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Website promotion in a highly competitive niche (New York, USA): premium car rental

For the teaser image:

  • TOP 1 for all priority high-frequency requests
  • Organic traffic quadrupled
  • TOP 3 in a highly competitive niche in the USA

Client

RealCar is a premium car rental company in New York. The company offers Range Rover, Jaguar, Porsche, Maserati, BMW, Mercedes etc for rent.

Unique selling proposition:

  • Door-to-door car delivery to any address in New York.
  • Premium segment cars only.

Our task

Growth of positions and targeted organic traffic in New York for general thematic queries and specific car brands.

Initial data

  • Website: a small project of 20-30 pages
  • Region: New York
  • Language: English
  • Priority Search Engine: Google
  • CMS: Ruby
  • Features of the project: high cost of implementation of any edits on the website; the range of cars changes periodically
  • Seasonality: a drop in demand is observed in February and September
  • Start of works: October 2019

Niche and competitor analysis

High competition in the niche deserves special attention. After analyzing search results for targeted queries and comparing the promoted website with competitors, our specialists made several conclusions.

  1. The competition is very high. The NYC top 10 includes larger websites, regardless of the semantic group. Most of the websites in the top are aggregators, with an average of over 20,000 pages in the index. Naturally, their range of cars is wider, since the websites are promoted in several regions. Many competitors cover not only the United States, but other countries as well. One way or another, it is with such websites that you have to compete for a place in the top 10 and even in the top 20. The smallest of them have about 1000 pages in the index, the largest — over 1 million pages in the index.
  2. The age of competitors’ domains starts from 10 years. This is a sign of the established top and the impossibility of getting there for younger websites. The promoted website is over 5 years old.
  3. The volume and quality of competitors’ links. Several basic metrics:
    • in the top 10 the minimum DR (Ahrefs) is 71;
    • number of donors is about 3000;
    • 1 million linking pages is a normal practice for competitors.

Examples of competitors and their metrics:

  • https://www.enterprise.com;
  • https://www.kayak.com;
  • https://www.expedia.com;
  • https://www.alamo.com.

Ahrefs data by main metrics:


Donor growth dynamics by Ahrefs:


Traffic Semrush data:



Nevertheless, our experience in promoting small sites and fighting for the top in other niches has shown that the project can exist, can get its positions and traffic.

Work process

Technical optimization

Website promotion should always start from this point, since it has an impact on the achievement of the result. For example, you make an effort to optimize meta tags, write perfect content, improve usability, site load speed, and more. But after a few months of promotion, you realize that the website is partially or completely inaccessible to Google bots due to technical errors. This negates all the work done.


Examples of technical edits we have implemented:

  • we have removed a small malicious code from the website;
  • we removed full duplicates and set up 301 redirects from www, http, multiple ///, index.html pages, uppercase URLs;
  • we have compiled redirect maps for 404 pages — previously, the client deleted pages of out-of-date car models without setting up redirects;
  • we compared the content on the pages that is visible to the user with the content that is visible to Google. As a result, we noticed that robots do not see some of the useful content on the pages due to the fact that it is pulled through JS;
  • we have fixed errors of validator.w3.org;
  • we have improved the SSL certificate;
  • we have implemented minor edits to robots.txt;
  • we closed junk pages from indexing using noindex;
  • we created an auto-generated Sitemap.xml (although Sitemap.xml is not very important for such a small website, we implemented it with the prospect of the website and business growth in general);
  • we have implemented the Product micro-markup. This means displaying the page rank in a snippet to increase CTR.;
  • we have implemented a FAQ micro-markup. This means outputting frequently asked questions in a snippet to increase CTR.;
  • we increased the website loading speed (to improve the quality of websites in 2021, Google introduced new metrics named Core Web Vitals, which are one of the ranking factors);
  • we have improved usability;
  • we have implemented many other changes.

Semantic core and content plan

The main points of growth of the project:

  • general requests related to New York and the rental of premium cars (Luxury Car rental, Luxury rentals cars NYC, Premium car rental NYC and others);
  • requests for car rental by body type (Luxury SUV rental NYC, Premium SUV for rent and others);
  • car rental requests from specific manufacturers (BMW rental NYC, BMW Car rental and the like);
  • requests for renting specific car models (Rent a Porsche Cayenne, Range Rover Velar rental and others);
  • car rental inquiries in specific NYC areas.

For all areas, our specialists have collected a semantic core, optimized meta tags and wrote unique selling texts.

External optimization

External website optimization is also very important, especially given the high competition in the niche. For effective promotion, not only the number of donors and links from them is important, but also their quality, as well as the ratio of anchor and non-anchor links.

  • At the first stage, we rejected all low-quality donors through the Google Disavow Tool to improve the quality of the current link mass.
  • At the second stage, we made a plan to build a high-quality link mass and implement it into the website optimization workflow.

To build links, we used:

  • Outreach. This is the «white» way to build links. Its essence lies in the search for quality websites, as well as the search for personal agreements on the placement of links with the website owners. This is one of the most difficult ways to increase donors, but also one of the most effective.
  • Placing articles on high-quality websites using link stock exchanges. This method greatly simplifies the search for websites and agreements (unlike Outreach), since stock exchanges already have agreements with the website owners. We just have to choose a website from the list according to certain criteria and cost.
  • Placing the company in various directories and aggregators. This method is used to dilute the link mass, increase trust and attract additional traffic.
  • Crowd marketing. It involves placing links on thematic forums, which are used mainly to dilute the link mass.
  • Non-standard placement (links from play.google.com, amazon and other websites). It is mainly used for link dilution and trust enhancement.

Such a volume of different ways of building is due to the high requirements for a natural and high-quality link mass. The more links from different sources lead to the website, the more natural the link mass will be. Accordingly, the promotion becomes more efficient and safer.

Optimization of «Google. My Business»

Since the client’s business in NYC is local, optimization of «Google. My Business» card is designed to improve card impressions in Google maps and search. This increases traffic and conversion to the website.

Our optimizers performed the following works:

  • they filled out the standard information on the Google. My Business card;
  • they optimized titles using targeted keywords and emoji (to increase CTR);
  • they filled in the attributes that are displayed in the search results. They increased the size of the card and the CTR;
  • they posted weekly notes and news;
  • they monitored reviews and increased the rating of the company.

After the work, the number of impressions increased several times. For today, the statistics of views are as follows:


Interactions statistics:


It should be noted that 30-70 targeted conversions per day from «Google. My Business» is a very good indicator in NYC.

Mini-SERM

As part of website promotion, we carry out SERM optimization for all projects of our company. This is a type of work aimed at increasing the reputation of a business on the Internet. Since the website belongs to the YMYL (Your Money Your Life) category, it is important to work out the E-A-R factors as scrupulously as possible. E-A-R factors are expertise, authority, reliability.

By increasing the ranking of the website, the reputation of the business and the recognition of the company on the Internet, we increase the authority of the resource not only in the eyes of the user, but also in the search engine. This has a positive effect on the promotion of the project, since Google trusts more expert, authoritative and reliable websites that provide quality information and do not mislead users.

To improve the E-A-R factors, we selected popular review websites (for example, trustpilot.com). There we have created pages to constantly improve the company’s reputation by posting reviews.

Project results

Dynamics of positions for general inquiries about car rental in NYC:


Dynamics for geo-dependent queries related to near me:


Dynamics of positions on individual pages for specific models and brands of cars:





Conclusion

Despite the fact that the competition in the niche is very high and the best websites for car rental in the USA are ranked in the top, our team managed to bring a small niche website to a good position.

  • During the work on the project, almost all targeted and important requests for the client were taken to the top 10 (most of them — to the top 3).
  • Organic traffic in 2020 has doubled compared to 2019. Works have been carried out since October 2019.
  • Organic traffic in 2021 has grown 4+ times compared to the start of work in 2019.

Project participants

Project manager: Ekaterina Timoshenko

Optimizers: Yuri Oschapovsky, Andrey Legkobyt

Linkbuilder: Evgeny Fedchenko

Reviews from the client

We have been working with Aweb since October 2019. During this time, we had to overcome the difficulties associated with the implementation of edits in our CRM-system, since the creation of additional pages on the website is labor-intensive.

Despite the difficulties, thanks to internal and external website optimization, we managed to double organic traffic in 2020 compared to the previous one. This had a positive impact on the company’s income.

We are pleased with the results of cooperation and continue to work on increasing traffic.

We thank the Aweb team for the fruitful cooperation! We recommend the company as a reliable and efficient partner!

Anna Zhurba
project manager

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Aweb sp. z o.o.
Domaniewska 37 M2.43
02-672 Warszawa, PL