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Franchise And SEO: The Struggles With Management

Search engine optimization, or SEO, is becoming one of the most important aspects to business success. Because search is such a big way that new consumers find a given company, it’s important that your business is showing up at the top of those search engines. Unfortunately, it isn’t as easy as it sounds.

There is quite a bit of competition out there for most companies, franchise or no franchise, so you need to understand how to find the right keywords and optimize your site for those keywords. In addition to on-site work, there are many different external things you can do online to help boost your visibility on a Google search engine results page (SERP). In other words, there is a reason that SEO has developed into it’s own industry, and when you own a franchise company, SEO work gets even trickier.

The Struggle with SEO and a Franchise Company

Franchise companies have a lot to think about when it comes to SEO and online optimization because there are so many different people in charge and involved in a franchise. As a company owner working at the national branch, you have to ask yourself one main question when it comes to the subject of SEO:

  • Is it best to have all SEO managed at the national level, or should each franchise be in control of SEO for that particular branch?

The answer to this question depends on a number of different factors: How many websites you have for your company currently (does each branch have its own website?) as well as who is managing other aspects of the website such as design and overall maintenance.

Oftentimes, social media often falls into the SEO category, which brings up more of this same problem for franchise owners. Who should be in control if you want the highest success rate?

Local Branches or Corporate: Who Should Manage the SEO of a Franchised Company?

As with all things in business, there are pros and cons to both different approaches and it depends on your business and your goals. Below examples the pros of both of your different options:

SEO Management at the National Level

  • It’s easier to stay organized because you only have one agency or one team of people doing the work and making decisions.
  • SEO deals a lot with branding, so staying consistent is important. This is easier to do when one person or group is in charge of all SEO decisions for all of the branches.
  • It’s usually less expensive to work with one agency as opposed to several (or work with one person as opposed to several).

SEO Management at the Franchise Level

  • Things can be very location-specific if you split up your work by branch. SEO does put a heavy focus on location, so there is a large potential for success here.
  • If the manager of one of your franchise branches already has a lot of responsibility, it might make sense to have him/her involved in SEO.

In conclusion: Managing SEO at the national level is typically the easiest approach for franchises, particularly larger companies with lots of different branches. In a few occasions it’s OK to put SEO in control of your different managers if you have a few different versions of your website, but this is typically rare. You want to keep your SEO as simple as possible, and corporate management is almost always the best way to make that happen.

Are you a franchise owner that has gotten involved in SEO? Who manages your SEO, and have you found your method to be successful? Let us know your experience and your thoughts in the comments below. 

About the Author: Amanda DiSilvestro gives small business and entrepreneurs SEO advice ranging from keyword density to recovering from algorithm updates. She writes for Higher Visibility, a nationally recognized SEO consulting firm that offers national and franchise SEO services to a wide range of companies across the country.

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