If you’re the marketing director for a franchise or own a local franchise, then you may have many questions about how to optimize your franchise’s website. You might also wonder what you need to be doing on a national or regional level compared to what local locations should be doing. There are similarities and differences between franchise SEO and local SEO that you need to implement to reach your target audience. Knowing these key strategies can equip you with the knowledge you need to convince your audience to convert and keep coming back.
What Is Franchise SEO?
Franchise SEO refers to the steps taken on a corporate level to engage customers and get them to visit their local franchisee. SEO for franchisees should be designed to pull customers in when they’re looking for products or services you sell. You also need to take into consideration SEO for franchise efforts that spark interest and push customers to come into a location to see a product they may not realize they need yet. It’s also good when you can get them to realize your products pose solutions to problems they’re facing.
What Are Some SEO Franchise Opportunities?
One of the strategies that a Franchisor or each Franchisee needs to do is to get every location listed in as many directories as possible. This helps ensure the customer sees the listing everywhere they look. You need to ensure that the name, address, and phone number of each location are listed the same way every time. Additionally, you should ensure there are no duplications of those listings.
The next thing franchisees need to do is create a Google My Business (GMB for short) listing for each location they own. When you’re creating the GMB listing, use your specific keywords in the description so Google shows your listing when a customer enters a term such as “near me” in it. Additionally, use structured data since this makes it easier for Google to choose your listing, which increases the number of times it appears in search results.
Another essential step is generating reviews. Think about where your customers are most likely to look for what others have to say about your business before making a buying decision. After all, more than 80% of customers shop online before they make a purchase.
You also need to determine which social media channels your users hang out on. Then, make sure your franchise is found there when they are most likely thinking about the products your company sells. The most active periods on social media are during the week from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Another important part of getting reviews is making it easy for customers to leave them. Choose times when they are likely to be the happiest with your company to ask for reviews. Every customer should be asked to leave a review every time they make a purchase. You should be responding to those reviews regularly—even the negative ones—in a positive manner. By choosing your wording carefully, you can even work your keywords into your replies naturally.
You also need a great mobile-friendly website that leads customers through each step of the buying process. Your franchise website needs to have a separate page for each location too. Each location, however, should not have a website of its own because this dilutes your company’s clout when search engines use robots to search your site. The bots will become confused about where you want the customer sent. Remember you should always be creating new content and keeping your website up to date.
Pay-per-click can also play a vital role in connecting with your target audience. These ads should help customers know what sets your brand apart from your competitors. They should also have a clear call to action for the customer to visit your local store.
What Is the Relationship Between Franchise SEO and Local SEO?
The relationship between a franchisor and a franchisee depends on the company’s culture, FDD guidelines, and overall marketing approach to maintain brand consistency. It’s important to realize that everything that gets posted online about your brand tells part of the company’s story. Also, each franchisee needs some control because they have a better grasp of what will connect with their target audience. In an ideal world, local SEO franchise and the SEO for the entire franchise share responsibilities in leading customers through the sales funnel.
SEO Tips for Local Store Franchise
Franchise local SEO efforts should be highly encouraged. The local unit may be able to sign into their Google My Business account and post promotions that will be most important to their local customers. For example, the local unit may want to plan a promotion around a community festival.
Each franchisee should be reading their reviews regularly and responding publicly within 24 hours. Then, franchisees can spot problems when they are small and get them corrected. Additionally, reaching out to customers who leave negative reviews often has positive effects because they often explain situations that the franchisor has no way of knowing.
Getting involved in the local community is a great way to build SEO because people are more likely to go to the web to learn more about the company that supported them. When a franchise sponsors local events or helps with them, people see that the overall franchise cares about the community. Consequently, they’ll recommend it to their friends.
Franchisees may also need to promote their local businesses on social media. This could include making posts that will attract customers to their local stores or responding positively to what others are saying.
The main difference between franchise SEO and local SEO comes down to building the overall brand. The franchise should concentrate on building the brand’s image in a way that’s applicable across every location. Local SEO efforts should focus on making each individual franchise site better.
Good SEO tactics can help you build your brand both locally and nationally. Contact us today to learn how we can help you with both your franchise and local SEO.