Search engine optimization (SEO) plays a vital role in effectively marketing your franchise.
It is simple to search your business on popular search engines, but does it appear at the top of the first page of search results where it is visible to everyone?
If your business or brand isn’t SEO friendly, here are some simple tricks to help you get your name near that number one spot.
How often are you updating content on your franchise website? Rich keywords are integral when it comes to optimizing your site for search engines, though you don’t want to alienate your readers in the process. To increase the search engine visibility on your website, start by figuring out what keywords are of high value to your concept. In addition to making it easier to find your site on search engines, this practice will provide a solid foundation for writing high-quality content. Consistent keyword research early in the writing process is a great help, and you can revitalize older content this way, too.
Blog, blog, blog!
Blogging is one of the most effective ways to increase your search engine optimization – not to mention, it consistently keeps the reader coming back. Adopting a consistent blogging strategy ensures that you’re frequently updating your website with new content, which is the best way to keep search engines like Google interested. Posting videos, photos, and referencing your site on social media are additional ways to effectively increase visibility. Taking advantage of this common yet powerful technology can help you drive more readers to your franchise site.
Pandas and penguins
Panda 4.2, Google’s newest algorithm, is designed to prevent websites with poor quality content from moving up in Google’s top search results. In order to avoid being labeled as “poor quality content,” create tags on your website, including title, meta description, web content and optimization tags.
Create Inbound Links
Inbound links are one of the most important tools for increasing SEO for your franchise website. Inbound links allow other websites to link back to your original site, making you a top priority on Google search. Here are some common ways to create inbound links:
- Have guest bloggers link back to your website
- Create contests that encourage users to visit your site via links
- Maintain directory listings that contain links for your site and your business
- Coordinate fundraisers that will result in links back to your site and your business
Keep your local standing high
Another popular way to boost your SEO is to focus on local search engine results, ensuring that people in your area are able to find you and your services. The best way to do that is to claim your Google My Business page, which is a free local listing service run by Google. After confirming contact information like your business’ name, address and phone number, people searching your name or your targeted search terms can easily find ways to contact you. Pair that with local reviews (if applicable to your franchise) and include geographic terms on your page, and you’ll be able to keep your local market covered while you focus on broader SEO efforts.
Mobilizing your resources
Finally, you want to make sure you’re using SEO strategies that are effecting on mobile devices as well as within traditional web browsers. The game changes on a yearly or even monthly basis—about as fast as telecommunication technology evolves—but recent trends point to shrinking screen space for search results. This means that even the most meticulous SEO strategies will be pushed farther down the result list by paid search listings. More major search engines are providing information up front, without requiring the user to click through to a webpage (franchise or otherwise). This, too, pushes your keyword-seeded blog post covering your shiniest widget farther and farther down the page. Two fairly straightforward things you can do is make sure your site is indexed, as well as fix as many mobile-friendly errors as you can. Once you have that down, you can start thinking about mobile-specific keywords and content.
These are some of the more basic SEO strategies you can employ, but even they will become irrelevant as the complex online landscape grows and changes. If you want your franchise to survive and prosper in the marketplace, SEO is one facet of your marketing strategy that must not be ignored.
Matthew Jonas is the president of TopFire Media, an award winning, integrated public relations and digital marketing agency specializing in franchise marketing and consumer branding. Together with the leaders of iFranchise Group and Franchise Dynamics, Matthew established TopFire Media to provide a strategic and synchronized method for digital marketing in the franchise industry. As a digital marketing strategist with over a decade of in-depth experience in SEO and PPC, social media publishing, conversion-based marketing, inbound marketing, sales management, and online lead generation, Matthew has built a career dedicated to delivering an integrated marketing approach that achieves client success and long-term relationships.