell time, etc.
To filter data in Analytics just go to behavior > site content > select landing pages.
Make sure you’re also filtering by Organic Traffic.
Note: If you don’t have conversion tracking enabled you to need to have this done for conversion rate optimization later on.
This is especially true if you’re going to be renting out your leads or trying to sell the website as you need the data to sell.
Follow this video tutorial to set it up online and offline conversion tracking:
Now you need to setup conditional formatting in your spreadsheet to follow certain averages so you know what to optimize.
Here’s what I currently have setup for averages:
- CTR [click through rate] under 3% = red
- BR [bounce rate] over 70% = red
- ASD [average session duration] under 3 minutes = red
- CCR [current conversion rate] under 3% = red
- CASD [current average session duration] under 2 = red
- CPPS [current pages per sessions] under 2 = red
- CPS [current page speed] over 2 = red
Once you’re done benchmarking your different URL’s you’re going to follow the 10 video tutorials listed here to optimize each section:
You will repeat this benchmarking process monthly until you’ve completely optimized your site averages according to your data and the best practices I linked in the “watch now” button above.
10. Selling or Renting Your Ranked Business
If you’re going to sell it your business outright like I did, I suggest you contact business owners in your niche + area and tell them that you would be willing to sell your business and all the leads with it for “x” amount, ideally the price is up to and depends on how competitive, your niche + area is.
For renting your leads out, you’re going to sell leads to either a target business or freelance worker based on either conversion data tracked through your Analytics or have potential clients buy services through your website and you pay the business or worker a percentage of what your sale is.
I’ve found that fair percentage for this sort of thing usually is about 30%.
That’s pretty much it.
If I left anything out or you’d like me to cover anything else in more detail, let me know.
Until next time,