Improving your car rental website search engine optimization (SEO) and online reservations requires a partnership between your information technology, marketing, and business departments. Ideally, these partnerships require consistent scheduled collaboration and communication. All three departments should have access to the website traffic data (also referred to as Analytics). These three teams should establish a recurring monthly meeting to facilitate communication and unity of objectives. Below are some rental car-specific suggestions and best practices broken out by the suggested departments. Please read Tips for Business Owners to Improve their Search Engine Rankings for some general best practices.
How the business department can help improve your rental car website SEO
- Help improve the content on the website
- A good write-up for the about us page so customers can relate to the business
- Ensure contact information is prominently located on the homepage and landing pages of the website
- This should be a collaboration of the business department as well as the marketing department in order to assess the goals and milestones you wish to accomplish.
- Help improve the content for each location
- For airport locations be sure to include the official airport name, any alternate names, nicknames, and three letter airport code.
- Help sell the location as a fun destination using a small paragraph that can include typical destinations, attractions, and fun activities nearby.
- Provide a list of annual events in the area that people are typically traveling into from out of town to improve relatability and searchability
- For airport locations be sure to provide clear directions that passengers can follow when they arrive to get to your facility and ultimately their rental car.
- For non-airport locations provide any landmarks nearby or quick driving directions.
- Check to ensure that your location appears properly on the main online map providers. If not, work with the map provider to fix these placements or ensure the address placed online is the same address they expect and use to position the location on their map.
- Providing a phone number, address, and optionally email makes it clear that there's a benefit to having a phone number and email readily accessible (header, footer) as well as a dedicated contact us page. Note if an email is provided ensure that the business is monitoring the email.
Also, note that we suggest having contact info in an easy-to-spot place, usually, this is either the header or footer of the website. In this way, someone can quickly find high-level contact information. Then you can add more detailed location-specific information on dedicated pages for that location.
- Ensure your operating hours are easy to find. If you are closed or have adjusted hours on holidays it is helpful to explicitly state that as most travel is around or on holidays.
- Clearly state if you support after-hours drop-off and or pickup as well as the process to follow when dropping off or picking up a rental vehicle after hours.
- Improve the customers’ overall experience by answering any frequently asked questions.
- Search for competitors, are they doing anything you are not? Use this as inspiration for how to improve your site
- Constantly seek feedback from customers and ensure that this feedback gets communicated across departments. This is a team effort that requires all three teams to collaborate.
How the marketing department can help improve your rental car website SEO
- Determine the budget and assess the best way to allocate those funds correctly in Google Ads.
- Online Pay Per Click (PPC). An example of this is Google Adwords.
- Collaborate with the business to gain insight into new keywords, competitor names, and other ideas for PPC.
- Ensure the business is registered with the main map providers and categorized as a rental car company with the proper contact information.
How the technology department can help improve your rental car website SEO
- Look at the drop-off rates, if the drop-off rate is really high check to ensure the site speed and experience is clear for customers on those pages.
- Look at the audiences, and typical devices (Mobile versus Desktop) Ensure the site is set up to be responsive and focused toward the main devices used by clients.
- Ensure the website loads quickly (https://developers.google.com/speed)
- Recommend reviewing Google SEO Starter Guide (https://support.google.com/webmasters/answer/7451184?hl=en)
- Ensure the phone numbers are clickable to call on the website
- Ensure the addresses are clickable to driving directions
- Ensure any email addresses are clickable directly to the email
- Work with the business department to ensure there is an easy process for them to provide updates to the content of the website
- Scan the site for broken links and images (hint there are tools online that perform this task for free).
- Ensure you have your sitemap registered with the main search engines