Too many event professionals and rental companies are so tied down with the day-to-day operations of running an event rental business, that they don’t have the chance to learn how to improve their website’s SEO. This guide is created to help you understand what SEO is, why it matters, and what you can do to improve your rental company website ranking to bring in more event and rental clients and in return, more revenue!
“Search Engine Optimization”, or SEO, is the process of improving your event rental website’s presence and visibility to make it easy for search engines, such as Google, Yahoo, Bing, etc. to bring your site up in search result rankings when a potential client or searcher uses keywords to search for something. This is crucial in finding the right clients to visit your site, since search engines need to first- be able to find your website, second- easily identify what your website is about, and third- determine who to show it to. Building a strong website presence with clear content and navigation will help search engines index and rank your website easily. “Index” is the process of the search engine storing and organizing the content it found when it was scouring the internet. Once a website page is indexed, it’s then in the list of relevant sources to display for the searcher. “Rank” is the order of most relevant to least relevant content that a search engine will display for the searcher. For websites to rank well, you’ll have to create relevant content that people are searching for.
Keywords are the words and phrases that indicate what your content is about. It’s what searchers enter into the search engines, otherwise known as “search queries”. As a business owner with a website, it’s crucial for the words on your page to be relevant to what people are searching for, so there’s a better chance of your web pages being ranked above others in search engine results pages (SERPs).
How do you find your relevant keywords?
The first step is to just use common sense! If you own an event rental company in Los Angeles, California, your target customers are likely searching for keywords or phrases such as:
- Event rentals in Los Angeles
- Party rentals in LA
- Los Angeles event rental companies
There are a host of possible combinations that potential clients can be searching for. Be sure to think this through and write them all down!
In our example, we’ll use Google since it’s the top search engine with an excellent algorithm for showing relevant results. Google’s Keyword Planner is a free tool that will help you gain insights into keywords. If you do not have a Google Ads account to access the Keyword Planner, you can create one here for free: https://ads.google.com/. It will display the average number of monthly searches for the specified keyword, along with the competition you have for those keywords. Using the words and phrases we came up with before, we’ll plug those in to see what the numbers look like. The goal is to target relevant keywords with a large number of searches in a month, and a low competition score.
Using our keyword phrase, “Event rentals in Los Angeles”, we can see the data for the keyword, average searches, and competition, below:
If a keyword has a lower competition score, there is a better chance to rank for it first. It is a good strategy to go after low competition keywords with less volume and rank for those first so that it’s easier to rank for more competitive keywords since your website would have already built up a foundation of low competition keywords you’re already ranking for.
Once you’ve conducted your keyword research and chosen which keywords have a good chance of bringing traffic to your site, you’ll then need to start using them across your event rental website. We’ll break down the various locations you can use your keywords and phrases.
URLs: The URL of every page on your website should clearly specify what that webpage is about. If it doesn’t tell searchers or search engines what the content is about, it could hurt your chances of ranking high in search engine results. Sometimes, your website URLs will be automatically generated, which will look similar to this:
Does that give you an idea of what that page is about? No? Guess what, the search engine won’t have a clue either! However, we can make the URL SEO-friendly by rewriting it to specify what the page is about. This is usually a setting that can be changed on most website frameworks, such as WordPress. Let’s say the webpage is a listing for gold chiavari chair rentals. A good example would look like this:
This URL clearly implies that we can expect to see a product listing of gold chiavari chairs for rent. The rule of thumb when it comes to creating URLs is this: If a human can understand what the webpage is about, chances are that search engines will understand as well.
Title tag: The title tag is what search engines display as the headline when your webpage shows up on search results pages. Additionally, it’s the first determining factor when a searcher is trying to understand if that webpage has the content or information they’re looking for. Be sure to keep your title tag under 60 characters since that’s about the maximum that Google will display in the search results. Depending on how what your website is built on, whether it’s through WIX, WordPress, Square Space, etc., you should have an option to specify what content goes into the title tag of each page. Often times, you might need to install additional plugins to be able to edit the title tag, such as Yoast SEO or RankMath, which are tools for websites built on WordPress.
Meta descriptions: The meta description is a few short sentences about what your web page is all about. Search engines will typically display the meta description right under the title tag in the SERPs. A good meta description won’t necessarily increase your SEO ranking. However, it will drive people to click on the webpage if the description is interesting enough. Similar to the title tag, it’s the first thing the searcher will read on the search results page to determine if they want to click to find out more- so it has a significant impact on your SEO. Google will only display the first 160 characters of the meta description so be sure to keep it under that amount. Just like the title tag, you should be able to edit meta description content from the backend of your website.
Image titles with alt-tags and captions: While search engines can easily read the text on your webpages, they can’t do the same with images. They simply have no method to “see” what the image is about, so they rely on other methods that are coded into the website and can help them categorize the image. One of these is the alt-text. This is the text that a browser would show in case the image can’t be loaded or is missing. When uploading an image, be sure that the image’s filename accurately depicts what the image is. Both the image title and alt-tags should literally describe your image. If you have a beautiful image on your homepage of an event you recently coordinated with your event rental inventory, an example of alt-text would be “Backyard wedding with black farm tables and chairs”. Every inventory item listed in your online catalog should include the product name and variant, which may be the color, size, or size of the product. Additionally, visually impaired or blind people rely on the alt-text on your site to get an idea of what your images depict. In addition to the “hidden” keywords in your image title or alt-tags, Google typically likes to consider the text that’s around the image to better understand what the image is about. This is where captions come into play! Adding a caption under your image can help Google index relevant keywords and content.
Content: One of the most important factors of SEO, if not the MOST important, is clear content that compels the searcher to read more or share it with others via email or social media, leading to more website visitors. Search engines and searchers love good content! Whether you’re publishing blog posts about the various events you’ve been a part of, tutorials and how-to guides, or event rental industry articles, make sure the content is unique and more importantly, useful.
Each page on your website needs to have unique and high-quality content, meaning it wasn’t plagiarized or copied from another website. Google heavily penalizes pages that have the same content as another page, and it can also tell which one was published or indexed first.
Useful and informational content that answers your searchers’ questions or helps them solve a problem will stand out to them as being genuinely helpful.
Another important factor of great content is the depth of the details it contains. The deeper you dive into the topic you’re writing about, the higher the chances that it will rank higher in the search engines. Recent research shows that most of the content that ranks on the first page of Google has an average word count of more than 1,800. It’s also important to keep your content updated. Usually, a page with new content or a new article gets more web traffic right after it’s published. However, older articles lose their traffic after a certain amount of time, thereby causing a drop in rankings. loses it after a certain time. This is why you should use tools such as Google Analytics to monitor the performance of each page or post on your website and make updates when you see certain content losing traffic. In this case, it would be great to revisit some of the articles written a long time ago that originally had high traffic and improve upon them.
Backlinks: If there is anything more important than the content of your website, it’s backlinks! Backlinks are links where other websites link back to yours. Google places importance on them since it considers them to be a vote of trust, relevance, and confidence from another site to yours. If many other websites are linking back to your website, search engines will interpret this as interested traffic and will deem your site as being worthy of being ranked higher in their SERPs.
So how do you get backlinks? Earning backlinks or link building may seem like a difficult and time-consuming process, but it’s definitely worth spending the time and effort on it. The idea is to make other relevant websites link to one of your web pages. While there are several ways to approach this, the most common would be to find websites that are relevant to your industry or topic and reach out to ask for a backlink. This could be in the form of a guest post where you would provide unique content to an event planner that has a blog, for example, who will in turn post the article on their website with a backlink to yours. As much as it is beneficial to earn backlinks, it could also hurt your website ranking at the same time. It is crucial to be selective of the other websites you choose to receive backlinks from. For example, if you have backlinks from authoritative, well-known websites that have higher rankings such as Facebook, it will boost your ranking. However, if you have backlinks from brand new, low-ranking, or spammy websites, it will hurt more than it’ll help. Be sure to conduct a bit of research before agreeing to any backlinks being posted on other websites. There are also tools for you to analyze backlinks other websites have. For example, tools like Moz’s Link Explorer can help you understand where your competitors are getting their backlinks from, which will give you a better understanding of their SEO strategy.
Website speed: Both search engines and people prefer fast-loading websites. According to studies, 47% of people expect a web page to load in two seconds or less. An additional 40% will abandon a web page if it takes more than three seconds to load. In another survey with 60,000 consumers across 80 different websites, 8% of the consumers cited slow loading pages as a key reason for abandoning their purchase on a website. That may not seem like a significant amount, but slow loading websites cost retailers $1.73 billion in lost sales each year. Slow speed not only impacts a potential client’s experience negatively, but Google will also penalize your site in the search results.
Not sure how to find your website’s loading speed? Use Google’s PageSpeed Insights for a free analysis of your web score and suggestions that will help your page load faster. Here’s a screenshot of Rentopian’s website score:
Using the tool, you may also toggle between your desktop score and mobile score, which brings us to our next SEO strategy- making sure your website is mobile-friendly.
Mobile-friendly: According to Google, 94% of people in the U.S. search for local information on their smartphones. Also, 77% of mobile searches occur at home or in the workplace, where there is typically access to a desktop but people prefer to use their phones instead. It’s obvious that people use their mobile devices more than ever before, but most websites are even slower-loading than desktop websites, causing companies to lose out on a significant amount of revenue. In an ever-increasing amount of mobile device searches, Google is prioritizing mobile-friendly websites, which means that it will rank a mobile-friendly site higher than ones that aren’t because it’s easier for the searcher to use and access. In addition to Google’s PageSpeed Insights tool we referred to above, you may also use Google’s Mobile-Friendly Test tool. Here’s what you want to see:
The easiest way to ensure your website is mobile-friendly is to use a responsive theme or template for your site. This will ensure that the website and theme adapts the layout according to the type of device your website visitor is using, whether it’s a smartphone, desktop, or tablet.
Implementing a great SEO strategy can be time-consuming, competitive, and sometimes frustrating. However, it is absolutely essential and the most effective method to drive clients to your website and increase your profits. Remember to be consistent and patient since it will take a bit of time and effort to increase your rankings.
To recap, here’s how you can improve your SEO significantly:
- Discover your relevant keywords and constantly monitor the monthly searches and competition.
- Useful and unique content is key! Use the keywords across your website.
- Build trustworthy backlinks from relevant and high-quality websites.
- Optimize the speed and accessibility of your website pages– both desktop and mobile, to appeal to both searchers and search engines.
- Track and monitor your SEO strategy– making sure to update it as things change.
Over time, your website will gain authority with search engines and you’ll be able to rank much higher, more easily. Additionally, having an event rental management software in place to automate and streamline your rental operations will free up a significant amount of time so you can focus on growing your business and stop sweating the small stuff. If you have any questions about anything we’ve covered in our complete SEO guide or about Rentopian event rental management software, please reach out to us at [email protected]