- Posted by Martin McDonald
- On January 11, 2018
It’s 2018 and local SEO is more important than ever. Your customers are on-the-go and constantly seeking instant gratification to find exactly what they want, right when they want it.
Shouldn’t they be able to find you?
As a franchisor, you should definitely be thinking about SEO. If you’re not already, you should be getting every franchise location involved in a local SEO campaign. Depending on your company size and type, you’ll need to consider whether you want to hire an in-house SEO expert or hire an SEO agency.
Either way, there are many benefits to controlling the SEO efforts of all franchises.
Most Franchisees Don’t Understand SEO
Rest assured, this isn’t just a problem in the franchise space. Even though SEO has been around for a long time now, the truth is that most people just don’t get it. If they did, they certainly wouldn’t need us to do it for them.
SEO is constantly evolving and over the years has gotten so complex that it’s not something you can trust to just anyone you find on the street.
Google’s algorithm changes have become a never-ending roller coaster ride and you truly need an expert at the helm to ensure success for your business.
To make things worse, there is so much bad SEO information floating around out there, that if a franchisee got their hands on it and decided to go rogue, they could cause an ungodly amount of damage to the franchise such as getting your website deindexed. That’s not something you want to go through.
Just be sure to do your research when you make your hire.
Centralized Listings Will Help You Sleep Easier at Night
The ownership of franchise location information is usually a source of many unpredictable and complicated problems. Some franchisees may have already claimed their Google My Business listing and their local citations, while many others likely have not.
There may be instances where an ex-employee has all the logins. Worse yet, NO ONE has the logins.
No matter what situation you’re in, there is a pretty solid chance that things are a mess and attempting to fix them across multiple accounts can be difficult and tiring.
As a franchisor, you should take control of all your locations’ Google My Business listings from the beginning to keep the information centralized, accurate and easy to access.
You’ll thank me later.
One Website to Rule Them All
One of the most common mistakes that is made in the world of franchise SEO is that franchisees often build their own standalone website for their specific location. This is a huge NO-NO.
Brand prominence is one of the biggest ranking factors in the local SEO space. Prominence refers to how well-known a business is and much of that prominence in the online world is based on the information that Google has about your business online from things like links, articles, directories, and more.
By creating different websites for each location, you’d actually be diluting your brand prominence online and hurting your overall ability to rank locally. Keep every franchise location on a single domain.
While the setup of the website can be tricky, statistics show that the long term SEO benefits are substantial. Period.
Consistency is Key to SEO Success
When there are too many cooks in the kitchen, things can get chaotic. The same thing goes for franchise SEO.
The consistency of your brand’s presence online is crucial to your success in the search engines. Key elements such as your Name, Address, Phone Number and Website need to be presented the same on your website, directory listings, and social media profiles.
If you aren’t in control, or don’t have specific guidelines for your franchisees to follow, then you could definitely be in trouble. Because the last thing you want is your customers taking their business to your competitors because your online information was missing or incorrect.
Control Your SEO Costs
It can be much more cost effective for a franchise to use its national budget to purchase local SEO for all its franchises vs letting the franchises purchase campaigns individually. When you buy in bulk, most agencies will offer a discount on pricing.
Depending on where you’re located, SEO can be very expensive due to the city size and the competitiveness of your niche. It is beneficial to be charged for SEO services based on the number of locations instead of the overall local competitiveness.
Take Control of Your SEO Efforts Today
There is no better time than now to begin an SEO campaign for your franchise. Taking control and getting each of your franchisees on board will ensure long term success.
Just remember, local SEO can be tricky, especially for franchises.
Do your research. Determine the best course of action. Execute. And hey, you can always contact us if you decide you need help along the way.