Franchise SEO: For Masochists Only
Performing local search engine optimization for franchise locations can be a real pain. Columnist Andrew Shotland explores some common issues for local search marketers, as well as solutions.
If you like getting repeatedly punched in the face with a boxing glove on a mechanical arm, then working on a Local SEO program for multi-location franchises is the right job for you.
While SEO for any multi-location organization can be tricky, the complicated dynamics of franchises can make a SEO engagement the equivalent of playing 3-D chess on the surface of a Rubik’s Cube. Here are some of the key challenges:
Lack Of Centralized Control Of Listings
The ownership of franchise location information is often a can of worms. Each franchisee may or may not have already claimed their Google My Business profile and local citations.
Maybe an ex-employee has the logins. Or maybe no one has the logins. Regardless, the listings are likely a mess, and trying to fix them across multiple accounts can be an arduous task.
Franchisees That Don’t Understand SEO
This problem is not exclusive to franchises. We often work with clients who have little to no knowledge of SEO. That’s why they hire us, right?
But a franchisee who has been told they have to buy SEO services from a vendor selected by corporate, when they don’t really have a good way to evaluate what they are buying, can lead to confusion, poor communication, acrimony and an ineffective program.
Franchises That Don’t Understand SEO
As difficult as it is to deal with location managers who are not up to speed on SEO, it can be even worse if corporate doesn’t really get it.
Often corporate marketing managers are checking a box because they are getting requests for SEO help from the field. So they bring on a SEO vendor without knowing much about how it works.
Often, this then requires the vendor to push the program through the organization without having the knowledge of where the landmines are. This often leads to stepping on said landmines.