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  • Franchise SEO Guide

    Franchise SEO Guide: Performing Local SEO on Multiple Locations

    Franchise owners face many challenges in attempts to rank their businesses across multiple locations. Creating a dynamic and global online presence requires cohesive branding efforts that enhance your SEO efforts.

    Managing franchise SEO requires a firm knowledge of SEO fundamentals to ideate effective strategies. But before we dive in, what is it really?

    What Is Franchise SEO?

    Mobile Phone Research and Purchase

    Franchise SEO defines strategies and tactics that help improve search visibility for franchise businesses across various locations. It is an essential aspect of marketing a franchise business.

    Unlike conventional businesses, franchise SEO is tailored to increase the online visibility of multi-location business outlets for location-specific and general niche user searches.

    Even if you rely on on-site purchases, 82% of people do online research before making a purchase. Optimizing your SEO performance is key to ensuring you remain on top of consumer purchases.

    Importance of Franchise SEO

    If you’re still not convinced about the importance of SEO, let’s start with an interesting stat. According to Bazaarvoice, approximately half of physical sales in 2018 started with an online review – a 15% year-over-year increase.

    The out-turn of SEO strategies takes time to show up; you can’t achieve first-rate results overnight. You need to put in a lot of hard work before you start driving long-term gains. So why should you invest in SEO when buying leads via PPC or from a list vendor that can do the job just fine?

    When your site is top-ranked for a long time, it will give you the privilege of savoring the perks of having searchers’ firsthand attention.

    Moreover, the sheer number of organic search clicks that you can reach on your website using SEO compared to PPC clicks gives you an edge over rivals using PPC-only strategies.

    Goal Of Franchise SEO

    The focus of SEO for franchises is on improving the visibility and rank of your franchise in search results of search engines, like on Google or Bing. These tactics can allow local franchises to rise on top of the search results, eventually gaining recognition and benefitting the franchise in multiple ways.

    Depending on the size of the franchise business, SEO can be used to empower the franchisees by getting them the kind of customers’ attention they deserve and adding more to their turnover. It can also help in improving the reputation of a franchise.

    The goal of your content creation to rank a local franchise in the search results can also be aimed at onboarding new franchisees.

    Finding A Franchise SEO Strategy

    Today, you can’t ace a successful franchise SEO without keeping a holistic approach in the competitive market. As a result, you can only create successful SEO campaigns for a franchise business – managing your content across many platforms. These platforms include social media, the franchises’ website, Google My Business (GMB), and other 3rd party platforms.

    So finding a franchise SEO strategy for your business can be critical; all you need is to know what your aim is and the proper ways to achieve it.

    However, if you need to target the local audience for your franchise business, it is best to adopt local SEO strategies. It will help in the online promotion of the individual branches of your company to local customers within a geographic area.

    Strategies To Improve Local SEO For Franchises

    Strategies To Improve Local SEO For Franchises

    The main challenge of franchise SEO is that there is no one-size-fits-all model of it. Every business has its own subjective requirements and goals to achieve.  So, your strategies have to be custom-made, formulated according to the needs of the company.

    Here are a few strategies that you can use to improve local SEO for franchises.

    Mark All Your Franchises On Google Maps

    The best way to guide customers to a shopfront is through Google Maps. When someone will look up for a similar place, they will get your franchise in the localized search results at the top of the page.

    For instance, if someone is searching for restaurants in your location, Google will display your location in the list of Google Map results that show up.

    Using a different Google My Business account for each franchise location can improve the search visibility of your business, as 46% of Google search results come from local businesses.

    List All Your Franchises On Yelp

    Yelp is one of the popular well-trusted 3rd party review sites, alongside Google My Business. So, if someone is not using Google to look for a relevant search result, they might be using Yelp.

    Registering on Yelp can also get you some honest reviews from the customers, directly increasing the consumers’ trust landing on your franchise, as 93% of customers read reviews before shopping for a product.

    This can significantly improve your local franchise SEO and add more to your conversion rates. According to research, the increase of one star on your franchise’s Yelp can lead to a rise of 5-9 percent in revenue.

    One Site For All Franchises

    While having separate websites for every franchise might seem like a good idea, it really isn’t. You will have to spend an extra sum on the development and SEO of these microsites. So, the smart thing to do is incorporate all your franchises on one site.

    For example, you can create one website under the company’s name, and to include all the franchises, you can add separate pages for each location. This will not only save the cost of developing independent sites but also benefit your website’s SEO, making it juicier.

    Customize Local Franchise Pages

    You have separate landing pages for every franchise, but the information should these pages include? These pages aim to provide specific details on that particular branch.

    So, to implement best practices for franchise SEO, you can customize the franchise page with the following information:

    Make a prominent call to action (CTA) which is locally relevant.

    Provide links to your franchise locations.

    Add high-quality imagery with keyword-rich Alt text.

    Incorporate a range of low competition, high volume, relevant keywords into the content you use on the pages.

    Within your headings, Include franchise location keywords.

    Use keyword-rich anchor text to point internal links to the landing page of your franchise’s landing page

    The content should be unique, providing significant value to users instead of regurgitating content from other landing pages.

    Include your company name, address, and phone number (NAP) linked with any other online citations for that location.

    Since these web pages are the next big source of knowledge about the franchises besides social media pages, they need to have the most relevant information.

    Make Use Of Location-Based Keywords

    To rank in the localized search results, using location-based keywords is essential. In addition, the landing pages should be enriched with top-level keywords, especially the title of the page.

    If your franchise is a furniture store in Los Angeles, your title tags, headings, and body copy should include the keyword “Furniture Store in Los Angeles.”

    Encourage Online Reviews

    Encourage Online Reviews

    Reviews are an important factor in boosting your online presence since 84% of people trust online reviews over personal recommendations. If customers look for your storefront on the internet and don’t find any reviews, it might make them doubtful about the franchise’s credibility. Moreover, not having reviews can push your business down in the search results.

    Hence, encouraging your customers to post online reviews can significantly impact your online presence. So, if you’re a franchise owner having a review collection system in place is crucial for your business.

    Ensure Visibility On GPS

    Another strategy you can use to make it easier for drivers to locate your franchise is ensuring its visibility on GPS. To do that, you would need to register on GPS Points of Interest databases.

    GPS manufacturers and car manufacturers use these databases to show users’ points of interest on GPS devices. So, submitting your franchise location on these databases will allow more people to discover your business.

    Can I Do Franchise SEO On My Own?

    There’s nothing in this world that you can’t do on your own. SEO might sound complex, but once you get the hang of its fundamentals, you can very much do it yourself.

    However, just knowing the fundamentals is not enough to carry out successful franchise SEO. You need to keep yourself updated with any advanced SEO tools that come in later and attain a deep knowledge of SEO best practices


    A franchise can benefit from local SEO because 46% of all Google users search for local information. So, if the store does not have an online presence, they will be losing many potential customers to a business that has been using local SEO to gain more sales.

    Local SEO is the best way for franchisees to get the local audience’s attention. Using professional strategies of local SEO can increase traffic on the online store of a business and bring more customers to their franchise storefront, increasing their sales and revenue.

    Chief Revenue Officer at SEO Company
    Industry veteran Timothy Carter is SEO.co’s Chief Revenue Officer. Tim leads all revenue for the company and oversees all customer-facing teams for SEO (search engine optimization) services - including sales, marketing & customer success. He has spent more than 20 years in the world of SEO & Digital Marketing, assisting in everything from SEO for lawyers to complex technical SEO for Fortune 500 clients like Wiley, Box.com, Qualtrics and HP.

    Tim holds expertise in building and scaling sales operations, helping companies increase revenue efficiency and drive growth from websites and sales teams.

    When he's not working, Tim enjoys playing a few rounds of disc golf, running, and spending time with his wife and family on the beach...preferably in Hawaii.

    Over the years he's written for publications like Forbes, Entrepreneur, Marketing Land, Search Engine Journal, ReadWrite and other highly respected online publications. Connect with Tim on Linkedin & Twitter.
    Timothy Carter