Critical Considerations For Effective Franchise SEO
Today’s post is intended to be used by franchise SEO beginners to troubleshoot their current campaign problems. Read on to learn 3 critical considerations you need to make for effective franchise SEO.
Why Effective Franchise SEO Isn’t ‘Only For Masochists’
Local SEO is one of the best ways for franchises to engage local customers, drum up more website traffic, and get more visits to their brick-and-mortar storefronts.
But if you’ve ever tried your hand at franchise SEO, you know it’s not always easy. And that might even be an understatement, judging by the title of a seminal SearchEngineLand article, “Franchise SEO: For Masochists Only.”
Here at ClickTecs, we feel that’s a little extreme. Granted, there’s a lot that goes into effective local franchise SEO strategies, but if your campaign management feels masochistic, you’re doing it wrong. And it’s more than likely you’re missing some of today’s critical considerations.
What Are The Critical Considerations For Effective Franchise SEO
1. Managing Franchise Locations On Google Maps
How do you search for local businesses these days?
If you’re like most people, it starts with a Google search. In fact, according to Google My Business (GMB), more than 5 billion restaurant searchers occur on Google each month, along with 3 billion hotel searches, 1 billion retail clothing shop searches, 600 million hair and beauty salon searches, and 5 million coffee shop queries. That’s a lot of potential business that you’re missing out on without effective franchise SEO.
So back to our business search: you type in some keywords related to the product or services you’re seeking, then Google populates the Search Engine Results Page (SERP) with relevant local results. Crucially, nowadays, the SERP almost always includes a Google Map. Here’s one that turned up for a search for “pizza delivery”:
The Google Map listing usually appears right underneath the paid advertisements, which we cropped out here for the sake of space. And if you’re practicing good local franchise SEO, like the Domino’s and Free Topping chains pictured here, your brand should pop up in nearby searches.
This is extremely important–consumers see these Google map and GMB listings as quality indicators, and many purchase decisions will be based on which locations appear closer on this map listing.
If your locations don’t show up, you probably haven’t registered them using Google My Business. It’s fast and easy, so if you haven’t done so already, follow that link and start now.
But crucially, you’ll need to create unique GMB listings for each and every franchise location, then optimize each listing. Here’s how:
- Claim each individual franchise listing using the GMB link provided above
- Ensure all NAP (name, address, phone number) information is correct
- Describe services and, if applicable, your services area
- Select the correct franchise category
- Standardize your brand message across all listings
- Use geo-specific language in your content
For best results while managing these different listings, we always recommend using a secure cloud storage or private intranet solution, which is why we developed our own through our sister company FranchiseSoft. This allows you to consolidate all login, NAP, and ownership information, along with ad copy and message updates, in a single secure place that can be easily accessed by authorized users. This saves you the chore of tracking down individual logins when tweaking listings.
2. Optimizing Your Franchise Website
Tightening up your franchise website is absolutely critical for better franchise SEO results. Google reserves its top SERP positions for websites that are up-to-date, engaging, well-structured, quick to load, and easy to use. Any slip ups here can cost you that vaunted #1 spot–or even push you down to the lonely depths of page 2, 3, 4 and beyond!
Since the state of your website is such a critical consideration for your franchise SEO, it’s naturally something that we focus on. The following tips should help get you started on the right path:
- Ensure your website is mobile friendly. 57% of users say they won’t recommend a franchise with a poorly designed mobile site, and we know for a fact that Google favors mobile-friendly sites in the rankings.
- Ensure your website is secure. Your franchise website should be HTTPS, meaning it has a Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) certificate. Web-savvy users tend to steer clear of websites without these certifications, which could result in decreased traffic. More importantly, though, is that Google gives HTTPS websites a boost in the rankings.
- Ensure your website is fast. The average website loads in just over 3 seconds, according to Pingdom research. A recent Akamai study suggested that 2.4 seconds might be the sweet spot, averaging a peak mobile conversion rate of 1.9% during a 30-day span. But taking even a single second longer to load than the average site can cost you–that same Akamai study found that the average conversion rate dropped below 1% when load times crept past 4.2 seconds! Fast websites satisfy impatient browsers and also get rewarded by the Google algorithm.
These 3 tips are really just the tip of the iceberg–it’s just too big a subject for a 1000 word article, of which website optimization is only one part. But give us a call anytime at 905-564-0020 and we can dig a little deeper!
3. Incorporating More Geo-specific Language Into Franchise Location Content
Though it’s important to keep a consistent tone with your franchise marketing copy, Google rewards the use of location-specific content, so don’t just copy-and-paste the marketing materials passed down from corporate. We also make sure our franchise clients get loads of unique content with geo-specific language for each location, from blogs to service pages. But don’t stop at sprinkling in the odd city keyword–think of ways to create meaningful content that local audiences will actually find helpful.
Free Franchise SEO Quotes And Beginner-friendly Consultations
Call 905-564-0020 or fill out the form on the ClickTecs Contact Us page to book a talk with our franchise SEO specialists. Whether you need detailed answers to advanced questions, a free quote on franchise SEO services, or you just want a beginner-friendly introduction to this important subject, we’re happy to help.