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The first thing that we need to agree on is the fact that a Franchise is a “Local Business” and in order for this local business to be successful in a geographically targeted marketplace the business must be marketed locally. It cannot be overlooked that even though the Franchisee may be part of a national organization, each location is truly a stand-alone local business and is competing directly in their local marketplace and therefore must be marketed as an individual business in order to maximize their online exposure and lead generation.

The subject of individual franchisee websites has long been a “bone of contention” within the industry. Many Franchisors are vehemently opposed to individual Franchisee websites and are reluctant to relinquish website control to Franchisees. On the other hand, many Franchisees feel that their “hands are tied” since they have little or no control over the marketing decisions for their own business. These feelings become even more apparent when the local Franchisee determines that the Franchisor’s marketing campaign is ineffective and the resulting new business lead generation is virtually non-existent.

Regardless of the franchise you own, your franchise has an established brand. The brand portrays the company’s values and how it would like their goods and services to be perceived by the consuming public. It also attempts to position the company as a leader within its industry and helps it stand out from competitors. Before you begin marketing your local franchise business online, it’s important that you understand the brand guidelines of your franchisor. Understand what the company’s values are and what messages it is trying to portray. Once you fully understand your brand, you should incorporate it into all aspects of your online marketing campaign for your local franchise business.

SEO, or search engine optimization, is another digital marketing essential for your local franchise business. By utilizing proven SEO practices, you can improve your website’s rankings on search engines and drive more customers to your business. There are many aspects that go into SEO, but the first step you should take is hiring a well-respected franchise web development and SEO agency to help you market your franchise business locally. A franchise SEO agency will develop a professional website with optimized content and employ SEO strategies that will help your new website rank prominently in search results for geographically targeted keywords and phrases. This will help you attract customers locally.

Another effective way to increase your search engine rankings is through blogging. Search engines reward sites that provide meaningful, interesting content to users on a regular basis. On your blog you can engage your targeted local audience with relevant content that provides value. You can write about company news and topics that relate to your industry, business or local community.

To better understand the best path to a successful local franchise marketing strategy, check out our most recent franchise marketing article: SEO for Franchise Businesses – What is the Best Strategy for Local Search? . The article explores how multi-unit enterprises and franchises can work together to develop a strong local online marketing program and narrow the widening gap between corporate control and the local franchise owner’s need for lead generation and business growth.