Franchise SEO is unlike any other form of SEO. You can’t just apply general SEO tips. Read these SEO tips for franchise companies to understand how it’s done.
With the tight overhead that your franchise probably has, it might be hard to spend 35% of your marketing budget on digital like other small businesses. Franchise companies sometimes also have to abide by guidelines that restrict the kinds of marketing campaigns that other companies are able to implement. That’s one of the reasons that SEO is so vital for franchises.
Franchise companies need to take a different approach to SEO than other local businesses. It’s not enough to turn customers onto your brand. You need to make sure you get people working on your specific franchise.
Tackling SEO for your company requires flexibility different than local or national SEO. Here are 10 tips for implementing strong SEO for franchise companies.
1. Know The Right Local Keywords
Have you ever noticed that if you type “pizza” into Google, you’ll get results that are relevant to your area? It’s not magic. Search engines use your user account, past searches, and stored browser data to match where you’re searching from with local results.
Depending on the kind of franchise you have, you could be competing with other franchises in your city. In order to make sure you have a strong foundation for your business, use local keywords that mention neighborhoods and geographic markers.
You might also have different terminology for your area. If you’re running an ice cream shop, you need to know if people in your area will be searching online for “jimmies” or “sprinkles”. Make sure you’re thinking like a customer of franchise companies like yours and you’ll build a strong local following for your brand.
2. Have Two Keyword Lists
Franchise companies need to have multiple keyword lists.
You have a strong brand with products and services that customers will be searching for. You need to ensure that when customers are searching for services like yours, they find your brand easily.
You’ll also need a keyword list to catch all of the people searching from your region. While your brand might come up high on the list, you need to make sure your franchise is the number one hit in your location.
If your brand comes up first for “carpet cleaning services”, you need to make sure your franchise comes up first for “carpet cleaning services in beverly hills”.
3. Unique Listings
Owners of multiple locations in franchise companies need to have unique, verified listings. When it comes to using Google My Business, Yahoo! Local, or Yelp, just typing in your brand name could result in unhelpful information.
You need to make sure every location and every branch of your franchise has its own page. This way, clients and customers have options to and can build a relationship with the location that’s closest to them.
4. Manage Your Reviews
Find a clever way to capture email addresses from your clients. Reach out to your most dedicated customers and ask them for reviews on your site of choice.
Offer an incentive for visiting your location and showing off their review on Yelp, Angie’s List, or Google. You should be building up your reviews even if you’ve just opened your location.
The more positive reviews you can gather at the opening of your franchise, the easier it will be to balance out negative reviews later. A one-star review against a single five-star review will put you below 3 and could ruin your reputation.
Check out HealthyYou vending reviews for more tips on how to manage your reviews.
5. Separate Franchise Pages, One URL
When franchise companies create separate websites for every single franchise location, it can be confusing to a customer. Products or services offered at BrandXMiami.com could be different than what’s offered at BrandXNorthMiami.com.
This will lead to customer confusion and a loss of trust from your customers. If you can’t hold a consistent site with a clear definition of what each branch offers, how can I trust your products or services.
Create one central site with separate pages for each franchise location.
6. Unique Social Media Accounts
Your franchises should have unique social media accounts for every location. If one of your locations isn’t doing as well as the others, you can offer a special promotion to drive traffic to that location.
If one of your locations has an electrical problem and needs to close, you can direct customers to the other locations. And if a staff member at one location upsets a customer, driving them to post on Facebook, you won’t see an impact at every location.
Show off the personality of each one of your franchises with separate social media accounts.
7. Run Different Cross Promotions
Having separate accounts and identities for different locations allows you to cross promote with nearby businesses. Every social media account should be following the businesses closest in proximity to your location. You can comment on one another’s posts and find ways to complement each other’s services.
Get your heads together and see if you can run some promotions to create a rising tide to lift all boats.
8. Create A Blog for Each Location
Put the power back into the hands of the people working at each franchise location. Find out who some of the more talented writers are working at each franchise and allow them to shine.
Give them some direction and let them produce great content that will also help to drive traffic. Ensure that they use your most important keywords, promote their posts on social media, and attack SEO from every angle.
9. Be Mobile First
As mobile usage surpasses desktop browsing, you need to find ways to integrate into the apps and tools that your customers use the most. Your site needs to be optimized for mobile viewing or your services will look outdated.
If you have an app, find ways to connect to your customers’ social media apps for an integrated experience.
10. Consolidate Efforts
Make sure every one of your franchises is in contact with the others. Avoid running duplicate campaigns or promotions. And if one branch is focusing on a particular service or product, have the other branches focus on another.
Franchise Companies Can See Big Returns on SEO
If you manage your online presence carefully, you can get more returns from SEO than you would from a TV or radio campaign. Find ways to do things differently than your competition and you’ll be able to stand out in ways that customers will appreciate.
If you’re ready to make your next move in digital marketing, contact us for how to start implementing this strategy.