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!