World economies are growing at a pace that makes franchising a global industry with lucrative opportunities. What stops many franchises from seeing their growth potential in 2020, however, is the internet. The single outlet that you can now grow through is also the most difficult marketing platform to scale. Take a closer look at what’s changing society, and you’ll find digital technology leading modern innovation forward.
Search engine optimization (SEO) is what enables you to maximize the number of visitors that make it to your franchise’s website. Your SEO can make or break your online marketing, and the importance of SEO is why you need to know how to form a keyword strategy.
The Growing Importance of SEO
Since its initial development in the early ‘80s, the internet has grown to now generate more than 2.4 billion searches on Google every day. More than 90 percent of American adults own a mobile device in 2020. This has increased the number of people accessing the internet and the number of daily internet searches. The moment that someone asks a modern computer a question, there exists the foundation of SEO.
Simply put, certain words and phrases help franchises to leverage web traffic in a way that can “tilt the exposure scales in a business’s favor.” Roughly 4.6 billion people have internet access in 2020. What many of these people might not know is that their words are the most important piece of the SEO puzzle.
Shelves, closets and cabinets helped us to store past documents the way that single words now store data online. Every topic, study and field exist in the “file cabinets of the web.” Search engine optimization, which includes the use of keywords, facilitates global access to a common source of information. Your consumers’ effort to get from one webpage to a better one is also facilitated through words.
Patents held by agencies like Google are what have historically guided the digital markets. Online scammers could once cheat the marketing systems well beyond what a single person can achieve today. Publishing content online is now a matter of following the guidelines set by the world’s largest internet companies. Alphabet Inc., the parent company of Google, even overhauls the use of SEO via artificial intelligence.
Successful franchisors have the most difficulty in keeping their consumers and franchisees connected to their brands. The complex relationships that a franchisor has require unique models for SEO. Franchise SEO takes into account a business owner’s intent to sell franchises while keeping brand products selling regularly in stores.
Quality SEO campaigns include methods that attract private investors and those who boost the public’s perception of your brand. We know that SEO works in a digital society, but you establish how you’re going to model your keyword approach. Be ready to start with in-depth research if you need to sell franchises. Your marketing agency, for SEO purposes, must also start researching your industry and consumers.
The world’s leading franchises are brick-and-mortar locations. Businesses that people visit in person can leverage a unique form of optimization called local SEO. In the same manner that a business can be optimized for a keyword, businesses can be optimized for a location. The challenge in local SEO is in knowing how your competitors use it.
Tapping into the minds of a specific region or city requires an understanding of “locality.” Recognizing your brand as the “sandwich shop near me” or as the center of attention is a matter of telling search technology where you are. We optimize location as a way of maximizing the potential of franchise SEO. Since franchises are likely to be physical locations, we optimize for specific people in a specific area. Same concept goes for service-based franchises.
SEO for Franchises
There are some marketing challenges in creating good SEO for franchise companies. The public market, for starters, has a broad misunderstanding of what SEO is and how it works. Millions of agencies are now operating as marketing firms that only leave business owners more unsure of what SEO is. The way that professional agencies overcome SEO stereotypes is by having a history of success in SEO.
Franchisors, however, have to study what SEO is and thereby evaluate how marketing agencies implement SEO strategies. Search engine optimization is successful when a long-term perspective is taken into account. Some franchises see success in as little as a few weeks. Other companies need a solid year or more to establish a competitive brand through SEO.
HOW TO DEFINE QUALITY SEO
The foundation of SEO is easy to see when typing keywords into a search engine. Even if you have competitors, you should still be able to type your company’s name into a search engine and be at the top of Google SERPs (Search Engine Results Page). Your core evaluation in determining quality SEO is the ease with which something is found.
Websites are hubs of information for search engines to extract data from for later use. One key source of data that quality SEO reveals is the competitive value of your website. There is an accepted view that SEO is capable of increasing your website rank over an industry’s standard for its websites. Effective SEO takes into account how a brand will go up or down in rank as it distributes its online content. A good SEO strategy will have a franchise rank nationally in both markets where franchisees exist and don’t exist. If structured correctly, Franchisees will benefit from the overall SEO of the franchise brand.
The more leads that you generate, the more opportunities you’ll have to sell your product. With a strong SEO strategy, you can increase the number of visitors to your website and, thereby, increase your conversion potential. We can accurately determine how much your website traffic is influencing your quarterly and yearly revenues. Effective SEO is best measured by how well it achieves the benchmarks you set. It’s important to look for agencies that have conversion services.
SEO FOR FRANCHISES
The demands of SEO slow down many small businesses. Companies that have tried to implement their own SEO have even gotten penalized for their errors. Performing proper SEO calls for methods and processes that have been vetted by the search engines. Staying up to date with the monthly algorithm changes of search engines is crucial when optimizing a franchise. Here are the major resources and steps in building that SEO strategy:
Finding Your Keywords
The best way to find your ideal keywords is to write down your ideas. Who is your brand, and why does it matter to people? What industry, market or niche are you in? How many people do you serve? Questions regarding your consumers help you to further identify your best keywords. You need to establish your brand, industry and market keywords first before building the rest of your SEO campaign.
Conducting Market Research
Market research, which shouldn’t be confused with market analysis, is the specific study of a market consumer. The keywords that you’ve collected from the prior step do matter, but now, you need to find out what people actually think. Look at the keywords that you’ve collected through the eyes of your buyers. Whether by searching your market via the web or a keyword tool, it’s important to focus on your consumer at this point.
Setting Conversions and Rates
Now is when you come to terms with your objectives. You want to ask yourself about what the costs and potential roadblocks are in marketing your keywords. The objectives that you set are most ideal when managed as conversions. You can set a conversion goal of 20,000 sessions, for example. Other types of conversions are rated in terms of the type of online action, duration of page visits and level of consumer engagement when visiting your website.
Monitoring Market Responses
Like the consumer, an SEO campaign must change and adjust to market conditions. Monitoring a campaign enables you to gauge where your strengths and weaknesses are. Live campaigns are time-sensitive and produce better results when your responses are live. Key patrons could be easily lost when small aspects of your SEO are incomplete. Monitoring is your final step in controlling the quality of your SEO. This is where many automated SEO systems fail.
The Challenges to Overcome in Digital Marketing
Search engine optimization is a seemingly simple process, but the needs of franchises can be difficult to address through online marketing. Also, it’s important to keep in mind that growing your online SEO shouldn’t take away from your retail sales. Marketing your brand as a business opportunity and a friendly retailer starts with a complex strategy. The partnerships of your franchise should compel you to solicit help to create a shared marketing plan that you and your franchisees can use. Your marketing strategy should be to immediately get your business partners involved.
Franchisors and other business leaders in need of assistance with SEO and other aspects of digital marketing should contact Executive Digital today. We offer a team of digital marketing experts who can grow your business online.
Chuck Kim is the COO and President of Executive Digital. He has operated digital fulfillment teams for over 10 years for Fortune 500 Corps. After witnessing the good, the bad and the ugly when it comes to digital marketing companies, Executive Digital was created to bring transparency and quality results to business owners across the globe.