The Five Foibles: Top-5 Mistakes Brands Make With SEO For Franchise Websites

The Five Foibles: Top-5 Mistakes Brands Make With SEO For Franchise Websites

September 25, 2020 By

Need help optimizing SEO for franchise websites? These five foibles might be all that’s keeping your mobile site from that coveted front-page ranking. Read on or call 866-311-7189 for a free consultation.

Top-5 Mobile Mistakes Made With SEO For Franchise Websites

Google highlighted the following red flags for SEO in their Developers Guide over a year ago, but many franchisors still haven’t implemented the recommended fixes—and it’s costing them big in terms of SERP visibility and web traffic!

Blocked Javascript, CSS, And Image Files On Your Franchise’s Mobile Site

Googlebots need access to your JavaScript, CSS, and image files in order to crawl your site properly and view it like an average user. For whatever reason, many franchise websites’ “robots.txt” file disallow crawling, which makes it harder for Google’s algorithms to render and index your brand’s content.

This is particularly problematic for mobile search and SEO.

To fix this issue, we recommend taking the following actions:

  • Use Google’s URL Inspection Tool to ensure that Googlebot can crawl your website properly. This tool not only shows you your site from the Googlebot’s point of view, but can help identify and fix a number of indexing issues that may be affecting SEO for franchise websites.
  • Check and test your robots.txt file in the Search Console
  • Run the Mobile-Friendly test to make sure Google’s systems approve your franchise website for mobile users
  • If you use separate URLs for your mobile pages, you’ll need to run these tests for both your mobile and desktop sites

Feeling overwhelmed? Don’t worry: we can help.

Unplayable Content On Your Franchise’s Mobile Site

Not all devices are alike, so don’t assume your desktop and mobile users always see the same things. Many types of content aren’t compatible with mobile devices, which means your mobile traffic might see error messages instead of all that content you designed to convert. For instance, some license-constrained or Flash content isn’t supported by mobile devices.

Unplayable content equates to poor mobile experiences and bad SEO for franchise websites.

We recommend the following fixes:

  • When in doubt, default to HTML5 standards for animations, as these work equally well on desktop and mobile devices
  • Find video-embedding software that’s compatible with all devices
  • Add video transcripts as a failsafe—though not comparable to the actual video experience, transcripts are far superior to error messages that leave mobile users completely in the dark
  • Follow Google’s best practices for video to the best of your ability

Of course, we’re here to help as needed. Since 2014, ClickTecs has been a proud Google partner specializing in SEO for franchise websites for mobile and desktop. As such, we’re more than capable of implementing Google’s best practices for video and handling whatever fixes may be necessary.

Slow Mobile Load Times Hurt SEO For Franchise Websites

Fast mobile load times are an essential part of SEO for franchise websites; if your website’s loading time isn’t on par with the top-10 pages on the SERP, you’ll never achieve one of those coveted spots. Moreover, slow mobile load time is one of the top causes for users “bouncing off” your site—that is, clicking on your ads or SERP listing, then immediately clicking “Back” once the lag sets in.

We recommend the following fixes to speed up your site load time:

  • Head off JavaScript delays. The most common source of site loading delays during HTML parsing is the external JavaScript. Anytime a browser encounters external script, everything grinds to a halt as the JavaScript is downloaded, parsed, and executed. To get around this, we recommend placing all the content needed to render the “above-the-fold” region in the first 15kB on the network. This process is a little too complex to dive into here—it would eat up half the article—but you can get the cliff notes here, or by calling our team directly.
  • Optimize your images. Bulky images might offer incredible resolution, but you’ll hit the point of diminishing returns very quickly. Make sure you compress rich images to strike the right balance between load time and picture quality.
  • Run Google PageSpeed Insights. This tool scans whatever URL you input in seconds, lists every identifiable error, and recommends fixes. While you might not recognize all the jargon present in these insights, it’ll give you an idea of your mobile site’s “room to grow,” and allow you to track the progress of our SEO team.

Aggressive ‘Interstitials’ Do More Harm Than Good

The term “interstitials” refers to the overlays that partially or completely cover web pages to promote brand content and calls-to-action. They’re commonly used for mailing list sign-up forms, sales promotions, and to get users to download website apps. Sometimes they’re intentionally designed to be difficult to dismiss (e.g. hiding the ‘X’ or completely obstructing the contents of the pages). Unfortunately, they’re about as graceful as someone shoving a flyer in your face on the street—and about as effective, too.

Most people find aggressive interstitials annoying, and for some users, they’re a deal-breaker. They’re especially problematic for mobile users, since they eat up real estate on smaller screens.

Google broadly recommends avoiding interstitials when possible. Instead, HTML banners and images are recommended.

Small Font Sizes Provide Poor User Experiences

Setting your font size too small makes content illegible, forcing visitors to “pinch to zoom” to understand your message. In “Use Legible Font Sizes,” Google makes several recommendations for mobile users, but 12-point font is generally considered to be the minimum size for normal text.

To fix your font foibles, you can manually review all site content and fix the normal text size. Remember that you may need to also adjust headings to suit your new main text typeface. To avoid this laborious task, you can set font sizes to scale automatically to the user’s device by specifying this in your viewport settings. If you want some help setting this up, give our team a call!

Optimize SEO For Franchise Websites With Clicktecs

Visit the ClickTecs website or call 866-311-7189 to book a 100% free consultation with our team. We are official Google partners who specialize in SEO for franchise websites, and our passion is helping big brands “go digital.”