Franchise SEO: What Are The Challenges? How To Overcome?

April 9, 2024 | Basic SEO

If you own a franchise store, you are the best person to judge the change in shopping trends in the last ten years. You can’t get customers to visit your shop effortlessly (provided you sell good quality products) like the way it was even a decade ago.

People are more inclined to check the products and services online before they make a buying decision, and the habit has increased in leaps and bounds, especially during and after the pandemic. The worldwide retail ecommerce sales reached 6.3 trillion US dollars in 2024 from 1.3 trillion US dollars in 2014. 

Hence, it would help if you made a solid online presence for your franchise store to ensure local customers know and visit your shop. The best way to achieve that is to implement local SEO for franchises.

This article shall discuss the prime challenges franchise businesses face in implementing local SEO for franchises and the best ways to optimize local SEO for franchises.

But first things first!

What Is Franchise SEO?

Franchise SEO is the optimization process for your offline store to boost online visibility and draw more local traffic to your physical store. 

Any franchise business that owns a physical store or delivers services in a specific area can benefit from franchise SEO marketing.

Franchise local SEO

Optimizing local SEO for franchises can significantly increase your online presence and generate more website traffic, calls, and conversions.

Key Challenges For Franchise SEO Strategy

You must be feeling excited by knowing the prospects of franchise SEO marketing. However, that requires overcoming several challenges to achieve the benefits. 

It is not like you add your location in your web page titles, and visitors start arriving at your store. You must be aware of the following challenges of franchise SEO.

Hard To Avoid Duplicate Content

The most common issue in franchise SEO marketing is facing duplicate content. A web page’s content that is similar or completely the same as another web page’s content is called duplicate content.

As many franchise businesses offer the same or similar products and services, avoiding duplicate content becomes challenging in franchise SEO. The following is an example of a duplicate franchise listing for the search term’ aire serv’.

An example of duplicate franchise listing

If you have created several web pages using the same content or use templated content used by other similar franchises, it can create the following issues for your website,

  1. Low organic traffic.
  2. Fewer number of pages indexed by search engines.
  3. Search results show the wrong version of your web page.

The most unfortunate part is that franchises face duplicate content issues even if they own separate websites.

Need To Create Localized Content

You must create content for local audiences to compete with other local franchises in your operating area.

Google’s local search algorithm ranks franchises considering the following three criteria,

  1. Relevance of the store to the search query.
  2. Physical distance between the store and the searcher.
  3. Store prominence compared to competitors.

If you can correctly optimize your franchise SEO content in line with the above three criteria, you can outperform big players even after owning a much smaller business.

Local franchises outperforming big players

For example, a well-optimized franchise SEO helped local businesses to outperform the luxury salon ‘Salon Lofts’ in Dallas, United States, for the search term ‘Salons in Dallas’. 

Need To Maintain Brand Consistency

Every franchise business must fulfill customer expectations to build brand recognition. Franchises of a recognized brand gain advantage over other local franchises.

For example, customers will feel more confident choosing ‘KFC’ from the local search results for ‘fried chicken near me’ than choosing an unknown local fast food franchise.

However, it is essential to ensure that customers get the exact brand experience they expect while visiting a ‘KFC’ outlet. Otherwise, it can create doubt and frustration in their minds, hurting KFC’s brand reputation.

Brand consistency is essential for franchise SEO

That is why if franchises decide to choose dozens of franchise locations, they must ensure the following to keep the brand consistency intact,

  1. A definite content marketing guide that all franchises should follow.
  2. Franchise SEO training or documentation for all locations.
  3. Brand guidelines to maintain brand consistency across all franchise websites.

How To Optimize Local SEO For Franchises?

Now that you know the hurdles of implementing franchise SEO, we will provide you with valuable tips to optimize local SEO for your franchise in this section of the article.

Search Local Keywords

Local keywords are the popular search terms that local audiences frequently use to find a business like yours.

If you can optimize your franchise SEO to rank for those local keywords, it will organically bring more targeted traffic and, ultimately, lead to more sales. The easiest way to look for relevant local keywords is to use Google’s autocomplete feature.

The autocomplete feature predicts and shows the relevant search terms searchers can use, which can be an excellent source for long-tail keywords

Suppose you run a restaurant in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania.

Example of Google’s autocomplete feature

If you just type ‘restaurants in Harrisburg, PA’ in the Google search engine, the autocomplete feature will provide you with the above keyword ideas.

You can try various combinations of these local keywords for your products and services to enhance your franchise SEO and rank higher.

However, it would be safer to choose a free keyword research tool like RankWatch to ensure you choose the local keywords accurately.

RankWatch keyword research tool

If you enter the primary keyword phrase ‘restaurants in Harrisburg, PA’ in our keyword research tool, it will provide you with a list of organic and long-tail keywords related to your primary keyword.

Keyword suggestions for the term ‘restaurants in Harrisburg, PA’ in RankWatch keyword research tool

The tool also provides search volume, cost-per-click, and keyword difficulty (competition) for each keyword. Targeting keywords with medium search volume and competition will be ideal for small franchise SEO.

Build Locality Into Your Franchise Website

You need to optimize your website content for local audiences to build locality into your franchise website and rank it higher in organic local search results.

You need to add the following unique business information to build locality into your franchise website quickly,

  1. Address of the franchise location
  2. Embed Google Map
  3. Email address
  4. Contact number
  5. Store direction
  6. Operating hours
  7. Images of local team members
  8. Testimonials from local customers

Another essential thing you must consider to boost your brand’s online presence among local customers is to include your targeted keywords in the following key areas of your web page content,

  1. Title tag of the page
  2. Meta Description
  3. Headers and Subheaders
  4. First paragraph

It helps search engines and users understand the relevance and purpose of your brand.

Once you finish optimizing your content by including keywords in the above areas, you must choose an on-page SEO checker like RankWatch to check further provisions for improvement.

RankWatch on-page SEO checker tool

The tool shows the usage of the exact keyword in the main header and provides suggestions based on its analysis.

Usage of exact keyword in the main header in RankWatch SEO IQ

Next, you must include the main keyword or related keywords that broadly match your primary keyword in other subheadings (h2,h3,h4, etc.) for better franchise SEO. The RankWatch on-page SEO checker helps you check both.

Usage of exact keyword in the h2 header in RankWatch SEO IQ

The tool shows the usage of the exact keyword in the h2 header and provides suggestions for further improvement.

Usage of related keyword in the h2 header in RankWatch SEO IQ

Our SEO IQ also helps you check broad keyword usage in h2 headers and suggests further improvements. It would also help if you optimized your meta description by incorporating the primary keyword.

Usage of exact keyword in meta description in RankWatch SEO IQ

You can check the same using the same RankWatch SEO IQ feature and optimize your meta description by following the suggestions.

Create Google Business Listings

Creating a Google Business Profile (GBP) and enlisting your franchise store in their business listing is one of the most essential steps towards ranking for local search results.

Example of appearing on local search results using Google Business Profile

For example, if you run a pizza outlet franchise and have created a Google Business Profile for the same, chances are high that your outlet may appear on local search results for the search term ‘pizza near me.’

However, you must ensure that your Google Business Profile is complete by checking the following points before you claim your business,

  1. Enter complete and correct NAP (Name, Address, Phone Number) information of your franchise business.
  2. Write detailed product descriptions.
  3. Describe your brand’s history and mission.
  4. Add photos of your franchise store, products, and team members.
  5. Share the latest business updates, offers, and events.
  6. Send requests for online local reviews and respond to them promptly. 
  7. Add FAQs and answers.
  8. Highlight your business USPs.

Enroll In Local Business Directories

Enrolling businesses in local directories like Yelp, Bing Places for Business, FaceBook business, etc., can be beneficial for local SEO for franchises.

It helps franchise SEO in the following two ways,

Local business listings

  1. Google uses local business listings to confirm franchise business details like NAP (Name, Area, Phone Number).
  2. Business directories help businesses to rank high on local search results.

Business listed in Bing Places For Business

Hence, you must list your franchise business on as many local directories as possible. However, you must ensure the following while listing your business,

  1. Your franchise business’s NAP information is consistent across all local directories.
  2. Enroll your business in reputable directories relevant to your niche or industry.

Optimize Your Technical SEO

Technical SEO is the optimization process of your franchise website to make it easier for search engines to crawl, index and offer a user-friendly experience.

Technical SEO

You must consider the following two most essential things while optimizing your technical SEO:

Make Your Site Mobile-friendly

More and more people are using their mobile devices nowadays to perform searches. Hence, mobile optimization is essential for your franchise SEO.

RankWatch mobile friendly checker tool

You can choose a reliable mobile-friendliness checker like RankWatch to ensure your franchise SEO is optimized for mobile devices.

Improve Page Loading Speed

If you find a specific page is taking longer to load, you must check the size of that web page. It should be within the average size of 3 MB to ensure a rapid loading.

RankWatch website page size checker tool

You can use RankWatch’s web page size checker tool for FREE to measure your web pages’ size accurately.

Remember that making your franchise website mobile-friendly and improving page loading speed does not mean your technical SEO efforts are over forever.

Technical SEO is a continuous process, and new issues are regularly encountered. Hence, you must ensure that no such issues stop your website from ranking higher on search results. The only way to ensure that is to perform technical site audits regularly using an accurate tool like RankWath site auditor.

RankWatch site auditor

After analyzing all the technical issues, the tool provides an overall site score for your website.

Site score in RankWatch site auditor tool

The site auditor tool also categorizes the technical SEO issues, considering their criticality, thus helping you understand which issues need immediate attention.

Remove Duplicate Content

If you create content for your web pages using templates with minimum editing, it can be difficult to avoid duplicate content issues.

Example of content template

Having lots of duplicate content on your website can create the following two major problems,

  1. Your web page rankings can drastically drop in search results.
  2. Crawling bandwidth can be wasted due to duplicate content.

Hence, you must identify those web pages having duplicate content. Then, you can either remove those web pages or create fresh content for them.

You can use Google Search Console to identify web pages with duplicate content by following the below steps,

  1. Open your Google Search Console account and go to ‘Indexing’.
  2. Then click on the ‘Pages’.
  3. Next, you need to review the ‘Why pages aren’t indexed’ section.

You need to minutely review ‘Crawled- currently not indexed’ and ‘Discovered- currently not indexed’ pages.

Identifying duplicate pages using Google Search Console

If you find flagged template pages, it may be due to duplicate content.

Create Content Adhering E-E-A-T

E-E-A-T is the acronym for Experience, Expertise, Authoritativeness, and Trustworthiness. Google Search Quality Rater Guidelines strictly want the content to deliver all the above four components.

Google’s E-E-A-T

Experience: It demonstrates how much first-hand experience the creator has on the topic.

Expertise: It shows how much knowledge, skills, and expertise the creator has on the subject.

Authoritativeness: It measures how reputed the author or the website is.

Trustworthiness: It demonstrates how accurate, authentic, and safe the content is.

You must create content that adheres to Google’s EEAT principles for your franchise website.  

Local Link Building

It is well known that backlinks play an important role in improving your site’s SERP rankings. Search engines consider backlinks from other authoritative sites as a sign of reliability.

Moreover, high-quality backlinks help your franchise website draw relevant traffic from other genuine sources. If your franchise site can build a solid backlink profile, your products can appear on search results and draw more traffic and attention.

Creating the following types of content can help your franchise site draw backlinks from authoritative sources,

Link Building

  1. Local research content related to the original industry.
  2. How-to guides for topics in your niche.
  3. Infographics
  4. Video Tutorials


Franchise SEO helps your physical franchise store create an online presence and draw local customers to your shop and website as well.

However, generating localized content, avoiding duplicates, and maintaining brand consistency is essential to make your franchise SEO campaign successful.

You must follow all the eight valuable tips provided in this article for franchise SEO. Once you finish implementing all the techniques for local SEO for franchises, you can see the change in the number of customers visiting your brick-and-mortar franchise store.

However, you must keep in mind that any SEO campaign is a continuous process, and franchise SEO is no exception. Hence, you must perform technical SEO audits on your franchise website to identify if any new SEO issues have emerged. And choosing our SEO auditor for that purpose can make your life easier.

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