Hello again and welcome to the last post in the “Collaboration” series! In this installment, we’ll go over another of the basic steps that need to go into a solid franchise online marketing strategy: Search Engine Optimization. As you may know, SEO is a set of techniques used for a site to move up in the search pages, get more traffic and, potentially, get more customers.
It’s main purpose is to make your site visible in the search pages so when a potential client is looking for something related to your business, they find you. As Chris Anderson, CMO for Empowerkit, has mentioned before, having a site without a franchise SEO marketing strategy is like having a billboard in the middle of the desert. Who’s gonna see it? Without SEO, it doesn’t make any (and I mean ANY) sense having a site.
When searching for a “maid service” in Albuquerque, you get 146, 000 results. Your franchisee sites may easily get lost in there, and with them, your business!
Still, franchise SEO marketing can be complicated and the different elements that go into it can create tension in your relationship with your franchisees. Questions like ‘who’s going to track the results?’ and ‘who’s going to optimize the titles?’ may start to arise.
To help you out with this dilemma, the post at hand will try and steer you into a collaboration state of mind that will help you out in your SEO strategy! Plus, I’ll go over how to do it in 3 different business models so you can choose the one that best fits your company!
If you feel you need some help in the local SEO department, read these posts: Mistakes to Avoid in Local SEO, Local SEO Strategy and Goals, Local SEO: Tracking and Analytics.
The Elements in a Franchise SEO Marketing Strategy
Franchise SEO marketing can be tricky so, to master it, you need to be really sure of what you want to accomplish with it. Do you want more leads to come in? Do you want a higher conversion rate? By clarifying your direction, you’ll be a better leader and will have a higher chance of getting to that objective.
Since this is an integral part of your online marketing strategy and your franchisees will have to at least localize it once in a while, it’s a good idea to train them. Let them know what SEO is, what’s it good for and how they can contribute. By keeping them in the know, you’re improving your chances to reach the goals set.
As I’ve said before, SEO can be easier said than done: from finding the right keywords, to optimizing titles and content, creating inbound links and tracking results, etc. It takes time and, if you want to do it right, it needs expertise in the subject.
This is a strong suit for the franchisees. Because who knows the local audiences better than them, right? And yes, your SEO strategy needs to be localized too! By doing it, you’ll be showing up for relevant search queries which can potentially point better quality leads into your site!
Tracking and Analytics are a big part (or should be) of every site. By doing it, you’re picking up helpful data that can steer your strategy in the right direction. How else will you know if you’re achieving your goals if you aren’t tracking the results?
Franchise SEO marketing is a moving target, don’t lose focus! Make sure you’re updating your keywords and optimizing your content so it fits with the direction you want to take your site in!
How to Handle SEO Collaboration In Your Franchise
Now, the “who does what” for your franchise SEO marketing strategy in 3 different business models. Of course, each franchise is different and while I give you suggestions, you should be able to adapt them to best suit your workflow.
As you’ll be able to see in the collaboration charts, I’ve added some external help in the mix. Like I mentioned earlier, SEO can be a tricky subject, and you may want someone with expertise on your side!
The only thing I would really like you to be mindful of is that, no matter how you choose to split up the work, you should most certainly keep your franchisees in the know! Come to an agreement with them so you know what they should expect from you and vice versa. By doing it, you’re avoiding the gray area that could build up tension in your relationship!
This first suggestion is for a franchise that is very controlled. This means that, probably, there are a lot of franchisees who aren’t as tech savvy and that need for some things to be provided to them (that’s why I only include them in the training and localization portion of the work).
Now, in this chart, I’ve involved the franchisor (or the corporate offices) in the implementation and tracking part. What I mean by this is that, a franchisor in this type of business model may want to be on track of what’s going on in terms of SEO. I don’t think he or she should be getting into the details of it but s/he should have a very clear grasp of what they’re doing, how they’re doing it and what results are coming from it.
This business model is for a franchise that’s not quite as controlled and offers a bit more flexibility.
This can be perceived in the involvement of the franchisees in the process (assuming that they have a bit more time and are more knowledgeable on SEO). This way, the franchisees can chip in with implementation once in a while by optimizing their titles and content with the instruction of the external help, of course.
At the same time, you’ll see that while the external help is still pretty relied on, the franchisor has taken a step back. Like I said in the model above, he or she should be in the know of the general course the strategy has taken but s/he probably shouldn’t be bothered with details.
This third business model is for a franchise where the franchisees are tech savvy, have the time and have more room to take action in an SEO strategy. This is reflected in their commitment to updating from time to time (again, with the instructions from the expert).
Like I mentioned in the other business models, the franchisor should be in the know of how the strategy is going without actually getting too much into the details.
How Empowerkit can Help with SEO
Now that we have a clearer idea on how to collaborate in an SEO strategy, I want to go over some ways you could make it easier. With Empowerkit, a franchisee with a bit of computer abilities could easily update, implement and localize the SEO strategy.
This is because there aren’t any codes! Just by going into the editor and clicking the elements they want to modify, they could optimize titles, page titles, meta tags and meta descriptions. A well-trained franchisee with constant support from the expert could easily start providing better insight on the local audiences!
Still, the thing is to remember that a site isn’t a one time thing and while it is a lot of work, you have a team to fall back on. A site that is maintained correctly and has a defined set of goals that are well implemented can make a huge difference in your business!
And on that note, I officially conclude the Collaboration series. Thank you for reading!
Check out the posts on how to collaborate in the first stages of a site and in the content strategy!
If you have any questions about this post or Empowerkit, feel free to ask!
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