SEO For Franchises: What You Can Expect

During the quote-unquote “Wild West” days of SEO marketing, anything was kosher, including any number of artificial techniques that are now frowned upon by the major influencers in the digital marketing ecosphere; most notably Google.  As the SEO landscape continues to evolve at a geometric rate, techniques like backlinking and meta-tagging have become less effective.  Instead, the focus is now on streamlined, organic content that leaves a great impression on target audiences, while adhering to the revised standards imposed by the search engine optimization giants.  Today’s franchises have a bountiful plate of options they can take advantage of, to further grow their business.  It’s less difficult than you might think.  What can a franchise expect when diving into the deep waters of SEO?  Let’s talk about that.

 

1) Keep It Clean, And Keep It Tidy

When it comes to your franchise website, optimization is the key factor.  Consider having an actual franchise section on your website that contains informative content regarding franchising, such as Blog articles, a list of franchising opportunities, and a contact section.  You can even link to an external website that focuses more on the franchising side of things.  This can have a positive impact on your SEO.  Just remember how SEO works.  Search engine crawlers will analyze your website and identify whether it’s easy to navigate, and properly structured for content delivery.  A hierarchical approach is a definite must in this situation.  Google crawlers need to be able to identify your content quickly, while your visitors require the right combination of categories and subcategories in order to find what they’re looking for, without frustration.  The last thing any franchise owner wants is for customers to have difficulty finding the right information about a particular location, which can drive them towards competitors.  Instead, we want high conversion rates, heavy traffic and a great user experience from start to finish.

 

2) Backlinks Without The Backlash

Earlier we touched upon the practice of backlinking, and how it has become less effective in the modern SEO ecosphere.  In the past, one could purchase links designed to drive more traffic to a website, and this technique is still in use today.  However, Google may view this practice negatively, depending on the circumstances.  If it finds that the technique is being abused, it may yield a decrease in traffic, and reduce the quality of your website SEO performance.  Modern backlinking is all about quality, not quantity.  By linking to quality content, you are creating an organic nest of links that Google can identify and reward, while giving your visitors something meaningful and fresh to engage with.  This is especially vital for franchise owners who want to grow their chain with multiple locations.  Don’t fall victim to nefarious techniques, or it may cost you dearly in the long run.

 

3) Mobility For The Masses

Franchise owners should be especially mindful of the mobile factor.  Responsive websites give your visitors a pleasant browsing experience on their phones, tablets or other mobile devices, and that’s important for growing a franchise.  A methodical approach is wise when it comes to mobile development.  If the desktop version of your website is clean, simple and user-friendly, it will allow for an easier transition to the mobile aspect, as well.  Think about the growth of your franchise, and where it will be within the next 5-10 years.  The technical SEO and web landscapes may change by then, but the principles of solid user experience design should remain relatively consistent.  Always bear in mind that mobile traffic is greater than desktop traffic; a trend that started in 2016.

 

4) Target Your Customer Base With Precision

If you’re the first-time owner of a pizza franchise in Markham, it would make little sense to advertise “pizza,” rather than “Markham pizza.”  Optimizing your site content to focus on appropriate geographical targets will create higher rankings in search engine results, and prevent you from getting lost in an ocean of search results.  This is commonly referred to as “Local SEO.”  Your customers know what they’re looking for, and it’s necessary to head them off at the pass with proper keywords and optimized site structure, which acts as a virtual flare in the sky for them to find you.  Anticipating the search patterns of your customers isn’t difficult.  When in doubt, start with the most appropriate question – “What would I search for?”  However, the work doesn’t stop there.

Many franchise owners miss a vital step in the process of SEO keyword optimization.  It’s not enough to simply create the right circumstances for customers to find you.  Franchise owners need to step up their game and create full blown content strategy that will disseminate over a prolonged period of time (perhaps a few weeks for each campaign), which will yield higher rankings and better search results.  It’s about staying relevant and being proactive, rather than waiting for the business to come to you.

 

5) Focus On The Data

It’s not enough to put great SEO practices into place and expect them to work.  Real SEO requires keeping an eye on your data and stats so you can tweak your campaign accordingly.  There is no “one size fits all” when it comes to search engine optimization.  With so many factors at play, a franchise owner should be ready to make on-the-fly adjustments that will foster better results.  Franchise owners shouldn’t focus on what is working.  Rather, they should focus on what is not working.  The former will take care of itself.  The latter is where you can make a difference.  SEO Audits are a great way to achieve this, as they can highlight your website performance, and identify things that might be holding it back, such as toxic links, broken redirects and poor performance.

Google Search Console is an excellent way of keeping track of these kinds of things.  Coincidentally, this is where many franchises find difficulty, and it’s not necessarily their fault.  Running a franchise is a time-consuming affair, and it can be challenging to find the time to keep track of location specific SEO data, to say nothing of the learning curve required.  It’s best for franchise owners to seek out a professional digital marketing company whose full time job revolves around search optimization services.  Not only will they keep constant track of your data and statistics, but they can advise you on the best strategies and options to further grow your franchise, and your ROI.

The right SEO strategies can propel your franchise to enormous heights, but it’s hard to keep track of all the changes taking place within this ever-shifting, constantly evolving sphere.  If you’re a franchise owner looking to maximize your exposure, boost your traffic, and increase your business, then we’re here to help.

Reach out to us right Here, and allow us to craft the perfect SEO strategy for your franchise!

Top Link Building Strategies

Link building has more recently become one of the most talked about methods for optimizing your website’s search rankings on Google and other popular search engines. It can have powerful results and may be more simple than you might think. With SEO being more important than ever, creating and executing a powerful link building strategy can have immense positive long term effects. This article will cover the top link building strategies that can help your company increase its domain authority and move its SERP rankings up to the top.

1. Content, Content, Content.

Everything comes down to content. Good content generates good results and bad content generates bad results. The first step is simple, in order to get other websites to link to your content, you need to start with writing good content that resonates with your readers. Understanding your core audience is a must so that your content can be reflective of what your audience is looking for, thus generating more buzz. You should also strive to have content that is written informally, well structured, and with SEO keywords in mind.

2.  Social Media

You are providing good content, but people need to see it. Social media is a perfect way to reach new audiences, and get loads of backlinks in the process. It is imperative to post your content on all of the most popular social media platforms to attain the highest reach possible. Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn are all good ways to reach a new and specific audience for your content.

3. Private Blog Networks (PBN’s)

Everyone seems to be talking about Private Blog Networks, but what are they? In layman’s terms, PBN’s are high authority domains (usually previously expired) that are used to send high authority links back to your site. This type of strategy can be defined as “grey hat” SEO and so it must be done properly to ensure that you and Google can maintain your everlasting friendship. PBN’s should be used with caution and are typically safe when they don’t exceed over 20% of your overall link portfolio. PBN’s should only be leveraged by an experienced individual to avoid getting de-indexed and rendering your time and money obsolete. Read more about creating and utilizing a PBN here.

4. Reaching out to prospective websites.

This is the old school version of link building, but as they say, “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” If you’ve put the time and the effort into creating great content, then people will generally not have an issue sharing it and linking back to your site. The fastest way to do this is through simply reaching out. This can be done through social media platforms, email, phone calls, etc. You should always be sure to reach out in a friendly way, and not to sound like a robot with hyper-automated emails.

Local SEO for Small Businesses

Small-to medium-sized businesses contribute to approximately 41% of Canada’s gross domestic product (GDP). With small businesses playing such a big part in our nation’s GDP, it’s time to shine a light on how important digital marketing- more specifically localized digital marketing is to the success of an SME. As a result, we’ve outlined three amazing tips that will help support independent business owners in attaining the right strategies to bring in leads through the door.

  1. The importance of localized keywords

At the end of the day, you want to make sure that your website shows up first on every search engine. That’s why it’s incredibly important to focus and know your localized keywords, essentially words that people in your local community would search to find you. A great way to figure these words out is by surveying some of your customers to see which search terms they would use to find your business. This will vary from area to area, hence the localized aspect of it.

  1. Configure your Google Plus business page

Your business can benefit from using Google Plus in many ways such as:

  •   Standing out – You’re able to share your latest information with customers such as directions, opening hours, pictures and offers
  •   Compare – Now your customers can compare you to multiple business so you can show how much better you are
  •   Engage – Customers have the ability to leave you reviews and let you know how you can improve your business. This is also a great platform for you to speak to them and understand their needs and wants more intimately

Google My Business is a significant online directory that no localized business can ignore. So make sure you optimize your Google My Business page as it can help you get targeted exposure from your local audience.

  1. Online Directories

Getting listed on various online directories not only helps with your SEO but can also help you generate qualified leads. The more local you get the better, so check out your local newspaper to see if they might have an online directory. Also look into your local chamber of commerce and any other local directories.

In short, local search engine marketing or local SEO as it is commonly called, is here to stay. It’s slowly yet steadily turning out to be a crucial part of a successful small business online marketing strategy, so make sure to hop on this wave for 2019.