Smiling woman with crossed arms in a retail store.

The franchise industry’s total output is expected to increase to about $860 billion in 2023. To catch up with the industry’s overall growth, a franchise business must implement strategies to increase reach among prospects within its location to boost sales.

Enter search engine optimization (SEO). SEO is a digital marketing strategy that can increase your franchise business’s visibility in search, enabling your target customers to find you.

Keep reading to learn more about franchise SEO:

  • What is SEO for franchises?
  • Why is franchise SEO important?
  • 7 SEO strategies for franchises

What is SEO for franchises?

SEO for franchises is a set of techniques that improve a franchise business’s ranking and visibility in search engine results pages (SERPs). It typically includes local SEO strategies, which optimize franchise websites to appear in location-based searches.

To illustrate the strategy of local SEO for franchises, let’s use this example: Say you own a vegetarian restaurant franchise in Jersey City. When someone within the vicinity searches for “vegetarian restaurants in Jersey City,” your website may appear in the local 3-pack!

Google Maps franchise listings

Why is franchise SEO important?

SEO for franchises is a critical strategy to improve brand awareness among prospects who search for your products or your business.

Implementing local SEO for franchises also drives more prospects to visit your brick-and-mortar store and purchase from you. In fact, 50% of searchers visit a store within a day of conducting a local search.

Because franchises are well-known names that most people trust, they’ll likely purchase from you after finding out that you have a nearby store. As a result, you increase your sales and grow your business.

7 SEO strategies for franchises

Reap the benefits of franchise SEO by implementing these strategies:

  1. Follow brand guidelines for a consistent look and feel
  2. Optimize your Google Business Profile
  3. Keep your NAP consistent across all platforms
  4. Optimize for location-based keywords
  5. Craft a content marketing strategy
  6. Use structured data
  7. Encourage customers to review your business

Let’s dive into each one:

1. Follow brand guidelines for a consistent look and feel

Think of your website as your franchise business’s digital storefront. To enable your customers to recognize it as a legitimate site, you must follow the brand guidelines to provide a familiar and consistent look.

If you use a different logo or font, prospects may think you’re not an official franchise and bounce off your site. A high bounce rate tells search engines like Google that searchers didn’t find your page useful. As a result, your page may get lower rankings.

2. Optimize your Google Business Profile

Next on our list of SEO strategies for franchises is optimizing your Google Business Profile. It’s important for franchise businesses to claim their Google Business Profile so that they appear in Google Maps and SERPs.

To make the most of your Google Business Profile listing, include the following:

  • Address
  • Accurate contact information
  • Operating hours
  • Products and services you offer
  • Photos of your business and products
  • Link to website

Google Business Profile

3. Keep your NAP consistent across all platforms

NAP stands for Name, Address, and Phone Number. Make sure your franchise business’s NAP is consistent across all platforms, like your:

  • Website pages
  • Google Business Profile
  • Social media pages
  • Listings in directories

To streamline your process of updating NAP, use tools like LocalFX to keep your NAP consistent and accurate across all your listings and assets.

4. Optimize for location-based keywords

If you want people in your area to discover your business, optimize necessary pages for location-based keywords.

For example, let’s say you own a pet grooming franchise in Portland, Maine. You can optimize your services and categories pages to have your location. Keywords like “dog grooming in Portland, Maine” can improve your business’s visibility in SERPs.

5. Craft a content marketing strategy

Establish your franchise business’s credibility and improve your ranking with a content marketing campaign. Publishing original and valuable content for your prospects gives search engines positive signals that you’re an expert in the field.

For example, let’s say you own a dance studio franchise in Salt Lake City, Utah. In addition to your service pages, you can publish blog posts that talk about the benefits of dance and the basic steps that beginners must practice.

Aside from establishing your credibility, content also enables your site to rank for relevant searches that attract your target audience. In our example, prospects searching for basic dance steps get to discover your business!

6. Use structured data

Structured data or schema markup is code search engines use to understand and categorize your web page content. When you use structured data for your pages, search engines can pull certain information and show it in SERPs, making your listing more engaging to searchers.

In the structured data example below, the average review rating and stock availability information are available in the SERPs.

Structured data example

Franchise businesses will benefit from having structured data because it helps your listing stand out among other pages in the SERPs!

7. Encourage customers to review your business

Did you know that 85% of consumers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations?

Your prospects want to know other people’s experiences with your business before they purchase. That said, make it easy for your customers to leave a review.

Give them several options to review your product on your website or Google. You can even send out an email with a link to where they can leave their feedback.

Reviews on your Google Business Profile appear in Google Maps and SERPs. When prospects see positive reviews, they’ll likely be drawn to your franchise location!

Google Business Profile reviews

Implement SEO strategies for franchises today

To increase your franchise business’s visibility and sales, incorporate SEO in your digital marketing strategies.

Local SEO for franchises enables your prospects to find your business in the area and consider buying from you. Want to get started with SEO strategies for franchises? Contact the SEO.com team to learn about our services and how we can help you grow your business!