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Every business seems to be on a quest to please Google and get better search rankings, and organic search traffic is the holy grail. Although some people waste time trying to hack the Google algorithm (please note: they can’t), there are a number of things you can do to boost your franchise business’s rankings. The most effective is to publish compelling content.
Writing great content takes time and commitment. If you put valuable information on your website or blog, however, people will find it and share it, and you will see an increase in traffic. If it’s compelling and informative, people will stay on your site and read it. Google rewards you when people spend more time on your site.
For your content to have a positive impact on search rankings, it must be relevant, consistent and timely.
Content on your franchise website should be consumer friendly. The main headline on a page must clearly signal what kind of information can be found there. Readers are skimmers first, and if your headline doesn’t seem relevant, they will leave.
For a retail apparel franchise, content – text and photos – should be about current, in-season fashion. Write about and illustrate styles that your target demographic will be searching for.
Consider the process: If someone searches for a “dress to wear to a summer wedding,” and Google serves up the store’s blog, the headline should include some of those keywords, and so should the meta description (the line that appears beneath the headline on a results page). Likewise, your friendly dress shopper may search for “Images,” so the photo should be current and the “alt text” should include similar keywords, such as “wedding guest’s dress” instead of simply “dress.”
Be consistent about posting to your blog and updating your page. Google rewards pages with new and updated content and likewise, it may penalize a page that goes months without any activity. Additionally, your hard-won audience will drift away if they visit your page several times and don’t see anything new. Commit to a reasonable posting schedule; you can always increase it later if you find that you have time and good material. If you own a pet care franchise, for instance, you could aim for a monthly post on a topic such as pet nutrition or new flea treatments.
Finally, sales and offers on your site must be kept up to date, and images should look current and connected to your brand. You may want to build into your website a structure that calls attention to news or upcoming events. A restaurant franchise, for example, should make it easy for website visitors to find information on summer specials or a “kids eat free” promotion.
Producing valuable content is worth the effort it takes. Great content helps you build an audience organically, and Google always ranks that over paid promotion.
Lora Kellogg is president and CEO of Curious Jane. With 15 years of experience and a portfolio of top brands, Curious Jane is a leading ad agency specializing in franchises. Lora and her team work with Franchise Times' top 500 franchises and emerging franchises to grow sales, increase traffic, build brand awareness and generate leads.