For a site to reach its lead generation potential, it needs to be seen by prospective customers. SEO is an essential part in online marketing because it helps your site get to the top spots in the search pages thus, gaining visibility. Still a lot of companies that work within a partner system, forget that they also need to put together a franchise local SEO strategy.
As Google states, 97% of consumers search for local businesses online. Which means that it is imperative for your partners to be present online so, when a potential lead searches for a term related to your business in a specific location, they’ll show up first and your money won’t go to your competitors.
If you’d like a grade “A”, top drawer, bee’s knees, franchise local SEO strategy, here are 10 elements to consider!:
Tips to a Successful Franchise Local SEO Strategy
1. Have a Franchise Local SEO Strategy
Yes, this one is a freebie but a lot of businesses miss it! What I mean by this, is that you actually need a STRATEGY. You need to set goals and create a plan so you, your company and your partners can achieve them! Speaking of which…
2. Provide SEO Training & Support to Franchisees
For a franchise local SEO strategy to succeed, your partners need to know what it’s about. They’ll probably won’t have any idea of what SEO is or how they can make it work for them. And, even if they won’t take on the whole responsibility of it, they still should be in the know so they can localize the strategy (I’ll go over this later on). Teach them about SEO, share goals and expectations so they are aware of how this will benefit them and what course of action they need to take.
At the same time, they’ll need to rely on you. Questions may arise as the process moves forward, so support your partners and offer a helping hand!
3. Including Local Information Musts
Now, within a partner site (or any site for that matter), there is some information that can’t miss! The phone number, address and the list of services or products offered are basic elements that are useful for readers and that are also important for the search engines. With this information, search engines can validate your business and provide a better experience to their users because they know you aren’t a spammy site.
4. Optimizing the Franchisee Websites
Keywords are a big deal in SEO because they’re basically the terms that you want to show up for in the search pages. They should be in your franchisee websites’ content, images, page titles, meta descriptions. Having a clear goal in your SEO strategy will give you a better idea of what keywords you should be using and where you need to place them!
5. Being Mobile
Nowadays, Internet users live through their mobile devices! Not only that but, according to Google, 75% of users prefer a mobile-friendly site. So, if you want your franchisee website to be clicked on and engage users to stay there, you need to have a mobile friendly site!
6. Keyword Consciousness
As previously stated, keywords are very important BUT don’t get too carried away with them! Remember that visitors come first and if the search engine detects that you’re stuffing keywords in an unnatural way just to get to a top spot, it will penalize your sites!
Not only that, but you shouldn’t resort to keyword cannibalism either! This means that you use the same keywords for every page, which confuses the search engine. Remember that every page in your franchisee websites is a new opportunity to rank for a new set of keywords and you should take it to get a wider audience.
Plus! Keywords SHOULD be targeted too! Think about your audience and your location and let it shine through in the keywords for each individual partner sites.
7. Constant, Unique and Relevant Content
Content is very demanding! Still, it’s worth the hassle as it’s one of the building blocks of franchise local SEO. Duplicated, sporadic and disengaging content won’t get you anywhere in terms of online marketing. You may even need writers to come in and help your content strategy out. For example, to get optimal results you need to constantly produce content for your partner sites. HubSpot states that 92% of companies who blogged multiple times a day acquired a customer through their blog. So, the more you update, the better.
But, you can’t just update just to get over a task! Your content should be relevant and targeted to your audience. There’s tone of generic content out there. The benefits to having a local site is that your partners can talk to their visitors about specific needs they have which is extremely useful and relevant for them. Soon enough, traffic will start to increase in these franchisee websites and your rank in the search pages will go up.
Your efforts should be tracked so you know where your strategy is going and what you and your partners should include. A tool like a Google Analytics can be really helpful for this SEO task!
9. Local Listings
Listings help potential clients and search engines find you! By sharing your local business’ information through listings can be a key traffic driver to your site. There are a lot of free options out there: Google Places, Yahoo!, Bing, among others. Plus, they can help your customers feel safe because listings legitimize you as a business.
Listings are important for search engines too because they relate this information and can further confirm your location. Moreover, listing are also a great opportunity to get links back to your site, which basically are validations to your site. that can help you rank higher!
10. Link Building
This one is a time consuming task but, by being referenced in other sites, you start gaining authority online. Be it by guest posting, adding the partners’ posts to directories or having a site review one of your local units, every time you get a backlink, the search engine considers them as “votes” that give you authority online.
Bonus Point: Social Media
Have your partners share their content through social media and encourage them to interact with customers through them! Again, if customers start “Liking” or sharing your posts, this can also be considered as a link building strategy, which gets you higher visibility in the competitive virtual world!
How Empowerkit Can Help
SEO is complicated and it can really take it out of you! Specially if you want to make the most of it for your franchise local SEO to succeed! But don’t worry: if you still want your company to be visible at a local level, Empowerkit can help.
Empowerkit is a white label website builder that can manage the SEO strategy for your partners sites! You can leave all the SEO mess to us and we’ll take care of content creation, social media management, tracking, listings and getting you a compliant but flexible site where your business will be marketed locally!
At the end of the day, having a site is important, but what good is it if nobody can see it? Not only that, but if you’re managing a partner system. Go through this checklist to get on the right track to have a strong brand presence online and increase your ROI!