How Franchise Businesses Can Scale Search Marketing

By Steve Wiideman, President — Wiideman Consulting Group

If you are not setting aside 30 minutes each day to scale your franchise’s search marketing and local SEO, you’re falling behind your competition. Rest assured they are watching your marketing and developing strategies to siphon away some of your traffic.

Four factors impact your franchise’s local SEO more than anything else:

  • Consistent and accurate business information.
  • Useful content on your franchise’s webpage.
  • Referral links to your franchise’s webpage on other sites.
  • Positive reviews and ratings of your franchise.

If your franchise nurtures these four areas each month, it will result in higher online ranking and visibility.

Improving local SEO by verifying accurate data across the web

At every franchise, someone is responsible for keeping the business’s information up-to-date and accurate across platforms like Google Maps, Bing Maps, and Yelp. It’s not difficult for a small business with one location to maintain a spreadsheet listing all the sites where business-related information is posted, but when franchises expand to 20, 50, or 1,000 locations, things can get complicated quickly.

When you maintain accurate and consistent data across your franchise’s online presence, it improves local SEO and enables higher search rankings. You can either hire data managers for apiece $50,000 per year to do this, or use an online platform. These platforms have partnerships and direct API links to Google Maps, Apple Maps, Bing Maps, and other major navigation engines.

Some of these tools that manage data for large franchises and multi-location brands include:

These tools improve your visibility on Google by helping to publish and maintain bulk amounts of accurate location data. Most offer a location page product to enable franchises to make each location’s homepage specific. All you do is inform the platform what you want on each location page and how you want to format them.

Smaller franchises with less than 20 locations should research affordable data management platforms such as:

Improving local SEO by posting helpful content on your franchise website

The content you include on your website offers valuable information to your customers. At the same time, it helps Google learn what your website’s content provides.

Customers who know your franchise search for it by name, but other customers find it by searching for the product or service it offers. For example, let’s say that 800 people each month may search for “best cheese shop in Portland.” If your cheese shop is near the top of the results, you stand a better chance of snagging those customers.

People use all sorts of keywords and key phrases to search for your franchise. Because there are thousands of potential variations, it pays to put time and energy into providing content with keywords based on the services or products your franchise offers. Add more relevant and helpful content to your pages, and you can expect to appear in more searches. Enhance each of your franchise’s location pages with referring links and content specific to your local area.

Our team conducted a study to identify local homepage focal points that play into high rankings. We studied over 300 location pages to understand why some ranked higher than others. After examining major brands, we found the data search engines pay attention to most.

We find franchises that customize each homepage with hyper-local content have a 107% competitive advantage. This means they differentiate with location-specific content unique to each franchise’s homepage. Our findings indicate:

  • Posting custom location images leads to an 84% competitive advantage.
  • Posting location-specific links to social profiles like Yelp and Foursquare leads to a 50% competitive advantage.
  • Posting a direction link on the page leads to a 16% advantage.

Marketing Technology News: The Neuron Announces Partnership with Place Exchange

Improving local SEO by earning mentions for your franchise on other sites

When your franchise is mentioned on popular online local hubs and directories, you rank higher in Google Maps and for local queries. You can create free online listings for your franchise on sites such as Facebook and Google My Business.

After you’ve exhausted the free online listings, you can earn mentions of your franchise on local directories, industry directories, websites of neighboring businesses, news, and blogs.

Asking local businesses for referring links is great, and you can collaborate with them by hosting events as well. These relationships often generate the links and referral traffic that create the online visibility your franchise needs.

Marketing Technology News: MarTech Interview With Laura Connell, Consumer Trends Manager at GWI

Improving local SEO through ratings and reviews

Negative reviews and low-star ratings directly impact your franchise’s search marketing. Search engines stop featuring companies with low ratings because their goal is to show the listings people want to see. To rank on Google Maps, your franchise needs to maintain higher ratings than your local competition.

Your franchise can maximize this aspect of SEO by providing top-notch service and actively requesting reviews from every customer. Ask customers to leave reviews on your webpage and also on platforms such as Yelp, Facebook, and Foursquare.

Many management platforms compile customer reviews into daily emails. Responding to each review ensures customers will receive a good experience with your franchise, despite the occasional random negative review.

As a bonus, you can turn your best reviews into content for your homepage without much work. Posting user-generated content such as reviews boosts your webpage’s relevancy and keywords.

Scaling your search marketing is an ongoing process. Work on SEO like you would work on a garden. Plant the seeds by posting helpful content on your page. Fertilize by collaborating with local businesses and earning referral links and mentions of your franchise on other sites. Weed out inaccurate and outdated information across the web. Finally, nourish your online reputation with a steady flow of positive reviews and ratings.

Set key performance indicators to assess the accuracy of your data across the web, the value of your content, the visibility of your business online, and the quality of your online reputation. Schedule monthly meetings to examine those KPIs with stakeholders. Compare your progress in the areas of data management, location pages, data visibility, and online reputation to that of your competitors.

buy modafinil online where to buy modafinil