SEO marketing can tremendously improve franchisors’ average close rates, so it’s become the figurative planet around which the industry’s marketing revolves. Before 2011, you could knock together an SEO strategy in under a day, but Google began an all-out assault on unethical tools that February — a war that continues to rage today. It unleashed the Panda algorithm on the world as a way to reward engaging content with search engine rank. With that began an era of Dot Com failures. Some of the web’s most visited sites shut down overnight. The battle against spam continues today, demanding a strategic, organic response.
Search rank is the coveted golden ticket to brand building and bustling sales, but how do you win it? Google’s Andrey Lipattsev recently named Google’s three core ranking factors: content, RankBrain (Google’s artificial intelligence system), and authoritative links. All of those tools need to be natural enough to generate organic interest. Other SEO tools that complement franchise marketing strategies include:
Pay per click advertising
Voice search optimization
Content is King
Sixty-one percent of buying decisions are influenced by content marketing, so no franchise can hold onto its competitive advantage without it. Google has become eerily good at detecting content that has depth, so merely producing great text on trending, newsworthy topics will give you the boost you need to attract more customers. Panda and Penguin algorithms are designed to penalize spammy, keyword-drenched fluff, so while it’s tempting to throw 50 keywords into a small swathe of spun text, your focus must always be on quality.
Social Media Marketing
Social media allows you to connect with your audience and potential social media influencers, putting you directly into readers’ feeds through hashtags and social shares. Social media represents one of the most important franchise SEO marketing tools, but even social networks have algorithms. Fortunately, the best way to sway them is by delivering content that has enough depth to appeal to your human audience. The more clicks you receive, the more newsfeeds you’ll appear in. Social media listening tools will keep you up to date with brand mentions on social networks. Add influencers to the mix, and you’ll soon gain traction, gathering traffic to your site as you go.
Links are one of Google’s key authority signals, so no website can survive without comprehensive link metrics. When Google’s PageRank algorithm began granting an authority score to pages with reputable links, black hat marketers were quick to respond with spam. The search engine immediately started to blacklist sites that used link schemes.
Trawling through URLs with software simply won’t benefit franchise SEO marketing anymore. A domain is considered reputable if it’s well-researched, valuable, and articulate. The shoddy syntax and thin content you’re linking to will get you nowhere. Link building can only be achieved manually, relying on authority scores to track ranking options.
Pay per Click Advertising
It’s tough to get your keywords ranked in a crowded marketplace, but Google Adwords makes the struggle a little easier. Google owns most of the search market, and pay per click ads let you reach it from a spot right at the top of the page. With the help of a keyword research tool and strong geotargeting, you’ll soon win the traffic you need to draw a client base.
Franchise SEO marketing is a decidedly human discipline. It asks you to think about the content you love. What compels you? What helps you to learn? Which sites excite you? Your answers will probably tell you more than you think about how Google algorithms judge authority.