Think of the last time you wanted to gift someone flowers - you probably went on to Google and searched for “florists near me.”
Your customers are no different. When they want to find businesses similar to yours, they will most likely search on Google. According to a report by Statista, 40% of customers turn to online search engines when searching for a new product.
Franchise SEO is an effective and cost-efficient way to reach local customers, increase web traffic, and, subsequently, in-store visits. In this article, we’ll help you understand how to grow your franchise business through the power of SEO.
The Importance of Marketing for Franchises and Their Franchisees
Franchise marketing includes the marketing strategies and models that franchises and franchisees use to attract new customers, increase awareness about the brand, and drive revenue to their franchisee outlets.
The goal of franchise marketing is to create a recognizable brand. This means that the parent company must have consistent branding, marketing, and customer service for all franchisees.
However, individual franchisees should retain autonomy over their local activities, which allows them to build clients' trust, drive conversions, and increase profits.
Getting positive reviews at a single franchise location, will be beneficial for the franchise as a whole.
High quality reviews have a strong impact on how consumers view the brand as a whole. Good reviews will give consumers a positive impression of the brand and can lead to an increase in overall sales of 5 to 9 percent for the brand.
Let’s say you are a service business franchise in Canada, having a location in Ontario with hundreds of 5 star reviews will help the rest of your locations across the country.
Reputation marketing benefits both the franchise and its franchisees.
Managing your company's reputation online is important as it also impacts your SEO efforts. Read on to understand how this can affect your business.
What is SEO, and How Does It Help with Local Marketing
SEO stands for search engine optimization. It refers to the processes and practices that improve the appearance and ranking of web pages in organic search results on search engines such as Google, Yahoo!, and Microsoft Bing.
Search engines use complex algorithms to organize and rank content based on several factors. The ultimate goal is to satisfy the search engine users with the results on the search engine result pages (SERPs).
Most potential clients look towards search engines when searching for a business or service provider. Google, in particular, holds great importance as 92% of the world's search traffic runs through it.
Being ranked on the first page on SERPs increases visibility and increases the chances of a potential client opening your website.
SEO works for franchisors and franchisees alike; by optimizing specific location-based pages for individual franchisees and the corporate brand website, you can provide potential customers with resources to contact each franchisee and provide relevant data for area-based searches.
Since organic search is the most prominent way for potential clients to find new businesses online, a good SEO strategy is needed to improve the discoverability of your franchise and the amount of traffic you receive on your website.
The Impact of Reviews on SEO
Research shows that most people rely on reviews when deciding which products to purchase.
Online reviews often get overlooked when considering SEO; however, a robust search presence and positive reviews can help set a brand and its franchisees up for success.
Google search rankings show results based on three significant factors- relevance, prominence, and distance. Reviews come into the category of prominence.
A barbershop with hundreds of positive reviews may outrank a competitor located closer to them if the latter has fewer and less favorable ratings.
Reviews don’t just affect the amount of traffic; they also improve the quality of leads. With online-reputation marketing, the potential client has already been given proof of your expertise before they open your website.
59% of people look at 2-3 review sites before deciding on a business, while 87% of consumers say that they wouldn’t use a company that doesn’t have a minimum of 3 stars.
While Google reviews help improve SEO and local search results, social media reviews promote your business to clients’ potential networks- both kinds of reviews influence consumer decisions.
By managing your reviews effectively, you can support your search engine optimization efforts, appear higher in the results and increase your chances of being chosen.
How to Improve Your Franchise SEO
As you can tell, getting good reviews can significantly impact your franchise's SEO rankings. Apart from this, there are other ways to improve your visibility on SERPs.
- Create a Google Business Profile
Creating a Google Business Profile and optimizing it for the best results on Google Maps is key to ranking high in local organic search traffic, including location-based keywords and searches featuring the keywords “near-me.”
- Use Location-based Keywords
Research the keyword and phrases most relevant to your local business, paying attention to monthly search volume. Remember not to just highlight your city or town, but also county, region, or any abbreviations associated with your area, e.g., NYC for New York City. Optimize your website content for the keywords and include them in your page’s title tag and meta description.
- Create Strategic Backlinks:
Backlinks are links from one website to a page on another website. They are important for SEO as they signal to the search engine that your content is valuable enough for other platforms to reference it.
Pages with a higher number of backlinks tend to have higher rankings on search engines. You can also acquire links from prominent magazines, newspapers, and blogs in your area.
Making Reputation Marketing Easy with NiceJob
All franchisors and franchisees can benefit from positive online reviews and a robust reputation marketing strategy that creates a strong brand image, increases search engine visibility, and ultimately boosts revenue.
Online reputation management is easy with a platform like NiceJob that helps you automate the marketing process, getting you more reviews, referrals, and sales.