5 Things Your Franchise Can Do Right Now to Improve SEO

5 Things Your Franchise Can Do Right Now to Improve SEO

Franchise SEO tips are everywhere, but many are complex or long-term tactics. If you’d rather jump in and take quick action, we’ve put together five things your franchise can do right now to improve SEO, or search engine optimization, right away.

SEO Action items to send to your digital marketing team: 

  1. Fix your top speed issues.
  2. Optimize your server setup.
  3. Boost content on the verge of success.
  4. Add strategic internal links.
  5. Evaluate underperforming content.

Let’s start with your website’s speed. Google prefers websites that deliver a better experience for search engine users, and since the 2015 mobile-friendly update, speed has been a top factor for their algorithm.

Fix Your Top Speed Issues

Websites have grown more complex, so it can be tricky to address speed problems. But there’s a terrific tool for identifying speed issues and their degree of impact on your site.

  1. Go to Page Speed Insights and enter your franchise’s URL. You should get results in about two minutes. (Note that these are page speed insights, not site speed insights, so they can change from one day to another and from one page to the next.)
  2. Beneath your performance metrics, you’ll see an “opportunities” section listing improvements you can make along with “estimated savings” in load time.
  3. Talk to your developer about tackling these issues, prioritizing whatever will deliver the biggest improvement.
  4. After each fix, go back to Page Speed Insights to see the difference.
  5. Check multiple pages to discover any sitewide issues.

Note: What may seem like a small issue summarized in one line of text can actually be complex to remedy. Give your developer the time they need and consider pacing your to-do list if your resources are limited.

Optimize Your Server Setup

This one’s easy. It’s a service called a content delivery network (CDN). CDN uses servers that are geographically distributed so anyone accessing your site will be connected with a server that’s physically nearby — and therefore, more responsive.

You might find CDN on your hosting company’s website as an add-on, or you can ask if they have any integrated options that are ready to go. If necessary, you can choose from a number of CDN service providers. You probably won’t need to migrate your website to another host to get CDN.

If you don’t have the resources to make the upgrade now, you can at least verify that your site is being hosted on a server within the same country as your customers. All you need to do is make a call. (This is the only SEO tactic that’s almost as easy as ordering a pizza.)

“If Google’s users like you, Google’s algorithm will like you, too.” – Anonymous 

Enough about speed; let’s talk about content.

Boost Content on the Verge of Success

This is one of the few tactics where you can get lucky and unlock a ton of traffic quickly.

You probably already have a list of keywords you want your franchise to rank for. If your content is showing up on the first page of results, then great job! But your best opportunity lies in tweaking the content showing up on page two. Depending on the competitiveness of the keyword, you might be able to dig into data that’s been stuck on the second page and earn new organic traffic.

So how do you do this? It starts with a little light keyword research and assessing the data you already have.

  1. Log into the Google Search Console and look under “Performance” on the left-hand side of the screen for the feature called “search results” (with a fancy modern “G” logo next to it).
  2. Sort the queries by impressions and see which keywords are ranking the highest in search engine results.
  3. When you see a word with potential value ranking between position 10 and 19, click it to peek at which page is ranked for that word. Now you know which page needs to be expanded upon.
  4. Reach out to your writer and ask them to take that page to the next level.

Pro tip: If you need hints on how to expand on certain keywords, check out the suggestions in the pages ranked 1–9 on the search results page.

Add Strategic Internal Links

You don’t have to commit to a total content marketing campaign or a full website architecture restructure to benefit more from the content you’ve already created. You can build semi-optimized groupings of content called “clusters” by adding internal links. Here’s how:

  1. Gather all your content and see if you have a batch of posts that relate in some way to a particular page.
  2. Go into each post and verify that it contains a link pointing to the main post on that subject.

The main post is called “cornerstone content” and it should be lengthy, covering more than just the surface levels of the topic. Cornerstone content will also serve as a critical part of your site’s structure when you’re ready to redesign.

Evaluate Your Underperforming Content

If you have a blog with more than 100 posts, this one’s for you. It’s simple if you use a content management system (CMS) like WordPress. The goal is to remove anything that’s not helpful or engaging while making sure any lack of engagement isn’t due to your site’s design.

  1. Look for anything with a previous year in the title. If it can’t be revised to be evergreen, it probably needs to go.
  2. Remove any duplicate content.
  3. Go to your analytics platform and see which blogs have a low number of views or clicks in the last two years.
  4. Evaluate how relevant your low-performing content is today. If it’s still relevant, find a way to make it accessible within two or three clicks.
  5. Make a note to remember the change during future analysis.
  6. Resubmit your updated page to Google and give it six months to see if engagement improves. If it doesn’t, you may want to add the best info to another post or remove it entirely.

The best SEO improvements are the ones you can accomplish — and the quicker, the better. We hope these five tips help your franchise website get discovered by more people in less time.