How Page Design Influences SEO for Franchise Websites

How Page Design Influences SEO for Franchise Websites

August 23, 2017 By

Page design is about more than catching the eye of your audience. In today’s post, we discuss how poorly-designed franchise websites may be hurting their SEO, and what you can do to fix it.

What kind of site design does Google prefer for franchise websites?

Site design” may refer to your franchise websites’ layout code or mobile configuration.

Is there an optimal mobile configuration for SEO?

We know that sites must be mobile-friendly, but does your choice of mobile configuration factor in?
Before we can fully answer this question, we should first review the three mobile configurations used for franchise websites:

  • Responsive design uses a system of grids, flexible imagery, and dynamic CSS style rules to rearrange franchise websites for best viewing and navigation on any device. Given their different sizes, franchise websites will need to look quite different on a desktop, mobile phone, or tablet, and responsive designs adjust automatically, without changing the URL structure or bottom-line contents in any way.
  • Adaptive design involves generating different versions of the same site depending on your viewing device, all of which can be accessed through a common URL.
  • Separate mobile sites are exactly what the name suggests. Rather than moving site components around, the franchisor creates a separate version on a mobile sub-domain. Though popular, this route does expose the franchise websites to SEO pitfalls like bad redirects, fragmented link presence, and more.

According to Google, responsive web design is king, which makes sense given their recent push to purge all duplicate and low-quality content. Google doesn’t want to waste resources crawling duplicate websites, and most franchise owners don’t want to double their website management workload either. For this reason, responsive design gets the “gold star,” but does that really factor into SEO?

Many in the web marketing sector have begun to speculate about whether or not responsive sites are getting direct rankings boosts over adaptive and duplicate mobile sites. The answer is unclear, though cutting out bad redirects and duplicate copy associated with your franchise website can only be a good thing.

What design code matters for SEO?

One thing we know for sure is that your site’s layout and use of certain design “codes” count as SEO ranking factors. Failing to design your site according to these user preferences and SEO best practices can spell trouble for your franchise website visibility:

  • Unique, descriptive title tags. Each page should have a clear, informative title tag that tell Google crawlers and readers what you’re offering.
  • Wayfinding headings tags. Headings tags help readers skim through your page to find the answers they need, and these context indicators also help Google identify quality, relevant content. Make good use of heading tags in your franchise websites design and try to incorporate long-form keywords when possible.
  • Helpful Meta tags. Meta titles and descriptions don’t really interest Google crawl-bots, but they’re still vital to your click-through ratings. These tells your readers at a glance whether or not your page is right for them.
  • High-speed load-ups. Though this has more to do with hosting than design, it’s still worth a mention. Clunky franchise websites stuffed with mega-sized images can really drag out load times, which will increase your bounce rate and attract Google penalties. Cleaning up your design can trim vital seconds off of your load-up, which can be all the difference for your franchise websites SEO.

Consider this article an introduction to franchise website design for SEO. If you’d like to learn more about this interesting and ever-changing facet of web marketing, visit and book an end-to-end evaluation.