At their very core, franchised businesses carry lower risk rates and come with a high likelihood of success due to their powerful brand foundation. As such, franchises have become the go-to model for eager entrepreneurs who want to take a stab at running their own business, but without the terrifying risks that come with opening an entirely new, unknown business entity. That, however, does not eliminate all the challenges and the struggle needed to put yourself on the map as an independent franchisee, and ensure growth from day one.
On the contrary, SEO can be a rather tricky segment of the online presence of franchises with multiple branches. Here are several tried and tested SEO tips for franchises to help you not only launch your business in the online realm, but help it build a reputation as a standalone entity in the market.
Location pages are a must
No matter how many branches the overarching business may have, the main website serves as the core online presence for them all. That, however, doesn’t mean that you should cram everything onto a single page or that you need to build separate websites for each franchise that opens up. From the point of view, as the new franchisee, you need your own dedicated page on the website to differentiate yourself from other branches in the group.
Devoting an entire page to your business alone, and providing that key data such as work hours, address, name, and location map means that you will make Google’s job easier when a prospective customer searches for your service in their vicinity. Without those pages, it would be impossible for search engines to tag you as relevant, so make sure you build a branded page for your franchise.
Nowadays, when you’re looking for a dentist or a new dry cleaning service in your neighborhood, you no longer just go to Google. You also talk to your friends, look for social media reviews and comments, check out each business’s presence, and establish if you can trust them with your needs. Reviews build every brand’s image over time, and allow search engines to decide which one fits your potential customer’s needs.
When you rely on Google My Business and similar directories to enable reviews by customers for each franchise location, you can rest assured that you will make each branch more visible and increase your overall credibility. This will not only help you attract more customers, but also convince potential buyers who are wondering how to choose a franchise to invest in that your business is worthy of their trust.
Keep track and analyze your progress
One of the most common mistakes franchisees make in their chase for success is neglecting to monitor their SEO efforts and make adjustments on the go, or at least on a regular basis. Most new business owners tend to simply apply all the marketing best practices suggested by the corporate office, and wait for the results to start flowing in, which doesn’t happen so smoothly all that often.
Too often, franchisers tend to focus on other components of their SEO plans, which leads to sticking to outdated practices and missing out on possible trends for each specific location when they could be improving their SEO based on simple data. For each franchise to succeed and utilize its potential, you should implement tracking and analytics tools that can single out issues with each local page (on your website as well as social media), and deliver on possible solutions on how to tackle them, cut on costs, and narrow down on the best SEO tactics for each location.
Make yourself known on social networks
We’ve mentioned social media several times, and it’s time to devote them some undivided attention – an attitude you should also use for your own franchise SEO efforts. Working with multiple locations gives you the opportunity to use social media as a means to stand out. Although there will always be corporate guidelines to follow in order to be brand-consistent, there is always enough room for localizing your social content enough to make yourself known and utilize your brand authority.
In addition to giving you a way to communicate with your possible customers and use social networks as customer support channels, you’ll also have more listings in the SERPs, allowing you a fighting chance to make your presence stronger than that of your competitors.
Localize your content
Finally, one of the most vital steps for every franchise business is to make their content distinctly local so that search engines can rank your website properly. Retaining the reputation of the main brand while you also build your own takes a very location-specific approach. To avoid content duplication, which often happens when new franchises merely utilize corporate content, you should create original blogs, with specific locations and other details pointing to your store.
The same applies to every single press release, social media post, as well as product or service description you advertise online. It’s pivotal to keep your content rich with local data, so that search engines can tell your web presence apart from your overarching corporation.
The beauty of SEO is that you can use it to your advantage no matter how many stores or offices you have scattered across the world. You can still preserve a consistent brand image while you distinguish between each relevant location, but only if you implement the latest relevant strategies that will help you skyrocket your success.