With local SEO, you’ve either got client work, rank, and rent, or lead generation. The simplest of those, by far, is the rank and rent model.

But is it necessarily the best?

In this guide, we’re diving into the business of ranking and renting local business websites, the way to roll in the hay, and whether it’s the proper business model for you.

What are Rank and Rent?

Rank and Rent may be a business model involving ranking local business websites high in search engines, then renting the website(s), and thus traffic, to a business that might enjoy this traffic and leads.

It’s almost like land therein you discover something useful i.e. a store with tons of individuals passing by, or in this case, an internet site with tons of potential customers visiting it. Then you rent that property and rent a business that will enjoy this.

This works especially well for SEOs, as there are few ongoing costs once the website is ranked.

If you’re ready to rank an internet site #1 in Google for “porta-potty in [City Name]” and this website receives 300 visitors a month, you’re not paying per visitor like with PPC (Pay-Per-Click). It’s free traffic, besides the initial setup costs.

That means once you rent it, a business, for say, $900 per month. This is often the most profitable, besides fixed costs.

When you do that across several websites, this becomes a business.

What sorts of businesses rent websites?

Now you’ll be thinking, what sort of business will rent a website?

Well, the solution is sort of surprising.

The more important question is which businesses will enjoy program rankings? And which sorts of businesses are the simplest to rank?

Let’s give an example:

There’s an area shop in your town that sells bespoke handbags. what percentage of people does one believe are searching Google for bespoke handbags in your local area every month? Probably a little number, right?

So for businesses where few people are searching, there’s little profitability with rank and rent.

This also applies when there are low-profit margins per client.

Maybe people do look for phone covers or local car washing companies, but the profit per customer is so low, these companies would want a big amount of latest customers to justify the investment.

Therefore, we’re trying to find businesses with the subsequent requirements:

People are checking out their products/services locally

They sell a reasonably profitable service ($500+ purchase price)

And ideally, it’s easy for us to rank these websites (less work)

Now within these requirements, we have an endless list of industries to figure in from land to plumbers, roofers, various rental companies, and lots more.

And all we’re trying to find are businesses that want to grow. That’s it.

Renting an internet site is not any different from buying advertising, we have a bit of valuable digital land, and they’re paying us to rent this and obtain it ahead of potential customers.

The benefits of this model

The benefits of the Rank and Rent model are clear once we check out the top result.

Imagine having a portfolio of 10 websites rented out for anywhere from $500-$800 per month each. The upkeep of those websites is negligible, the profitability is extremely high, so you’re making anywhere from $5,000-$8,000 per month in near all-profit with little work.

This excludes the initial work going into ranking the websites and then the work to seek out someone to rent them, but even that’s easier in comparison to the alternatives.

If your skill-set is in SEO, the alternatives are likely to be client work or affiliate SEO.

For Client SEO, the most important difference goes to be the convenience of signing clients and therefore the simple managing clients. 

With Rank and Rent, you don’t get to convince a client you’ll get the results, as you’ve already got the results. 

And for managing them, you’re not doing work for them, it’s just a rental, so again this is often significantly easier.

As for Affiliate SEO, the upside is there’s significantly less competition in rank and rent because it’s local SEO. 

Whereas an affiliate website may take 8-12 months or longer to start out making money, a rank and rent website is often ranked within 4 months or less.

The potential downsides

As I’m not here to sell you a course, I’m getting to be quite blunt with the downsides.

On a per-client basis, it’s less profitable than client work.

A client would like their website to be ranking, not renting yours, so you’re unlikely to urge paying the maximum amount as doing it for them. 

The counter-balance to the present is it’s significantly easier to manage a rental client than a full client.

I’d also argue it’s easier to rank a client website, but the argument against this is often understandable. 

Rank and Rent allows you to possess tons of control over the niche and keywords, but with the added downside of ranking a fresh website, unlike a longtime one, a client is probably going to possess.

This can also make ranking within the GoogleMyBusiness pack difficult, as it’s not very easy to urge a verified local address once you don’t have a true business.

The final downside depends on your approach. If you would like to form extra money, you’ll track and sell leads, shifting into a lead generation model. 

This is often more profitable but with significantly more work added, as lead tracking and qualification may be a serious headache.

Therefore, I might recommend simply sticking to renting websites and not selling the leads.

How to rank and rent websites

Now that we’ve covered the large picture details, let’s dive into the processes of how exactly you’ll build your first rank and rent website. Then, simply rinse and repeat.

Choosing a distinct segment 

In the second section of this guide, we briefly introduced some niche requirements:

People are checking out their products/services locally

They sell a reasonably profitable service ($500+ purchase price)

And ideally, it’s easy for us to rank these websites (less work)

But I’d wish to take that even further now and walk you through what I think are the simplest niches and the way to seek out them.

Before that, we’d like to step back a touch bit. The main reason for doing Rank and Rent versus Affiliate SEO is because the competition is a smaller amount in local search. Therefore, to stay in line with this thought process, you would like to select low competition niches.

Ranking for private injury lawyer keywords is certainly getting to be highly profitable, but goes to be extremely competitive so doesn’t align well with this model.

We’re trying to find keywords we will rank for quickly and simply, then hire out asap. The sweet spot rental range here is going to be within the $500-$1,500/month range per website.

Industry selection

So my recommendation here is to select either a “weird niche” or a sub-niche within a distinct segment.

Take for example Search Brilliance: they are a digital marketing company focusing explicitly on lawyers.

A weird niche would be porta potty rentals. Not something that immediately involves the mind, unlike dentists or roofers, therefore significantly less competitive.

A sub-niche would be like deciding you would like to figure with dentists, but instead of all dentists, you rank for keywords like “Invisalign treatment in [City]”. This is often a high-end braces treatment, so you’re only getting the simplest leads with significantly less competition.

To sum it up:

Avoid competitive niches by either selecting a weird niche nobody would consider or picking a sub-niche within those competitive niches.

You’ll then want to follow an identical strategy for deciding which city to focus on.

City selection

The more populated the town or location, the higher the rent you’ll likely be ready to charge. But with the added downside of significantly more competition.

We’re trying to find a balance here between search volume and competition levels.

The perfect approach to achieving this is often by primarily targeting towns, suburbs, and smaller locations within a city.

Take London, for instance. This is often a particularly competitive city for SEO, albeit you’re ranking during a weird sub-niche like “Invisalign Treatment”.

However, if we hack London a touch bit, we’d separate it into North, East, South, and West London. Then within North London, there’s Islington, Highgate, Finchley, Enfield, etc.

Pairing these together i.e. “Invisalign Islington” goes to be significantly less competitive to rank for.

The downside again might be the search volume (i.e. number of monthly searches) is additionally extremely low. During this case, Ahrefs shows zero search volume.

What we will do though is pair these together:

Create one website for Invisalign Treatment in North London, then create additional landing pages on this same website for the varied areas of North London.

Individually, the search volume could also be insignificant. But across several locations, it can easily add up.

Bonus tip: Identify hot spots for your service i.e. if you’re selling luxury landscaping and garden designs, find an area filled with affluent homes.


That is a whole rank and rent blueprint from niche selection to ranking and later renting the website.

Now is the time to scroll right copy, start reading this again, but at this point implement as you’re going. Start picking your niche, and put this into practice.

Then once you’re ranking in a few months, don’t hand over selling until someone rents the location from you. It won’t happen overnight.

But 5-10 websites may be a great source of near-passive income, once they’re up and running.

And if you’re wondering:

Renting just means changing the contact details, possibly branding, to match the clients. Super simple, don’t overthink it.

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