In today’s digitally obsessed world, any kind of franchise development is going to necessitate a strong online presence. People who want to start their own business are currently the main target to aim for when marketing your franchise opportunity. To better attract these potential franchisees, ClickTecs has put together some strategies that will increase traffic to your website.

One if by Land, Millions if by SEO

Search engine optimization, or SEO, continues to reign supreme in attracting potential franchisees to your brand. In fact, recent reports show that money spent on SEO has a larger return on investment than any of the major forms of advertising, such as TV ads, radio spots, print media, and others. There are a few ways you can optimize your site:

  • Create Targeted Content – Your rankings and SEO are affected greatly by the original content you create. On your website, you should publish content frequently. We suggest at least twice per week. You will also reach the right crowd if your content focuses on franchise ownership. To improve your SEO rankings, you want to make the content sharable, so others will link to it. Also, publishing franchise pieces on other sites as a guest author will improve your SEO.
  • Include Keywords Related to Franchisees – Thinking about keywords you want to rank for on search engine result pages (SERPs) is part of optimizing your franchise development content. You want to include your keywords in your Meta tags and make sure they appear natural. Do not stuff your content with keywords. Google can spot this and will punish your site. A good digital marketing agency will be able to identify what keywords will garner the traffic you crave.
  • Target Those who Want to Start a Business – On a search engine, a good way to move up in the organic search results is by creating a landing page custom made for those interested in starting a new business. You can optimize that page with content and keywords by having a page dedicated to that subject. This webpage should also be linked at the top of all of the other pages on your site via the navigation bar.
  • Make It Mobile Friendly – More and more people are searching on their mobile devices. Google rewards sites that are mobile optimized with better search rankings.

Overwhelmed?

Many franchisors are a little bit overwhelmed when they first get started with content creation. Or, they discover the benefits of it and go into blogging with a full head of steam only to lose interest within the month. Fortunately, there are a number of digital marketing companies that can help you shape your franchise development strategies and implement them.

ClickTecs, for example, has a team of expert content writers, who can write knowledgeably about any subject, optimize the content for search engine, make it shareable, and make your company look good in a natural way. This is great for franchisors who simply do not have staff members who are skilled in this emerging field.

About the Author : Jamshaid (Jam) Hashmi

Jamshaid Hashmi - Founder and CEO of ClickTecsA serial entrepreneur with extensive background in franchising and interests in multiple online business channels, Jamshaid (Jam) Hashmi has played an instrumental role in the franchise development and success of an international franchise company. His most recent entrepreneurial interests include launching ClickTecs, a Digital Marketing company specializing in Search Engine Marketing and Social Media Marketing as well as Website and Mobile Application development. In 2007 he co-founded Search Result, an online marketing company that supplies services to Internet Marketing Consultants. A sought after public speaker, Jam has been the featured keynote at many franchise conferences and international summits. He regularly trains ‘C’ Level Executives and supports both new and seasoned business owners on Search Engine Optimization (SEO), Social Media Optimization, Mobile Marketing, Brand Reputation Management and Conversion & Measurement through web analytics. When he’s not scaling the heights of the Internet world, Jam ‘unwinds’ on extreme thrill-seeking adventures from the jungles of the Amazon to the highest summits. His passions include working with NGOs on humanitarian missions to areas around the world affected by disasters and poverty.

 

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When it comes to attracting potential franchisees who want to buy, franchise leads who are informed and already know about the franchise tend to be more serious. One way to attract the quality leads and avoid spending time on dead-end prospects is to have an informative website. According to a report that came out this year, franchisees used the Internet more than any other source when choosing the franchise they ultimately invested in.

Types of Franchise Recruitment Websites

There are three options that are in popular use when it comes to franchise recruitment websites:

  • For those who might want to buy, franchise leads are directed to a separate business opportunity site that links to the consumer website and has a call to action to visit an online brochure or complete a lead form.
  • As part of the consumer website, there are one or more franchise pages.
  • Franchise recruitment websites that are article format and link to the consumer website. These have a research funnel of pages that drive up prospect engagement, have substantially more content, and include an integrated franchise blog that drives SEO, keeps people already in the process engaged, and increases social media reach.

There currently are not any industrywide statistics on how these different strategies compare, but there is anecdotal evidence that those franchisors who have made the switch from the first two website types to the more content rich article format sites have experience exponential increases in leads who want to buy. Franchise leads have increased by fivefold or more for some franchisors.

Quality Content Produces Quality Leads

These days, those franchisors with the article format recruitment sites are finding that their leads are of a higher quality than ever before. In fact, some estimates show leads have already done about 80 percent of their research once they reach out to a franchisor. The brochure-style websites are losing potential franchisees, since they are not as information rich. One study found article format recruiting websites have a quite high conversion rate of over six percent.

What to Include in Articles

Brand storytelling is very popular among prospects. And, rather than having to comb through an executive summary of a business plan, candidates would rather see the same type of information in a more conversational article form. The writing skills needed to engage and attract franchise prospects are not typically part of a web designer’s job description. Franchisors need to find someone with the specific skill set that will generate quality content and subsequently leads.

Digital marketing agencies, like ClickTecs, typically fill this niche. ClickTecs specializes in designing websites that pop for franchise recruitment. Plus, ClickTecs has many skilled writers on staff who can write knowledgeably on any topic. The articles they produces are optimized for search engines, shareable, informative, original, and feature the franchisor in a positive light without coming off as unnatural.

Switching to an article format recruitment site will guarantee a franchise more quality leads almost instantly.

About the Author : Jamshaid (Jam) Hashmi

Jamshaid Hashmi - Founder and CEO of ClickTecsA serial entrepreneur with extensive background in franchising and interests in multiple online business channels, Jamshaid (Jam) Hashmi has played an instrumental role in the franchise development and success of an international franchise company. His most recent entrepreneurial interests include launching ClickTecs, a Digital Marketing company specializing in Search Engine Marketing and Social Media Marketing as well as Website and Mobile Application development. In 2007 he co-founded Search Result, an online marketing company that supplies services to Internet Marketing Consultants. A sought after public speaker, Jam has been the featured keynote at many franchise conferences and international summits. He regularly trains ‘C’ Level Executives and supports both new and seasoned business owners on Search Engine Optimization (SEO), Social Media Optimization, Mobile Marketing, Brand Reputation Management and Conversion & Measurement through web analytics. When he’s not scaling the heights of the Internet world, Jam ‘unwinds’ on extreme thrill-seeking adventures from the jungles of the Amazon to the highest summits. His passions include working with NGOs on humanitarian missions to areas around the world affected by disasters and poverty.

 

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Pay Per Click for Franchises

Pay per click for franchises (PPC) is one of the most effective inbound marketing strategies available to business owners looking to boost sales and web traffic.

As its name suggest, PPC involves paying a small fee to place an ad in front of a relevant audience. Boiled down to its essence, PPC is about purchasing visits to a particular website or page.

PPC ads typically appear at the top or side bar of Google searches for keywords targeted in your campaign. The position of your paid ad will depend on how much you spend, as well as the ad’s Quality Score, which is a measure of:

  • How relevant your ad is to the keyword being searched;
  • How relevant your ad is to the landing page it redirects the user to;
  • How relevant your ad is compared to other PPC ads in its group;
  • How well your ad performs (measured through the click-through rate);
  • How well your PPC account performs over time.

Today’s post is all about improving pay per click for franchises. Read on for 6 quick and easy tips to make your next campaign more cost-effective.

6 Tips for Better Pay Per Click for Franchises

  • Pace yourself for measurable marketing. With any kind of paid marketing, gradual builds are best, since these allow you to monitor the impact of budget increases with extreme precision.

    Rather than dumping $1000 into your monthly PPC campaign, it’s better to start with $100, then build in small increments. In doing so, you will be able to detect the point of diminishing returns fast and be able to adjust much sooner. In this scenario, let’s say you hit the ceiling at $600, seeing no further grow when you bump up to $900 the following week. In this case, you just stopped yourself from wasting $300 that would have yielded no results! Now you can adjust your ad or expand your keyword list and put that $300 to work, all because you took it slow.

  • Encourage reviews from satisfied customers. Many PPC ads include star ratings next to the business name, which makes strong reputation management practices all the more important. The biggest PPC budget simply won’t matter if you have subpar reviews. Give us a call at 905 286 5005 to get started with your reputation management strategy.
  • Track your PPC results with unique links or phone numbers. You won’t know how well your PPC campaign is performing unless you have the means to track conversions. Setting up a unique phone number or landing page address that is only shared in your PPC ads is a surefire way to track your results. Just compare the dollar value attached to the total number of clicks or calls you‘ve received and adjust your ads or budget accordingly.
  • Never stop your keyword research. Too many companies settle on the first keyword list they ever developed. But because search trends are constantly evolving, ongoing, high-quality keyword research is essential for consistent PPC results.
  • Integrate PPC with organic marketing efforts. Pay per click for franchises is great, but its efficacy is supercharged when combined with organic search marketing. There’s nothing more reassuring to a user than seeing a top-ranked PPC ad with a top-ranked organic search result for the same company directly beneath it.
  • Make use of site links and ad extensions. Site links allow you to work in additional calls to action, which both increases your odds of success and allows you to compare different approaches.

These 6 quick tips are only the beginning! Get in touch with team today to learn more about pay per click for franchises, visit- https://clicktecs.com/

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Franchise SEO

Today’s post shares some basic franchise SEO best practices. Read on to learn 4 key criteria for technical and content search optimization that will take your franchise website’s performance to the next level.

Technical Optimization

1-Titles tags

Putting aside all the creative power it takes to write good titles, title tags have specific technical criteria that need to be met for optimal franchise SEO:

  • Each page should be limited to a single title tag
  • Title tags should be placed correctly within the head tags
  • Title tags should have few or no extraneous tags, including inline CSS and span tags

2-Heading tags

Headings are usually thought of as tools to structure content, funnel reader’s attention, and make your articles more “skimmable,” but they’re also important franchise SEO components:

  • Each page should be limited to a single H1 tag (which should include a keyword!)
  • Headings should be free of extraneous tags, including inline CSS and span tags

3-Internal links

Your internal links need to enable indexation of content. Domains have finite crawl budgets, and will always prioritize sites that are easily discoverable through well-indexed content.

4-Clear home for fresh content

To ensure the best franchise SEO results, we recommend designating specific parts of your website as “fresh content hubs.”  This is exactly what our blog section does.

Content Optimization

1-Title tags

To be clear, we’re still not talking about the quality of your content; we’re only looking at specific franchise SEO criteria that all content should have.

  • Titles should be shorter than 80 characters, as anything longer will not be visible when your content appears in search
  • Titles should accurately reflect the content to minimize bounces
  • Titles should consistently contain the franchise’s domain name

2-Heading tags

Go over your page’s heading tags to ensure:

  • Every page has a unique H1 tag (no duplicates)
  • H1 tags reflect the content on-page
  • H1 tags contain targeted keywords

3-Internal links

Internal linking needs to support organic discovery. For example, since this article is about franchise SEO, we might want to embed an internal link to our franchise SEO services. This link will likely perform well because readers are already interested in learning about SEO. The best links continue the user’s natural “journey” of organic content discovery, so look for opportunities for topical progression where possible.

It’s also a good idea to vary your internal links. Spamming that franchise SEO service page throughout this article would be as ineffective for crawl-bots as it is obnoxious for readers.

4-Quality content

This is highly subjective and will likely require a case-by-case evaluation, but there are some general guidelines you can use for a quick-and-dirty self-assessment:

  • Do you want to read the content? Titles and topics should be inherently interesting. Moreover, they should be “predictive,” which means anticipating the user’s questions and answering them before they’re asked.
  • Is there enough content? Unless you’re working a specific “thin content” strategy (which works in the right conditions!), aim for 500+ words per piece for franchise SEO results.
  • Is your content high-quality? Again, this is highly subjective. But a website stuffed with thin “listicles,” generic information, and spelling errors is clearly not optimal.
  • Are my images in high resolution, or are they grainy?
  • Are my images unique, or do they come from stock sources?
  • Are my images and videos repeated on multiple pages?

If you’d like to dig deeper into our franchise SEO best practices, be sure to visit our blog, or give us a call at 905 286 5005.

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Franchise Advertising

Crafting quality headlines isn’t easy. What makes headlines so difficult is that they need to work for multiple audiences: SEO crawl-bots, social media readers, and website visitors. Finding wording that serves all three is tricky, especially when you’re working around keywords and strict character limits.

Today, we talk about what headlines different audiences respond to best and how to write them for better franchise advertising.

1- SEO headlines

SEO-centric headlines boost Google SERP, increase click-through rates, and minimize “pogo-sticking” (when users click through, then bounce out via the back button because the page didn’t meet the expectations that the title set).

This means that SEO headlines should be compelling (but not clickbait), keyword-friendly (but not stilted), and relevant to the user search. And that’s all just to keep the Google-bots happy!

2- Social media headlines

As we continue to learn more about user behaviours, most social media headlines have begun prioritize platform-based conversations, rather than trying to redirect traffic to franchise websites.

Today, the average user logs into their preferred social media app with the intent to stay there and browse, which is bad news for franchise advertising that treats these platforms like link portals. Think about it this way: if I want to kill 15 minutes on Instagram, I’m not going to sidetrack myself opening links in a new browser.

This isn’t as bad as it sounds: users are still happy to engage with your content and absorb your message, but they’d rather do it in the comments section of whatever app they’re on.

Instead of trying to force click-throughs, social media headlines should prioritize amplification, which means stirring up as many shares, comments, likes, and retweets as possible in order to attain the maximum reach and visibility.

This means that social media headlines have to be written as conversation-starters: they should tell as much of the story as possible to encourage people to form, share, and discuss their opinions on the subject, even if they don’t read the body of the post. Alternately, social media headlines can create mystery, building audience intrigue by not mentioning exactly what the piece is about in order to get people talking.

3- Headlines for website visitors

When you’re writing headlines for loyal website visitors, things change. Since the user is already on-site, we don’t need to write headlines that draw them in. Moreover, since we’re not looking to stir up amplification signals on social media, we don’t need headlines that stir up conversation.

Instead, the focus will shift more towards building positive brand associations. In this case, that means respecting the user and building their trust, which is done with transparent headlines that make “promises” that the content delivers on. Clickbait, keyword spam, or overly conversational headlines may start to cost you the support of loyal users over time.

Resolving headline criteria conflicts

As you can see, different audiences respond to different headline tactics, and conflicts are everywhere. Creating mystery for social media headlines harms the clarity that you need to rank well for SEO, while keyword-stuffed headlines are often too boring to earn a click. How do you reconcile these differences?

The key happens to be a fundamental of franchise advertising: knowing your audience. For example, if your product or service targets a younger audience and you’re posting on social media, break out some trendy lingo and build a mystery to get people talking. On the other hand, an article sharing hard-earned franchise advertising advice for a loyal on-site readership should be informative, transparent, and basically look a lot like today’s title!

Let’s figure out what headline strategy works best for your franchise advertising: call 905-286-5005.

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Going Digital for Franchise Development

The internet has changed franchise development just like it’s changed everything else. And while it may be difficult for the old guard to imagine signing a life-changing franchise deal based solely on online research and interaction, it happens almost every day.

Today’s post foregrounds the value of “going digital” as part of your franchise development strategy. Read on to learn some shocking statistics that underline the need for online franchise development tactics in 2017.

Franchise development candidates spend enormous amounts of time online.

88% of adults in the US have a mobile phone with internet capabilities; 57% have a laptop; and 19% have a tablet.

So how does this impact advertising for franchise development? Consider that the average tablet user spends 13.9 hours per week on their device, and less than 25 minutes per week browsing newspaper ads, YellowPages, and classified listings. Where would you rather direct your ad budget?

With such an active online audience, it’s clear that internet is undoubtedly the most cost-effective advertising vehicle for franchise development.

The internet is now the world’s most powerful economic driver.

According to Forrester Research, more than half of the dollars spent in US retail were influenced by web advertising in 2016. But the internet’s commercial influence doesn’t end with small-scale retail purchases: increasing amounts of people are negotiating big business purchases online. In fact, a large percentage of franchise development occurs online, either through targeted advertising, direct prospect outreach, or website conversion.

People trust online reviews more than family recommendations.

This sounds like a stretch, but it’s true; a Search Engine Land report stated than 88% of consumers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations. Moreover, a significant number of these respondents indicated that they prefer online reviews because of their volume and impartiality.

This can be a good or bad thing depending on the state of your online reputation. Unfortunately, it only takes a few negative reviews from disgruntled ex-franchisees to drag your name through the dirt and deter prospects from signing on in the future. For these reasons, digital reputation management strategies are a must in 2018.

Email campaigns are more effective than ever for franchise development.

Email opens on smartphones and tablets have increased by over 80% over the last six months, according to a Litmus study. This is partly due to increased confidence in the capabilities of anti-spam tools, which makes users less likely to dismiss email “cold calls” as potential phishing scams or viruses.

With this in mind, the value for email marketing is clearly greater than ever. Investing the time to craft a single, high-quality outreach template can put you in contact with thousands of top candidates with a few clicks of a mouse.

You do not need to spend all day online to see franchise development results.

Franchisors hear internet advertising and assume that they’ll need to chain themselves to their computers to churn out enough content to get noticed.

That’s nonsense.

In fact, Track Social reports that posts are negative correlated with engagement. One brand found that posting 3+ times per day decrease their engagement by over 25%. In other words, the more you post, the more likely your audience is to turn you out, which makes internet advertising for franchise development more about quality than quantity.

Take the time to craft a single engaging post, email outreach blast, or targeted ad campaign, rather than hammering out dozens each day, and you’ll take your franchise development to new heights.

Learn more about digital franchise development at https://www.clicktecs.com.

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Marketing a Franchise in 2017 Pinpointing Local Search Ranking Factors

If your goal is successfully marketing a franchise in 2017, pinpointing factors is local search ranking key. Local business is your lifeblood, which makes local marketing even more important than the national campaigns your franchisor is running.

In today’s post, the ClickTecs team shares some local search ranking factors and strategies for marketing a franchise in 2017.

The devil’s in the details: Title and Meta tags.

If you’re looking to break down the minutiae of marketing a franchise in 2017, title and meta description tags are a good place to start. These HTML elements appear in Google search listings, and can be customized to reflect the content of their pages. While most website themes automatically generate these using the first 50-60/150 characters of your title/content, this isn’t an optimal approach, and it won’t do much for your local search performance.

Instead, we recommend treating title and meta tags like miniature advertisements. And like any piece of marketing campaign content, they should be carefully crafted. In the SEO world, it’s an art form; the best authors create unique, compelling, and descriptive tags that include the name of the city their franchises are located, as well as the surrounding area the business serves. Not only do these kinds of tags lead to better click through rates, but they also send important signals that influence local search ranking factors.

Don’t worry: ClickTecs puts this level of “TLC” into every web design and SEO package.

Citation frustration: The importance of online directories.

In the Information Age, Google is the new “Yellow Pages,” and with roughly 4 out of 5 consumers turning to search engines to find local products and services.

Many of these users turn first to trusted online directions, appreciating the non biased dynamic of third-party listings as well as the ratings and reviews.

Unfortunately, many business owners neglect to claim online local business listings like Yelp, Merchant Circle, and Citysearch, which means missing out on a huge audience.

When it comes to marketing a franchise in 2017, getting your company’s information listed accurately and consistently on respected, local online business directories is crucial. These assets are often referred to as “citations.” Run a search for keywords like “[CITY] business directory” or “[CITY] business reviews” to find the best places to register, but don’t be stingy; the more citations you create, the better.

Of course, you’ll need to claim your Google My Business (GMB) directory listing. This one’s big enough to warrant its own section, really. This free platform will get you incredible exposure, especially if you’ve got the SEO chops to quality for Google’s “local three-pack,” which appears at the very top of local searches in a distinct box. To get started, simply complete the verification process at http://www.google.com/business and wait for your PIN to be sent in the mail.

CAUTION: It is imperative that your information is listed correctly. If not, Google will flag the discrepancy between listings and either display incorrect info, or penalize the listing with limited visibility.

First impressions matter: Court quality reviews.

When it comes to local search, good reviews are paramount. According to a recent survey, more than 80% of people trust online reviews as well as personal recommendations. Moreover, 70% of customers will write a review for your franchise when asked.

Good press is great anywhere, but try to focus your reviews on your business’s Facebook page and GMB (mentioned above). These platforms are highly influential, and rank highly as local search factors according to Moz’s 2017 survey

Want to learn more about online reputation management (ORM) strategies? Visit https://clicktecs.com/online-reputation-management-orm/ for a complete breakdown!

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4 Essential Factors for Successful Franchise Development Websites

A huge percentage of franchise sales are happening online, which makes designing the right franchise development site more important than ever. 

In today’s post, our franchise development team introduces 4 essential factors that every franchisor’s website should have.

  • Short page load times (aka quality hosting). Imagine: you’ve spent countless hours building a business model you’re proud to offer to other entrepreneurs. You’ve worked day and night trying to design the perfect webpage that’ll capture the user’s attention and convince them to request a consultation. Likewise, you’ve stretched your budget thin outsourcing compelling content, advertising services, and search-engine optimization.Everything is in place, but your site just isn’t performing. What’s going on here, you wonder…

    But when you type in your URL to take a closer look at your site, you notice it takes forever to load; you’re sitting there for 10, 20, 30, even 40+ seconds before your lovingly crafted content appears.

    While you may have the patience to wait out these length page load times, potential leads do not. In fact, a recent survey suggests that users will wait only 6-10 seconds before abandoning the page for another. It doesn’t matter whether you’ve built the most beautiful site detailing the best franchise opportunity on the internet; if your site’s hosting is subpar, its performance will be too.

    Page speed is especially important when making first impressions on prospective franchisees. These users will treat their user experience as an indication of what they can expect while working with you, so make it a speedy, efficient, and enjoyable for best results.

  • An interactive user experience. Your website should not just be a dry, static vessel of franchise information, but rather should be written and designed in a way that takes the user through an interactive experience – think of it as the difference between reading a textbook or getting a hands-on tour.Interactive sites that encourage exploration, create a sense of progress with a series of slides or tabs, and use multimedia to appeal to all types of learners perform much better in terms of user engagement and bounce rate.

    When thinking how to design your website’s interactive experience, try to predict and answer questions the user may have. You should also funnel users from introductory material (“why own a franchise?”, “benefits of franchising,” and so on), through specific value showcases (promising industry breakdowns, reviews of franchise awards and accreditations) towards the call-to-action endpoint in a way that creates a sense of movement and progress.

    Finally, one last tip involves numbering tabs to give the user an instant “roadmap” and progress chart for the informational journey they’re about to embark on.

  • Consistent branding and up-to-date advertisements. New leads are fickle and skittish; you’ll need to convince them right away that your offer (and your site) is trustworthy and worth reading. This means avoiding some common red flags.One of the most common mistakes we see is inconsistent branding, which can be as egregious as mismatched logo colors, or as subtle inconsistent heading format from one page to another. Another major red flag is outdated advertising, which makes your site look old and irrelevant. These kinds of QA checks and updates can easily be overlooked by busy franchisors, but they make a big difference. For this reason, we recommend raising these issues with your franchise development website managers so they can handle the small details while you focus on growing your brand.
  • Highly visible social media assets. Though social media platforms are not going to get you franchise development leads in and of themselves, they do play a big part in reassuring leads and gaining their trust. Today, people want to know that they can reach the people behind the corporate front with a few simple clicks, and social media remains one of the most widely used platforms for this kind of audience engagement. Adding a Twitter button or Facebook page banner to your site can go a long way towards making the user feel as though their questions and input are welcome.

Want to learn more about franchise development? Browse dozens of free resources on the subject or speak directly with a member of our team at https://www.clicktecs.com.

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3 Ways to Leverage LinkedIn As Part of Your Franchise Marketing Strategy

In 2017, social media plays a part in every serious franchise marketing strategy. The internet has been the leading source of franchise sales since the late 2000s, and a growing amount of lead captures, prospect communication, and conversions are taking place on LinkedIn.

Boasting more than 106-million monthly active users in more than 200 countries and territories according to a survey conducted this year, LinkedIn is fertile ground for franchise sales and development. According to the same survey, 44% of users earn more than $75,000 per year, which makes them the perfect candidates for serious franchise sales.

We want your franchise marketing strategy to make the most of this free asset. To that end, our social media optimization team has put together 3 tips to increase franchise sales, recruiting efforts, general branding, and local audience engagement.

1. Set up a company page. While this won’t crowd your inbox with leads, setting up a simple company page fleshes out your franchise’s online presence in a big way, while also giving you another platform from which to broadcast your blog posts, tweets, and positive reviews, or even feature product and service packages.

2. Get active in groups. Think of LinkedIn groups as mini “forums” populated entirely by your target audience. They’re great for branding, customer interactions, and passive prospecting.

As with forum posts, avoid blundering into threads with a business pitch nobody asked for. Instead, you’ll want to make sure your profile has clean and visible links for users to explore, then focus on adding value to discussions with thoughtful comments and answers.

When choosing groups, emphasize activity over total group size. You’ll have to join groups to get a feel for their activity level. Monitor new groups’ activity for a day and decide whether it’s worth the effort you’ll need to put it. Don’t waste time on inactive groups; if nobody’s talking after 24 hours, move on.

3. Familiarize yourself with InMail, but shift the conversation elsewhere ASAP. InMail is LinkedIn’s direct messaging system. It’s instant, user-friendly, and, as the name suggests, puts you directly in contact with leads.

Appreciate that for a second: before the internet, the notion of a free network that allowed you to find and message prospects with a few keystrokes was unthinkable. If you’re not taking advantage of it with appropriate outreach, you’re missing out.

In addition to active prospecting, InMail is also a great vehicle for passive prospecting, which is when the prospect contacts you with interest in franchising. If you’re using the right franchise marketing strategy, you’ll occasionally get InMail worth following up on, so it’s worth familiarizing yourself with the system.

While InMail is useful, we always encourage moving the conversation elsewhere as soon as possible. Not only is connecting via email or phone more personal (and therefore more conducive to a sale), it’s also a lot more reliable. It’s not that InMail messages get lost (in fact, all correspondence is archived in your inbox, another huge benefit), but LinkedIn’s automated messages end up in the same inbox. This can create a bit of clutter, and also make ignoring InMail alert habitual. For these reasons, we recommend taking the conversation elsewhere as soon as is appropriate.

That’s all for now. These 3 tips have only scratched the surface; and truly, LinkedIn is only one small piece of a successful franchise marketing strategy. We’d love to tell you more – why not give InMail a try and message our company page to keep the conversation going?

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Link-Building Tactics for Better Franchise Marketing

Today’s post is all about link building as it pertains to your overall franchise marketing strategy. Read on to learn why we build links, how it benefits your business, and 3 tips you can use for better franchise marketing.

What is link building?

Whether you’re a business owner trying to market your products and services to a bigger audience or a franchisor trying to find qualified franchisees, link building is crucial for the success of your online campaign.

But what is link building, exactly?

Stripped down to its barebones, link building refers to the process of acquiring hyperlinks from different websites. Every time you convince another website to post a link to your site, you’ve successfully built a link. There’s more to it – the quality and trustworthiness of your reference is very important, for example – but this is a good starting point for now.

OK, but how does link building factor into franchise marketing?

Employing link building strategies helps your branding, lead generation, and anything else that’d get a boost from having greater online visibility.

For starters, building links to your website gives organic users more opportunities to connect with your brand. For example, acquiring a link for your senior care franchise website in a community blog would encourage their reader base to take a look. In this way, link building is essentially a free form of online advertising that targets anybody who visits the host’s website.

More importantly, link building helps Google’s crawl bots find your site, and signals to them that it is safe, high-quality, and deserving of a high ranking in the search listings.

Though Google’s exact ranking algorithm remains a secret, experts agree that if all other factors are equal, websites with a higher quality and quantity of links will rank higher. If your franchise marketing campaign is neck-and-neck with a local competitor, tweaking your link-building could be all you need to claim the number-one spot.

3 Link-Building Strategies for Better Franchise Marketing

  • Use the nofollow attribute to filter out low-quality links. Building a high volume of links is great, but quality links are what really matter. In fact, a high volume of low-quality links will could be considered a “Blackhat” (aka exploitative or underhanded) SEO strategy, which Google will penalize you for.To keep Google’s crawl bots happy with your site (and ensure you’re not unwittingly participating in some blackhat SEO tactics), make sure you use the nofollow attribute on your blog, forum, guest book, Wikipedia entry, and any other open or unregulated channels you might be using to publish content or interact with your audience. Setting the nofollow feature tells Google that you are not vouching for any links that spammers might drop there, which will keep you safe from penalties. Nofollow is now a standard feature with most WordPress themes and template sites, so there’s no reason to forget!
  • Swap links with guest blogging outreach. Guest blogging involves approaching other websites in related sectors and inquiring as to whether they’ll publish a piece of your content on their blog. Though it can be tough to find appropriate sites to work with without courting the competition, this strategy is highly successful in part because it’s mutually beneficial: in exchange for a free piece of quality content, you get a backlink. Contact our content marketing team to learn more.  
  • Experiment with ego baiting. “Ego baiting” is a tongue-in-cheek term used to refer to the practice of publishing content which includes references to other sites, companies or people, in the hopes that those included will see it as a chance for self-promotion and their egos will move them to share the content with a link.For example, if some crafty tech company started talking about how great FranchiseSoft is for franchise marketing, staff management, and process automation, we might be more inclined to share it! A similar strategy for a kitchen renovation franchise might be to post a list of top-10 accent pieces or storage solutions with links to manufacturers in hopes that they’ll give you a backlink.

Admittedly, link-building is much bigger than this. Don’t worry – we’ve got plenty more to share. Find more free link building tips and franchise marketing strategies on our blog.

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