SEO: A tool to aid franchise success

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SEO: A tool to aid franchise success

As we move further into a technological age, having the right content on a website has become crucial to any business, so implementing internet marketing and search engine optimization (SEO) strategies is an essential part of the growth and success of a business. This is particularly the case for franchisors, who can potentially have a network of franchisees spanning the country, continent, or world.

The components of this network will all have similar objectives and aspirations, so it’s important for a franchisor to make use of SEO to keep all franchisees consistent in terms of web content.

SEO and the benefits

SEO entails, but is not limited to, the use of keywords and quality content to ensure that a certain website ranks highly among search rankings. Since Google dominates the market, it has to be considered the top priority, but it’s important not to overlook Yahoo! and Bing either.

Employing an SEO agency to do this may prove beneficial in the long term, as it can manage the web content for the whole of the franchise, no matter how many franchisees it may have.

Keywords are an important part of SEO, as these are what potential customers would type into the search engine, so finding the correct ones to represent your franchise is imperative. It is not uncommon for franchises to use keywords that are applicable to the franchise at a corporate level, such as the nature of the company and terms that reflect their own industry, but it is also important for franchises to utilize keywords tailored to be location specific to individual franchisees. This covers the fact that many potential customers have different needs that can be catered for by their local franchisees.

Having the right keywords will not only attract potential customers and franchisees to your business rather than the competition, but will also achieve better rankings for your business in search engine results.

As well as this, it is important to note that although a high ranking may be good, it may not bring in the business unless there is quality content behind the site. A part of SEO includes content development and marketing. This aspect is particularly important to a franchise, as content on websites needs to be relevant to each of the franchisees and maintain consistency, ensuring that it is relevant to the franchise at both a local and corporate level.

Showing a social side

Another way to ensure that your franchise benefits from SEO and content marketing is through the use of social media. Very quickly, this has become a popular and effective way to raise awareness and promote your franchise. With billions of users signed up to Facebook and Twitter alone, it’s a method that could be worth spending time and money on.

How would you do this? The main question for franchisors would be whether to use social media at a corporate level for the whole franchise, or allow franchisees to manage social media at a local level. Both can be used effectively, but any decision will ultimately depend on whether location is a significant factor for the franchise and whether franchisees can be counted on to manage their own social media accounts without negatively affecting the image of the company as a whole.

For example, a business with franchises in different locations, perhaps including differing countries, may benefit more from allowing franchisees to manage separate social media accounts. This would present the opportunity for them to post unique offers and information about their franchise that would not necessarily be relevant to a branch in another location, such as special offers and competitions or prize giveaways.

Using social media at the corporate level, on the other hand, would allow franchisors to keep both franchisees and customers up to date with the latest information that will have a bearing on them, no matter of location or other influences that are unique to certain franchisees, such as the demographics of the target market.

The attitude of SEO companies

Many SEO companies, including mine, believe that franchisors can benefit from the use of SEO.

My company is just one example of how franchisors can use an SEO firm to help them succeed. With a client base including a high percentage of franchises, we believe that consistency is key to success, and this should be extended to include marketing and SEO.

More and more companies are moving into the online sector and doing business online, meaning that it is becoming a necessity for companies to have a clear, concise website with the right content to make it successful and generate a loyal customer base and, for franchises, to expand the company by attracting new franchisees. Therefore, in order to succeed in this goal, it is important for franchisors to ensure that all of their franchisees are consistent in their online marketing strategies, as this can affect the brand image of the whole franchise.

Operations Manager at Engage Web
Drawing from a broad pool of experience that ranges from university studies in English Language to his work as a medical receptionist in a busy GP practice, Alan fits right at home as Engage Web’s Operations Manager.
Alan Littler

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