Franchises, more than many other kinds of businesses, need to be on top of their local presence online. Between managing dozens or even hundreds of different listings, responding to reviews, and touching base with their respective communities, franchise companies have their work cut out for them.
That’s why they need local listing management partners to help bear the load. Let’s talk about why.
Local SEO Is Not Just a Passing Fancy – And “Near Me” Is Also Here to Stay
Today, almost every aspect of society is focused around a mobile, digital world. When people need to find a service or product, they immediately turn to their smart devices. Local businesses and brands realize that they need to be a part of this digital landscape, but when it comes to managing their online reputation and digital presence, some franchises are falling behind.
The average consumer wants to find what they’re looking for in a matter of seconds. They hop onto their favorite search engine (most likely Google), and begin a hunt for the perfect product or service. Every day, Google receives 63,000 searches per second. Users search for places and things “near me” and prioritize accurate results above all else.
“Near me” is so powerful that “near me” searches are up by 900 percent this year, and “for me” and “should I” come in close behind, with increases of 60 and 65 percent.
When a franchise fails to manage their business listings for each location, they are missing out on the opportunity to place above their competitors in search results. In fact, they will rank poorly in search results(if they rank at all), and when people do stumble across a franchisee’s location, the information will likely be inaccurate or outdated.
Incorrect names, addresses, and phone numbers (NAP) can cause franchise owners to suffer from “bad data,” which I talk about quite a bit. Studies have shown 67 percent of consumers lose trust in a brand if they get lost en route to a location due to an incorrect address online, and 73% lose trust in businesses that exhibit inconsistent location details.
Bad data hurts franchises just like any other business, and without help correcting this data, each franchisee’s location will struggle to place in the first page of search results. Thankfully, there are services that can help turn this bad situation into good. Keep reading to learn about local listing management solutions for franchises.
How Local Listing Management Can Help Franchises Take Control
At Advice Local, we offer a comprehensive local presence management solution. This includes local directory listing management, Google Business Profile (formerly Google My Business) claiming, reputation monitoring and more. Franchise owners can trust us to put an end to bad data, and help them reach the customers who seek them in their moments of need, i.e., during search queries.
How do we tackle bad data and turn things around for franchises? Take a look at an overview of our strategy for franchises and businesses alike.
1) We Tackle the Competition Head-On
When a franchise places in the top spot in search results, the objective isn’t to compete with the other franchisees, but to place above the franchise’s rivals. We can build unique content, create websites that are optimized for local search, plus location landing pages. Most importantly, for all the locations we manage data for, we make sure that the local business listings are accurate and optimized. We get to know the competition and develop strategies to beat them out in local search results, one by one.
2) Reaching the Stars Requires a Navigator and a Map
First of all, every franchise mustclaim their Google Business Profile listing. Most people know that – but what they don’t realize is they also need to create and manage their listings in dozens of other places such as Bing, niche directories, Judy’s Book, and more.
Advice Local takes it beyond just managing listings on directories. We help our franchise partners’ locations get found by submitting to data aggregators and GPS mapping solutions like HERE, Foursquare and Waze.
Voice search is nothing to laugh at either. By 2020, 50% of all searches will be voice searches, comScore predicts. According to BrightLocal’s 2018 Voice Search for Local Business Study, 46% of voice search users look for a local business via voice search on a daily basis.
We help the many franchisees we represent get found in local search via voice search, too. Submitting to these powerful data sources ensures consumers will find the location closest to them on Google Voice, Alexa, Siri, Cortana, and even Samsung’s Bixby.
3) We Make Review Monitoring Easy – The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly
Because so many consumers rely on online reviews to make informed decisions about their purchases, a reputation on sites like Facebook, Yelp, Google, and the BBB can dramatically impact the relationship of a business with its prospective customers.
What many franchise owners don’t realize is that these online reviews are also indexed by search engines, and they influence placement in search results. The more positive reviews people leave, the more trustworthy the franchise appears. It’s vital that franchises stay on top of their online reputation, and respond to negative and positive reviews accordingly.
While we can’t get a negative review removed, we can certainly make it easy to monitor and respond to them. It’s important to make every best effort to resolve negative reviews, and have a process in place to encourage positive reviews by happy customers. Advice Local’s local presence management solution makes it easy to monitor reviews, share them on social media, and more.
4) We Can Take Care of the Behind-the-Scenes, Too
There’s a lot more to local SEO than directory listings, maps, and Google Business Profile. Chances are, franchise owners don’t know half of what goes into structuring data and optimizing their websites for search, and that’s OK when Advice Local is on the job.
Advice Local is the team behind the scenes, working to keep our franchisee owners online local presence pristine. We work to improve search placement, increase conversions, and the bottom line as well. Real-time results? That’s just our thing.
Our top-notch customer service ensures our franchise owners are never left out in the cold! We have online support, phone support, and the knowledge needed to help a franchisee expand their local presence online.
Franchise Owners – Now Is the Time to Take Control
As you can see, a great deal of work goes into managing and maintaining a franchise’s local presence online. We’re ready to lend a helping hand. Request a demo to get started today.