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7 Local SEO Tips For Franchises & Their Locations



7 Local SEO Tips For Franchises & Their Locations

Franchises, like all local businesses, require local SEO to rank in the search engines and reach new potential customers.

That includes SEO best practices such as optimizing the websites of individual franchise locations and creating business listings in national and local directories.

However, SEO for franchises differs from regular local SEO in several ways.

Read on to learn more about how to rank franchises in Google and other search engines.

The Importance Of Franchise SEO

Like all local businesses, franchises can use search engine optimization to get noticed by potential customers.

From creating Google Business Profile listings to writing blog posts that target relevant keywords, using the right franchise SEO strategies will help you increase brand awareness and boost your sales.

Organic traffic from increased search rankings is free.

As long as you maintain your rankings, you can drive leads and sales at almost no cost to you.

The Unique Challenges Of Franchise SEO

Franchise owners wanting to build an online presence face various unique challenges.

One of the top challenges you’ll face is avoiding duplicate content.

While each of your locations will have its website, the look and theme of each website should be similar to each other.

Avoiding duplicate content is harder when you’re a business owner that owns several of the same businesses in different locations.

Unfortunately, duplicate content won’t help your rankings, even if you own both of the sites the duplicate content is on.

Another challenge is deciding on the right SEO strategy for your franchise websites.

Do you optimize the content for topics related to each business location or area, or do you adopt a national strategy?

It’s also critical to provide the right contact details and address of each of your franchise businesses.

Franchise SEO: 7 Steps To Improve Your Rankings

Regardless of the products you sell and the niche you are in, follow these steps to rank for your target search queries and drive organic traffic.

1. Use Consistent Branding

The first step is to use consistent branding across all your individual websites.

The entire purpose of a franchise chain is to offer the same user experience at each of your physical locations.

Your online presence should be no different.

People who visit different branches of your franchise will expect a similar experience at each one.

Similarly, when they visit the website of each franchise location, they will expect a similar layout and color theme.

This is all about the user experience.

If people are expecting your website to look one way, and they land on a webpage with an entirely different design, they may exit your page, thinking that they landed on the wrong one.

2. Build Locality Into Each Individual Franchise Website

When it comes to building a website for your franchise, there are certain essentials that you should have regardless of the industry.

These will not only help with SEO and usability but also provide value in what people want from websites today:

  • Optimizing your franchisee pages with the most search localized terms and including them within Title Tags, and Content).
  • Embedded Google map of the franchise’s location.
  • Hours of operation.
  • Images of your management, work performed, before and after. Anything original to that location.
  • Localized testimonials from that franchise location.
  • Direction details, where are you located. If you are a service area business, what areas do you cover.
  • Structured local business markup.

3. Use The Right NAP

NAP stands for Name, Address, and Phone Number, and using the correct format is critical for local SEO.

When running a multi-location SEO campaign, you must use the correct NAP for each of your locations.

Furthermore, the NAP should be in the same format on each of your websites.

If you use parenthesis for the area code of one franchise’s number, use it for the phone numbers posted on the websites of all franchises.

It’s critical to use each location’s NAP as opposed to the corporate NAP.

You may include corporate contact details on a separate page and put a “Corporate” option in the footer menu.

4. Use Location-Based Keywords

Use location-specific keywords on each of your websites.

Use a keyword tool to find competitive keywords that will allow local people to find you.

Targeting national search terms on each website might not be the best idea.

You may rank for them, but the people who land on your page might live far from where the individual franchisee is located.

The exception is if you have a national website that automatically redirects people to the nearest franchise location.

5. Decide On A Content Marketing Strategy

This part is critical.

Content is a crucial aspect of any successful digital marketing campaign.

For franchises, however, it can get tricky

  • Should you blog about general topics related to your niche or products?
  • Or, should you blog about topics that are related to the specific location or area of each franchise?

As a general rule, it’s best to do the latter.

Create blog posts that have nearby residents in mind.

There are two types of locally-targeted blog posts.

The first type discusses general local news and events.

That type of blog post can be useful, but only if you have a broad target audience or sell a product that a wide range of people can use.

For example, if you have a bagel restaurant franchise in several cities, you can blog about local holidays and then offer limited-time promotions at the end of your posts.

As a general rule, however, it’s best to blog about your niche but with a local slant.

As an example, if you have a roofing contracting franchise, you can talk about how the different weather patterns in a specific city may cause readers’ roofs to get damaged and require repair.

Or, if you have a pest control business, you can talk about the common pests and rodents that people in that city (or different areas of the city) deal with the most.

If you have a hair salon franchise, you can talk about how weather patterns can affect people’s hair and what to do about it, or you can discuss local hairstyles that are trending and popular.

If you own a well-recognized national brand, you don’t need to write locally-targeted content.

Most people will already have some exposure to your brand.

They may consider you an authority in your industry and turn to you for general information.

Examples of such companies would include Starbucks, Dunkin’ Donuts, etc.

Of course, you likely don’t own a business that well-known.

However, the point remains: Businesses with such a level of visibility can position themselves as authorities on coffee, donuts, hamburgers, etc.

6. Get Listed On Google Business Profile And Other Platforms

You’ll also need to create a Google Business Profile listing for all your individual businesses.

Each location should have its own Google Business Profile listing.

However, there are a few possible ways to manage access and control.

You can have each franchise owner create their listing, depending on how responsible they are for marketing.

Alternatively, you can set up each listing under your own Google account (you can use one account for all listings).

Then, you can add franchise owners as users to manage and control their listings.

Either way, having a GMB profile that you link to each franchise’s website is critical for local SEO.

When people search Google for local businesses, websites aren’t the only results that show up.

In addition to websites, Google features a few local GMB profiles at the top of the search results.

These profiles appear alongside ratings and other engaging data, and the lucky businesses that show up in the first few GMB profiles tend to get the most clicks.

Similarly, a local GMB profile allows you to show up on Google Maps. Many local searchers use Google Maps to find businesses instead of searching on Google itself.

Google will use data such as the distance of each company from the searcher to determine which businesses will show up first.

If you have several franchises within the city, there’s a good chance you’ll show up in any given search.

However, creating a Google Business Profile is just the beginning.

Also, create profiles on other popular directories, including Yelp, TripAdvisor, and Apple Maps.

While those are national directories, they are optimized for and appear in local searches.

In addition to large platforms like Google Business Profile, you should be building listings in as many local directories as possible.

Getting citations and links from local directories will do wonders for your search engine rankings – the more local citations you can build, the better.

A franchise SEO service can take care of this for you and submit your data to multiple directories at once.

Each franchise should get listings from directories that focus on its city or area.

Local directories shouldn’t be your only sources of citations, either.

Look for directories that are nationwide but deal with your specific niche.

For example, if your franchises offer home repair or construction services, get listed in directories like HomeAdvisor.

For both GMB listings and local citations, it’s critical to include the correct contact data.

Use the same NAP format as you use on your franchise websites.

In addition, optimize each listing or citation by ensuring store hours are correct and uploading images when allowed.

Google Business Profile also allows you to publish post updates, which you should do from time to time to show that you are active.

Different post types are available on GMB.

Some can include general updates, while others can announce discounts or promotions, new product launches, a change of hours, or Covid-19 updates.

You should include your top target keywords in your GMB profile description, as well as in your post updates.

Each platform and directory will have different requirements.

In general, however, try to add as much relevant information, upload as many images, and target as many relevant keywords as you can.

Once you created listings on GMB, Yelp, and other directories, encourage customers to leave reviews.

Profiles with many positive reviews tend to rank better.

Many platforms forbid incentivized reviews, so you can’t give customers discounts or freebies in exchange for reviews.

However, you can encourage reviews by putting up stickers or posters in each franchise location reminding customers to look you up on Google, Facebook, Yelp, etc., and share their feedback and comments.

An excellent hack is to create QR codes that take users to your official profile on Google or Yelp and put those QR codes on your menus, storefronts, receipts, and other materials.

7. Build Local Backlinks

Local backlinks are critical for local rankings as well.

Building local backlinks as a franchise can be complicated.

On the one hand, you need to find local businesses to collaborate with within each area you are operating in.

On the other hand, you don’t want to get links from or link to competitors.

Try to work with local organizations, schools, charities, and events.

You may be able to sponsor a lunch day at a local school, for example, in exchange for a blog post announcing the sponsorship and linking to you.

If you own a food-based franchise, you may be able to set up an initiative in which you collaborate with local charities to feed the homeless.

Final Thoughts

In many ways, the same SEO practices and strategies that apply to most local businesses apply to franchises.

However, it’s important to understand the challenges that franchises face and create a roadmap and a list of guidelines that all individual locations should adhere to.

More resources:

Featured Image: Monster Ztudio/Shutterstock

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12 Powerful Email Marketing Tips You Need to Know



12 Powerful Email Marketing Tips You Need to Know

There is no doubt that email marketing is effective. But how many times have you sat down to begin an email marketing project and immediately felt overwhelmed?

Sometimes, it’s hard to know where to start, especially when working with a newer brand.

The good thing is that email marketing has never been easier, thanks to automation tools and innovative ways to deliver emails directly into subscribers’ inboxes.

If you don’t know where to begin or want to improve your current workflow, this article is for you.

So now, let’s look at some simple steps you can follow to ensure you’re using email marketing wisely.

Where To Begin With Email Marketing

So, you’re planning your email marketing strategy for your client. Where do you begin? Here are some helpful tips to get you started:

  • Keep your emails short and sweet. People get tired of reading long emails, so keep yours between 60 to 200 words.
  • People love visuals, especially in email marketing, so include images of your products or services.
  • Social proof helps convince readers that your offer is legitimate and worth their time. This includes sharing links or information in your emails from experts in the industry, positive testimonials, or influencers using the brand.
  • People want to know where to go next after reading your content. And since emails are usually opened on mobile devices, you need to provide a clear CTA at the end of each email. Whether it’s to a product page or recent content produced on the website.
  • Email marketing works best when you send regular emails. But even once a week isn’t enough. Studies show that people respond better to frequent emails than infrequent ones.

Now, let’s discuss the top 12 email marketing components for your strategy:

1. Create Optimized Lead Magnets

So, how do you get people to actually subscribe to your email listing? An effective lead magnet.

A lead magnet is usually the first thing visitors see when they land on a brand’s website. It gets them to click through and read more about a brand, so it needs to be eye-catching and compelling.

And if you don’t optimize your lead magnets for conversion, a brand could lose out on potential leads.

So, how do you make sure your lead magnets convert?

Your lead magnet should grab visitors’ attention right away. That means making it interesting, unique, and relevant to the business.

For example, you can use an incentive like a freebie or discount code to entice people to take action. You could also give away a free report or ebook in exchange for their name and email address.

Your lead magnet could also be the first email they receive, which can be a part of your welcome series (which I’ll talk about briefly).

It entices the users to keep receiving emails, so they don’t immediately unsubscribe after they receive a discount code or something similar.

2. Segment Your Subscribers

You’ve probably heard the term “subscriber segmentation.” It refers to a way of grouping your subscribers into groups based on their interests and behavior so that you can send them more relevant content, offers, and other messages.

This is an integral part of email marketing because it allows you to target your audience with personalized emails.

You can also use this technique to create multiple versions of your emails, such as a welcome email, a thank you email, and a follow-up email.

Segmenting your subscribers can help build trust and long-term interest for a brand because it presents them with information or offers they actually want to receive.

3. Craft A Welcome Series 

Welcome emails are usually sent automatically to new subscribers when they sign up, purchase a product, or make an account.

When creating a welcome series, you need to consider where the customer is in their journey with a brand. So, it’s beneficial to space the emails out over a set period of time and create each one with a specific intention.

A welcome series is a great way to keep potential customers engaged after they sign up. Especially since they receive emails from companies almost daily.

Some examples include: “Welcome! We hope you like our product” or “Your account has been activated.”

You can also send welcome emails to existing customers who haven’t logged in for a while.

For example, if someone signs up and doesn’t use the service for three months, you could send an email saying, “Hey, we noticed that you signed up recently. Would you be interested in using our service?”

This type of marketing is very effective because it’s personalized and targeted. It shows that you’re not sending out mass emails but rather ones specifically tailored to specific customers.

These emails are also a great way to help build trust with your customers and get them used to receiving emails from you.

4. Implement Automation

So now, you’ve done the work to craft an email series. Next, it’s time to automate their delivery, so you don’t have to send them out each time you need to, according to your schedule.

Automation in email marketing is easy to do using tools like MailChimp, Constant Contact, Campaign Monitor, and Convertkit.

These types of programs allow you to create automated emails based on triggers, such as when someone opens your email, clicks on a link, or purchases something from you.

This way, you no longer need to manually send out those emails, which can alleviate some stress when you’re dealing with a multitude of different subscribers.

5. Design Mobile-Friendly Emails

As I mentioned earlier, most people use their phones to check their emails, so making them mobile-friendly is crucial.

The email should be optimized for mobile phones if it promotes sales or discounts. For example, any sales information or product pictures should be easily viewed on their mobile device.

And users should be able to click on the promotion, link, or image and give them the option to view the brand’s site in their preferred browser on their phone.

The key elements to consider when designing mobile-friendly emails include:

  • Placing important links at the top of the page rather than down below.
  • Keeping graphics small.
  • Using text only where appropriate.
  • Optimizing images.
  • And testing different sizes of fonts and margins.

6. Personalize Your Emails

Even though the average person receives numerous unsolicited emails daily, sending personalized messages to potential leads is proven to boost response rates.

Personalizing your emails makes them feel less like spam. Plus, it gives your subscribers a sense of connection to you.

The key to successful email marketing is knowing exactly who you want to send emails and which messages resonate best with each group of recipients.

Once you know what works and what doesn’t, you can tailor your messages specifically to your audience and keep them coming back for more.

First, choose a subject line that clearly states what you will say in your email. This will help readers decide whether or not to click through your email.

Next, include a call to action, such as asking subscribers to check out a new product or sign up for a free trial.

Finally, customize each individual message by adding links to pages on your site where interested parties can read more information.

Get creative and do your research for the industry. For example, does adding emojis help to personalize the email, or is that a no-no for that specific industry?

7. A/B Test Email Content

The A/B testing of email content is a great way to improve your open rate. It’s also an excellent way to get more people on board with a product or service.

But it can be challenging to figure out what works best for you and your audience.

A/B testing helps marketers decide what works best for their business. For example, when designing email campaigns, it’s often necessary to split-test different versions of emails to determine which one performs better.

You can also test different subject lines. Subject lines are one of the most important parts of any email. They’ll help determine whether someone opens your message or not. It’s what hooks the subscriber to learn more.

The best way to test different variations of emails is to use A/B email testing software. This allows you to compare two versions side by side while showing only one version to half of your users at any given moment so that they don’t realize they’re receiving two different messages.

Most email automation platforms can also conduct A/B testing for your emails. And A/B testing isn’t just beneficial for email. For example, it’s important to test copy and content on a brand’s website, so A/B testing will come in handy in more ways than one.

8. Find The Best Timing

The best time to send emails to customers depends on several factors – such as when they last visited your website, what action they took while on your site, whether they completed any transactions, and more.

One way to determine which times work best for email campaigns is by using Google Analytics. You can use the Goal conversion section to view bounce rate, exit pages, and other data related to goal completion.

You should also consider other factors and incorporate them when you send emails based on people’s schedules. For example, you can see lower open rates on holidays, late into the evening, as well as Monday morning and Friday evenings.

9. Scrub Your List Of Non-Opens

It’s essential to manage your subscriber list. When you click “send” on your newsletter, your list contains all subscribers who did not open the email. If you see that certain people are ignoring all your emails, you might want to delete them from your list.

To delete them from your list, you need to go to the unsubscribe page, then select remove and confirm. This process may be repeated until all your non-opens are removed.

You don’t want to overload people who have already purchased or are no longer interested in the brand, so you don’t create a negative relationship with them.

Incorporating one of the email management tools to help you eliminate the consistent non-opens can help you manage your subscribers and decrease time spent on this repetitive task.

10. Include A Real Reply Email Address

This is one of the best ways to keep customers coming back for more. Users may want to send any follow-up emails directly to their spam folder if you don’t include an actual reply address.

But when you put your email address in the footer, they know exactly where to go. If a person has questions, they can email the brand’s team.

Again, this also helps build trust with the brand. They know they are communicating with real people who selected these emails for them versus being spammed with nonrelevant or generic content for the masses.

11. Experiment With Lead Generation Ads

The goal of lead generation ads is to reach people who may be interested in buying from the brand.

They usually appear at the top of the page, where they are visible for longer periods of time than other types of ads.

This means people tend to click on them more often than ads below the fold. So, as long as you don’t use these ads too frequently, you should be able to generate leads.

12. Utilize Email Analytics To Improve Campaigns

One way to utilize email analytics to improve campaigns is to check the bounce rate, opens, clicks, and unsubscribes for your emails. Then use that information to enhance your current efforts.

This includes sending emails at different times throughout the week, testing subject lines, changing up the call to action, and testing creative variations.

If you’re still struggling, try experimenting with lead magnets, such as free ebooks, white papers, and webinars.

These allow you to capture leads from those interested in learning about new topics. In addition, measuring results lets you know which emails work and which ones don’t.

You should also compare these variables (such as open rates) to industry metrics. For example, what’s the percentage of bounce rates for the industry you’re working with?

If you aren’t measuring results, you won’t have much data to base future decisions for your next email marketing campaign.

Final Takeaways

Email marketing is still one of the most effective ways to promote your online store, build relationships with customers, and generate sales.

The final step in this process is to put all these pieces together into an effective strategy. This means coming up with creative and effective ways to construct emails and email series.

It also means being able to measure the results of each tactic so that you can continue to improve your efforts going forward.

Leveraging email metrics and incorporating A/B testing can help build relationships with subscribers by presenting them with the information they want to read.

With a little bit of effort and creativity, you can use email marketing to increase a brand’s sales and help create long-term customers.

More Resources:

Featured Image: 13_Phunkod/Shutterstock

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