Maintaining Ranking and Local Search Consistency Across Multiple Locations
Businesses, especially those involved in some form of franchising, have a lot on their plate. It can be tempting to give the individual business owner the power they want to design the perfect business for them. This can allow individual locations to capitalize on their local markets that they know so well. However, this strategy can have pitfalls, as well. In my experience, you run into three types of franchise owners, and business owners in general:
- Engaged Eric
- Passive Patrick
- Stubborn Steve
Engaged Eric: Eric is a local search and SEO superstar. These types of business owners are masters of their local market and actively engage with the community. This is done either via social media, community involvement, or linking via other local domains. Eric maintains his local presence by allocating a set amount of hours per week to maintaining his local presence. Eric realizes that he may not be completely fluent across all platforms that impact local presence, but in his set time per week he is able to acquire a lot of the fluency that is necessary.
Tools for an Engaged Eric: In-depth and up-to-date information for SEO-savvy business owners.
Passive Patrick: Patrick is a business owner who may be doing very well with his franchise, but is severely lacking in local search content and rankings. Patrick may want the most for his business, but in his day-to-day operations, the motivation may fizzle out by 5:00. Patrick would love to know more about effectively managing local SEO, but it must come in a neat package that he can implement with minimal time. Patrick knows that his local SEO is lacking, but at this point he is doing his best to keep the business at its current pace.
Tools for a Passive Patrick: A great tool that provides a quick snapshot of a business’s local search and SEO successes and inefficiencies.
Stubborn Steve: Steve is a local search and SEO naysayer. Business owners like Steve are old school and believe in the word-of-mouth promotion of their business. While this may be a great tactic for a well-established business, local search and search rankings play a huge role in how a business gets found. In my experience, there have been franchisees that even after being in business for some time, are not able to be found on the Internet. Not just Google, not just Apple Maps — the entire Internet. This is a huge problem affecting more traditional business owners who may lack the expertise to optimize their search presence, the motivation to allot the time to do so, or both. It is extremely important to identify these business owners and provide them with simple toolkits and hard numbers to show how their business can benefit.
Tools for a Stubborn Steve: A quick how-to and the results it can produce regarding local search and SEO best practices in general.
In summary: No matter where your franchisees or business owners in general may fall, it is important to supply them with the right toolkits that fit their involvement level. Giving a Stubborn Steve a 100-slide deck chock-full of SEO jargon would do more harm than good. Leaving an Engaged Eric hanging can be detrimental to your business and leave business owners begging for more. Identifying the successes and pitfalls that affect your franchisees or business owners is a vital first step to supplying effective toolkits to kick their local businesses into overdrive.