Strategies For National Companies
If you own a franchise, you need to approach SEO a little differently than most business owners. This applies regardless of the size of your franchise. There are SEO strategies that apply to national franchises as well as to local businesses with multiple locations.
Getting noticed on search engines is difficult because of the amount of competition. And have a corporation backing you up online is not necessarily an advantage when it comes to local SEO.
How Can You Improve Your Rankings?
There are many things you can do in order to boost your rankings. Keep reading to find out about the top five factors that will influence your rankings and impact your franchise SEO efforts.
I am going to talk about content marketing a lot. This should be a key area of your online strategy.
You might also have to fix issues that are leftover from past SEO and Internet marketing strategies. You should do this before moving on to other issues. The inaction of your visitors is another issue you will have to address right away.
It is also time to upgrade your SEO strategies. Using old methods could hold you back since content marketing and mobile have changed things.
1. Top SEO Problems That Impact Franchise Sites
A July article published on SEMrush went over the issues that franchises typically run into when implementing their SEO strategy.
Be aware of these common issues and be prepared to deal with them. Some of these SEO mistakes could be having a negative impact on your rankings.
Here are some of the most common SEO problems that franchises run into:
– Having duplicate content on different pages.
– Putting their domain’s health at risk.
You can avoid running into these common problems by creating original quality content for each page. Republishing the same content or slightly different versions of your content for each location page is not a good approach. Look at each location page as a mini-website that needs to provide visitors with interesting content. You could create unique descriptions for each location and share videos and images.
You can address interlinking issues by getting rid of internal links that aren’t really necessary and by doing a back-link audit to identify low-quality links and get rid of them.
Ideally, you should hire an SEO expert to conduct this audit. This is what SEMrush recommends and most SEO professionals will recommend that you get help from an agency or an expert.
How Much Does An SEO Audit Cost?
An SEO audit typically costs a few thousand dollars for a small website. Auditing a larger website with several pages and with a lot of back-links to analyze will cost most.
Can You Conduct An SEO Audit Yourself?
You can audit your site by yourself. Get started with this2014 Moz link audit guide.
2. Focus On The Mobile Platform
What else can you do to boost you the rankings of your franchise website?
You need to focus on mobile.
Search Engine Land published an interesting article in February with many SEO tips for franchises. Some of these tips included:
– Reaching out to mobile users.
– Asking people to write reviews.
– Upgrading directory listings.
Reaching out to mobile users is crucial. More than half of queries are issued from tablets and Smartphones. Mobile searches surpassed desktop searches for the first time in October.
The Search Engine Land article explained that you should create content that is unique to each location and use H1 and H2 titles that refer to locations and keywords. These same keywords and locations should be present in your URLs.
This approach will help you develop more relevant content while improving your rankings. You can boost your rankings now and maintain optimal visibility in the future.
3. Create Unique Location Pages
Business 2 Community’s blog published a guide on franchise SEO back in June. This guide listed the following tips:
– Optimize your website.
– Work on your brand’s online footprint.
– Create location pages.
– Update business listings.
– Leverage your other franchise locations.
Let’s go over these last three bullet points.
Each location page needs to have information about the physical locations of your franchise. Google My Business pages and mobile users will benefit from finding this information easily.
Google uses location-specific data when generating results for a query issued on a mobile device. You will become more visible for mobile users by taking advantage of this trend and making each physical location of your franchise easier to find.
4. Create Business Listings
Your business listings should include some basic information:
– Name of the business.
– The full address.
– Contact information
– Operating hours
Google will be looking for these details and your customers need to easily find this information.
An Internet user who looks up the name of your business following by a keyword that refers to a general location will be very interested in seeing the exact address and opening hours.
A lot of businesses overlook their NAP (Name Address Phone Number) listings. This can really make a difference for franchises and help you become more visible online.
You can become even more visible in search engine results by using these NAP listings. Take a look at this post I wrote about a technique called SERP Stacking and find how you can get your company featured in several results that appear among the top search results.
5. Leverage The Franchise Model
Don’t make the mistake of wasting your time and money by duplicating efforts with your SEO campaign. There is no need to duplicate some of your strategies for each location.
You should instead look for ways to consolidate your efforts. Think of your franchise as a network that you can leverage for SEO purposes.
It is important to have good communication between each franchise location and to work together on SEO. Otherwise, you might end up repeating some SEO efforts and might end up with locations competing for visibility instead of working together.
There are several things franchises can do to improve their SEO campaign. You can get started by optimizing your website and developing more quality content. Business listings should be another important aspect of your efforts since Google need to easily find this information to make your locations easier to find for mobile users.
If you are having issues with off-page SEO or if penalties are slowing you down, do a back-link audit to find the links that are hurting you. Localized content is a great way to target mobile users but you also need to provide them with a good experience by developing mobile-friendly pages.