Having trouble getting local customers to discover your franchise brand? Struggling to increase traffic to your website and storefronts?
Well, we have the perfect solution for you: franchise SEO.
Because we’d love nothing more than to help you grow and prosper, we’ve carefully created this ultimate guide that will get your franchise websites dominating search engines like never before. That way, more people will know about you, particularly those who are looking for the products and/or services you offer, increasing your chances of gaining new customers.
There’s more to it, though, and we’ll be exploring some of the other benefits that are in store for you when you invest in franchise SEO as we go along.
In this post, you’ll discover what franchise SEO is, what franchise marketing is, how franchise SEO marketing plays a vital part in the growth of your business, and of course, the best franchise SEO strategies that will get you to the top spot of Google, Bing, Yahoo, and just about any search engines you can think of. We’ll also provide a couple of our favorite SEO tools as an added bonus.
Ready to get started? So are we! Let’s get to it!
First things first, allow us to answer this million-dollar question, “What is franchise SEO?”
In a nutshell, it refers to a digital marketing strategy that involves a number of tactics aimed to boost online visibility for franchise businesses and drive organic traffic to their individual websites.
An effective franchise SEO strategy comprises of two components: local SEO tactics for ranking solo franchises and content creation for a site that intends to onboard new franchisees. Since content should be managed across a multitude of platforms – including the franchise’s website/s, Google My Business (GMB), social channels, and third-party review platforms – creating a successful SEO campaign requires a holistic approach.
Although we wouldn’t really be focusing much on franchise marketing here, we feel like it would still make sense to talk a bit about it.
So, what’s franchise marketing? It’s basically the process and methods franchise owners and franchisees use to attract new customers and retain existing ones. Its goals can be categorized into three main objectives:
There are usually two options for franchise business owners. They can either manage national marketing on their own, or provide an outline for their franchisees to follow when mapping out a local marketing strategy. Nonetheless, the end goal stays the same, and that is brand consistency.
Now, you’re probably wondering why franchise or local business owners such as yourself should consider investing in SEO services. As mentioned earlier, implementing traditional and local SEO for franchises properly helps you stay at the top of search results, ensuring your target audience finds out about your business when scouring the internet.
That’s not all. There are tons of other reasons why search engine optimization is best for your local businesses. Have a closer look at them below!
Perhaps the best perk you’ll get when you have franchise SEO as part of your online marketing strategy is its capability of boosting your sales.
Most of today’s shoppers tend to read online reviews first before heading to a store so they won’t regret having to take a trip just to end up purchasing nothing. That being said, those who visit your physical location are already more than certain that you’ll be able to provide them with whatever it is they’re planning to buy.
Plus, the fact that Google has ranked you high tells them that you’re a trustworthy and reliable brand. This gives them all the more reason to turn themselves into your customers.
Optimizing your franchise websites for search can result in more targeted traffic. More targeted traffic means more leads, more email subscriptions, more sign-ups, and you guessed it, more sales. In other words, a higher conversion rate.
SEO and content creation go hand in hand. Securing favorable rankings might take a while if you’re not publishing high-quality content on a regular basis. Google’s a massive fan of sites that provide valuable and relevant content for its users, oftentimes rewarding these sites with a good ranking.
Other than that, you’ll make it easier to earn the trust of your prospective customers, as they see how knowledgeable you are in your industry. You’ll position your franchise business in front of high-intent consumers within your geographical area.
Who doesn’t want to have their business promoted 24 hours, seven days a week? Not us, that’s for sure! We know you’re 100% with us here as well!
If you think that’s not possible, think again. SEO for franchises efforts don’t stop after work hours, nor does website content disappear after a budget runs out. Rankings achieved from search engine optimization will endorse your website to anyone who’s searching for a business like yours, no matter what time of day it is.
No longer will you need to bother reaching out to your potential customers, they’ll come to you. You can thank franchise SEO for that.
SEO for franchises also helps your business reduce your advertising costs. With a well-executed SEO strategy getting you to rank on the first page of search engine results pages (SERPs) for high-value keywords, you’ll have the option of lowering your ad spend and reinvest it somewhere else.
For instance, if you’re running six pay-per-click (PPC) campaigns, you could choose to run three instead, with the rest of your savings going to your content marketing planning. Your traditional ad costs will most likely go down too. Within the first year of investing in SEO, many businesses have come to realize that it’s actually more cost-effective than traditional advertising.
If you’re skipping on franchise SEO, don’t be surprised to lose your target audience to competitors who have made it a priority. Users who search for queries related to your business or offerings won’t get a chance to see your website. They’ll have to go beyond the first page, which rarely happens.
And so, if you aim to beat your competitors (don’t we all?), you gotta take franchise SEO seriously. Commit to a solid SEO plan, implement it, and you’ll be outranking your rivals in no time.
Franchise SEO marketing is an ongoing strategy, which means you’ll keep seeing the benefits it brings even if it has been years since you’ve started investing in it. There’s one catch, though – you’ll have to make a long-term commitment to SEO. You’ll have to invest in it every year in order to maximize your ROI.
Trust us, all those years of investment will pay off in the long run.
This is the part where we tackle the different strategies that will make it possible for your franchise website to show up at the first page of Google’s search results.
Don’t let these strategies intimidate you – anyone with the slightest knowledge of SEO can get the job done by themselves. As a matter of fact, even those with zero background can do them (or at least a few of them with) ease. We’re not kidding! Our franchise SEO experts can attest!
As long as you have these items in your franchise SEO strategy, you’ll be on the right track.
One of the best ways for any franchise or multi-location business to solidify its online presence is by creating a Google Business Profile (formerly known as Google My Business). With Google known as the undisputed champ in the search engine territory since who-knows-when, you’ll certainly want to have all.
Finding a storefront in this digital age is as easy as Googling it. Right after typing a business or a keyword related to it, searchers will see a map of options, including GPS directions to the place they pick in just a couple of clicks.
That’s exactly why you should have a Google Business Profile for every single one of your franchise brands.
The process is quick and straightforward. Just fill out all of the business details, and double-check to make sure everything’s free of error. Any mistake can confuse searchers and bots alike, and that’s certainly something you don’t want to happen.
After you’re done listing each franchise, your next step is to optimize their profiles. Take time working on these details.
The last thing users want is to find a franchise in Google maps and get directions to its store, only to discover that it’s closed even though the hours stated it should be operating on that day and time. Odds are, they’ll head over to one of your competitors instead. So, see to it that you keep your business hours up-to-date.
This is the section where you tell everybody (including search engines) what your business is all about. Highlight the things that make you stand out from the rest, as well as your strengths. However, since Google only allows up to 750 characters, you must prioritize the details you want to include carefully.
Adding the products and/or services your franchise business offers directly suggests to Google what you should be showing up for in searches. List them all down along with a brief description for each. It is, without a doubt, one of the best ways to improve your Google listings’ relevancy to search terms.
How will your target audience know that you’re a legitimate brand? Simple: upload as many images of your businesses as possible! Start with your Identity photos, which are your logo and cover photo, as they serve as the complete representation of who you are as a brand. Don’t stop uploading to keep your audience posted, and don’t forget to tag with Interior, Exterior, At work, and Team.
Why only settle for Google when you can also turn to one of the most trusted third-party review sites among consumers? Listing all of your franchise locations on Yelp can work wonders for your business. Besides making it easier for you to get discovered by potential customers, it can greatly strengthen your local franchise SEO and conversion rates.
More than 178 million people worldwide visit Yelp every month. Most use the platform to scour business listings, searching for one that can cater to their needs or solve their pain points, based on user reviews and photos. Like Google, it also provides relevant information such as location, contact details, hours, and products.
Another feature that makes Yelp a popular choice among consumers is the fact that it gives them the freedom to review each franchise location whenever they feel like it. This can be advantageous to your local audience, as it allows them to see exactly what others like and dislike about a particular location of your franchise.
Failing to list your multiple locations on Yelp could mean missing out on prospects, and we’re talking about those who are in your area searching for your products and/or services online. In short, those who are ready to make a purchase.
Let’s say someone in West Palm Beach is looking for your franchise within the area, but you only have a Yelp page in Tampa. Obviously, they won’t consider you as an option anymore. There goes your next conversion.
Creating your own franchise website is your best bet if you’re running a single location or multiple locations. Doing so presents an opportunity for you to produce content specific to your location’s offerings while ranking for longtail keywords at the same time.
If you’re running a special promo that other franchise locations are also running, for example, you’d want to promote it on your website as well. Being able to add a page that you can promote with PPC ads and share on social makes it much more convenient to reach future customers.
On the other hand, if you happen to work in the corporate office of a franchise, we strongly recommend you list each of your locations on your website, as opposed to building a separate website.
Dedicate a “Locations” page where you include each storefront alongside their respective address, phone number, operating hours, and other useful information. It’s also a smart idea to add an interactive map of all locations so searchers can find the one nearest to them and learn where else they can find your franchise.
Consistency is key when it comes to creating a winning franchise SEO campaign.
Deviating from established branding is a mistake commonly made by franchise owners, especially those who are new to the world of SEO. By opting for different colors or themes for each franchise, there’s a huge chance that you’ll confuse your target audience and change their minds about paying you a visit.
Imagine walking into an Apple store and see the walls painted with bright colors rather than their white trademark. You’ll be dumbfounded and think you’re in the wrong store!
Website branding has a crucial role to play in the success of your SEO efforts. Your franchise website (or individual websites) should be cohesive with your storefront. By that, we mean you should stick with the same color scheme all throughout, using the colors that embody your brand.
If your prospects are expecting your website to appear a certain way and they land on a page that looks entirely different from what they had in mind, they may leave your page, assuming that it’s another brand.
Whether you have a single website or multiple ones, make sure to use location-specific keywords so local customers can find you easily. Targeting national search terms may get the word out about your franchise business, but what’s the point if those users live in the other side of the world?
If you own a flower shop in Austin, Texas, you’ll want to insert the phrases “flower shop in Austin TX” and “where to buy flowers in Austin TX” in elements like title tags, headings, and the body of your content. Additionally, you can have local landmarks, regional names, and nearby tourist destinations as target keywords to further boost your online visibility to local searchers.
Displaying customer reviews is always a great way to enhance online visibility and brand credibility. Not only does it influence your target audience to decide whether you’re the right choice for them or not, but it also helps your business rank higher in SERPs, particularly when users search for keywords mentioned in your reviews.
And, with 84% of people trusting online reviews as much as personal recommendations, you’ll do your business an enormous favor when you encourage customers to leave reviews for different locations. Think about the number of searchers you’ll be converting when they see your Google Business Profile and Yelp bio filled with glowing feedback. You’ll be in awe!
As much as you may be urged to, don’t remove negative reviews. Rather, respond to them in a professional manner so your audience will see that you value all of your customers. Don’t just talk the talk, either. Commit to the promises you make in your replies; don’t do it just for show. Otherwise, that would be the final straw for those disappointed reviewers of yours.
It’s also worth pointing out that Google favors websites with many positive reviews. Because it wants nothing more than to offer its users the best experience, it would display these sites at the top of search results whenever someone is browsing for similar brands online.
If asking for reviews isn’t your strongest suit, these quick tips could help you get your customers gush (or rant) about your franchise brand:
A killer franchise SEO strategy will no doubt springboard your way to the top of Google’s search results. However, we know that creating one on your own and implementing all the necessary tactics can be extremely overwhelming, especially since you have a lot in your hands as a franchise owner.
This is where Digital Resource enters the scene.
Our dedicated team of SEO experts will be more than happy to help you grow and succeed. With years of experience in the field, you can count on them to tailor a personalized SEO plan that’s meticulously designed to help you turn your business goals into reality.
Schedule a free consultation with us today to learn how we can bring value to your franchise business!