Whether you have a local business with your own branding scheme or you are at the head of the franchise business, local search engine optimization is definitely the way to go. In order to fully access the global audience that the Internet offers, you must begin building your brand with your local area.
There are many local search engine optimization strategies that you can implement for any business; however, franchises offer a few advantages that should be considered. Here are a few of the best practices that you can use to incorporate local search engine optimization for a franchise business operation.
First, make sure that your franchise is properly marked in the localized map programs that the major search engines provide.
Although you will be able to take advantage of the trust that your franchise name is built with the major search engines, you need to be sure that the search engines also recognize where your plot of land is specifically. Google, Yahoo and Bing all have map programs that may have already located your local franchise. Make sure that you claim the listing so that you can direct web traffic through the listing to your local webpage. In this way, you will basically be setting up a high trust webpage with the search engines of your choice that can easily be indexed.
Second, make sure that you choose a central location that is based upon the location of your customer base, not your physical location.
Because you are dealing with a franchise namesake, you may have more than one similar business that is located in the same area. If this is the case, then you need to make sure to differentiate your business from the others. Location is a tricky subject when it comes to the major search engines – there are city markers known as “centroids” that can drastically affect way in which your business is listed.
Once you have claimed your business on the map pages of the major search engines, you may have to wait a while in order to see how the search engines consider your business to be located. If the major search engines consider your business to be located nearer to a city centroid that is not yours, you need to change your city name to reflect that. This may cause a bit of confusion at first, but remember that you are going for visibility within search engine rankings. The map program will certainly direct people to your location no matter where you are.
Third, place a keyword in the title of your business on your search engine page listing if at all possible.
It is a simple matter to look up the keywords that your franchisees are using successfully in your local area. In order to compete for these keywords, you may have to employ a few tricks that still work in the realm of search engine optimization. One of these tricks is to place a keyword in the title of your business. The major search engines consider this an indication that your company is more relevant when it comes to this keyword. Only employ this if you have many other franchisees in your area and you do not seem to be able to compete with them for important keywords.
Fourth, solicit good reviews.
The major search engines and review sites are also intricately linked. Believe it or not, all three of the major search engines can tell the difference between a good and a bad review, especially reviews that are placed on their map location websites. There is no other way to handle this than simply having a good, old-fashioned customer service. If you see a bad review crop up, find that customer and try to fix the situation so that it can be taken down.