3 Must Know Success Factors When Marketing a Franchise by Michelle Hummel

Regardless of their specific industry, most businesses have come to the realization that they need to utilize social media. While that rule of thumb holds true for franchises, it’s important to note that they do present some unique challenges. Although it’s important to be aware of the considerations that apply directly to franchisee social media usage, the good news is once you know about those specific issues, you can adapt and ensure you’re making the most of your marketing strategy. Continue reading

SEO

5 Steps for SEO Success for Franchises by Michelle Hummel

SEO stands for search engine optimization. At its core, this practice is simply a way to ensure that a business website shows up in the top group of results when someone searches for a relevant keyword phrase. Because Google is always evolving, the best practices for SEO in 2018 look quite different than even a few years ago.

To help ensure that you’re on the right track with SEO, we want to cover the 5 steps for franchise SEO success during the upcoming year:

1. Start with Key Pages

Franchisors often get overwhelmed by the prospect of diving into all of their SEO needs. That’s why we recommend starting with your most important pages. Good starting points include your homepage, About Us, main blog page and product/service pages. Investing time and resources to get these pages right can then be leveraged as a template for all other pages and online properties.

2. Create a Strong Online Footprint

The best rankings come from having a balanced and widespread online footprint. Instead of falling into the trap of chasing shortcuts, focus on ways to spread the word about your franchise online. More people knowing about your franchise will result in more people talking about it, which in turn will naturally generate the types of links that are so vital for ranking well in Google.

3. Optimize Location Pages

Some franchises have sub-pages for different locations. Others use individual websites for each location. And plenty of franchises take a hybrid approach. Regardless of where you fall on this spectrum, you’ll want to be sure that customers in each target market are able to easily find local franchises online.

4. Understand Local

This ties directly into the above point. The way that Google ranks and displays local search results differs from general queries. As more people do searches from their mobile phones, fully understanding local has become even more important. One of the main things to keep in mind is that Google wants to verify that businesses have a local presence. NAP (name, address and phone number) citations are a key way they measure this. Ensuring NAP consistency across all major directories will help local rankings a lot.

5. Grab the Long Tail

The long tail refers to keyword phrases that are highly targeted but don’t get a ton of search volume. What makes the long tail so appealing is there’s less competition to rank in the first few spots. These highly targeted keyword phrases also have clear intent, which makes them great for converting searchers into actual customers. Integrating long tail content into your SEO strategy is a very smart choice for 2018.

If you want expert help creating the right SEO plan and putting it into practice during 2018, be sure to take a look at how Web Strategy Plus can help.

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Michelle Hummel is CEO of Web Strategy Plus a full-service digital marketing agency focused on Franchise Marketing. She was recently nominated for the Woman-Owned Business of the Year! She’s a passionate Social Media Trainer with 15+ years of successful online business development, sales, and marketing experience. She also holds a valuable Internet Marketing Degree however with the ever-changing world of web marketing she strives to learn something new every day. 

She travels Nationwide visiting her 22 Social Media Enthusiasts Chapters she developed Nationwide delivering in-depth social media training. She also provides Social Media Certifications through founding Web Media University. A current contributing editor to The Franchise Dictionary Magazine and she has written 3 books in her series called, “The Social Media Magnet: Everything You Need to Know to Attract Customers with Social Media”, where she shares her best-kept secrets to success. She also specializes in helping Franchisors and Franchisees develop an integrated web marketing program to drive leads. She’s available for interviews via email, telephone, Skype video, news segments on location and more. Just let her know how she can help!

Using Social Media Effectively for Franchises by Michelle Hummel

Over the past few years, social media has evolved from something that franchises viewed as helpful to an essential part of marketing. This is true for franchise owners who want to reach more customers. It’s also true for franchisors looking for potential franchisees. There are several reasons why social media has grown into such a powerful marketing channel. Not only can social media deliver an impressive ROI when managed correctly, but it also offers a level of targeting that’s simply not possible through other channels. Add to that just how much time people from all walks of life spend on social media platforms, and it’s easy to understand why social media as a marketing channel is here to stay. Continue reading

5 Secrets to Successful Franchise Content Marketing by Michelle Hummel

Although it can yield big benefits, content marketing can be a challenge for any business. This strategy can be especially challenging for franchises. The reason is that it’s common for there to be so many different people involved in the process. While your current franchise content marketing situation may seem like an ongoing headache with no end in sight, the good news is there is a solution. And once you get the right management practices in place, you can follow several additional tips to get the best possible results from all of your efforts. Continue reading

Top 3 Marketing Strategies Franchise Owners Should Invest

Since all franchise owners want this year to be more successful than the last, the question is how best to make this happen. The key to success is with your marketing strategy, and as is true with any marketing effort, you want to continue to build your brand while at the same time bring in new leads. The following are three areas you should focus your attention to achieve both brand building and lead generation: Continue reading

The Top 5 Reasons Why Women and Franchises Are the Perfect Business Match by Michelle Hummel

In recent months, there’s been a lot of attention on many of the extra obstacles women face in their professional lives. Although it may seem like the odds are impossibly stacked against women, there are some bright spots of very good news.

One of the brightest spots is in regards to women and entrepreneurship. Specifically, there are a lot of really compelling reasons why women and franchises are an incredible business match. We want to highlight the top 5 reasons why women and franchises are the perfect business match. Continue reading

Local SEO Strategy: How to Increase the Local Influence of your Website by Michelle Hummel

Because more people than ever are now searching for local businesses using both standard and mobile devices, local SEO has become essential for any business that serves a specific geographic region. While it’s something that simply can’t be overlooked, it has actually become more complicated in recent years. Continue reading

Franchise Social Media Marketing Tips by Michelle Hummel

Successful social media marketing can be a challenge for any type of business. But this task can be especially challenging for franchises. One of the reasons is that it can be difficult for a franchise to strike the right balance between maintaining a consistent brand identity and giving individual locations their own personality.

Although franchise social media marketing can be quite challenging, there are ways to make it work. Proven social media marketing tips for franchises that work and will continue to be effective include:

1. Creating Content Guidelines

Franchisees get a lot of value out of being part of a larger brand. Since there is value in that association, most franchisees don’t have any problem following guidelines that help them stay in line with the brand. At the same time, it’s helpful for franchisees to have a way to showcase the personality of their location. Doing so helps to create connections with both existing and potential customers. The best way to achieve both objectives is to create and issue content guidelines. By creating a type of map or blueprint for franchisees to follow, they can add their own flair to the brand’s existing identity.

2. Make Consistency a Priority

Consistency is something that will improve any type of franchise marketing services. It can be possible to build some momentum on social without much consistency. That being said, social media efforts are almost always going to be more successful when they’re done on a consistent basis. Consistency helps to create a type of snowball that increases both the reach and engagement franchisees are able to achieve through social.

3. Give Franchisees the Ability to Measure Their Efforts

Testing is an integral part of online marketing for a franchise. That’s just as true of social as it is for other channels, which is why it’s very important to give franchisees the ability to test different things and easily see the results. One interesting thing about the nature of social media is what works great for one franchise location may not be ideal for another. By creating a culture that encourages testing, you can empower individual franchise owners to be proactive about figuring out what works best for them on social. Not only can this information then help make social media marketing stronger across an entire organization, but it will also provide starting points that other franchisees can refine through their own testing efforts.

Whether your franchise is already doing social media marketing or you’re trying to get this initiative off the ground if you want expert guidance to help ensure that all your efforts are as effective as possible, learn more about how Franchise Success Team can help your organization.

Michelle has been a franchise advisor for 15+ years. She also holds a valuable Internet Marketing Degree – however, with the ever-changing world of web marketing she strives to learn something new every day. Michelle can help you develop marketing, sales, and lead generation strategies that produce real results.

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Michelle Hummel is CEO of Web Strategy Plus a full-service digital marketing agency focused on Franchise Marketing. She was recently nominated for the Woman-Owned Business of the Year! She’s a passionate Social Media Trainer with 15+ years of successful online business development, sales, and marketing experience. 

She travels Nationwide visiting her 22 Social Media Enthusiasts Chapters she developed Nationwide delivering in-depth social media training. She also provides Social Media Certifications through founding Web Media University. A current contributing editor to The Franchise Dictionary Magazine and she has written 3 books in her series called, “The Social Media Magnet: Everything You Need to Know to Attract Customers with Social Media”, where she shares her best-kept secrets to success. She also specializes in helping Franchisors and Franchisees develop an integrated web marketing program to drive leads. She’s available for interviews via email, telephone, Skype video, news segments on location, and more. Just let her know how she can help!

The 4 Essential Elements of a Franchise Marketing Plan by Michelle Hummel

Most franchisees are already aware that they need a strong marketing message. However, there’s often a significant disconnect between crafting the right message and having an audience to deliver it to. The reality of the franchise industry is very few sales happen by accident. Instead, the types of franchisors that are able to consistently sell new franchises do so by having a clear marketing plan that’s carefully crafted to attract a specific type of prospect. Continue reading