Written on Jul 26, 2010 | by Ashley Johnson
Do you own and operate a franchise? Many entrepreneurs and new small business owners go the route of owning a franchise to get a running start into an established business niche using a recognized name and operating paradigm. However, most often, these entrepreneurs depend too much on the franchisor to perform all search engine optimization tactics. Alas, that folly usually costs the entrepreneur valuable search engine ranking.
The fact is that even with a recognizable name, you need to announce your location, business hours, product or service offerings, special deals, etc. Your franchisor will not do that for you.
You, as a franchise owner, must take ownership of your own SEO efforts. With millions of people using mobile phone searches, GPS searches, and search engine searches, you could be losing potential business if your specific franchise does not show up on search results.
Here are a few things you can do:
Conduct a Basic Search. Right now, and at least once a month, conduct a basic search for your specific franchise on all the major search engines and GPS databases like Navteq.com. Search for your franchise in your city or neighborhood. Do you find your listing? If not, you need to make improvements to your franchise SEO.
Claim Your Listing. Many search engines provide business listings as part of their search results. Take Google, for instance. In almost any search for a business, Google will provide a “Google Maps” listing of businesses for a specific area. If you are not there, you need to claim your listing so it shows up every time. Go to Maps.Google.com. Then click the link that says, “Put your business on Google Maps.” Google will lead you through the process of creating an account and creating your business listing.
Join Social Media. Many social media sites like FourSquare, Yelp, and Gowalla were designed specifically for letting others know about businesses like yours. Create your own account and encourage users to visit your business through these sites.
Check Regularly. Keep a regular calendar to monitor and measure your SEO efforts. Are people finding you on Google Maps? Does your pay per click campaigns have a reasonable ROI? Keeping on top of your SEO efforts will help them be more successful.
While your franchise gave you a running start, taking your SEO efforts into your own hands will give you a great leap into more profits.