Local SEO for Franchises: 3 Tips to Improve Your Rankings


Becoming a franchisor is an easy and cost-effective way to grow your business. As a franchisor, you can earn thousands of dollars a year. However, like other businesses, improving your online visibility is key to surviving and thriving on the market.

Recent research by Statista reveals that around 790,500 franchise establishments were in the USA in 2022. The number of franchise establishments is anticipated to exceed 800,000 in 2023. With so many franchises on the market, how do you make yours stand out? By implementing local SEO practices.

As franchises are spread in several locations, implementing SEO practices might seem tricky. However, it isn’t. All you have to do is optimize each franchise location independently.

Here are a few tips that will help you improve your rankings for each location in local search results.

1. Get Listed on Google Business Profile

Ranking on the first page of SERPs is excellent. But what’s better than that is to appear at the top of the page. Only Google Business Profile (GBP) can help you rank at the top. That is why creating a GBP profile is necessary for franchises.

Each location of your franchise chain must have a separate listing. That’s because it helps improve the online visibility of your locations. In case a local searcher searches for products or services related to your franchise, your business’ nearest location will appear on the top.

After setting up a GBP profile, you will have to optimize it. Make sure to include the address and phone numbers of all stores. Also, upload storefront images for all locations along with business hours. This way, your prospective customers won’t have trouble finding the information they need about your franchise locations.

As customer feedback helps build trust and credibility, ask your customers to leave reviews about your business on your Google listing.

One significant benefit of listing your franchise locations on GBP is that they will appear on Google Maps. Given that many searchers go to Google Maps to search for businesses, listing in GBP will help get the word out that you’re serving in specific geographic areas. Users can find multiple locations of your franchise and get directions through Google Maps.

2. Decide on a Content Marketing Strategy

Curating content is essential for a successful SEO strategy. Content creation, however, becomes a little tricky for franchises.  It gets difficult to decide if you should write on general topics or focus on location-specific topics.

Connection Model advises franchises to create some locally focused content when creating fresh blog posts. Curating location-specific content will ensure your website ranks in the top spot for each location.

For instance, if you have a bagel restaurant franchise in several cities across the USA, you can curate content focusing on local holidays and end your blog with limited-time deals. Likewise, a roofing contract franchise can talk about how differing weather patterns in specific cities damage the roof, necessitating repairs.

Creating content unique to the city in which your target audience resides doesn’t stop at throwing in high-volume localized keywords. It extends beyond that. You should make an effort to develop neighborhood-specific content. Using nearby regional names, tourist destinations, and local landmarks as target keywords will help your site rank in the local search results.

Those who aren’t well-versed in keyword research or curating location-specific content to improve their local SEO must leverage the help of SEO experts.

A quick search for “SEO near me” will display the best SEO experts in the industry. Asking your professional network for recommendations will also help. Whichever route you take, just be sure to check the customer reviews before you join hands with any SEO company or expert.

3. Focus on Building Local Backlinks

Backlinks are essential for local SEO because they improve rankings for search results and increase website traffic.

Earning authority backlinks from local sites can help you rank high in the SERPs. One way to do so is to list your franchise locations in business directories such as Yelp and Foursquare. PR campaigns are also an excellent way to earn quality backlinks. Creating a blog page focusing on local topics is another way to build links for local SEO.

You can also sponsor or host events, as these will help you earn backlinks from local publications.

Unlinked brand mentions are no less than a golden opportunity for franchises to secure backlinks from authoritative and high-quality websites. Tools like BrandMentions can help you find unlinked brand mentions. Thereafter, you can send an outreach email to some of those sites and ask for a backlink.

In conclusion, local SEO for franchises is a great way to improve online visibility and bolster web traffic. By getting your franchise locations listed on GBP, curating location-specific content, and building backlinks, your business will appear in local search results. This way, you will be able to reach more people.

Bear in mind that Google’s algorithm is constantly changing. SEO practices that are effective now may not be relevant in the upcoming weeks, months, or years. Therefore, keep yourself updated with SEO trends so that you don’t miss out on anything.

However, if implementing local SEO practices for multiple locations seems like a complex endeavor, reaching out to an expert will be the best bet.

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