Franchise Online Marketing

Social media algorithm updates are changing franchise online marketing.

Franchise online marketing is currently facing an interesting conflict of interests, as site owners and social media giants struggle to keep users on their respective pages.

Social networks have begun developing their algorithms to boost visibility for content that keeps users on their app, rather than redirecting them to other websites. This means, for example, that in terms of ranking and visibility, Facebook would privilege a “native video” hosted on its page over a link to the same clip on YouTube or another site.

  • Facebook frowns upon content that includes external links and tends to lower its overall visibility;
  • Twitter uses both an algorithm and limited character system that hurts the performance of tweets that include external links;
  • Instagram allows no external links at all, which is why you may have seen a famous actor or athlete you follow directing you to the link posted in their bio;
  • LinkedIn privileges self-contained content and dampens posts containing external links.

As you might imagine, this seriously affects franchise online marketing strategies for social media outreach and engagement. Brands trying to drive traffic and visitors to external pages may find themselves fighting an uphill battle.

Now experienced franchise online marketing players are talking about social media in different terms, framing it as a general branding and audience-engagement asset, and moving away from its longtime role as an easy link-builder and traffic generator.

Do you keep up the same franchise online marketing approach, or start playing to the social media algorithms?

In this case, “playing to the algorithms” means creating more self-contained social media content. This approach advances the social media giants’ goals of keeping users on-site and engaged, somewhat at the franchise owners’ expense.

This approach isn’t all bad. The key is sharing posts that you can rely on to get you high engagement, because that’s the only thing in it for you; you won’t be getting traffic, click-through, or call-to-action goal completions, so you might as well engage your audience and do something good for your brand. This approach also takes advantage of Twitter and Facebook’s tendency to reward momentum, where 2-3 high-performing posts give you a visibility advantage for your next one.

Alternately, you can say “stuff the algorithms!” and continue to serve your website. Tease quality content to engage your audience, then drop an external link to attract as many visitors as you can.

So what’s the right move?

Our recommendation for franchise online marketing on social media is balance. And also doing what serves your specific goals. If you want more social media audience engagement, leave out the link and enjoy the visibility boost that comes along with that more austere posting style. But if you want to build your on-site audience, drop that link with pride!

But if we have to choose one, serving your site is ultimately what matters. After all, this is an asset you own and have full control of. Most people would rather 10 loyal, action-taking site visitors than 100 new Twitter followers.

Like all algorithms, these social media formulas are all changing, so we encourage you to keep up to date with breaking news and updates on our blog at https://www.clicktecs.com. Alternately, you can give one of our experts a call with any questions you may have.

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Local Franchise Marketing Solutions

Blackhat business owners are using spam tactics to beat out higher-quality brand competition, and people are demanding local franchise marketing solutions.

Today’s post explains 3 common spam tactics being used, why you should avoid them at all costs, and how to fight back against the blackhatters!

Spam tactics are working (for now…)

Local search algorithms are being exploited. Spam tactics are being used to give certain brands unfair advantages over the competition.

  • Crowbarring keywords into Google My Business names. This tactic involves registering your business under a false name, swapping in keywords instead as a way to boost your local ranking power. 

    Imagine ClickTecs had an evil twin company that loved blackhat exploits.Evil ClickTecs wants to rank highly in local searches for “local franchise marketing solutions,” so they devise a plan to stuff those keywords into their official business listing and game the system. So Evil ClickTecs submits their Google My Business application with all their normal contact info, except that they use the name “Local Franchise Marketing Solutions” instead.

    This is technically spam – an “irrelevant or inappropriate message” – and definitely a blackhat cheat. Google My Business Guidelines state that “your name should reflect your business’ real-world name, as used consistently on your storefront, website, stationery, and as known to customers. Accurately representing your business name helps customers find your business online.” Changing your business’s name to include keywords is one thing; using a false name to boost your ranking power is a big problem.

    Unfortunately, there are quite a few businesses like Evil ClickTecs out there, and their spam tactics are working!

  • Stuffing location and city names into Google My Business names. This is a lot like the previous spam tactic in that they both involve submitting a false name to exploit the local search algorithm. But where the last blackhat hack used keywords, this one targets local areas.Let’s suppose that dastardly Evil ClickTecs is at it again. But now they’ve changed their name from “Local Franchise Marketing Solutions” to “Evil ClickTecs Mississauga.” The extra city name-drop will give them a spammy ranking boost that may push them past the competition.

    Yes, there are businesses like “Evil ClickTecs Mississauga” out there, and they’re blatantly spamming their way past legitimate companies!

  • Creating fake business listings to get more leads. This is perhaps the most egregious spam tactic out there right now. Companies like the nefarious Evil ClickTecs are creating fake listing that redirect users to their sites, which allows them to crowd out top local search result spots!Let’s suppose Evil ClickTecs created a few such companies: the aforementioned Local Franchise Marketing Solutions, along with a new front, Franchise SEO Mississauga. Both listings are stuffed with Evil ClickTecs contact info, and clicking on any of the 3 brings you to the same homepage. Scandalous spam tactics (but, unfortunately, effective)!

Why do spam tactics work?

Google’s algorithm puts a lot of value into the business name, which makes sense since many people will search for specific brands. And because the business name gets extra attention, it makes any relevant keyword or location you include extra-powerful.

So why not use spam tactics?

Because these tactics won’t work for long. Google is always updating its algorithm to suss out spammers. And if you’re caught using blackhat exploits like these, your SERP will take a big hit.

How can my franchise fight back against local spam tactics?

These are a few local franchise marketing solutions:

  • Report listings with incorrect information via the “Suggest an edit” option and submit the proper business name;
  • Report spam review accounts that up-vote their brand and denounce all others, as this violates Google’s review guidelines under the “Conflict of Internet” section;
  • Explore online reputation management (ORM) strategies to fight spam reviews from your competitors;
  • If all else fails, wait it out! Google is working on it and will penalize spam tactic users eventually.

Find more local franchise marketing solutions or learn more about the ORM service mentioned above at https://www.clicktecs.com.

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Franchise SEM and SEO Tactics

Google is constantly tweaking its algorithm to reward quality sites, penalize blackhatters, and integrate new technology, which means franchise SEM and SEO is constantly evolving.

With that in mind, today’s post spotlights 3 dated SEO and SEM tactics that are no longer worthwhile.

  • Practicing rigid keyword repetition. A fair amount of your franchise SEM effort will be spent trying to rank for targeted keywords in order to attract relevant web traffic. And that makes keyword-centric content very important. But if your strategy starts and ends with “1 keyword per 100 words” or something similar, you’re in trouble.The problem is that many franchise SEM tools, free and paid, rank your content based on the number of times your keyword appears. This keyword “density” calculation can be helpful for focusing your piece and making sure you give crawl-bots appropriate signals, but it shouldn’t be the deciding factor.

    Formulaic, paint-by-numbers approaches don’t work anymore. In fact, Google has begun penalizing content crammed with keywords, even when they’re highly relevant. Though keyword-laden content isn’t considered to be blackhat, the forced repetition kills your readability. Clunky content sends readers elsewhere, which tells Google your page isn’t very valuable, and sends you plummeting down the SERP.

    Put your keywords where it matters – headings, hypertext, the opening 100 words, the title, and a few other critical points for longer pieces – but make readability a priority. Function and form are equally important; finding this balance is part of the art of franchise SEM.

  • Inflating content schedules with multiple short pieces. Before it had developed to its current level of sophistication, Google blindly rewarded highly active websites. Though the exact details were never released, independent web marketers found a positive correlation between weekly post count and SERP, so that sites who had daily posts usually outranked those with 2-3 per week. And once they found out, they started exploiting it, breaking longer pieces into multiple posts just to inflate their post schedules (without increasing actual content writing output).But, as always, Google eventually got ahead of the blackhatters with an update and sorted them out with stiff penalties. Nowadays, padding your content schedule with multiple short posts is worthless. In fact, any posts below 300 words aren’t going to rank well. That doesn’t mean they’re always a bad idea – not every piece of content needs to rank competitively, after all – but if ranking is your goal, aim for 500+ words. If you can break long-form content into pieces of 500 words or more in a natural way (think “Part 1” and “Part 2,” with each piece still functional as a standalone), then go for it.
  • Alt-tag keyword stuffing. The “alt tag” on images was once seen as yet another opportunity to slip in a keyword with no real thought. But as we’ve discussed, there’s no value in that anymore. And more importantly, alt tags need to be used as they’re intended: to tell crawl-bots what they’re looking at. Search engines cannot interpret the images on your website visually, and rely on the alt-text code to do so. And, just like with any situation where you’re sending a signal to a crawl-bot, you want to be clear and concise to get a boost and avoid a penalty. That means writing alt text that actually describes and categorizes the image, rather than simply jams in a keyword.

That’s all for now. But you can stay up to date with what works for Google’s ever-changing algorithm at https://www.clicktecs.com.

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Franchise PPC

Franchise PPC, rankings, and organic ads are going to look quite different in 2018.

Here’s why:

  • Voice search is here to stay. Back in 2016, Google reported that 55% of teens and 40% of adults are using voice search every single day. And it’s not hard to see why this sci-fi-tinted technology is getting more popular: it’s fast, easy, hands-free, and surprisingly accurate, with a reported error rate of only 8%.So how does speaking our searches affect franchise PPC, rankings, and organic ads?Well first of all, it’s making searches longer and more “conversationally sound.” Rather than typing “franchise ppc tips,” a searcher would ask “What are tips for franchise ppc?” Things change a lot when we switch from written to oral communication. The searcher might even ask “What are tips for franchise pay-per-click,” feeling as though the acronym is a little clunky to say aloud.

    In SEO terms, this conversational search style makes semantic context much more important. And it also makes over-optimizing pages to juice short-tail keywords is a thing of the past.

    In 2018, your franchise PPC and SEO needs to focus on the long-tails, questions, and conversational queries that will be spoken aloud by searchers. If you’re researching keywords, search “how,” “what,” and “why” to find long-form questions people are asking.

  • Mobile continues upward march. Coming in response to global usage trends, Google’s mobile-first search index, which privileges mobile sites in the SERP, is expected to rollout in 2018, which means it’s more important than ever to be fully responsive and mobile-savvy.If you’re not already on top of this, you’re hemorrhaging potential sales and traffic. Google reports that over half of searches come from mobile devices, which means you’re potentially snubbing half your audience.Simple, standard mobile-optimization will keep you from being penalized and help your conversation rates improve.
  • User experience (UE) is all-important. In its fight against Blackhatters, Google made a fundamental change in how its algorithm values sites, prioritizing user experience above that of the crawl-bot. In other words, Google is now looking more closely at how real users behave on your website – bounce rate, on-site engagement, time on site, and so on – and valuing these metrics more than keyword density, alt text, and other backend stuff your website visitors never notice.Since UE is more important than ever, 2018 is the perfect time to roll out the deluxe website experience for your guests. That means investing in dropping page load time, improving readability, and tweaking the navigational structure for a smooth and enjoyable ride from start-to-finish. Put more time into pleasing the human user than the crawlbot this year and it’ll pay off!
  • The “Snippet” is now the most sought-after position. Google SERP now includes a Feature Snippet for most searchers, which often includes a concise answer and picture relating to the query. Since its the only bit of visually-stimulating content on a page full of relatively bland page titles and descriptions, the Snippet has become a very popular spot. Franchise PPC and SEO strategists have begun to refer to the Feature Snippet as “Position 0,” making it even more valuable than the #1 SERP spot.Though the Feature Snippet algorithm is still fresh and relatively mysterious, we know content that strives to answer queries clearly and with highly relevant visual aids performs best.If you want to learn more about how franchise PPC and SEO is changing in 2018, or to talk further about scoring that Feature Snippet spot, get in touch at https://www.clicktecs.com.
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