Search engine optimization (SEO) is a technique that is becoming increasingly important for the lead generation efforts of multi-unit businesses, regional franchise advertising coops and national franchises. However, it is very important that if you are looking to an agency for franchise SEO services that you understand that there are two general areas that those services fall under as well as what the differences are between the two: Local SEO and Traditional SEO.

Before you hire a firm, make sure you understand what the differences are between local and traditional SEO services first.

As you are probably aware of already, when it comes to franchise marketing strategy, SEO is a critical component. If you ignore search engine optimization you will be leaving a lot of money on the table, ignoring one of the most efficient and cost effective methods for acquiring customers, settling for a reduced return on advertising spend (ROA) and conceding marketing share to your competition.

With the recent and rapid growth of smart phones (Pew Research Internet Project reports that a majority of American adults own one now), consumers have the ability to search for anything from anywhere at any time. This has resulted in individuals hyper searching. If you ignore these trends and facts in consumer behavior and rely on traditional marketing too much, your business will suffer negative financial consequences from it.

Although it is still necessary in many industries to do traditional marketing, it is still critical for retail franchises to integrate an effective franchise SEO strategy for every market in order for their traditional marketing (Print, Radio, TV, etc.) to be successful. It is what drives consumers to organic searches for your company’s services and products.

Franchise SEO Services: Understanding The Differences Between Traditional And Local SEO

Two Kinds of Franchise SEO Services

Local SEO and Traditional SEO are the two main types of SEO. Each one has its own optimization process.

1. Traditional SEO

Common traditional SEO refers to search engine results where there is no local push pin or “map pack” with a map an address next to in the search results on Google. So for a query with Dallas as a geo qualifier those results without any phone numbers, addresses or push pins would be referred to as traditional SEO in the industry.

Google determines which queries to display in a “map pack.” And around the end of July Google significantly reduced how many queries have results that include a “map pack” (as part of its update to the Pigeon algorithm).

Factors Contributing To Page Ranking For Traditional SEO

A few of the major questions include: Is a page topically relevant to what the searcher’s query is? Or does the page discuss the subject keywords being searched?

Does Google consider the page to be authoritative?

In many cases authority is determine by the inbound links coming from other websites in addition to internal links of the website coming from other relevant pages. Generally speaking, pages that have many high quality links that point to them will having higher ratings by Google compared to pages that don’t have any links. Google considers links to be “yes” votes.

Another one of the contributing factors is how many articles on a particular topic are contained on your website. For example, it can be difficult to be considered an authority on enjoyable things to do in Dallas, if there is only one page on your website that discusses it.

Is user behavior on the page good? Fro example, are people engaging with the page, scrolling down and scanning through and reading it, and remaining on the page for a good amount of time? Or are people landing on the page, and immediately bouncing off of it and leaving to go elsewhere? Is the page slow loading or does it render quickly?

2. Local Franchise SEO Services

As previously mentioned, in certain Google queries local SEO involves a “map pack.” For example, a query for “Dallas Car Dealership” could have Google displaying the first result in the form of a traditional SEO listing, and beneath that have two local SEO listings along with A and B push pins.

Local SEO is critical since there is local intent on as many as 50% of queries conducted from a smartphone.

Local search engine optimization for Franchise SEO services is quite a different service and process compared to Traditional SEO services since the algorithm used by Google for ranking websites in local results is much different compared to the algorithm that is used for determining traditional SEO rankings.

Some of the major factors contributing to local SEO rankings include the following:

Is the physical location of the business in the geographic area that is mentioned in the query? In our car dealership example, if certain dealerships were not located in Dallas then they would not have been displayed. We are not sure how a geographic area is defined by Google or how large an area they consider Dallas to be. However, if your business is not located within the geographic region of an area then your business will not be displayed in the local results.

How a geographic area is defined by Google for local search results can also help you decide where your business should be located, since you will achieve much lower success if you miss out potentially thousands of local queries.

Are there reviews on the company’s G+ page?

NAP (name, address and phone) consistency – if inconsistent NAP information is listed on other website, for example the local chamber of commerce, your Yelp page or Facebook page, then that can count against you.

Data Aggregators and Citations: does a business have a number of other geographically relevant websites that have the same NAP information on your business? There are around 50 critically important citation sources, and it changes over time. However, it can include websites such as your local chamber of commerce, Manta, Merchant Circle, YellowPages.com, Yelp, etc.

Data aggregators may include companies such as D&B, InfoGroup and Acxiom. NAP information about businesses is pushed by data aggregators to other sites like Yelp and Google.

Location page present on website: Does your website have a location page? Is is properly built? On this page do you have unique images that show your business along with the correct phone number, address and other unique content that is relevant to its locations. Are there photos of your staff? Testimonials and reviews? Are Rich Snippets used by the page to mark up information that is geographically important, including phone number and hours?

To conclude, the main goal of this article was to help you understand the two different kinds of franchise SEO services for franchises and multi-unit businesses. It is very important for you to understand the differences if you are looking to hire search engine optimization services. Contact Tom Johnston for more info.