For many entrepreneurs, franchise businesses and network marketing companies end up being a win-win opportunity: you get to be your own boss and can also lean on an established, successful business structure to create your own profitable enterprise.
That said, there are also potential pitfalls that both types of businesses face. One such issue is that Search Engine Optimization can be much more challenging in ways than for an evergreen business entrepreneur.
Here’s how SEO can be a problem for business franchises and network marketing entrepreneurs.
You don’t own your website.
As a franchise or a network marketing entrepreneur, you are more than likely provided with a website through your corporate entity. While that’s helpful at the get-go – you don’t have to worry about paying for or creating your website! – it can be detrimental for your business long-term.
For many franchises and networking marketing companies, you might have a web domain at location.mycompany.com or nicki.networkingmarketingcompany.com.
The one SEO benefit you’ll gain here is that the domain authority and incoming links to the root domain (the corporate URL) will help your website. Outside of that, you’ll probably be very restricted.
You can’t edit your website.
When you don’t own your website, you also likely don’t control it. That means you probably cannot add, change, or alter content easily. (In our experience working with franchise entities, business owners have to contact the corporate web design contractor to make any changes, which also have to pass through rounds of approvals first.)
We get it: your corporate headquarters wants to maintain brand cohesion and a certain level of professionalism in all entities. That’s great. But it won’t help you when it comes time to optimize, edit, or add content to your website.
You’re competing with duplicate content.
The last major SEO issue for franchises and network marketing professionals is that you’re competing with the other franchises in your organization. How? Duplicate content.
You likely have customized content to the point of your location. Beyond that, however, your content is the same as everyone else’s.
This is a problem when it comes to the search engines because they don’t like showing searchers multiple versions of the same site. So what do they do? They choose one to show. That could be the next franchise down the street; and not your website.
Bonus: How to succeed with SEO as a Franchise
So what’s a franchise owner or network marketer to do?
Get help from corporate.
Hopefully, your corporate headquarters is aware of the issues above and even more so, we hope they’re doing something about it.
If they are giving you unique SEO opportunities (such as content editing and customization opportunities) take advantage today. Do not wait.
If corporate doesn’t keep SEO top of mind, do your due diligence and reach out…then follow the next tips.
Create your own content.
Ok, so your website isn’t editable past what corporate allows you to change. Luckily, that’s not your only choice for content creation and optimization on the web.
Depending on your company bylaws, you probably have the ability to own your own social media accounts, blog (on a separate domain), email newsletter, and other content forms. Take advantage and own your space.
Claim your local business listings.
Since it’s all about location, it’s critical that you own your location and gain positive reviews there.
This means claiming your location on Google, Yelp, TripAdvisor, and any other applicable site; as well as Facebook and any niche sites that will make sense for your business.
All SEO hope isn’t lost for franchises and networking marketing professionals. Take the time to put your optimization efforts in the right places and you’ll still see success online.
Ready to take advantage of digital marketing for your franchise or network marketing business? Check out this post!
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