Troubleshooting Local SEO for Franchises 2 Common Mistakes and Quick Fixes

Troubleshooting Local SEO for Franchises: 2 Common Mistakes and Quick Fixes

April 12, 2019 By

Today’s post shares two quick fixes to common mistakes we see people make with local SEO for franchises.

Read on to learn why good advice for small businesses doesn’t apply to your franchise, and how to address some common and costly issues.

“Helpful” Advice for Small Businesses Won’t Work For Big Brands

One of the most common problems that DIY marketers run into trying to master local SEO for franchises comes when they use single-location strategies for a multi-unit franchise.

Large brands are different in every other way–different marketing needs, different managerial needs, different decision-making processes–so of course they have different local SEO needs, too.

Unlike single-location businesses, big franchises need to:

• Standardize data across hundreds of thousands of locations;
• Determine clear control and decision-making protocols for all web data and assets;
• Designate staff to manage and execute franchise-wide initiatives and promote intra-franchise cooperation;
• Scale everything from listings management, to content development, to site architecture;
• Deal with the hierarchy of reports of bad data from the front-line franchisee up to corporate.

We’ve hardly scratched the surface here, but you get the idea–local SEO for franchises is a different animal. Even the smallest tasks turn into major, company-wide challenges.

Local SEO for Franchises: Common Mistakes and Quick Fixes

• Mistake #1 — Linking all local business listings to a single homepage. This is sometimes recommended as a tactic to boost local rankings, since website home pages frequently have higher authority than location landing pages.

But this is a huge mistake for franchises. Sending a potential customer from a listing for their chosen location, to a homepage, and then expecting them to comb through a menu bar to find the location they want–when they’ve already indicated which location they want–is a slap in the face. Don’t waste your consumers’ time. Doing so puts potential conversions at risk.

Not convinced? Consider the following findings from a recent study by the Local Search Association: “According to a new study, when both brand and location-specific pages exist, 85% of all consumer engagement takes place on the local pages (e.g., Facebook Local Pages, local landing pages). A minority of impressions and engagement (15%) happen on national or brand pages.”

Quick Fix #1 — Create individual location pages. Put location-specific contact details and information (promotions, events, menu offerings, etc) and resist the urge to copy-and-paste generic franchise copy. Check out our blog for more on creating location-specific landing pages, or give us a call to ask your questions directly.

• Mistake #2 — “Set it and forget it” approach to citations and local listings. Single local business owners may dedicate one day to creating their Google My Business page along with 20-50 structured citations, then never look them over again. This might not be a big problem for single businesses, but it’s a huge mistake for big brands with multiple locations.

Quick Fix #2 — Make time for monitoring local business listings. Block out time each week to manage your local listings and it will pay dividends for your local SEO. This doesn’t need to be exhaustive work–simply tell your franchisees or their marketing teams to set tasks for managing any GMB reviews, responding to consumers via local listing direct messaging, reviewing your contact details, deleting duplicate listings, and managing spam. Small businesses can get away with being a little more negligent, but a week without monitoring franchise listings could translate to hundreds of missed messages and ignored reviews.

Learn More About Local SEO For Franchises

We haven’t even scratched the surface of local SEO for franchises, but alas, we’ve run out of space.

If you want to keep the conversation going, get in touch with our team at or call 866-311-7189.