Why (Most) Small Rental Operations Need To Update Their Websites
Websites aren’t just for the big guys anymore…
Let’s face it, by this point having a website for your rental business is a must.
When it comes to knowing if your website is “good” or not is where it becomes less clear. The truth is, it doesn’t always matter if you have the most beautiful website in town or not.
BUT, you do need to have a functional website with a smooth user experience.
An optimized website can be an extremely powerful tool for local businesses. In fact, 80% of individuals use online searches to find local businesses and services. To get started, you should know what your objectives are and then work on optimizing your site to reflect them.
So, are you missing out on potential customers because of your website?
Here are some tips to easily optimize your website, so you can win more jobs online:
Make sure it’s responsive
That’s just a fancy way of saying needs to look good on mobile devices. Since more people make Google searches from their phones and tablets than desktops, if your website isn’t responsive you can lose out on this fast-growing segment of the market.
Plus, in 2015 Google introduced their mobile-friendly algorithms which, in short, will punish non-responsive sites in their search rankings, meaning you’ll show up lower in the search results.
So, not having a responsive website can be crippling to your online presence, especially since 47% of people click on one of the first three listings.
"When visitors come to your website you have 0-8 seconds to make an impactful impression before they smash the back button and go to one of the big guy's sites."
Use clear call-to-actions and concise copy
It’s easy to get too close to our designs…
...and when we do, we can be blind to the hiccups in our user experience that exist.
Imagine you’re a prospective renter visiting a company's website for the first time.
Now, what if all the information you were looking for was buried in thick paragraphs or you had to search through multiple pages just to request a quote?
If we are being honest… You would probably think the site sucked and there is a good chance you’d have actually given up before you even found what you were looking for.
When visitors come to your website you have 0-8 seconds to make an impactful impression before they smash the back button and go to one of the big guy's sites.
But how do we make that big impact and convert more visitors into customers?
Visitors are pulled into web pages by simple but captivating headlines and images. Consider Uber’s homepage, it offers a concise headline that tells visitors exactly what they are about.
Now that we have fewer people immediately leaving our site, we can add call-to-actions to drive visitors to relevant areas of your website to get specific information. (If you just thought what are call-to-actions? You can click here to learn more!)
Good websites make great salesmen
Your website is your salesman who will be on-call 24/7, 365 days a year. When a customer wants to know about rental rates for a generator at 3 o’clock in the morning, your site will be there.
But can it close the deal?
Most small rental business websites are built on popular website platforms like Wordpress, Wix, Squarespace, or have been custom developed by a design firm. These are great starting places, but they struggle to let customers process transactions, review contracts, and pay invoices.
The big guys have been offering customers an online rental experience for years. So how are you competing with them and claiming your share of the digital rental market?
If you are already using an asset management system to organize and track your equipment, then your website could be doing all that and more.
Rental companies that use SRM or RentalLogic for example, are able to build online rental stores through the GateWay add-on that works with their rental management system.
So when a customer is looking to rent a generator at 3 o’clock in the morning they will see the most up to date pricing with any special rates associated with their account applied.
(Related Article: Renting Online - Grow Your Sales Team While Speeding Up Your Operations Team)
...and if that customer puts in a request for that generator, your counter operator will be able to convert that into a contract in a few quick clicks as soon as they log into SRM or RentalLogic.
Slow page loading costs big $$$
Just like a salesman that takes two days to get back to a customer, if your site takes too long to load customers will lose patience and it will cost you deals. It’s estimated that a one-second delay in site speed reduces your conversion rate by 7%.
In a world where we are used to crazy-fast internet and WiFi, people don’t want to wait for more than a few seconds for your website to load. For transaction focused sites, slow loading pages can eat away at your bottom line.
Managing a website on top of your day to day operations can be overwhelming and many rental companies can’t justify an on-staff web designer or marketer. We often find that companies just want a set it and forget it solution.
By having an online rental store that uses information from your rental management system, you majorly reduce the amount of work that it takes to maintain your website while adding an additional revenue stream to your business.