Trending Content

Digital marketing essentials: Three pillars for high ROI and online growth

By Kyle Clements

April 2, 2024

In the competitive landscape of the rental industry, where national players command massive advertising budgets and offer streamlined e-commerce experiences, independent rental companies must leverage efficient growth strategies to capture market share. With the majority of renters engaging with a rental company’s website during the rental process — sometimes as high as 80 percent of renters — it is imperative that rental companies are driving eyeballs and traffic to their website.

Gone are the days of “build it and they will come.” Even the best designed website and e-commerce experience is meaningless without consistent traffic coming to the website.

From our perspective, there are three pillars to driving high-ROI traffic and online growth: Google Ads, paid social ads and, most importantly, local search engine optimization (SEO).

Maximizing visibility with Google Ads

Google Ads is a must-have in your strategy, offering immediate visibility at critical moments of the customer journey. Its success for rental companies lies in strategic implementation, from keyword selection to campaign analysis. It’s easy to sink valuable capital into Google Ads with little to zero return. After reviewing hundreds of campaigns, we’ve identified the common traits that successful campaigns possess:

Optimize for “high search intent” keywords. Identifying what potential customers are searching for is step one. Use keyword research tools to discover terms that align with your services, focusing on those with high intent such as “rent skid steer near me.”

Campaign setup. Set your conversion objective to “conversions” and ensure you have detailed conversion tracking on your online rental storefront. Ensure your ad groups are set up by product category and you have at least two variations of ads within each ad group so the algorithm can optimize for the best performing variants.

Optimize ad copy. Effective ad copy addresses the user’s needs and includes clear call-to-actions, improving the likelihood of clicks and conversions. Including your keywords as headlines when setting up your ads also improves your click-thru rate and ultimately your costs.

Monitoring and analytics. Employ analytics to gauge campaign performance. Metrics like cost-per-click (CPC), click-thru rate (CTR), conversion rate, and cost-per-sale are invaluable for refining your approach to achieve better results. Log this data and analyze trends over time. It’s also best practice to make big changes to your campaigns all at once rather than making little changes more frequently.

Engaging audiences with paid social media

Advertising on paid social media platforms helps you stay top of mind and generate awareness of your business. Paid social media is fundamentally different from paid search. Namely, your customers are most likely not searching for rental equipment at the time they are browsing social media. Therefore, paid social media must be measured differently, looking at engagement, clicks and impressions as your top key performance indicators (KPIs).

Audience targeting. Utilize the advanced targeting features of platforms like Facebook and Instagram to reach specific demographic and interest-based segments. Whether you rent to “weekend warriors” or large construction companies, your audience can be reached on social.

Creative content. The creative appeal of your ads can significantly impact engagement rates. Employ high-quality visuals and storytelling that speaks directly to your audience’s interests. Focus on ad creative that is “scroll-stopping.”

Performance analysis. Adjust your strategies based on detailed performance analysis, optimizing for “in-feed consumption” of your content. Ads that get engagement natively on the platforms are often rewarded in the algorithms and see a reduced cost as a result.

Retargeting. Paid social media is also an incredibly cost-effective way to reintroduce your brand to prospective renters who have already engaged with your website, and this works incredibly well paired with paid search. Ninety-five percent of your paid search traffic will not engage with your business the first time they land on your website, so remarketing to this audience with paid social media is a great way to bring back some of that traffic and drive more conversions.

Local SEO is a critical component for digital presence

Local SEO amplifies your online visibility, ensuring your business shows up for terms like “equipment rental near me.” Great Local SEO will ensure your rental business is prominently featured in local search results and on platforms like Google Maps.

Google Business Profile. A well-optimized profile can greatly enhance your local search presence, making your business more accessible to potential customers. First, ensure your general business contact information is accurate, and you have at least a few photos of your equipment added. Add each equipment category you offer as “Products” to your listing. Most importantly, ensure you are getting great consistent reviews and reply to them. These are all signals for Google to improve the ranking of your business listing.

Local citations and backlinks. Building local citations and acquiring backlinks from respected sites within your community bolsters your search engine rankings.

Online reviews. In addition to your Google Business Profile reviews, actively manage your online reputation on other sites like Yelp and Facebook by encouraging positive reviews and professionally responding to feedback — both positive and negative.

For independent rental businesses, the aim isn’t to become masters of the digital advertising universe overnight. Instead, focus on leveraging partnerships with rental software providers and marketing agencies that possess a deep understanding of the equipment rental sector. These partnerships can provide the expertise and tools necessary to navigate the complexities of digital marketing efficiently, allowing you to focus on your core business operations and what you do best.

Understanding the nuances of digital marketing strategies and how they apply to the rental industry can significantly level the playing field against national competitors. Implementing targeted Google Ads campaigns, engaging potential customers through paid social media and optimizing for local SEO are strategies that, when used effectively, yield substantial ROI. These efforts ensure your business remains competitive, visible and capable of attracting the right customers in a crowded marketplace.

Kyle Clements is CEO of Quipli, Atlanta, an equipment rental software company primarily serving heavy equipment and general tool rental companies. For more information, visit