The Pros and Cons to Making Franchise SEO Decisions at the Corporate Level
Truth be told, no one should really run wild with SEO. Despite the fact that SEO is supposed to be the “free” way of earning clicks, SEO is anything but free. It costs a great deal of time and money to get SEO right, so it should be a calculated process put into the hands of the right people. There is certainly room to get creative and room to take a few risks, but having too many hands in the cookie jar gets messy when it comes to this industry. This can get particularly messy when you have several different franchises all trying to get going with SEO, so you have to decide: Do you let your franchises get involved in SEO, or is this a job for corporate and corporate alone?
When Franchises Should and Should Not Have SEO Control
I’ve answered this question in a few other articles in the past, so I decided to take the approach of pros versus cons. I have always been a supporter of SEO at the corporate level for all branches, but the truth is this isn’t the right avenue for all businesses. Below, consider some of the pros and cons to making SEO decisions on behalf of all franchises:
Pros to Making SEO Decisions on Behalf of all Franchises
- Organization. It’s much easier to stay organized if you don’t have too many people trying to make decisions. SEO takes a lot of analysis, planning, and adapting, and this is tough to do when several people have their own data and
- Branding. SEO has quite a bit to do with your branding, so you need to make sure you remain consistent. Being in control of SEO decisions for all of your branches ensures this will happen.
- Cost. It is almost always more cost effective to purchase SEO services for several different branches as opposed to employing several different SEO agencies. I like to think of this the same way I think about buying in bulk. It’s just cheaper.
Cons to Preventing Franchise Owners from Making Franchise Decisions
- Management. It can be very difficult to manage the SEO of many different locations. Putting this in the hands of your franchise managers might make sense because it divides up the work. Things can be looked at and monitored more closely.
- Relevancy. Different locations might have different needs when it comes to SEO. If you have some urban and some rural locations or you find that each location has a very different audience demographic, your SEO strategies will need to change based on each individual store.
- Manager Control. Many larger corporations have large franchises, so it’s likely that the manager of that franchise has a lot of responsibility. Understanding exactly what is going on with the SEO will help give the manager control and could help him/her better understand how your company works and where they need to improve.
The real question is how you know which points are more important for your type of company. Fortunately, the decisions isn’t overly time consuming and history tells us that there is a trend you can follow.
So Which Types of Companies Benefit from Which Franchise SEO Strategy?
The moral of the story is that there are certain types of businesses that benefit from one approach over another. It’s important to do your own research and go with what you think is best, but in general most find that the answer is clear:
- SEO Decisions Made at the National Level:This works best for larger companies. Although it might be difficult to manage, a large company with many franchises should be able to find an SEO agency that can handle it. SEO agencies have many people working on one company, so the pros outweigh the cons in this situation.
- SEO Decisions Made at the Franchise Level: If you only have a few franchises. The biggest reason this works is because you can still monitor and keep track of everything that is going on with your SEO. You can train your managers and have less chance of error if you’re only working with one or two.
Are you a franchise owner who has an SEO strategy that works? What would you add to the list of pros and cons? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.
Amanda DiSilvestro is a graduate of Illinois State University. Although she graduated with an English Education degree, she found herself working as a full-time blogger in the SEO/social media department at HigherVisibility SEO, a leading franchise SEO services company.
Nice post Amanda! I would just add to the discussion that if a franchisor is serious about franchise SEO and online marketing in general the most effective strategy is to develop regional websites for each metro area. We found 30% increase in revenue growth for those areas that implemented regional website strategies versus those with a single page under the corp website. I wrote an post here with stats and data behind the strategy, http://www.39celsius.com/franchise-seo-marketing/