“Get out of my dreams, get in to my car”
Billy Ocean was never in charge of running a car rental service (we think) but he did have one hell of a tagline if he ever needed to.
Looking after and maintaining an active profile for a car rental company can be a daunting task, especially if you’re working on an international scale. It’s something our director Colin has done successfully in the past. He’s worked for a number of different car and travel booking companies where he has done everything from attain 4,000 first page car hire rankings in 18 months to looking after a site that controlled car rental bookings in 135 locations across 15 countries. Talk about an airport with him and he’ll probably be able to tell you the best deal on a hire car there.
Looking afters thousands of cars in hundreds of locations seems like a lot to juggle, right? Well it doesn’t need to be if you have a solid plan mapped out for your digital marketing campaign. Colin knows exactly how to create and handle one. That’s why I asked him for some of the best tips a car company of any size could use to market their brand online, increase traffic to their site and make sure more customers are making bookings. Here are some choice nuggets he has to share:
It doesn’t have to be a Top Gear style over the top video, but spending a little bit of time to create your own videos relevant to locations is ideal. One big problem car hire sites have is attracting visits to the site when everything revolves around one simple booking engine on the homepage. Having unique landing pages with UNIQUE content and optimised videos will boost a site’s profile. It could be a video that is simply a few photos of a location, it could be a quick guide of where to pick up a hire car from Google Maps screen grabs. As long as the video serves a purpose and links to the relevant page, it will be useful.
How do you make the world of car hire exciting? By telling people everything you can do when you get a hire car. Having an onsite blog with tailor made content will help a site rank for a wider range of terms. It could be a guide to driving around Wine Country in California. It could be an itinerary for locations to visit when driving along the Spanish coast. People like to know what they can do when they have a car handy on holidays and providing them with a few unique ideas can help your site stand out.
Google Plus & Then Some
Often overlooked as the social network of choice, Google Plus is a great platform for service sites. Why? Because it has a higher level of integration with SERPs. That video you created on YouTube. The blog you wrote. Post it all on your site’s Plus page and it can help with your rankings for niche keywords. Tweeting landing pages also works to help a page get indexed. And if you run a small car hire company which doesn’t have fully kitted out Facebook and Twitter accounts, now is the time to get it done. Social accounts are a must for service based companies.
Join A Group
What better way of getting to know what direction car rental is heading in than seeing what others in the industry have to say about it? I have a group simply called Car Rental Marketing on LinkedIn with over 1200 members, all of whom work within the industry. It helps to keep abreast of how search engines can affect how car rental sites perform and what changes can be made to improve a site.
These are a just of the ways you can improve how a car rental site performs online, but they should work to help a site in almost any industry perform better.