Most local SEO tips revolve around optimizing search engine results for a single location. But if you have many locations, and you want customers to visit any or all of them, you have to do things slightly differently.
Here is our quick and dirty guide to franchise SEO for multi-location businesses.
Website Structure: Stick With One Website
It’s tempting to have a website for each location, especially for domain name SEO purposes.
However, sticking with a single website allows you to keep branding consistent for all locations while also making sure all SEO benefits are transferred to a single main website.
It also helps avoid the issue of having duplicate content to rank one of your franchise websites.
So, how do you structure a single website for franchise SEO? It’s simple: have a corporate website home page that explains exactly what you do (and is optimized for your core keyword without a location), and list all your locations either on the bottom of the page or on its own separate page.
Do NOT include a corporate phone number on the home page: this will confuse people.
Optimize Your Corporate Website For Users
If users are landing on your corporate website, it’s because they’re looking for specific information. Make sure they can find it easily from your home page. If they want information on a specific location, they want to get that information in a few clicks and scrolls as possible.
Not only that, but if there are differences between locations (such as differences in the menu, product offerings, or hours) the user should be able to immediately find out this information on your website without scrolling and clicking endlessly.
It’s also important that your corporate website be functional and beautiful on mobile. Mobile is where most web surfing happens nowadays, so a mobile-optimized website is a must-have in 2020 and beyond.
Listings: The Core of Franchise SEO
Google My Business, Yelp, Facebook, and all other sites where people can leave reviews are going to be the main focus for franchise SEO. Make sure that each location is listed separately so that reviews can be left specifically on each location. This way, if one location is having issues, it doesn’t affect your other location’s online presence.
Each listing will have its own separate reviews and information, while also linking to your corporate site.
This might seem complicated and confusing, but keeping one main website and multiple listings are important to keeping things both consistent and separate at the same time.
Keep Up-To-Date NAP Information On Your Site & Listings
For franchise SEO, it’s critically important to have up-to-date information on all of your franchise locations so that people are redirected to the correct place. It’s a bad experience otherwise. To do this, make sure that your websites and your listings have matching, current NAP (name, address, phone number) information.