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Online growth for rental industry

Cars parked in a car park

A new study by digital marketing experts at Inside Online has discovered that the UK car hire industry has seen an overall online growth of 33% since 2016.

It was revealed in the agency’s annual Car Hire Digital Insight Report, in which the online performance of 43 top companies is analysed. The reports are produced every year to allow industry leaders to gain a greater understanding of how they measure up against their competitors in the digital landscape.

The new market report published by Lucintel states: “The future of the global car rental industry looks good with opportunities in the on-airport and off-airport market segment.

“The global car rental industry is forecasted to grow at a CAGR of 5.6% from 2016 to 2021. The major drivers of growth for this market are rising global tourism industry, increasing globalisation of corporate operations, and increasing income levels across the globe.”

If Lucintel’s predictions are correct this means that large car hire companies need to solidify their positions within the search engines and smaller players are going to have to make significant improvements to their online strategies to ensure a profitable year ahead, says Inside Online.

Enterprise Rent-A-Car is top of the market in terms of year-on-year visibility, based on search metrics data, followed by Hertz, Sixt, Rentalcars.com and Europcar. Indigo Car Hire has seen the greatest increase in visibility, with a massive 538%.

Enterprise is also the joint most searched-for brand per month along with Holiday Autos. Europcar, Hertz and Avis round up the top five most searched-for brands.

The greater the number of links a site has pointing towards it tends to correlate with the authoritativeness of the domain, which in turn tends to correlate with organic visibility.

As a general rule, the larger brands manage to obtain the highest number of links per month due to their ability to naturally appear in news and blog posts around the web. If smaller brands are managing to gather links at a higher rate, it could be that aggressive link manipulation is taking place.

Rentalcars.com has by far the greatest number of linking domains with 962. Far behind, in second and third position, are Car Rentals and Enterprise.

Looking at the linking domains’ authorities, it is Budget who has the most very authoritative (70-100 DA) links. National Car, Thrifty, Premiere Velocity and Easirent also do really well in this area.

When it comes to social influence, the data analysts examined who has been doing the best at promoting engagement through social followers. It is Sixt who excel in this area, followed by Hertz, Europcar, National Car and Alamo.

Hatty Scaramanga, sales and marketing manager at Inside Online, said: “There are several emerging trends which have a direct impact on the dynamics of the car rental industry, these trends include enhanced user experience through digitisation, additional green vehicles in the fleets of rental car companies, introduction of autonomous vehicles, enhanced technologies in car rental services, and the concept of self-driving instead of hiring a driver.

“Companies must ensure their organic and digital visibility through on and offline channels as their position becomes more volatile due to the increased emergence of comparison sites and new technological advancements.”

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