The Key Components to SEO for a Franchise Website
The great thing about a franchise website builder is that it allows you to maintain your brand essence and principles while still giving individual locations the liberty to customize their site. This allows for more relevant ads and business hours, as well as customized search results (for SEO purposes). It’s a more affordable option than building separate sites for every location, and it gives each of your locations that local feel. With our franchise website builder, you can have a branded interface that will be applied to all franchise sites. Any changes made will automatically be applied to all your local franchise websites. This is useful if you’re wanting to change the products stocked or adjust your FAQ page. Edits are easy when you have a CMS Web Design.
Control Your Brand
Some of the elements that your local franchises will be able to manipulate are specials, blogs, events, and regional offerings. You can choose what parts of the site the franchisees will be able to view and edit when they log into the administration area of their site. No single franchisee can make edits to all the other franchisee sites.
One of the most important facets of a franchise website builder is that is gives you localized keyword options, ensuring your organic users are high-intent. If they’re able to drive to one of your locations, they’re much more likely to invest time into your site. An example of this might be a Volvo dealership with multiple locations in the Kansas City metro area. Instead of optimizing for ‘Volvo S90’, the individual Volvo dealership site in Olathe can optimize for ‘Volvo S90 Olathe’. This means you have less competition for your keywords (both paid and unpaid) and you’re targeting the people who are in the right location to visit that specific dealership. This also makes geo-targeting much easier. If your ad header is something like ‘find tire services in Kansas City’ and the landing page for that ad has ‘Tire Services in Kansas City’ as the title, you know that your visitors are going to find exactly what they’re looking for.
Another great aspect of our franchise website builder is that it’s mobile friendly. With special responsiveness coding, your site looks perfect on computers and smartphones. This is especially important since Google considers responsiveness when determining your ranking. With over half of local business and services searches done on a mobile device, you’re turning away a good portion of your target audience if you don’t have a responsive web design.
Optimizing Your Site for SEO
Websites like Local Marketing Source make it easy for you to find the cities that you should be targeting based on your business’ location. You can even utilize Google Analytics to see whether these location-specific keywords are outperforming other keywords. Target your campaign towards cities where you know search volume already exists by uploading blog posts that include the high-volume city in the post’s keyword. Many people don’t realize that Google automatically pulls up results that are near your location, so they’ll include their city after their search term. Going after these long-tail keywords brings in high-intent traffic, so it’s important to have a website and content curation page that allows you to insert these phrases as often as possible.
There are several ways you can optimize your individual franchisee websites. Local on-page SEO factors include adding your city/region + relevant keyword to you landing page title tag, landing page H1 tag, lading page URL, landing page content, and landing page image ALT attributes. You might also embed a Google map with your business marker into your landing page.
Back-linking From Local Directories
In addition to website optimization, you also need to focus on backlinks. Local SEO relies more on links from other local websites that are relevant to your business. Though backlinks from high authority websites are obviously beneficial, local directories are a great resource for building citations. Setting up your business listing on directories that get a lot of traffic results in more traffic to your site as well. You need to make sure that you have accurate information that correlates across your website, Google Plus page, and local ecosystem citations. Local ranking is dependent on your business name, address, and phone number. Before you enter your information into a directory, make sure your business isn’t already listed—duplicates look spammy. If you are listed but the information is incorrect, FIX IT! Links aren’t even necessary for citations—all you need is accurate information. Some programs, like Bright Local, allow you to track your competitor’s citations and add your own to the same website.
Tips for Back-linking:
- Check meetup.com to see whether there are any local events coming up that are relevant to your industry. Contact those with websites to see whether they allow for sponsorship. If they say yes, you can get a link from their website (which is local) and their Meetup.com page.
- Create a local resource from public data and reach out to local press to get coverage.
- Coordinate your own local meetup or event and bring through links from the event page.
- Sign up to get quotes in local publications. For the Kansas City area, that might be something like ink.com.
- Give a discount to local organizations for your products/services in exchange for a linked mention on their site.
- Enter local awards for your industry. If you’re a restaurant, that might be the Gilbert Robinson Leadership and Awards Dinner.
- You might also utilize PR outreach to get coverage on the local news when you open a new location.
- Research other local businesses in your same niche market to see where they’re getting their backlinks from. You can use a program like SEMRush to get this information.
- If you offer jobs or internships to students, you can get backlinks from their career pages.
With the new local packs rolled out in 2016, there are only three businesses shown in the SERPS as opposed to the previous seven. If a user wants to see more options, they have to click through to expanded results. Users can also filter results by rating, so it’s imperative to have positive reviews on your Google My Business page. Making sure that you’re clear about the services you offer and where these services are available is imperative to achieve a high ranking in these local packs. Keeping your directory listings consistent can also contribute to this ranking, so go through this list of directories to make sure you’re listed in all the local ones. To keep up with trends in your niche, you can set up alerts for each of your competitor’s business to receive notifications when they have a news story/press release/review written about them. Just because you’re in the top spot this week doesn’t mean you’ll have that same prime position next week—SEO is all about upkeep.
Citations are another important component for local ranking. A citation is any mention of your business name and address on another webpage (no link to your website required). Citations include online yellow page directory listings, local chamber of commerce pages, and local business association pages. They’re imperative for business that don’t have their own website, since Google pulls data from third party sources if you don’t have an official site. This third-party information might not always be accurate, so go through and see what pops up when someone Googles your business. With a franchise website, you’ll have several different locations that need to be listed. This may require separate marketing teams for each franchisee location or a digital marketing agency that can access bundled directory listing services.
Franchise Website Builder Case Study
Marriott International includes 30 brands and over 3,600 properties, making it one of the largest hotel franchises out there. They went with a single, authoritative system to keep brand consistency and streamline creativity at the local level. Their ROI has brought in $9 million/year. Each of their 600 franchise management companies are responsible for reviewing and approving marketing communication activities created by the personnel at the properties it owns. Since their brand is international, they needed to be able to manage access to their digital assets (photography, logos, maps). A franchise website, combined with their adoption of a communication architecture that gave each of their nine major brands a distinct voice, was the perfect solution. Now, Marriott International can maintain control over their brand while still giving a voice to each of their distinct hotel chains.
Check out our franchise website builder service page under solutions to learn more about how we can help you gain control over your overall marketing goals and website structure while still utilizing localized SEO to get the most traffic to your sites. For more information on how SEO can help grow website traffic and profit, visit our SEO help page. With plenty of experience under our belt, we know exactly how to create a franchise website that’s coherent, attractive, and easy to edit later on down the road. Once you have your franchise websites up and running, you can use businesses like Outreach Wizard to gain links back to your website (improving SEO). Contact us to get started on a franchise website that will generate revenue for your business, or check out our blog post to learn more SEO basics.