Getting National Level SEO For Your Franchise
If you own a franchise or own a business with multiple locations, you will face a unique set of challenges when it comes to search engine optimization (SEO).
The truth of the matter is that the number of brands that are competing for visibility on search engines is at an all time high. Having the backing of a corporation when you are part of a franchise won’t always help you when it comes to SEO at a local level.
What are some things that can help improve rankings?
There is a lot you can do, and this article will show you 5 of the best factors to keep in mind as you step up your efforts in your franchise SEO.
Much of the work that will be discuss gets into the world of content marketing. This is a smart area to focus on as you move forward.
However, many businesses still have a problem with inaction, or issues that linger from their past efforts at SEO. These issues must be addressed first.
As content marketing and mobile marketing continue to be the dominant market force, it is important to ensure that the older tactics used in SEO may be holding you back.
1. Problems with Website SEO You Should Know About as a Franchise Owner
Previously, SEMrush ran an article that established a few of the problems that franchises can encounter when doing SEO.
You should exercise caution about these things and take action. Why is that important? Because they could be the root cause of some of your lingering issues with SEO, keeping your rankings lower than they would otherwise be.
Some of these problems franchises encounter with SEO are:
Content That Is Duplicated
Domain Risks and Health
Generally, it is important to remember to use content that is both original and useful, not duplicate content that appears across the web in many places, especially when it comes to location. Think of each of your location pages as a mini-version of your website just for that franchise, and make sure it is filled with rich content, including thorough descriptions, images, and maybe even video.
When it comes to on-page SEO, make sure you remove any unnecessary interlinks, doing an audit of your backlinks to make sure your site is current and optimized.
If you can, consider hiring an expert in SEO to give you a professional audit. These are some of the things suggested by SEMrush, and you will find similar advice throughout the SEO industry.
How much will a professional SEO expert run you?
You can expect to invest several thousand dollars if you want a professional audit of your franchise’s SEO, if you run a smaller site. If your site is large, has lots of backlinks, or is otherwise complex, you can expect it will take more time, and therefore be more expensive.
Can backlink auditing be done yourself?
You probably can. If you are looking for a smart place to start when it comes to DIY auditing of backlinks, check out this audit guide Moz put out in 2014.
2. Step Up Your Mobile Efforts
Once you have cleaned up your website and addressed any issues you had with links, it is time to start thinking about getting ahead of your competition.
Mobile is the answer you are seeking.
Recently, Search Engine Land provided some tips to help franchises encorporate local SEO better. These tips included:
Encouraging Reviews From Customers
Clean Up Listings In Online Directories
Capture Mobile Users
Capturing mobile users is becoming a more and more important area to focus on. October brought about a report that showed that searches performed on mobile devices surpassed those performed on a desktop, with over 50 percent of searches coming from mobile devices such as tablets or smart phones.
Another tip they provided was to have a purpose to your localization, in other words, use a unique titles in your H1 and H2 sections, and URLs that are both specific and SEO-based.
These are just some of the smart ideas you should consider when it comes to content marketing and ongoing SEO campaigns for your franchise. You will have to employ both if you hope to achieve and sustain visibility on the major search engines for the foreseeable future.
3. Franchise Location Pages
Recently, the Community blog on Business 2 published a great guide to SEO for franchises. It listed 5 tips you can use:
Make sure your site is correct
Make sure your brand has an online footprint
Location pages should be optimized
Business listings need calibration
Take advantage of other locations of the franchise
When it comes to location pages, it is essential to provide Google with information that is both detailed and accurate for each of your physical locations. This has become even more important now that Google has implemented their My Business pages, and now that mobile searches have surpassed desktop when it comes to searches.
Google is including lots of information that is specific to the searcher’s location when they make their query using a mobile device. If you want to improve business, you need to take advantage of this online trend to generate more leads.
4. Franchise Business Listings
As far as listings for your business, it is important to include of the basics:
Hours of Operation
These are the primary four factors that Google is looking for consistently when it comes to business listings. Why? Because customers are looking for quick access to this information.
Often when they are searching for a business, it is by typing a word relating to the business (such as your name) followed by their location. This is a strong indication that they are looking for information regarding the address of your business.
Unfortunately, many businesses fail to track or monitor their NAP, or “Name Address Phone” listings. This information is especially important if you are part of a franchise, and is a key SEO factor if you hope to get ahead.
NAP listings can be taken further if you are looking for more listings in your search engine local results. This post from several months ago on the topic of SERP Stacking can help by providing you with tips on how you can improve the chance that your business shows up on Googles first page of results.
5. Using Your Franchise Model In SEO
For SEO strategies, it is important to ensure you aren’t wasting your efforts on duplicate tactics. Why should one franchise owner spend a good portion of their day running a campaign on social media when a different location was doing that yesterday.
Think of how you can consolidate your efforts and use your network of franchise locations to your advantage.
Whenever possible, your locations should all be in communication, ensuring that you aren’t trying the same strategies over and over or negatively impacting the campaign of another location.
There are lots of ways in which a franchise can improve their rankings on the major search engines. Making a few simple alterations to your website and establishing a commitment to marketing content will ensure that your franchise steps up their online presence. In addition, ensuring Google has accurate and detailed information for your business listing is essential if you want your franchise SEO campaign to succeed.
If you are still having problems with off-page SEO or penalties, consider double checking the backlink profile for your site. Remember, having localized content will help you target your mobile users. When it comes to businesses in a franchise, the real action is on the mobile platform. In fact, take a moment to ensure that your website is mobile-friendly before doing anything else today!