SEO for a Franchise


Laustin1878

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I have been presented an opportunity to work along side some developers and other marketing folk on a joint project. The business has been a local business for several years and they are now franchising. I'm mainly seeking viable resources so I may read up. I am always open to advice, site structure/layout, SEO strategies, etc.

I have never worked on a franchise business and I've done very preliminary reading on it and see, as with all things SEO, there are more then 1 way to skin the cat. I'm looking for resources, thoughts, ideas on what you've done and what has worked or not worked for you.

I have a very small role in this project but it's a great opportunity to broaden my horizons a bit and learn something new. I need a little direction to get going.
 

CodyBaird

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Which vertical? Hopefully it's not competitive...if their is such a thing anymore.

Do you you have a strategy for dealing with DBA's because I'm guessing the franchise's legal name at state and city level records is Joe Bob LLC without mention of Brand name. Possible NAP issues here right out the gate.

Is corporate going to manage website, location pages, and content for franchisees?

Or will corporate allow franchise to have their own website? Or will they have both? This happens all the time.

Or what if the franchise builds a website anyway? "Corporate doesn't get it and I can do better", rumbles franchisee.

What will corporate do when franchise complains that rankings stink in their respective city? Will they develop local content, local citation and link building strategy city by city? Or will they
Let franchisee build their own?

How will franchisor govern content? On its location pages from city to city? What about content on franchise's personal site? Does it have to be approved? How and what is the editing process or guidelines?

Bottom line.

The company most likely isn't considered a "brand" yet in Google's eyes ie weak domain authority. So most locations will struggle if all they have is a location page and 50 clean citations. When that day comes, so will the complaints from franchisees every time a good digital salesman/firm bangs on their door and points out the obvious.

Franchisees pay for a turn key solution. Including marketing. I find that budgets are too skinny per location for a weak brand ready to make the next "subway".

What does the budget need? Responsive site, fresh local content - regularly, locally relevant citations (austin chronical, austintexas.org, austin360 for example) top 50 citations will be easy because the franchisee locations don't exist..yet ie no duplicates and other clean up time killers.

Locally relevant content, citations, and links on the reg. On the corporate site or franchisee site. Do you have that kind of a plan in place?

PS
Adwords - No brainer
Retargeting - No brainer
Display ads - save your money unless you've tackled the above.
Social Media - Facebook only for the purpose of likes and reviews, keep it tight. Tackle the above first. Facebook opens more location cans of worms that are not a priority at this time until the above are tackled you'll probably have 1 fb page. But I will say that Facebook, YouTube, Twitter etc are ripping strong citations if you can make the local page without looking lame ie 11 likes, 12 posts, 1 review.


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Linda Buquet

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Thanks Cody. Great stuff!

Hey Luke, I don't mean to be a downer, but here's a post I just shared this week that goes into some of the problem areas so you know what to look out for.

<a href="http://www.localsearchforum.com/local-search/39954-masochists-only-multi-location-franchise-local-search-engine-optimization-andrew-shotland.html">For Masochists Only: Multi-Location Franchise Local SEO by Andrew Shotland</a>
 

Laustin1878

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Damn Cody!!! Sure covered a lot and proposed a lot of great questions, THANK YOU. I actually have a meeting tomorrow to learn more about how the franchisor is going to approach this.

I've read several articles (simply about franchises, types, management of them, marketing them, etc.) but have not made it to the optimization side yet. I'm thankful that I am a small piece of this puzzle as there is a lot that needs to be considered, on many fronts.

Linda, thank you for the link. I haven't even made it far enough yet to start searching here. I wanted to get a slight head start to understand the basics of a franchise and what options were available. If I had to guess, I'm going to say the franchisor will want control over everything b/c he is a control freak. But ya never know. I want to help manage his expectations b/c I'm sure he has a small budget but wants the world. Don't they all?

Thanks again guys. Any other viable resources are welcomed.
 

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