Independent Car and Van Hire Business – SEO Case Study

Success – Top Rankings and Increased Bookings
All core keywords for both Peterborough and Cambridge hire bases enjoy search results consistently near or at the top of the organic search positions on page one of Google. Multiple page one listings for each keyword, including local pack.

These good rankings drive consistent vehicle bookings for the business both directly on the web sites and via telephone enquiries.

“van hire Peterborough” places position 1, organic position 1
“car hire Peterborough” places position 3, organic position 6 and 7
“van hire Cambridge” places position 3, organic position 5 and 6
“car hire Cambridge” places position 3, organic position 5

All major keywords in the local snack pack, against tough competition from all the top car and van hire national companies.

Introduction
Rent Direct are an independent car and van hire company, who have been established over 10 years and have offices in Cambridge and Peterborough. They originally had one web site which handled the booking system for cars and vans for both of their locations. The web site developed by my web design business Lutterworth Design, programmed in php with bespoke back end admin system that handles all vehicle and booking functionality. The site is fully responsive to handle bookings from desktop, mobile and tablet.

Rent Direct Cambridge Car and Van Hire

Rent Direct Cambridge Car and Van Hire

Driving Customers and Bookings
The web site was optimised to attract search traffic for “car hire” and “van hire” queries for both Peterborough and Cambridge. i.e. “car hire Cambridge”, “van hire in Cambridge”, “car hire Peterborough”, “van hire Peterborough”. The website also performs where the customer is located near to either Cambridge or Peterborough and they only type in what they are looking for i.e. “car hire” or “van hire”.

On launch of the web site, search performance was good, a massive improvement on the previous site’s performance, with all major keywords and long tail variants on page one of the Google search results.

Search Results Real Estate
Each of the major search terms had two or three listings each on the first page of Google, one in places and two in the rest of the results for the home page and individual product page. That is a lot or search results real estate all on page one of Google.

Local Pack
Now during the three years or so that this campaign has been running the local pack, i.e. the results that appear with map markers after the paid ads was reduced from listing seven businesses to listing three, now known as the snack pack. So unless you are in the top three, your places listing is not visible on page one.

Car and Van Hire is a Very Competitive Niche
Don’t forget that the web sites we are competing with for these top three positions all belong to big national car hire brands with web sites carrying massive domain authority; Avis, Enterprise, Herz etc etc, so no easy task to outperform them!

Solution
We decided to create another web site, so that each location had a site totally dedicated to customers in its own locality. Difficult to rank a new domain, so we had to be very careful, but within just a couple of months, the results for the new Cambridge site were performing better than they were when all bookings were taken on the one site. We also had to be very careful with content for the new site, not to upset the performance of the original site.

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Viv Carter - SEO Consultant

What My Clients Say

"We were first introduced to Viv shortly after setting up our own practice. We had initially attempted to build our own web site although it was soon clear from the poor rankings that we needed some serious professional help. Viv kindly agreed to take us on and within a matter of only a few days we had moved to page one of Google, without expending anything on Google advertising. Since then Viv has been instrumental in developing the website further, such that we are now receiving email enquiries and calls on a daily basis. Viv’s level of knowledge in this specialist field are quite extraordinary and her fees represent the best investment that we will probably make." Richard AB Saville, Senior Partner, Corporate Financial Solutions
   
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"Having worked with Viv for many years we have always found her approach to be ethical and professional with strong results from her hardwork. Viv’s background in coding and building websites provides an essential bridge in knowledge between a website itself and the SEO that compliments it." Richard Simms, Managing Director, FA Simms & Partners