Regardless of the franchise you own, you’ve probably felt the shift over the past handful of years. What shift are we talking about? We’re talking about how people make buying decisions. 80% of the research is done before people reach out to your local franchise or your sales team selling your opportunity.
Would it surprise you to learn that over eighty percent of consumers use the Internet to do research before buying?
It’s true. And recent studies show that over fifty percent of those Internet searches have “local intent”, which means that while consumers may search nationally, they engage locally and they tend to gravitate to local websites.
So if you are a company with multiple franchise or agency locations, your online marketing efforts will be most effective if each of them has their own local web presence.
Of course your local franchisees or agents are busy running their businesses and many don’t have the time or expertise needed to develop, launch and maintain an effective local online marketing campaign.
So, typically the choices have been to not have a strategic local web presence at all or to provide minimal, “bare-bones” online exposure through the use of franchisee or agent microsites.
And while some organizations choose to list their franchise locations or agents within the corporate website, those listings lack the SEO impact of a local website, which can cast a wider net through a broad range of search terms and geographic locations.
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.
With proper local SEO for each of these franchisee marketing websites, the resulting increase in targeted traffic and online lead generation would serve as a positive motivator, increasing each franchisee’s enthusiasm and satisfaction while providing the franchisor with an excellent marketing tool to share with other potential franchisees.
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.