Every franchising company adopts a number of marketing strategies to create brand awareness and generate sales. But internet marketing and SEO strategies are much more efficient and cost effective. Though SEO strategies may not be applicable in every website but it is a great source to generate return over investment. According to Sonali Chowdhry, Director-Marketing, Netcomm Labs Pvt. Ltd, “SEO is a means to web marketing your business and give it more visibility so that the number of clicks to your website can increase.” But as a franchisor or franchisee, it is essential to realise that the standard onsite and link building tactics used to optimise the website of a franchising company is different from the typical techniques of SEO. This article will give you an insight of SEO and few tips to optimise the franchise websites.
With the increasing utilisation of internet, the developing and marketing of a website is pivotal for a business as it brings traffic and create awareness of the various products and services of a brand. According to Chowdhry, “SEO improves the ranking of your website in the various search engines thereby the hits increase.” But applying the concept of SEO to a franchise business is quite critical, so it is always advisable to take the help of a third party who has the expertise in SEO techniques. Here are few points that you need to consider while optimising your website:
- Nature of the website: Before getting started with the SEO, it is important to determine the nature of the website. In other words, a number of companies develop separate websites for their franchisees and link them to the parent website. Whereas in certain cases, various franchisees are linked to a single website of the franchising company.
- Building links: Link building is a prime component of SEO as search engines use the various inbound links on a website to rank the sites. This is the reason, why SEO is much easier for the franchisees because they are working as a part of the team to grow the business and create brand awareness. Otherwise you need to trade links.
- Keyword search: Choosing the right keyword is important as it decides the fate of link building as majority of the searchers do not go past the first page of the search engine such as Google. As per Chowdhry, “First the set of keywords must be identified with which your business relates, for example product type, category, location, usp. Study the current trends in these keywords by typing them in Google.” Creating content on daily basis is of no use if you are not selecting the keywords that can be widely syndicate to generate high quality and quantity of back links. Back links are the key differentiator used by the search engines to actually rank sites for relevance and authority. She further added, “Try and add content to your website in such a way that these keywords are part of the site content because search engines like Google index the content of your site & look for these keywords.”
- Utilisation of social media: With the rising popularity of social media and social sites, it is always recommended to utilise social media such as polling buttons or discussion board to make your presence visible. Paste the relevant links on the parent website in order to bank on the inbound links.
Besides these main points, here are few tips that must be followed to make the most of SEO techniques:
- Keep it unique: As most of the franchise websites (if not all) are somewhat similar to each other in a number of ways. Therefore, it is necessary to embrace the unique and relevant keywords and make use of them to differentiate it from others.
- Single strategy for all: While developing SEO strategy for a franchising company, you need to do an in-depth study on the various franchisees of the company. So, better come up with a strategy that can work well for all the franchisees rather than building separate strategies for all of them.
- Intensive research: It is important to spend a good amount of time in research to find out the most relevant keywords suitable for all the franchisees. Use of wrong keywords can be disastrous for the whole network of franchisees, so you should be very careful while selecting the keywords.
- Keep the local focus in mind: As most of the franchisees are locally focused and target a special local for their products and services, so an SEO needs to collect as much information about the local areas as required to effectively target and expand the local reach of the franchisees.
- Make use of the programmer: While optimising a website, it is always advisable to make use of the programmers, if you have any. A programmer knows what is important for the optimisation and what not.
In short, SEO is an outstanding means of marketing a brand or business through its websites, which not only increases its authenticity, but also generates good remuneration.