3 Common Mistakes with Local SEO for Franchises

3 Common Mistakes with Local SEO for Franchises

August 16, 2017 By

Local SEO for franchises is extremely important for generating business. Today’s post outlines 3 common mistakes people make with their local SEO strategies to help you make the most of your web assets.

Common Mistakes with Local SEO for Franchises

#1) Location page issues.

Your franchise website is the cornerstone of any online marketing strategy, so it’s important that you get the fundamentals right. Though Google is famous for it’s cryptic and even contradictory advice, there are some well-established criteria for ranking with location pages that you cannot ignore:

  • Add location pages. Your main franchise website should dedicate pages to individual locations. Ideally, each franchisee will have a unique page, though regional pages can work in a pinch. While mega “index pages” listing all franchisee locations are common, these are typically considered low-value by the user, who is usually looking for more than a contact number or email address.  The newest strategy here is to expand the location specific pages into location specific microsites that reside on sub-domains or sub-folders.  ClickTecs has built many of these for emerging and established franchisors with hundreds of locations.  Our builds account for duplication of content and localization of SEO tags so each location maximizes ranking for their relevant keywords within their territory.
  • Ensure your pages are discoverable. Some franchises make location pages available only through their built-in site search tools, but if Google can’t index your pages they will be seen much less.
  • Invest in original location pages. Quality content is key for any ranking goal, but people seem to forget that when it comes to location pages. Maybe it’s because big brands have to make so many?Many franchises are content to copy and paste their location page content, swapping out the contact information and calling it a day. While this will save time and effort early on, it looks bad to people and crawler bots alike. Too much duplicate content makes your brand seem lifeless and inactive, and also exposes you to Google penalties.Instead, each location page should have a unique write-up, with specific hours of operation and a link to a map. If every location is running unique specials, be sure to have these listed.

#2) PAWN problems.

If you’ve done any research into local SEO for franchises, you know that citations (any time your business in mentioned or listed on a third-party website) are important. But since Google only rewards trustworthy location signals, citations only help if they have the right contact information. If not, you’re having “PAWN problems,” and probably getting penalized for it.

PAWN is an acronym we use for Phone number, Address, Website, and Name. Keeping your PAWN consistent in every mention and accurate for every location is crucial for your local visibility. Mixing up the address, failing to update new contact info, or otherwise falling victim to data inconsistency can cost your franchise customers and SEO progress. This is sometimes referred to as NAP consistency, but the Website URL is definitely worthy of a mention in an increasingly visualized market.

Though PAWN or NAP consistency issues may seem like an amateur mistake, it’s actually an easy trap to fall into for big brands. When you consider the tens, hundreds, or thousands of locations that make up a franchise family, then factor in the added complexity of acquisitions, re-branding, closings, and relocation, it’s easy to see how mistakes can happen.
This one is an easy fix with the NAP Dashboard that takes care of fixing all your listings to ensure all are consistent and maximizing their benefit to your local SEO.

#3) No local content.

Beyond dedicated location pages, local SEO for franchises benefits from specific and highly relevant local content. Examples of local content might include local testimonials, linking to nearby client pages, local news, and case studies. This kind of content simultaneously engages local audiences and bolsters location signals that get you ranked.

Want to keep the conversation going? Visit https://clicktecs.com/local-search-optimization/ to learn more about local SEO for franchises.