Multi Location Local SEO For Franchises Means Teamwork

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Multi Location Local SEO For Franchises is commonly viewed as one of the most challenging marketing activities to orchestrate across a national-to-local network. In addition to trying to figure out how to “win” at SEO in general, franchise businesses also often face the unique dilemma of needing multiple sites from the same domain to rank well in a search results.

Localisation no doubt comes to mind immediately as the solution to this problem. While this is the ultimate route to success, some very specific considerations must be factored in for a local SEO campaign for franchises to be properly executed.

Start At The Beginning

Certainly the primary website should be the first area to focus on. Duplicate content is, of course, the big no-no here. One way that franchisors can avoid this is to offer their franchisees multiple versions of the basic website.

Each version can include not only slightly different copy but also varied images. It’s important to remember that content is not synonymous with copy.

Localise With Purpose

Gone are the days when localisation meant simply changing out the city and state in the body copy or a headline and keeping all other content as is. For starters, localisation today should focus not just on a city or geographical region but a neighbourhood or smaller locale. The pendulum is shifting back to the more personal and more local.

All localised sites and landing pages, even if they share a domain, should find ways to create H1s, H2s and URLs unique to their specific business location. In addition, the inclusion of name, address and phone number (NAP) information and store hours provides immediate differentiators.

On those landing pages, social sharing buttons should be prominently placed with links to the social accounts for the specific location.

Despite the oft-cited claim that Pigeon was created to help small businesses, the truth is that its focus is on local businesses, which are not always small. An individual franchise operation may be a small business, but the larger franchisor company is quite often a rather influential national brand. Therefore, Pigeon most definitely applies to franchise operations.

Capture Mobile Users

A growing number of mobile users search for local businesses every day. Franchise businesses, like any other businesses, need to ensure that their websites are set up to appropriately capture this audience.

The focus on having a truly mobile responsive site is one of the best representations of how creating a website with the user as the first priority—not with SEO as the first priority—actually ends up helping SEO.

Leverage The Power Of Social Media

Local SEO is not just about a website.

Each franchise location should have its own active social media profiles. These profiles should contain NAP data, hours and more that are consistent with, and interlinked with, the specific location’s website.

This begins to create the web of associations that legitimises a business to search engines.

Of course, simply “having” a social media presence is not enough. Social media’s ability to cultivate a following and grow customer loyalty is unparalleled and should be taken advantage of.

The more activity—especially customer activity—that happens on a business’ social media platforms, the more leverage and visibility your pages will have.

Encourage Customer Reviews

Customer reviews are perhaps one of the best kept secrets for helping local SEO.

We all know that Google loves real customer reviews, but when you consider that reviews of local businesses are very likely to include the location of the business, the power of these little gold mines really begins to shine through.

Franchise business should find ways to encourage more customers to post reviews online. These reviews need not necessarily be on traditional review sites like Yelp or Foursquare, but can be on the business’ social media pages as well.

Be careful not to get caught in the trap of rewarding people for reviews, however. That approach could backfire.

Clean Up Directory Listings

This is the suggestion that always brings out the groans from a crowd. I get it. It’s tedious and time-consuming work. But it is work that pays off big time when done right.

From claiming listings to ensuring all listings are accurate and consistent, the benefits of this activity are great and there is simply no other way to get there rather than to trudge through it.

If this still does not make the case for you, consider the fact (and it is a fact) that inaccurate, inconsistent and unclaimed listings can actually hurt SEO performance.

Go For The Win-Win

Franchisors and franchisees both stand to benefit when good local SEO practices are put into place. It is a critical element to overall brand building.

Local franchises operations can see their business volume increase. Franchisors can be better poised for future expansion.

With these benefits in mind, it behooves both parties to work together to find how best to implement a strong local SEO practice. It truly is in the best interest of both parties.

8 Tips to Boost Your Site’s SEO With Video

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8 Tips On Using Video To Improve SEO

Even the best video is useless unless it can be found. Here are some tips about how to use video to improve SEO and get your website and your video found.

  1. Video integration. The presence of video itself affects the most important SEO ranking factor: content. Video is evidence of quality content, and as part of a media mix on a site, it helps send signals to search engines that your page or site contains rich media relevant to search requests. It is expected that search engines will continue to increase the ranking factor of including video as consumers demand video in search results. So having video on your site will boost page rank.
  2. Keyword labels. Provide more information to search engines to help identify your videos as relevant to search results, just as you would label pictures and graphics. Including keywords used for text SEO in fields used to describe your video (in titles, file names, descriptions and tags) ensures that the relevance of your video to search results is clear to search engines.
  3. Video transcript. Including a transcript of the audio portion of your video improves its find-ability and adds further support for its relevance to search requests.
  4. Video sitemap. While information on your video sitemap might duplicate some of the keyword labels used to identify the video, it is a separate process. Video sitemaps are an extension to the general sitemap of your Web property. Metadata that may be customised include duration, rating, view count, age appropriateness, whether the video may be embedded and other useful information.
  5. Host your video on YouTube. YouTube is, on its own, the second-largest search engine in number of search queries. Secondly, YouTube is owned by Google. You can make your own conclusion about what that means, or you can look at this chart. While some suggest hosting your video on your own website for SEO purposes, my conclusion is that in universal search results, videos either come tied with big-name brands or tied to publisher sites like YouTube, Wistia or Vimeo. For small local businesses, exposure on YouTube that triggers secondary actions is likely your better bet. You also don’t risk bogging down your site with slow load times.
  6. Optimise videos for load time. Google considers page performance in its algorithm. Page load time affects user experience, which means it affects SEO. And users turn away from slow sites — 57 percent of mobile users abandon the site after three seconds of waiting, according to Radware. Check out this tip from Digital Inspiration on how to use an embedded video thumbnail that does not load the video player until the play button is hit.
  7. Backlink from your YouTube video. While shares and links to your YouTube video won’t count as links to your website, you can create two backlinks from YouTube. Create a YouTube channel and insert your Web page into your channel profile. Also insert your link in the video description.
  8. Social signals. Getting more people to like or view your video is a positive signal to search engines of the value of your content. This will increase the likelihood of your video being found and driving traffic to your site.

Conclusion

Video will only continue to grow in popularity and accessibility. Consumers like video, use video and remember video. Those are all great components for a successful marketing strategy.

It’s also becoming much more affordable and accessible for local businesses.

Make sure to use video both for the marketing power it brings and for its increasing importance to your site’s SEO.

How do I get a Video made for my small business?

To get a really great video made for you business you could look no further than BigReviewTV.com, they have a range of perfectly priced video packages,starting at just $399.

Google My Business App Gets An Update

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Google has updated the Android version of the Google My Business app to completely redesign it, while adding more features and functionality for business owners to manage their local business on Google Maps.

The new design has already rolled out to the Google Play Store and should be rolling out to the iOS Apple App Store in the upcoming weeks.

The new features include:

  • A new editor design to match more of the Google Search and Maps look.
  • Improved user interface to make business edits quicker and easier.
  • Support for businesses open 24 hours.
  • It shows you where by city, postal code or radius.
  • You can now quickly view your business on Search, Maps and Google+ with a single tap.
  • More insights on who your Google+ posts are reaching.
  • More detailed feedback about your business info.