Whether you are a fast food lover or not, you should be familiar with the fact that a lot of restaurants have a “secret sauce” that differentiates themselves and leaves their customers coming back for more. Transferring that concept over to the franchise world, what is the “secret sauce,” or digital marketing tactic that gives franchises a competitive edge with the local competition? As a business franchise in your community, it is essential for you to optimize your website so your local customers can easily find your business.
When franchises optimize their websites with location-specific terms and best practices, it allows prospective customers to receive search results that identify your individual location rather than the corporate company. SEO can include keywords that closely match common search terms, and geographic SEO is critically important to ensure that customers in your area find your franchise location with ease. In other words, if someone is driving around hungry in Phoenix, Arizona and searching for places to eat, you want your franchise location in Phoenix to show up in their search results so that they come directly to this location. If you are the franchise owner in Phoenix, it does your business no good to show up in this person’s search results for your franchise location in Wichita, Kansas. That’s the difference localization makes.
In this day and age, most customers search for the information they need on their smartphones rather than a desktop or laptop; this means your audience could be traveling near your location at any given time. The sophisticated algorithms of search engine technology mean that a smartphone will provide relevant results related to its current location. Smartphones have location devices ingrained that automatically populate search results based upon the user’s location. This allows your business to attract customers who are mobile, including commuters and travelers from out-of-town.
If your website has missing information, such as an incomplete address, phone number or website url, your potential customers may move on to your competitor whose listing is complete. The danger of a bad address or old phone number means that hangry customers will take their money elsewhere if they can’t find your location in about ten seconds. People just don’t have the patience for businesses who don’t display the correct contact information on their websites. Additionally, when your location-specific information is complete, updated and optimized for mobile devices, the search engine algorithms give your business listing preference in the search results.
Localization plays a big role in branding as well. When your franchise optimizes your site specific to your location, people will truly find the nearest franchise location rather than driving away to a further one because your site wasn’t optimized properly. Your IHOP might be friends with the IHOP fifteen minutes away, but you still don’t want to lose customers if they are in your area because of inaccuracies in your site!
Once simple trick to get started and to ensure the accuracy of your local business listing, is to take the time to do a general smartphone search for your service or product from various locations. If your franchise appears at the top of the list and the information is complete and correct, you are achieving your goals for localization. If not, please contact us for additional information and the secret sauce ingredients for support.