One of the most vital local marketing strategies for attracting the right customers to a franchise, is local SEO. When running a franchise business, you want to be aggressive about promoting your business online. That’s because most local customers use Google search to know about the best suppliers of products and services in their region.
97% of people learn more about a local company online than anywhere else.
As a franchisee, do you know how to use local marketing to connect with relevant prospective customers? Let’s learn all about it in this article. Ready? Let’s get started with these seven essential local marketing strategies that will get your business to the top on Google Map and all local searches.
1. Build and Optimize a Google My Business Profile
As you might already know, Google is the biggest search engine and the most extensive online business directory. That’s why listing your specific franchise business on Google is foremost to local SEO success. Plus, a Google My Business profile now known as Google Business Profile, is a local search ranking factor. Having an optimized Google Business profile helps your franchise business website rank in local search results on Google. So how do you create a Google Business Profile?
- Start by filling in all your business details like business name, address, phone number, website link, category, list of products/services, etc. The categories you select for your business are essential for ranking high on Google.
- Once you’ve filled in the correct information about your specific franchise business and submit to Google, Google will send you a verification code for that location. Once you add this code to your Google My Business (Google Business Profile) listing, it will be live and visible to online searchers and potential customers. Note that every location needs its own Google Business Profile. Once you have claimed and verified your Google Business Profile, you can start optimizing the profile.
- Don’t forget to add your business photos and opening hours. You need multiple images of your business. A study by BrightLocal shows that businesses with more than 100 images get 713% more discovery searches than the average business. Strategically upload images every month. Avoid uploading 100 images in one month, Google will be suspicious of such sudden activities.
- Utilize the posting section of your Google Business Profile. This allows you provide unique messages to your target audience.
Remember, building, optimizing, and managing a Google My Business profile is the life and soul of a local marketing campaign for your franchise business. This is essential because Google allows you to put location-specific information that will resonate with your target audience. DaDigitalSense Marketing specializes in optimizing Google Business Profile for Franchisees and businesses with multiple locations.
2. List Your Franchise on Prominent Local Directories
The next important local marketing strategy is to list your franchise business on significant local directories like Yelp, Local.com, Yellowpages.com, City-Data, ChamberofCommerce, BingPlaces, Best of the Web Local, FourSquare, etc. Also, look for regional and niche-specific directories where you can add your business details.
- Ensure that your NAP (name, address, and phone number) is correct and consistent in all the directory listings.
- Don’t forget to optimize each of these listings for popular local search terms.
- Update all your listings in case of a change in location or any changes to your business information. The key is to be consistent across all directories.
3. Keyword Optimize Your Franchise Business Website
The first step here is to do keyword research to know which local search terms are relevant to your specific franchise location. Keyword research gives you an idea of what your prospects are searching for online.
- Once you have a list of relevant queries, you must optimize your site for those keywords.
- Try to meet the user’s intent by answering the questions they’re asking and offering them the relevant information.
- Optimize your site’s metadata to make your website searchable in the local search results. This means you need to optimize the headings, titles, and descriptions of each of your website pages with the relevant search queries.
- Make sure your website is connected with Google Analytics and Google Search Console. These are free tools from Google.
By optimizing your franchise website for local search queries, you can make it easy for prospective buyers to land on your site and learn more about your products and services.
4. Improve the User-Experience of Your Franchise Website
Here’s the thing. If your website is user-friendly, it will move up higher in the search results. Here’s stuff to accelerate the local marketing and SEO of your franchise website:
- Make sure your site is fully functional and easy to navigate. Are there 404 error pages on your site? Make sure you fix all pages with errors on them.
- Many users open business websites on their mobile devices. That’s why you need to ensure that your franchise website is mobile responsive and offers the optimum experience to mobile users.
- Next, you need to optimize the loading speed of your franchise website. You don’t want to let your website visitors leave because your site took too long to open.
- Lastly, you must use internal linking to help users find the relevant information on your site with ease.
Here’s the bottom line: make your website experience superb, and it’s bound to get you better business outcomes.
5. Manage Your Online Reputation
As a new franchisee of a Physical Therapy Clinic or restaurant, you face the arduous task of building a positive reputation among prospective customers. The truth is that people want to buy from businesses that their peers are recommending. That’s why you need a system to manage your online reviews on platforms like Google, Facebook, Yelp, and so on.
- The first step is to get satisfied customers to add positive reviews of your products and services.
- Make sure you track all new online reviews for each specific franchise location. At the same time, you need to take out the time to reply to all the reviews, positive or negative reviews.
- It’s critical that you be polite and friendly to those who did not have a pleasant experience with your services/products—make an effort to earn back their trust and loyalty. It also shows those checking you out, that you care.
When it comes to conversions, reputation is everything, and you must put consistent efforts towards improving it. DaDigitalSense Marketing has a unique system in place for Reputation Management.
6. Publish Search-Friendly Local Content
Building authority for your franchise business is about helping your target audience with helpful content—content that solves your audience’s current problems.
- Keyword research helps you know the informational needs of your local prospects.
- To fulfil these needs, you can publish blog posts, infographics, and social media content.
- Try to pick topics that may be of interest to the local community. Plus, make sure you’re publishing niche-relevant content.
Local content would help your franchise business attract potential customers to your website. In addition, publishing search-friendly content is a search ranking factor and ensures winning outcomes for your local marketing campaign.
7. Get Local Links and Press Mentions
To boost your local authority, you need to get quality local backlinks. What are backlinks? You generate a backlink when a trusted niche site links to a page or content piece on your site. Quality backlinks improve your business’s credibility with the search engines—that’s why it’s an essential ingredient of a successful local marketing strategy. So how do you get backlinks for your franchise business?
- Look for potential guest blogging opportunities in your niche.
- Sponsor local charities and community events. Try to be in the news by participating in a cause or offer some services for free at local events or at schools.
- Collaborate with complementary businesses in your area.
Links are hard to come by, but you must not grumble—don’t forget to use the tips mentioned above to get quality links for your franchise business.