Do you receive unsolicited email promising to “optimize” and increase traffic to your party rental or equipment rental website through Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and Search Engine Marketing (SEM) services? Be leery of unsolicited offers and follow these tips as you review your rental store’s SEO needs:
- Thoroughly examine these SEO companies’ offers before you commit and be wary of long-term contracts as well as unrealistic promises.
- Always ask for a written proposal from the SEO company clearly explaining what they offer including expected results.
- Ask to have in writing the number of keyword phrases the SEO company will optimize on your equipment rental website before you sign any contract. If they cannot meet your needs and put it into writing, then you’re wasting money!
- Ask for references showing before & after results that apply to your rental business. Make sure these results are not just for one or two keyword phrases but dozens.
- Ignore alleged SEO companies using free public email accounts such as yahoo.com or gmail.com.
- Beware of an overly aggressive SEO campaign management since Google may “downgrade” your ranking and push you to the bottom.
- Question reports promising results only for very few keywords. These may be based on data/information which may or may not accurately reflect your business.
If your rental store’s website is not performing well with search engines or you’re thinking about creating your first website, consider Point-of-Rental Systems’ web hosting service. Many of our customers don’t realize that we already include many SEO features. With over 100 websites currently hosted, we offer a number of templates to choose from, including customized layouts, as well as many advanced features such as SEO to quickly attract new customers. Occasionally, however, if a store is battling tough competition, a harder-hitting SEO campaign may be beneficial. If so, plan to spend a minimum of 3-6 months and a considerable amount of your advertising budget with a reputable SEO company in order to see better results.
Search Engine Marketing (SEM), on the other hand, is accomplished primarily through paid online ad campaigns (such as Google Adwords) or other types of contextual advertising (e.g. Facebook, Online Yellow Pages, etc.). Google Adwords is one of the easiest ways to market to online customers. Depending on the number of competitors in your area, you should expect to spend a minimum of $500/month to advertise several dozens of keyword phrases relevant to your rental categories. Note that Google Adwords is a lot cheaper and more effective than Yellow Pages. Many Yellow Pages and SEO/SEM companies bundle online advertising with their “packages” but you can create your own Google Adwords over a weekend and save a few hundred dollars every month bypassing these companies.
If you’re a Point-of-Rental user and would like to learn more about our integrated webhosting features for your equipment rental or party rental store, please visit pointofrental.com/ecommerce.