Rank and Rent SEO – A Basic Guide

rank and rent seo tips

Guide to Rank and Rent SEO

Rank and Rent SEO is a tactic that allows you to build a website, rank it in the local search results, and then rent the site out to a local business. This method has become increasingly popular over the last few years and there are many products in the internet marketing world devoted to this niche.

The good thing about Rank and Rent websites is that you own the property and have full control over everything pertaining the site. Many people who were once doing client seo targeting local businesses are now moving to the Rank and Rent because it so much easier to manage. With the Rank and Rent model you never have to deal with that client who checks their search rankings every day and calls you every time there is slight decrease in position. All you have to do is make the website, rank it, and then rent it out. It’s not quite as easy as Alex Becker makes it out to be but it isn’t exactly difficult either.

Update 09/05/2016: There’s a new rank and rent product called NicheSight. With NicheSight, you don’t have to do any of the on-site or on-page SEO. You simply tell them your niche, provide a domain, and relax. The NicheSight team even handles Schema injection on every page! Seriously, it’s worth every penny. Check it out: NicheSight – Local Niche Marketing Made Easy.

Choosing a Niche for Rank and Rent SEO

The key to being successful with the Rank and Rent model is choosing a good niche. If you are just starting out you will want to choose a niche that is not extremely competitive. This would exclude lawyers, plumbers, and roofing companies. Of course you could go balls to the wall from the start but you’ll probably get discouraged when you get stuck on the third page and nothing short of a dofollow link from the front page of the Wall Street Journal will move the site. As you get better at ranking local sites you can move into something a little more competitive but it’s always best to start out in niche where you can rank. Plus, you can use the income generated from your first site to help finance more competitive sites later on.

Choosing a City for Your Rank and Rent Project

The last thing you want to do when you’re just starting out is to choose a large city like L.A. or NYC. Trying to rank anything in these areas is going to take a ton of work so it’s best to pick a city with a population of 75,000 – 250,000. Of course there are exceptions to this but as a general rule you want to choose city where you have a chance to rank without making a large investment in powerful backlinks.

How to Pick Your Niche

This is not designed to be an all inclusive guide to selecting your niche. There are many different methods people use and they all work. Because this post is geared towards beginners, we will be using only tools that are available for free.

Tools Needed

  • Google Keyword Planner
  • Free Moz Account
  • List of Cities by Population – here
  • A Working Brain

For this exercise I chose the dog training niche. I’ll be targeting “dog training Columbia MO” as a money keyword. It gets an average of 140 monthly searches and the CPC is $2.20. You’re definitely not going to get rich by renting out sites to dog trainers but you will be able to generate $200-$300 per month once you rank in the top 3.

Another thing to consider when choosing a target market is the amount of companies in the area. For example, if you’re targeting a big money / low competition key phrase you might run into the issue that there are only 4-5 companies trying to rank for that keyword. This will make it difficult to rent your site out as the competition is too low. You want to make sure there are ample amounts of local results on the second and third page so you have a good chance to rent the site out.

Analyzing the Competition

There is no 100% perfect way to analyze the competition I prefer to use a number of different factors when deciding how competitive a niche is. I will start by looking at the search results page to see if there are a lot of local businesses in the results. If you do not have a Moz Pro subscription you might have to do this manually. Just Google the search phrase and look at the results. If there are a lot of national business directory style sites on page 1 you are likely to have a chance to to rank.

In this case we see that the top 3 results are local businesses and the rest of the results are directories and one brand new website that has very little PA and zero DA. PA and DA are not metrics to live and die by but they do give you a basic idea of how it will be to rank.

rank and rent seo example
As you can see, the search results for, “dog training Columbia, MO” are not showing much competition.

If you were to target “lawyer Columbia MO” you would be dealing something quite a bit more difficult. This is why it’s best to start out with low competition niches until you know you can rank in difficult niches.

search results for lawyers in columbia mo
As you can see, nearly every spot on page 1 is taken by a local business with decent PA and DA. It would be hard to rank for this term as a newbie.

If you don’t have Moz Pro you can bulk check the PA and DA of the competition here. You can also participate in a group buy for seo tools if you don’t have the cash to pay for all the large monthly subscription fess. Just be careful who’s group buy you choose. Message SEO Khan and we can recommend a good group buy provider.

Making Your Website and Adding Content

The most important factor in the Rank and Rent model is your on-page seo. If you’re on-page is not up to snuff, you won’t be able to rank no matter how many links you send to your site. In order to have excellent on-page you will need proper understanding of H1, H2, etc. and know how to use these tags properly. You also do not want to stuff keywords like “dog training Columbia” in every paragraph. I tried keyword stuffing when I first got in to Rank and Rent SEO and my sites would get stuck on the third page. The third page is nowhere for your glorious site be located so be sure not to stuff keywords.

Plugins and WordPress

Like most SEOs, I prefer to use WordPress. I also use a few plugins that help me when creating the site. Below is my list of plugins and themes:


  • All In One SEO – For editing title tags, making a sitemap, and other basic seo tasks.
  • Project Supremacy – For adding Schema Markup and image Exif data.
  • 404 to Home – If you used a previously expired domain you should install this plugin so Google doesn’t see a 404 on any of your links.
  • Siteorigin Widgets Bundle – Really helpful for adding things to sidebars and footers.
  • Sucuri Security – Makes your site secure.


  • Impreza – Comes standard with Visual Composer. I love this theme. I no longer recommend Visual Composer because it’s not as smooth as the Divi Builder.
  • Local Business – Good for local businesses. Just get the Divi theme and you’ll be set for life.
  • DiviDivi by Elegant Themes is the best theme you can buy for local SEO. Seriously, it is very robust and can be used for anything from landing pages, to ecommerce, to local lead generation, and all other kinds of sites. It costs $69 per year or $89 per year to get all the plugins included. You can use it on unlimited sites for clients or personal use.

Spend the $40-$60 and invest in a decent theme when you can. It makes having an attractive site a lot easier.

Hosting – I use a variety of hosts but I tend to throw some of my rank and rent sites into my Hostgator reseller account (be careful using the same PBN sites to link to money sites hosted on the same IP). These sites will get low traffic so there isn’t a need to host them with WP Engine or a premium host. Another host that I have found to be underutilized is Arvixe. Their shared plan runs WordPress like a champ and I personally think it’s faster than Hostgator’s managed WP hosting.

Naming Your Website

You want to name your website something like, “Columbia Dog Training – Your Local Trainer” or something like that. You definitely want to have your keyword in the site title but only in a natural way. You would not want to name your site, “Dog training Columbia – Columbia Dog Training.” The idea here is to be natural and look like a real local site. You can use exact match keywords for your page title tags.

Writing Your Content

When it comes to writing your content you want to have at least 1,000 words on each page that is going to target a keyword. You’ll also need filler content. You want to be sure that your money pages are well written and not spun. You can hand spin your content but do not throw 1,000 words in a spinner and plaster it onto your website.

I personally use Spin Rewriter to manually spin my money page content. This allows me to pump out 1,500 words in under 30 minutes and have it be 98% unique.

Generating Hand Spun Content Using Spin Rewriter:

  • Find sites in your niche in other cities
  • Enter the article into Spin Rewriter
  • Manually select synonyms and manually rewrite phrases
  • Make sure you tell Spin Rewriter to not use any original phrases
  • Viola! You have unique content that will rank!

Alternately you can write your own content from scratch but if you aren’t an expert you will probably get board really quickly and start to get lazy.

You could also copy/past content from a local site in another city but I would advise against this due to copyright issues. I’ve ranked a copied site before but it’s better to invest the time and create something original.

Don’t worry about having your keyword in every paragraph. Just make sure you have the key phrase in H1, H2, etc. Google will know what you are trying to rank for and place your site in the proper spot.

Page Formatting

It helps to have a phrase like the one below somewhere at the top on your page:

Welcome to CCSC

Columbia Canine Sports Center is a multi-facted dog training and event center
located in Columbia, Missouri, halfway between Kansas City and St. Louis.

This little blurb of text tells the reader and Google what your site is about and where you are located. It looks very natural too.

You also are going to want to add text that explains your process and what services the business offers. You can look at other sites in the area to figure out what is being offered. For “dog training Columbia MO” this website has done a good job of making their site look valuable to Google. The site itself is very ugly but it’s full of useful text and outbound links to authority sites. The photos are not optimized with descriptive alt text and the code is ugly but the site ranks nonetheless.

I would use the following format for a page trying to rank for the above keyword:

  • H1 – Welcome text. “Welcome to Columbia Dog Training”
  • H2 – Category headings – Services, Location etc. Include keywords in these tags when it can made to appear natural
  • H3 – Sub categories – Services: Training, Grooming, etc.

As a general rule I prefer to use only one H1 tag per page. The rest is made up of H2 and H3. I rarely use H4 and beyond unless it’s a very in-depth article.

Other Stuff You Should Know

You should always place a Google Maps widget in the footer of your website pointing to the city you are trying to rank in.

Additionally, it’s been helpful to add a widget titled “service areas” and list all of the towns you are trying to rank for. Then, add links to your pages from this area.  You can see an example of this here.

Keep your site structure clean and organized. Learn about site structure here.

Make sure your website has a good social media presence.

How to Rank Your Website

This is the most difficult part of the entire project. There are so many variables to think about but if you’ve selected a good niche you should be able to rank with minimal effort. Make sure you’re paying attention to your anchor text as over optimization of anchor text is known to trigger a penalty. There are some examples of negative seo around the web and the main tactic used by negative seo providers is over optimization of anchor text.

My Local Link Building Strategy

Phase 1. Laying the Foundation

You want to go out and create all of the normal accounts that a business would have. Facebook, G+, Tumblr, etc. Brand these accounts with the name of your business. In this case we would name our social accounts, “Columbia Dog Training.” Once you have your accounts created you should plug them in to an IFTTT network so you can post to them automatically. Don’t forget to create blogs on Medium, Rebelmouse, and Hubpages as they are awesome and can sometimes rank on their own.

When you are done you should have nice a network of social properties that will help to establish you as a legitimate business and that can be used later on for parasite seo.

Phase II. Web 2.0 and Profile Links

I always try to get by using Web 2.0 links if possible. If you can rank by spending $80 on a nice Web 2.0 blog network then why would you spend big bucks for powerhouse PBN links?? I always try to get the job using Web 2.0s because I can scrape expired Web 2.0 domains myself and have my VA register them. It’s a low cost way for me to rank.

If you’re going to use this strategy you need to either scrape or purchase expired Web 2.0s with links already pointing to them. Get yourself 10-20 Tumblr, LiveJournal, or other expired Web 2.0s and register them using separate emails. Do not jam 20 Tumblrs into one account and expect it not get deleted. I will put up to 5 Tumblrs on one email but even that is pushing it.

Use exact match anchor text only on your most powerful properties. For this example I would, “dog training Columbia, MO” on my top notch properties that have the most link juice.

Only use exact match anchor text on your most powerful links!!

Once you have your beautiful Web 2.0 network set up you can begin to diversify your anchor text using brand new Web 2.0 properties and other web profiles.

example of a web 2.0 private blog network
An example of one of my Web 2.0 sites. This one packs some serious punch!
web 2.0 blog network
This one isn’t as powerful as the first one but it has a lot of referring domains and some good links. TF isn’t the only metric you should be looking at. Be sure to look at the amount of referring domains and backlinks too!

Phase III. Private Blog Network Links / Authority Links

By now your website will either be on page 1 or sitting somewhere between pages 2-5. I’m pretty sure we could rank with Web 2.0s alone if we were actually trying to rank for “dog training Columbia MO” however not every niche would be this easy. At some point you’re going to need to buy some good, powerful links to help push your site to the top.

For your PBN links you will need to either find a good provider or build your own PBN. If you’re just starting out it might make sense just to buy some links from a trustworthy seller – if you can find one. Stay away from the PBNs offering 100 links for $10. These will not help you rank. You can find some legit sellers on Source Market offering PBN links for around $15 a pop. There’s one seller known as Hatred who sells 10 packs of PBN links for $150 and they work really well (Hatreds gig is paused right now because he is catching up on orders).

If you can’t secure some good PBN links you will have to reach out to other webmasters and offer them a nice, well written piece of content to publish in exchange for link. This is a pain and doesn’t always work. Plus, you might not be able to hit your keywords with the anchor text you want.

Phase IIII. Powering Up Your Links / Social Signals

I always power up my Web 2.0 properties (not the ones that have links already) and web profile links with a second tier. This helps to push power to your money site but protects it form an unnatural link penalty.

You can use GSA SER to power up your Tier 1 links. SEO Khan offers various GSA link building services that will help you with this. Of course you can always head over to Fiverr and buy cheap links but the quality will not be good. For this phase you want to make sure you trust the provider that you are using. You want someone who will actually drip feed these links and make everything look natural.

The final step for this project is to buy social signals and have them drip-fed directly to your site. I personally use Link Collider because I can set a daily budget and the accounts sending social signals to your site are generally real. Plus, you can set a daily token budget and limits to control how quickly the signals are executed.

Final Thoughts on Rank and Rent SEO

Rank and Rent SEO is by far one of the profitable ways to make money online. If you follow the steps in this guide you should be on your way to making money fairly quickly. If there’s something we didn’t cover in the post that you feel should be added of if there’s a tactic you’re particularly fond of, please let us know in the comments. If you feel like this post might help someone please share it with them! If you need links SEO Khan can provide them! Browse our services and let us know if you see something you like.

If you have any questions feel free to contact SEO Khan.

I highly recommend NicheSight for ranking local niche sites. With NicheSight, you get a ready to rank local website done for you. All you have to do is build links and collect money. Easy as pie!

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30 thoughts on “Rank and Rent SEO – A Basic Guide”

  1. Great article. Thank you for explaining this method in detail.

    I have been thinking about trying to do this in my area. I do have a question though. When it comes to the renting part, how does that work? Would you redirect the traffic to the renter’s website? Or overlay their website on top of yours? Also, what are the best ways to do either one of those? Are there any good WordPress plugins that handle either one of those options?

    1. When it’s time to rent the site you can rent a call tracking number and forward it to your client or paste the client’s phone number directly on the site. You could also use a plugin like Double Agent or maybe Serp Shaker that allows you to overlay the client site on yours.

      You definitely don’t want to do a redirect because that would tell Google that you moved your site. The best thing about Rank and Rent is that YOU own the asset and not the client.

      Thanks for reading the post. Let me know if you have more questions. Cheers!

  2. I started working on a rent-and-rank local dental site approximately 3 weeks ago. The problem I found was since most of the towns near me have a population <6,000; therefore the keywords in my niche do not have more than a maximum of 170 searches a month; most have less than 90. However, I noticed the cpc rates were as high as $9.00 and so I'm assuming these searches have significant value. The same applies to other premium business searches such as lawyers, cosmetic surgeons, contractors, builders, etc. What are your thoughts? Are these still worth persuing?

    1. In this situation I would look at the competition in the niche. Are there any businesses sitting on page 2 for the keywords? I would probably pursue this because it will be fairly easy to rank and it will give you confidence for future projects. plus, if you can’t rent the site you can always sell the leads. The CPC is really good so there’s obviously someone who wants to rank for those terms. I’d say go for it!

  3. Thusfar I’ve been using mostly expired Tumblrs for my local dental niche rent-and-rank site. For diversity, I have also added some social bookmarking, profile, document, article and blog comment links. It’s been a little over a month since I began and I am now sitting at the top of page 2 for my primary keyword, which has low monthly searches (<50) and a Moz difficulty score of 28. For the most competitive keyword, with 170 monthly searches and a ranking difficulty score of 32, I'm at the bottom of page 3. Should I just be patient and not do any more backlinking at this point — or do you think I need some PBN links to supercharge my campaign?

    1. Hi Don, thank for coming back to the post. I think the best thing you could do would to make sure all of your links are indexed. Use Webmaster Tools to see if you can find the referring domains that you made links on.

      If all your links are indexed then it’s probably time to power things up a bit. However, you might try to get some free links before you go and buy or build PBN links. Try to find some niche related forums to make profiles on. A lot of forum profile links are dofollow and you can find some really good ones in your niche.

      Also, I’ve been testing using Schema markup for local sites and the results are amazing. Tagging your images with EXIF location data can also help. Try using Pixelbay to tag your images.

      If you’re trying to rank the site that you linked to in your comment, there’s a lot more you can do with your on-page seo as well. Try writing at least 700 words on the home page using proper H1,H2,H3 tags. Use the keywords you want to rank for in the these tags. I bet if you adjust your on-page for this site you will see a nice boost in rankings.

      Also, don’t forget about IFTTT. You can setup a network free and syndicate your pages through it to build authority.

      There’s a lot more you do for free before paying big bucks for PBN links. I recommend fixing your on-page (if I’m looking at the correct site) and then exhausting all your free options before buying PBN links. If you were to add PBN links to that site now (again, if I’m referring to the right site), it’s unlikely you would get the result you’re after.

      Looking forward to hearing back about your success!

  4. <>

    I check continuously in WP, but I find it often takes weeks in many cases for links I know are indexed to be reflected there. Currently there are nearly 25 of my 38 indexed Tumblrs shown there. There are also a number of other indexed Blogger and Weebly’s that have yet to be registered in WP.


    I’ve done this already for niche related blog comments, but not for profile links. Will do that too if you think it helps.


    Great suggestions. I use Yoast and a rich snippet plugin and also tested the schema with the google tool which indicated there were “no errors” and that everything was fine in that regard. However, I just hired someone to check and create additional schema on the home page, as I’m sure it can only help. Herb Magnus emphasizes schema in his tutorials and I have heard great things about his Project Supremacy plugin, though I was never able to get it to work properly with my site. Do you create your own schema — or do you hire someone to do it? Any recommends?


    Just posted an article based on your suggestions. Thanks for that.


    Heard about this a lot but have no clue how to do it. Do you offer a service?


    Going to follow your suggestions before wasting money unnecessarily on PBNs.


    Thank you so much for your generous help. I will do what I can to make this site more popular. You deserve it!

  5. I forgot to mention something I have experienced using Tumblrs. In each of the Tumblr accounts, I created a direct link in the theme description, as well as adding posts and photos. I realize these are indirect, but still offer some link juice. However, in spite of the fact that the sites are indexed, I see none of the direct links in google webmaster — only the redirects from the site. Does that mean the direct links aren’t being counted by google?

  6. Hi, I have a question.

    Does this method still work in 2016?

    and if someone is living outside United States, for example, I live in India, so can I still make money with this method?

    Do I have to live in United States to make this work or it does not matter where I live?

    Looking forward to your reply,

    1. Hi Usman,

      This method is alive and well here in 2016. You can absolutely make money with this in the U.S.A.!

      You can target any geographical area you want including UK, EU, etc. One thing that you could do is get HMA VPN for when you’re registering up with websites and make sure your hosting server is located in the USA.

      There’s lot’s of people from all around the world targeting U.S. markets. Good luck!

  7. Hi,

    So you mean I can be anywhere in the world and target U.S.A Markets?

    Actually someone told me that countries like India have ruined SEO and it will be hard to rent sites because I live in the same country.

    Do you think my country can affect this in anyway or it just does not matter?

    Thanks again!

    1. Well, it is true that some countries have gotten a bad rep for shady and ineffective SEO tactics. But if you have a site that ranking you can point to it and say, “look mr. business owner, here’s my site and here’s where you will be if you want to do business.”

      Also, I would assume you have an accent so maybe stay away from trying to sell to business owners in the midwest or the south. Many people (not all) in these areas are notoriously racist and they would consider anyone calling them with an accent a scammer. In fact, I tried to sell leads in Ohio and I had many people call me a scammer and I live in the USA!

      Not every business owner in the U.S. is an idiot though. There are many who just want to increase their sales and they don’t care how they do it. Those are the ones you’ll need to find.

  8. I have been interested in the rank and rent model for some time now but, the one thing that I find confusing is how can you have several business websites without having a physical address for each site? How does the rank and rent model work if you are building 10 or more sites? Thank you. F.A. Perry

    1. Thanks for reading the post! You can actually get Google to add your maps listing without registering or claiming the business. I’m going to write a detailed tutorial on this soon. I’ll update your comment when I write the post. Thanks!

      1. I would be very interested in seeing info on the Google map listings. That is an area I don’t understand at all with the rank and rent strategy.

  9. Hi there – great article. Quick question regarding local search queries and domain names. I live in a small area where people are not including the city name in their search just the keyword. Does it make sense for me to still have a domain like phoenixplumber.com if no one is putting the city name “Phoenix” in their search queries? Or does Google know the location of the searcher and assumes results with the city from which they are searching from is more relevant than a search result without the city name?

    Thanks again! Great article

    1. Are you anywhere near Phoenix? Either way, it doesn’t matter. As long as your on page formatting is correct you will be OK. If you are targeting Phoenix then even better, but in Google’s eyes having an exact match domain isn’t as powerful as it used to be.

      For example, “Phoenix Plumbing” could just be a brand name and not a reference to a location. Just make sure your on-page formatting DOES indicate the area you are trying to rank for and you will be just fine.

      1. Hi – thanks so much for the reply. I’m in Pennsylvania. I was just using Phoenix as an example. I asked because there are still quite a few SEO guys on the internet who reccomend placing the keyword and city when you’re doing local SEO for rank and rent websites as opposed to national seo. Basically they say that they’re aware that this type of SEO is considered outdated however for local SEO purposes Google still seems to be giving this type of domain SEO juice.

        But I totally agree with your response. Thanks again for the advice!

    1. You just have to call them on the phone and pitch the offer. There’s no magic strategy involved during the sales part. It just boils down to making the dials and being able to handle rejection.

  10. Hey there SEOKhan,

    This guide is amazing but my only issue how do you pitch it to companies? I made my site it is good to go. How do I go about this process? Do you have an in-depth guide on how to do this as detailed as the guide you did? Is there a script you follow, etc?

    1. Thanks for reading! When pitching your ranked site, you just have to call them and tell them that you can place them on page 1 immediately. It helps if you have some sort of traffic data to show them. There’s no magic strategy for getting the pages rented. You just have to pound the phone until you find someone who is interest.

  11. Hey there SEO Khan, i have a question regarding rank and rent.
    Would it be possible to rank a site instead of targeting just one niche EG dentists accross multiple areas and rank multiple Niches in one area ? eg “mycity”business.com and have a single subdomain for say dentists, plastic surgeons, funeral services, wedding services etcetc…

    Would this work assuming a small city of say 100k or would it make it much harder to rank each subdomain due to the diversity of content?

    1. Yes, you could certainly do this. However it’s always better to keep the domain’s relevance the same unless you’re building a massive directory site.

  12. Hi SEO Khan, a quick question about rank and rent.. Would it be possible to choose a small city instead of a specific niche and rank multiple niches under the same domain?
    eg. “mycity”business.com with niches as subdomains like mycitybusiness.com/dentist
    Or would this approach be much harder to rank for due to diversity in your subdomains ? Thanks

  13. Hey so what is a couple good ways to lightbox or get the clients site over mine after they rent it?

    1. You can iframe the client’s site using an overlay plugin. I’m using Mass Page Creator by Larry Sherman and it has a cloaked overlay and redirect. I think Serp Shaker has this feature but I only have the basic Serp Shaker plugin.

  14. I’m starting out in Rank and Rent and I’m realizing that I need to know exactly how much search volume I need to have in total across all my KWs in order that if I rank #1 on all of them, I will be getting enough traffic (and my client enough conversions) to make the web property attractive and get the client to pay for it. What total search volume should I try for to meet this aim? Does this sound like good way of approaching R/R? Does anyone else do it this way?

  15. What are your thoughts on starting with one business type and city, perfecting it, then replicate for the same business type and different city? It would seem that most layout and content, if minimally altered, would serve just as well for another city. It could make really long tail terms profitable, I would think.

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