SEO for franchises improves search engine visibility for franchise websites, which promote brands and offer localized pages for multiple brand locations. Strategies include keyword research for the local area, creating localized landing pages and removing any potential duplicate content.
Franchise SEOs need to consider the different approaches to offering consumers local page quality and familiarise themselves with the technical issues that can be common on these websites. Let’s take a more detailed look at franchise SEO and the specific strategies that need to be applied to make it a success.
Importance of franchise SEO
Franchise SEO is an essential part of marketing a franchise business. Traditional marketing channels are still reliable for reaching the intended audience, but franchise SEO puts brands in front of users actively searching for specific services from a franchise.
It’s important to know how to effectively apply franchise SEO tactics to you can reap the rewards. If done well, it can drive leads and increase sales without a heavy cost. However, there are some challenges to be aware of.
One of the main challenges you will face when working on franchise SEO is duplicate content. This is something you absolutely must avoid, or you could risk cannibalisation across your site.
Understandably, your locations will have the same visual themes and tone of voice, as a brand must remain consistent in its messaging. However, the good news is your location will make it stand out and appear different from the rest. Just remember to make sure the content is original.
Improving the search visibility of an overarching franchise brand is equally as crucial as improving the visibility of individual local franchise businesses. Regardless of the niche of the industry, we have many steps you can take to improve your rankings.
Across all individual websites, your branding should be consistent. The purpose of a franchise is to offer customers the same experience at every location they may visit. This idea of experience also applies to your online site. When users visit the website of each franchise location, they will expect a similar colour theme and layout, enhancing the user experience.
Users who are aware of your brand expect your website to contain certain colour themes and have a specific look. If users land on a page with a different design, they may exit your page thinking they have landed on the incorrect site.
When building a website for your franchise, there are some essentials you need to include within your site, regardless of the industry you are working in. These essentials are a foundation for your SEO and can also provide value for user experience.
Optimizing your franchisee pages – Find the most searched localized terms and include them within the title tags and content.
Embedded Google map – Include a Google map of the franchise location. Most localized business searchers on Google will trigger a localized search result at the top of the page.
Hours of operation – Including hours of operation is convenient and beneficial for the user.
Localized reviews – Reviews from a particular franchise location can help build the users’ trust that your branch of a franchise is a great place to go.
Direction details – Provide details of exactly where the business is located and what areas you cover.
NAP and why this is important
The abbreviation NAP stands for Name, Address and Phone Number, and using the correct format is critical. The NAP should be consistent across the location page, social media, review sites, and business listings such as Google My Business.
Using each location’s NAP, rather than a corporate NAP, is critical. Having corporate contact details is good, but ensure this is located under a ‘corporate’ option in the footer menu to ensure everything is clear.
Location based keywords
Pages aimed at localised traffic should have highly optimised features, including the top-level keywords the franchise is aiming to rank for. Using location-based keywords is the key to ranking for those all-important localised searches. For example, if you are a chain restaurant in Manchester, you want to include the phrase ‘restaurant in Manchester’ within the title tags, headers, and the body of the copy. A great tip is to also include landmarks, nearby tourist destinations and area names as target keywords to boost visibility and reach more potential customers.
Content marketing strategy
Deciding on a content marketing strategy is crucial for the success of any campaign and can have excellent results. In the subject of franchise SEO, this can become a challenge.
For this to be successful, you need to consider what you are blogging about. Should this include general topics related to your niche or products? Or should you consider topics related to the specific location or area of the individual franchise? As a general rule, you should do both. Create blog posts with nearby residents in mind and blog about your niche with a local slant.
Add location-specific schema for each location
Schema is definitive information about a page’s content that helps Google better understand and rank websites. For example, a product page for a shelf or cabinet may include the price, inventory status and the number of reviews.
In contrast, you can take advantage of the FAQ schema and markup featured on a specific page. This schema gives more options on the search results page for location-orientated questions, such as ‘good restaurants in Manchester’. Using this schema can help you stand out and increase your click-through rate, and search engines can begin to rank your content accurately and appropriately, improving rankings.
Build local backlinks
Building local backlinks is great, and a critical part of local rankings, but it can be a complicated process for a franchise. You want to find local businesses to collaborate with within each area you are operating in, but you also don’t want to get links from or link to competitors.
The best way around this is to work with local organizations such as local charities, schools and other events in the local area that don’t compete with you.
In many ways, the same SEO strategies that apply to most local businesses also apply to franchises. However, keep in mind there are contextual and technical elements to consider when working on franchise SEO.
Businesses have many options for reaching potential customers online, and local franchise SEO is the best option for companies with multiple locations. Always remember the locations need to feel unique but also support each other and circle back to the main brand. Considering some of the options and applying to your franchise SEO where appropriate, you could see some strong results.