While franchises can be found in just about any industry, they all share some common traits. One trait that all franchisees share is the need to bring in new customers on a regular basis. A big obstacle for many franchises and other types of businesses is creating a strategy for consistently bringing in new leads. Since franchise lead generation can be a definite challenge, we want to focus on an approach that can work very well.
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.
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!
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
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
At the start of this year, analysts found that there were 2.8 billion active social media users around the globe. To put that number in perspective, 2.8 billion was the entire population of the world in 1955. This figure marks a global penetration of thirty-seven percent. What may come as an even bigger surprise is social media grew by twenty-two percent last year.
Based on those figures, it’s safe to say that just about anyone your business may want to reach is on social media. Of the billions of active social media users, 28% are on just one platform and another 24% are on two platforms. Active users of three platforms drop to 16%, then 8% for four platforms and only 4% for five. What those percentages show is when people find a platform they like, they’re going to stick with it. This is the first big lesson for franchisees that want to utilize social media marketing. You need a clear idea of exactly who you’re trying to reach so you can find the one or two platforms where most of those individuals are spending their time online.
Getting Your Audience’s Attention
When Facebook made a big change to their algorithm a few years ago, they explained that anytime someone visited their News Feed, there were over 1,500 possible stories that Facebook could show. Since then, the rate at which social media content is produced has only continued to grow. While social media usage (especially on mobile devices) has also continued to increase, competition for attention is fierce. Because major media publications and businesses of all sizes want to get their content in front of people on social media, identifying exactly who you want to reach and how to get their attention is an essential component of a successful franchise social media marketing strategy.
From Social Media to Customers
Once you have the attention of your target audience on social media, you’ll want to provide them with consistent value in the form of great content. By delivering value, you’ll establish a trusted relationship with your audience. Having this level of trust will then allow you to make compelling offers that successfully convert a meaningful percentage of your audience into customers.
How to Get An “Unfair” Advantage
Even though we only skimmed the surface of social media marketing, it’s clear that developing and executing an effective strategy requires a lot of work. If you know that you want to utilize social media to market your franchise but aren’t sure where to start, take a look at how expert franchise marketing services from Web Strategy Plus can put your organization on a path to online success.
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.
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!
It wasn’t that long ago when many franchises were at least a little skeptical about whether or not social media could do anything tangible for their bottom line. However, thanks to the explosion in social media usage across B2B and B2C demographics, franchise social media has become a standard marketing strategy for most organizations. Continue reading
Social media is one of the best ways for franchisees to market themselves. While social media is a very powerful option for connecting with customers, plenty of franchisors have concerns related to platforms like Facebook and Twitter. Given the immediate and widespread nature of social media, these concerns are completely valid.
Fortunately, there is a way for franchises to fully harness the power of social media and simultaneously protect their brand. The key to striking this balance is to create a social media policy for franchisees. Here are some of the most important elements to keep in mind as you work on creating this policy:
If you want to generate more leads for your franchise, here are the best strategies to utilize:
Targeted Marketing Based On Interest Level
Without targeted marketing personalization, there will be a great deal of downturn in the overall productivity of franchise opportunities. While it may take longer for companies to identify their target demographic, the end result will be more lucrative than previously anticipated. Continue reading
One of the reasons that franchise marketing can be such a challenge is because it requires a somewhat different approach from marketing other organizations. While this type of marketing can present challenges, that doesn’t mean it has to be an uphill battle. As long as you know what works best and have a clear plan to follow, you can make your marketing efforts successful.
Since knowing where to focus and how to stay on the right track with marketing are some of the biggest challenges for franchises, we want to dive right into a handful of proven tips:
Every business has heard on multiple occasions that they need to be on social media. However, the reason some businesses either aren’t on social media or haven’t kept their presence active is that they’ve never been given a truly compelling reason for doing so. If you’re in that exact position, let’s take a look at five specific reasons why your business needs to be active on social media: Continue reading