Best (and Worst) SEO Strategies for Franchises in 2018
Today’s post breaks down 3 of the best and worst SEO strategies for franchises in 2018. Read on to make sure your current SEO campaign isn’t doing more harm than good!
The worst SEO strategies for franchises in 2018
- Keyword Stuffing. Back in the late ‘90s and early 2000s, one of the most effective ways to quickly rank a page was through “keyword stuffing,” which is exactly what it sounds like–crowbarring keywords into content (whether it belonged there or not) to ramp up your overall keyword density. It was a real tactic that produced real results, so SEOs spent much of their stuffing keywords into posts and tags and locations and even the names of businesses and domains! They would dead keywords to death, too, targeting every single variations they could think of. For example, a blog targeting “SEO strategies for franchises” would also mention “SEO strategy for franchises,” and “SEO strategies for a franchise,” and so on and so forth, ad nauseum. But those days are long gone.
- Duplicating Content. Copying and pasting content is particularly common in the franchise world. Often, franchise owners will create numerous “location pages” for their franchise at once, using the same content minus the swapped city names. But all the positives associated with rapidly adding content to your main site pale in comparison to the penalties your site gets for duplicating content. Don’t do it!
- Blog Spam. SEOs have known the value of blog comment sections as spaces for audience engagement and brand building for some time. A decade ago, and even in some cases today, you’d be hard-pressed to find a blog with a “clean” comments section. Spammers love sticking links there in hopes of drawing more eyes to their website.Nowadays, blog spam is thoroughly policed. Google has designed its algorithm to punish websites that use irrelevant linking practices, and most web builders now provide built-in tools to block and erase spam.
The best SEO strategies for franchises in 2018
- Focusing on the user’s query. In 2018, we know that keyword matching still matters, but real results come from solving the searcher’s query. Google, Bing and other search engines have evolved to help users find the best possible answers for their queries. Accordingly, the best SEO strategies for franchises in 2018 revolve around providing the best possible answer.Easier said than done, of course. Quality answers are made with one part market research (e.g. knowing what question is being asked by your target audience), one part high-quality writing (e.g. presenting your answers in an engaging and accessible manner), and one part web design (e.g. giving your crafted answer the best platform possible, so it can be read quickly and easily on any device).
- Selective Keyword Placement. As we mentioned above, the days of keyword stuffing are over. While it’s still important to place keywords in the title element and body content of your page, crowbarring keywords into every tag is actually counterproductive. You’ll turn off your readers and get hit with penalties from Google’s anti-spam algorithm. That said, if you’re looking for a few more places to sprinkle in your keywords without coming across as a spammer, look to your headline tags, meta descriptions, and alt image attribute.
- Earning Quality Links. Blog spam is no longer a viable SEO strategy for franchises, but the underlying idea–networking with other websites to attract their audiences to your page–is still solid. The difference between quality “whitehat” links and low-quality “blackhat” spam often boils down to relevance. If your link is useful to the blog’s readership, and can be introduced is a way that comes across as natural, there might be value in sharing. But contacting the website owner directly to offer a “content swap” or a free blog post is even better than unsolicited linking, because it’s mutually beneficial, and because a well-written blog post is inherently more engaging than a tiny blog comment.
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