Rank And Rent SEO, Local Lead Generation, & PPCall Guide
Why Local Affiliate Marketing?
There is a ton of money to be made with rank and rent SEO websites and the local lead generation business model!
I always tell people to think about it this way: if the key phrase “water damage restoration Los Angeles” has a CPC (cost per click) of $100, imagine what those business owners would be willing to pay per qualified lead…
Don’t worry about not being a local SEO expert, this article will go over how to start your own pay per call marketing business by picking the right niche, ranking a site, and selling leads or renting the website to local businesses.
Step 1: Picking Profitable Local SEO Lead Generation Niche
The key here is to pick a niche that is both high ticket and has a fast buying cycle. This can literally make or break your lead generation campaign, so make sure to get this right.
Here Is My Favorite Lead Generation Niche
- Restoration of most kinds, be it water, mold, fire, biohazard etc.
The reason why this niche works is because it is often related to emergency situations. If someone’s house is flooding, for example, you can assume they will probably need work done right away. In addition, it is common that this work is covered by insurance companies and has standardized pricing, so there won’t be as many price shoppers. In most cases this means that many of your leads will turn into closed jobs for the business owner you work with.
How to Find Common Lead Generation Niches
Another way to find common local SEO affiliate marketing industries is by looking in the pay per call section of OfferVault.
Step 2: Choosing A Monetization Strategy
There are many business models you can use to monetize your website, but the most commonly used ones are: rank and rent, closing deals and outsourcing the work, flipping the website, selling leads to affiliate networks, and selling leads directly to business owners.
Here is some information on each of the monetization models:
The Rank and Rent Model
Although this pricing model is relatively passive, it ultimately offers no guarantee of leads. As a result, it is somewhat difficult to explain the value of it to a business owner who doesn’t understand SEO. For that reason, and some others, I generally do not recommend this billing model.
Closing Deals and Outsourcing the Work
This is a good business model to use when working in niches like the following:
- Audio engineering
- Graphic design
Basically, once people reach out to hire you, give them a quote and make them pay upfront for the work via PayPal or the payment method of your choice. Then, once you have sold the contract, you can outsource it to a local freelancer or someone you find on a website like Fiverr. After you have worked with a freelancer for a while, you can have them sell the contracts for you so that your business becomes more passive.
Websites are generally worth about 30 times their average monthly profits, so it’s a great way to earn fast cash from your website.
Here is how you can do it:
- Call or email local businesses in your niche and let them know you are selling your business.
- Post about it on the business for sale section of Craigslist
- Post about it in relevant Facebook groups.
- Transition to selling the website after working on a different pricing model with a business owner like pay per lead.
- If the site is in a popular lead generation niche, you can contact pay per call companies to see if they may want to buy it. You may need to start with the pay per call model for a month or two so that they can see the leads coming in.
- After 6 months to a year of generating consistent income you should be able to sell it on Empire Flippers or Flippa.
Selling Leads Online Through a PPcall Affiliate Marketing Network
Although you may not make quite as much per lead as you would if you were working directly with a client, you will need to do little to no sales, customer support, marketing, drawing up of contracts, or billing. You can simply generate the leads and get paid. For this reason, I recommend using this billing model if you are just starting out.
How to find affiliate offers:
- Googling “(your niche) + referral program” or “(your niche) + affiliate program”.
- Looking on OfferVault
- Joining Pay Per Call Facebook Groups
- Googling “(your niche) + leads” to find companies selling leads to local businesses. Some of these companies will also buy leads from their affiliates/publishers, so you can ask them about buying your leads.
Selling Leads Directly to Business Owners
Although this pricing model is potentially lucrative, it generally requires sales and other business development practices.
Lead Generation Sales
If you want to learn how to start a local lead generation business, and you are looking to monetize with clients (instead of with affiliate offers), you will need to learn sales. I’m not going to go super in depth here, but here are a few things you can do to get in touch with businesses.
- Make a prospects list yourself or have a VA (virtual assistant) make one for you, and call those companies to sell them leads.
- Make an email list yourself or have a VA make one for you, and blast it with a thoughtful, high converting email. You should include a real lead from a customer’s contact form submission, if you have one.
- Rank a website and/or YouTube video for keywords like: “(your niche) + leads”
- Join Facebook groups based around your lead generation vertical.
How to Price Your Leads When Selling Them to Companies
Put yourself in the the business owner’s shoes for a second. Basically, they need to make sure they are profitable on whatever you charge them per lead.
There is no absolute right or wrong way to go about coming up with a valuation for your leads, but here are a couple ways to get a good estimate.
- Do a little bit of research to find out how much profit business owners in your niche make, on average, on each job. Then, you will need to figure out how many leads it will take, on average, for them to get a sale. This will vary for each business owner, but let’s say that, on average, a water damage company makes about $3,200 in profit for the jobs they book, and have a close rate of about 60%. You can get the price per lead by multiplying 3200 by 0.6, and then you can take that result and multiply it by 0.2 to get your cut of the profit. This comes out to $384 per qualified lead.
- Find the average CPC for your main keywords in your area. You can do this by using the Google keyword planner and refining it for the area you are prospecting. For example: If “Water Damage Repair” has a CPC of $62.55 and “Water Damage Restoration” has a CPC of $77.44 in the Bay Area, the average of the two would be about $70. Now, I can estimate that this is what local businesses (in this industry) in this area are willing to pay for a click, but what about a call? In general, it takes about 5 local search website visits to get a call, so we can calculate that they are paying Google about $70 x 5 clicks, or $350 for a call.
At the end of the day, these methods are a good way to get an estimate of what you should be charging, but it all comes down to your particular agreement with the business owner.
Pay Per Lead Billing
Before you begin with a potential client, be sure to get their credit card information, and let them know that you will be billing them weekly for the leads you send them. It is a good idea to also provide them with a user account for your call tracking software, and email notifications so they can keep track of the leads.
Once you create a number for them, set your call tracking software to not display the caller ID of the callers to your client. Let them know that a lead is billable when:
- The phone rings more than 4 times without an answer (you should send them the customer’s phone number after this)
- Client asks for the customers information
- Client sets an appointment
- Refers another company
- Asks for the customer to call back on a different number
- Customer goes to voicemail (you should send them the customer’s phone number after this)
Big PPL companies are using this billing model, along with an option to dispute calls that your client may feel does not meet the billable criteria. It works well because the client can screen the lead over the phone. For example, if the customer is expecting a low price for the service, the client can just decide not to set an appointment or get the customers information. In that case, the lead would not be billable. This will ultimately help your client get a better ROI from your leads, and make it more likely that they will work with you longer.
PPCall Advertising and Marketing Partner Relationships
It is important to establish a good relationship with your “partners” (as they are often referred to in the PPL marketing industry), but keep in mind that the relationship is a little bit different than that of a typical local SEO client.
It is different because you have full control over the assets (the website and other online marketing material), and you have more freedom to make the creative decisions! When I first started out in my freelance digital marketing career, I was mainly focused on serving clients. This was okay, but between getting all of their login credentials, which 9 times out of 10 they did not have, to sending estimates, to proving that my stuff is working, and being forced to make less than optimal marketing and SEO decisions because the client preferred it, I was fed up.
So I looked for a better solution, and learned about how to start a local lead generation business. The change in the SEO-client relationship, along with the opportunity to earn a passive income, are the main reasons I generally prefer any form of affiliate style local SEO over the more traditional client work.
Step 3: Local SEO Keyword Research
Picking Geo Modifiers
If you have any experience with local SEO you probably already know this, but If you are just starting out, here is something you should know. A good way to do local SEO niche research is by typing in your keyword + the geo modifier you are looking to target into Google. If you are new to local SEO or SEO in general, we recommend that you check out this course.
For example, “flood damage repair San Diego”. When doing this, I personally like using Keywords Everywhere as a free chrome extension, which allows me to see data on search volume, CPC, and AdWords competition, as I view the search results. You can also use the Google Keyword Planner with a local search filter to find information on keywords in your area. If you would like to learn more about how to do this you can use this guide by Moz.
Important: I cannot stress how important this step is. Try not to pick a keywords that are super hard to rank for, especially if you are new to SEO. When I first started out, I lived and died by search volume and CPC, but this was a bad idea… Your focus should be keyword difficulty which is referred to as SEO difficulty in our keyword tool.
It is not that it’s impossible to rank for high competition terms, and they may be profitable upon reaching the first page, but I spent a ridiculous amount of time and money ranking these terms when I could have been snagging low competition, high ticket local terms and renting the websites out to local businesses or selling leads. You don’t have to be the best SEO in the world to make money, you just need to know where to allocate your time and resources.
SEO Competitor Analysis
I like to start by putting some of the top ranked competitors into SEMrush or Ahrefs and seeing which keywords they rank for, how much traffic each keyword brings them, and what the difficulty of each keyword is. Then, I proceed to utilize the good ones. After that, you will need to do your own manual checking, and this involves typing your main keyword into Google and seeing what shows up.
The main factors you want to look at when gaging your competition are backlinks, on-page factors, and I also recommend looking at who is in the map pack.
Map pack competition: If there are 3 companies with 10+ 5 star reviews, then you can bet that they are probably receiving the majority of clicks when people search that keyword. Think about who you would call if you did a search and the results like that appeared. So even if you manage to get into the 3 pack, you might still struggle with CTR (click-through-rate). You can learn more about Google Maps SEO and finding local keywords, by checking out out our local SEO keyword research post.
You can also use a free tool from BrightLocal to virtually change your location and get the most accurate view possible. The cool thing about this tool is that it will also show you the AdWords ads that are showing up, so you can get a better idea of all of the general marketing competition for that keyword.
Basic Factors to Look for When Gaging Your Competition for the Website Rental Business Model:
- Are there other service area pages ranking on the first page? You can identify these pages because they will often have a page of content targeting various geo areas, and these pages often don’t have very many links or authority. If they are able to rank these pages on the first page of Google, you should be able to rank your website.
- What is the keyword difficulty score in ahrefs? A score of 0 is ideal, but anything below 2 is good.
- How many businesses show up in the map pack for the search term “area+keyword”? If there are less than 6 or so listings that have an address in the area you are targeting, and the same primary business category, this is a good sign.
- Take a look at your competitors metrics (DR, DA, etc).
Wow… That seems like an awful lot of work… If only there was an automated tool for finding low competition keywords for your pay per call local lead generation business.
Yes there is! We built a keyword research tool specifically for local affiliate marketing, and it can be found here. It will provide you with terms with high search volume that are still relatively easy to rank.
Just type your main keyword into the search bar and it will recommend you the best geo modifiers to rank that keyword in. I use it all the time for my own SEO, and even if I had no affiliation with it, I would recommend it for finding the best areas for your rank and rent SEO niche.
Step 4: Finding Domains For Pay Per Lead SEO
From our experience exact match domains (EMDs) are working well still… Ignore what Google said back in 2012 about this not being a major factor anymore. They were just trying to discourage people from building affiliate/lead generation sites, like the one you’re about to make :). Almost all of the large local lead generation companies I have seen are using EMDs for their clients. Not to mention that Bing and Yahoo still use keyword match domains as a major ranking factor. Do not underestimate those search engines, as they make up for a relatively large share of the market.
Bonus points if you can find a clean and relatively powerful auction domain that is also an EMD! The good news is that auction domains with the geo-modifier in them are often quite available. Don’t get too obsessed over metrics, as long as it is clean and the name is keyword related this is a good find. If you can’t find anything like that, consider using a new exact match domain, or a niche related domain that already has some authority from auction.
What else should you look for in an auction domain?
1. Use Moz Open Site Explorer and double check the metrics and spam score. The Moz spam score should be zero or at least low with a justified reason. While you’re at it, take a look at the linking domains and their spam score as well, the lower the better. Then actually click on the links and see how these websites look. Do they look legitimate? What are their metrics? Plug them into SEMrush and see if they have some sort of traffic coming to them. If they do, that is a good sign.
Also, you can understand how much link juice is actually being passed to the auction domain by seeing how many outbound links the page and the general domain has. If they are all directory links, they are not of much value because anybody can build them, and there are so many outbound links that all of the juice gets split between them, not to mention that many directory links are no-follow.
2. Plug the website into SEMrush and Majestic to check out the anchor text profile. If it is somewhat related to your rank and rent niche, that is good. Make sure that there are not too many keyword anchors though. There should mostly be branded and generic anchor text as well as naked URLs.
What does this all mean?
- Branded anchor text: Just your brand. So if I was linking to Moz, the anchor text would just be “Moz”.
- Generic anchor text: “click here”, “check out our website”, or even blank anchor text
- Image links
- Naked URLs: If I was to link to Moz it would be “https://moz.com”.
Google recognizes these types of anchor text as natural because they are generally how people link to web properties, rather than with anchor text like“Water Damage Restoration Las Vegas NV”, which is considered an exact match anchor text, and should only be used about 1–3% of the time.
Keep in mind that in 2018 Google looks at your entire anchor text profile when considering whether or not to slap you with a penalty or to rank your website higher. Link and anchor text diversity is crucial to a successful link building campaign. That is why I recommend purchasing link building packages for links like PDF and video submissions because they create diversity in your link and anchor text profiles.
What does this do?
It does two major things. One, it make your site look way more natural than if you were to just build 15 PBN links, all with keyword anchor text. The second thing it does, is it allows you to use keyword anchors for a couple of the more powerful links.
Note: Keep in mind that you can be more aggressive with your link building, anchor text, and rank a little faster with parasite SEO.
- Check to see if the domain is indexed by putting “site:example.com” in the Google search bar. This is a must for me when choosing an auction domain.
- Check archive.org (Wayback Machine) to make sure the website has a clean history, particularly its most recent history. If at any point it looks like the domain was home to a PBN site (private blog network), avoid it at all costs. It may have a pure spam penalty!
What does a PBN look like? The low quality ones are poorly maintained and tend to have tons of random articles on the homepage that link out to other sites, kind of like this:
Once you have chosen a domain, you can register it inexpensively by using Namecheap.
Step 5: Creating a Local Lead Generation Website on Your Domain
You will need to set up hosting for this domain and create some web pages. We also recommend using Namecheap for the hosting, as they do a great job for the price.To generate your web pages, I recommend installing a CMS (content management system) of your choice (I recommend WordPress).
With the assumption that you are using Wordpress, the first thing you need to do is pick your theme. I have found that there are some solid free options out there, but if you really want to streamline your website creation process and make your site look professional, check out Divi.
The Website Rental Business Model
The second way to monetize your website is to have the local business owner rent out your page. Although this model is one of the more challenging local affiliate marketing pricing models to sell, here is how to do it:
You can use a lightbox rank and rent plugin like SEMeasy or SourceCCS to place the business’s website on top of yours. Keep in mind that this should not affect your SEO rankings as Google will still see the original content underneath the lightbox. This method could be considered a little bit easier because you do not have to worry about CRO (conversion-rate-optimization) at all, and at the end of the day you are not guaranteeing phone calls. Essentially, what will happen is that your client’s website will show up on top of your website when people visit a particular page, meaning that your content will not show up to searchers at all once it is rented out to a local business. This will also allow you to easily rent out multiple pages to various business owners on the same website.
Step 6: Acquire Your Content and Build Out Your Rank and Rent Websites (On-Page SEO)
Ahh, website content… I have gone back and forth on the best way to do this for my local affiliate marketing websites, and come to a few conclusions.
Google is currently not filtering duplicate content for local SEO keywords, but Google seems to be filtering them out for websites that are not authoritative/new. I would recommend holding off on building duplicate city pages until you start to build some authority.
By the way, I used the word “filtering” instead of “punishing” because a duplicate content penalty is very hard to acquire. Google understands that some content is published on many different platforms and pages.
Here is Matt Cutts explaining how Googles deals with duplicate content:
Basically, they generally bundle up duplicate content into one search result for keywords outside of local SEO.
You can also build location pages with unique content, but this may take a lot of unnecessary work, so I recommend making pages only for a few geo modifiers based off of keyword research using Keyword Heaven’s local keyword tool.
What makes up authoritative content?
Below, you will see how I normally like to structure my content pieces, which you can essentially copy, replacing the relevant info with your local lead generation niche, and send it to separate freelance researchers/copywriters.
As long as you don’t link each writer to the same content, they are bound to come up with unique articles. After the content is generated, I take those unique articles and use them for location landing pages.
Content Structure: Your headings should be something like this and there should be a paragraph or so of text under each heading.
- What is Water Damage Restoration?
- What Are the Benefits of Water Damage Repair?
- Who Needs Our Emergency Flood Repair Services?
- What Equipment Do We Use?
- What Permits Are Required by X Area Before We Can Get Started? Note: May not apply to every niche.
- How Does the Water Damage Repair Processes Work and How Long Does It Usually Take?
- What Is the Average Cost of Water Damage Restoration in X Geo Area? Note: This one may deter some lowballing callers, but that’s probably a good thing.
I understand that it can be a little expensive to have a bunch of unique articles written. The alternative solution, that has worked just fine for me, is to hand spin different copies.
What Defines Effective Local SEO Affiliate Marketing Content?
To rank and be successful with the local SEO lead generation business model, you have to somehow prove to Google that each page’s content is both an authoritative piece on the topic and is locally relevant.
What are some ways you do this?
1. Write around 1,200 words (easily achievable using the format I provided above).
2. Geotagged pictures. I like to use the usage rights filter in Google’s Advanced Image Search and pick stock images for each geo modifier that I am ranking in. For example, if I am making a page and trying to rank it for the city of Atlanta, I would search “Atlanta Georgia”.
I would then pick a good looking image that correlates with the geo modifier I am building the page for, and geotag that image using Geoimgr. This is a great way to build local relevance and to get unique images on each local landing page.
3. At least one link out to a relevant and authoritative content piece (do not always use Wikipedia). Remember, this should be used to portray topical relevance to Google, so link out to something that is either relevant to the local area and/or the rank and rent niche you are targeting.
4. A YouTube video (if it is yours and is geotagged locally, then it can be a good little local relevancy boost also).
5. Placing the geo modifiers + your keyword in the title tag, heading tags, image alt tags, URL, and content (including in the first 100 words). Don’t over-optimize, but make sure your keyword and geo modifiers is in your content at least a few times. You can use the Yoast SEO plugin for WordPress to check your keyword density.
6. Use LSI (Latent Semantic Indexing) variations of your keyword a few times (where natural) in the title tag, heading tags, image alt tags, and/or content.
7. Interlinking! We will break down silo structures for a rank and rent websites soon, but first let’s explain why you should be interlinking.
What Are The Benefits Of Interlinking Your Lead Generation Niche Website?
Fundamentally, Google follows links and that’s one of the main ways it determines what pages on your PPL marketing website are important to crawl, index, and rank. You should think about it like backlinking to yourself, except there is a very high threshold for an important ranking factor: exact match keyword anchor text.
What is a good way to do this?
On local websites, most of the backlinks are usually coming into the homepage and therefore the homepage usually has the highest page authority. The main concept you need to understand is that you need to somehow link out from your homepage to your location pages to pass link juice and relevance via anchor text.
A good way to interlink your website would be to use a silo structure. If you want to learn about silos, read this article by Source Wave.
You could make your anchor texts be city + keyword, but be careful with that because too much of that, even on-page could be seen as an over-optimization (unlikely, but possible). I understand that this can seem confusing if you are a beginner, but keep in mind that you don’t need to get this 100% perfect to rank. The absolute basics of what you need to know about interlinking is linking out from your homepage to your location pages in an organized fashion.
8. Supporting content using a blog section. This is the ultimate in topical relevance, and necessary when learning how to start a pay per call lead generation business. Remember what I said about creating local relevance and niche relevance for each page? This is one great way to do it!
Blog posts can be anything from “Top 10 Thai restaurants in Atlanta Georgia” to even something about how to get more water damage restoration leads for your business. Try to rank these for keywords, share them on social media, and most importantly, to write high quality content so you will have a shot at getting linked to and/or getting social signals. Then, interlink the posts with relevant anchor text to the pages on the site you are looking to rank.
10. Schema markup. Schema markup is essentially structuring your website’s data in such a way that Google is able to understand what it is about. You can read more about it at schema.org.
11. Link out to a few of your important citations and social profiles.
Step 7: Link Building (Off-Page SEO) For Local Affiliate Marketing and Pay Per Call SEO
Before we begin on this section, I just want to point something out… Contrary to what other SEO’s may say, it is 100% possible to rank without doing any major link building. If you choose to go that route, all you will need to add is a GMB listing, a Bing places listing, and a link foundation (discussed below). If your keyword research and on page were good, your website should rank after 6 months to a year.
If you choose to go the route of relatively major link building, here is what I recommend:
GMB and Bing Places Listings
In general one of the best ways to build trust and local relevance with Google is to get a Google My Business (GMB) and Bing places listing. This will prove to Google that you are a real business, so they will be more likely to rank you. Not to mention that you can show up in the map pack also! There are some tutorials on YouTube that teach you how to get verified using a Craigslist method, but if you would just like to buy a listing there are some gigs on Legiit or Konker that can help you do that.
A Link Foundation
This includes audio submissions, video submissions, PDF submissions, social profiles, citations etc. As I mentioned before, these should be almost exclusively branded anchor text, generic anchor text, naked URLs, and maybe even some image links for more diversity. You can do these by hand, order individual gigs for each of the link types, or order this gig that will do a large part of your tier 1 linking for you.
Note: If you are using an exact match domain/brand name be sure not to use branded anchors on your diversity links, as they are the same as the keyword anchor text in this case.
These are not 100% required, but they can help get your site out of the Google Sandbox a little faster. You can do these by promoting content on your social media pages, or purchasing social signal gigs like this one.
Press releases can give you a nice boost, and can be built quite simply by ordering a service like this one.
Once you have built a steady foundation of links it is time to get some strong guest posting links to move your rankings. As long as your anchor text profile is unoptimized, it is a good idea to use exact match or LSI anchor text for these links (if possible). You can do manual outreach, or use a service like this one to do it for you.
Step 8: Just Wait
If it has only been a couple months since your site got indexed, it is generally too soon for it to be ranking. In my experience, it typically takes about 6 months to a year for a new domain to rank well.
Did You Get All of That?
I know local affiliate marketing can seem difficult at first, I tried to break it down into small steps so that you would be able to get everything you’d need to start a pay per call local lead generation business. Whether you are looking to do it though a pay per lead affiliate network, or find you own clients/partners, I highly recommend giving this a try. If you have any questions, simply ask them in the Keywords Heaven Facebook group and someone could help you out.
Alternatively, if you want a completely done for you rank and rent SEO website to save you time and potentially money, check out this service. And/or if you would like to see a website ranked and monetized over the shoulder, you can check out the course I did with Chase Reiner.