How to Move Up on Google: From Page 99 to 1

Having an online presence is essential for an independent car rental company, but this means more than just having a website and a Facebook account — you have to engage your customers and understand your targeted market.

Search engine optimization (SEO): What is it and how can it result in more phone calls or online reservations for your independent auto rental business?

Keywords on your website — among a long list of 200 or so other factors — determine what page you land on in Google, Bing and Yahoo. And to make it more complicated, the way these search engines determine what is most relevant to any given search constantly evolves. Web experts even have a hard time following all this noise.

There are general principles, though, that small operators like you can keep in mind that will drive your websites higher in relevant online searches — ultimately improving your bottom line. One of the most important points lies in your website’s keywords, or words on your site that a person might search for, such as “Los Angeles car rental.”

“Who cares if you have a great website  — or a poor one — if no one can find you?” asks Roger Laurendeau, owner of The Web Guys, a web design and search marketing service company that has helped numerous small auto rental companies optimize their websites.

Greenberg Rent A Car, owned by Matt Holowinski in Chicago, is one of them. Holowinski says that previously his online marketing focused on being an affiliate in order to get listed on Orbitz and Expedia, “but the charge is so high that I couldn’t compete with the major car rental companies, so automatically I was not able to gain any reservations.”

The intricacies of online marketing and using search engine traffic to gain leads and reservations is why many companies opt-in to web service companies like The Web Guys. “I needed help getting to the front page of Google and Yahoo — I couldn’t get there,” says Kelly Spirra, owner of New Jersey-based Value Auto Rental. “I had competition in the area that was dominating the first page of Google organically and I didn’t know where to begin or how to improve our site to get it to the first page.”

Ranking on page one takes a much larger effort than just making sure you’re using the right keywords. “Some of it is local SEO, and some of it is directories and Google Places optimization. There are just so many things,” Laurendeau says. “That’s why we wrap up everything we do and call it ‘Internet marketing.’” Other efforts include using social media, email marketing and interactive customer service to manage a company’s online reputation.

But before any of this can happen, one of the first tasks The Web Guys embark on is identifying the client’s target market.

Using a Target Market to Boost Your Page Rank
What’s your specialty: van rental, luxury rentals, economy car rental? As small operators, owners might want to hone in on what makes them unique to the bigger brands in their area.

“Everyone we’ve encountered wants to be first for car rental,” Laurendeau says, adding that “car rental” and “car rentals” are the top searched terms for the industry. But this means that every car rental operator in the area is competing to land on page one of a Google search for those keywords.

“In term of volumes in search, without question ‘car rental’ is king of the castle, but there are many other search terms — 92 exactly as far as we can tell — that drive quality search traffic,” he says. “So we go through all those words and tell the customer, ‘hey there are some wins to be had here without being first for ‘car rental.’”

CONTINUED:  How to Move Up on Google: From Page 99 to 1
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  1. Barry Mandel SEO [ January 4, 2012 @ 05:28PM ]

    I own a SEO company located in Baltimore Maryland Most website are built without any thought as to how anyone is going to see it. Unless your one of the big Rental Company's and have a large off-line budget to drive people to the Website, SEO is your best chance to get on the first page of Google. Over 80% of those who use Google never go beyond the first page to find what they are looking for. So if you not on the first page as far as your potential customer are concerned you don't exist! SEO is you best chance to get on the first page. Another way is to Make sure you claim your Google Places listing it free. Also sign up for Yahoo and Bing Local both are free.

  2. Natalie Carey [ May 9, 2012 @ 01:33PM ]

    Hi Barry,

    I have been using SEO for years now and am STILL on page 3. Without using Google ADwords, we find there is no chance of getting on page 1. Is there a secret that we don't know about it?? My husband thinks SEO is a big con.


  3. Tammy [ June 8, 2012 @ 07:57AM ]

    Agreed. SEO is a joke. I do screenplay proofreading. I've had my site for a couple years & I even have the domain "" pointing to it, yet if you type "screenplay proofreading" into google's search, my site never shows up until about page 5. Now, it's showing up (FINALLY) after spending $100 on USELESS Adwords.

    I follow all the google crap about meta tags & keywords & even spoke with google reps, but still I'm ranked 9th below site that only do proofreading as a side gig to other services. SO ANNOYING & killing my business.

  4. bashir [ October 19, 2013 @ 10:27PM ]

    I am running business of pune mumbai car name and, I have apid for seo but i cant find them on google, and were doing good business in adwords but cost is to high. please suggest

  5. rahul [ May 24, 2014 @ 09:14AM ]

    i want to do seo for

  6. Electric guy [ May 30, 2014 @ 10:20PM ]

    Hi my husband is paying out thr you know what yet he is on the first page but we are paying for it

  7. Diana Gascon [ July 22, 2014 @ 08:12PM ]

    The secret guys is GREAT Content. CONTENT is king. Mother Google loves it. the same as SEO. I got several sites on the first page of Google (in English and Spanish). NO Adwords. I don't outsource. I've been doing this for only 18 months.

  8. Janene [ September 2, 2014 @ 06:08AM ]

    Hi Diana

    How didyou get your websites to being on the first page of google?

  9. Michelle [ September 28, 2014 @ 02:12PM ]

    have been working as a copywriter from ages until I launched a company for academic paper writing. The only problem though is that has not been doing so great in search engine. Despite a few challenges we've had a stream of clients who check in for our essay writing services. How then do we become an authority in terms SERP

  10. John King [ November 10, 2014 @ 11:31PM ]

    why is it that many seo companies themselves do not rank on the first page of google and yet they offer a service to do the same for other people. why is it that many web designers do not have a website.

  11. Outsource Virtual Adminis [ December 28, 2014 @ 09:59PM ]

    Good operations.

  12. John [ March 16, 2015 @ 05:05AM ]

    I had my website rank on google´s first page in 2012 but that gratually went down in matter of months. They keep changing and we have to stay on top of those changes constantly.

  13. Khánh [ July 21, 2016 @ 08:43AM ]

    Hi guy!
    I am working as a senior executive running FB and GG ads for SMEs company in Vietnam which is an advertising company.
    - Our job is running ads CPI, CPC, KPI ... via FB and GG.
    - We also lease GG and FB account. Our customers can spend a lot of money and not worry about being locked.
    - We have been running ads for a number of national and international companies.
    - After providing advertising accounts for a lot of customers, we do have a lot of experience in running the ads. We can assist you with the experience we had and we hope to share and learn more from you guys.
    skype: khanhvu8813

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