As a small to mid-size franchising company trying to grab leads online, you know how hard it can be to push yourself to the top of search engine results.
With prospective franchise owners turning to the web more than any other source to find the right opportunity, getting yourself noticed in search engine results is key.
Google is constantly changing the way it ranks search engine listings, but each change they make underscores a very obvious goal: Websites that stay relevant with great content get to shine at the top.
“Relevant” in this case means two things:
- The content is fresh and pertinent
- New content is being posted regularly
Putting in the effort to create great franchise web content isn’t only about capturing valuable real estate on search engine results. After all, what good is a first page Google listing if there’s nothing to keep visitors on your site once they get there?
While the franchise SEO component of your content strategy relates first and foremost to driving traffic, your content needs to be compelling enough to turn prospects into leads you can manage more closely.
How do you create relevant content? Identify the topics that most interest your prospective customers and find out what they want to know about them.
Here's how to do that.
Identify your ideal prospect
To begin with, focus on identifying which segment of your audience are most likely to convert into a customer or franchisee—your ideal prospect.
It can be helpful to write a profile of your ideal customer and a profile of your ideal franchisee. We call these buyer personas.
These write-ups contain key information about the characteristics and motivations of these audience segments, and can help remind your team who they're addressing in marketing copy or during sales calls.
Start by asking these questions to describe the kind of person most likely to take the next step in the sales cycle:
- What are their interests both personally and professionally?
- What’s their professional background?
- What kind of lifestyle do they typically have?
- What’s their income level?
- what motivates them?
- Common sales objections?
Questions like these can help you capture your target audience down on paper so your whole team can get aligned. Get more tips for making your franchise buyer personas.
Now that you've clarified who you want to attract to your site, you can research what interests them.
Franchise blog topics to inform and convert
Start thinking of your blog as a place to share insights about your industry aimed specifically at your typical franchise prospect.
To reach these prospects, you'll need to find out what information they are already seeking.
Since this is going to look different from franchise to franchise, rather than simply providing a list of one-size-fits-all topics (although we will mention a few later), we're going to give you tips on how to find irresistible ones tailored to your audience yourself.
Here are some good sources to look for topic inspiration:
- FAQs: Examine form submission and chatbot data and ask your sales and customer service teams what questions they receive regularly or what your customers and prospects don't seem to understand. Questions with more complex answers could make great blog posts.
- Keywords: If you're comfortable doing so, in the performance tab of Google Search Console, look at "queries": these are the search terms people have used to find you already. Look for any topics you can elaborate on. You can also try doing keyword research to find relevant topics you aren't appearing for (yet).
- Search results: type generically relevant topics, such as your products or services, into Google. Look at the autofill results (in the search bar's drop down as you are typing), any "People Also Ask" results, and "Related Searches" on the bottom of the first page.
- Competitors: If they have content on their site, what are your direct competitors writing about? Maybe you can address the same topic even better.
- Surveys: Send a survey to your email or newsletter list to ask them directly about burning questions
- Webinars: Put together a webinar where visitors are invited to submit questions for you to answer live.
- Industry articles and studies about buyer behavior: These can include insights into what is important to your target audience and their potential blindspots (read: opportunities for education)
Cover the basics
Additionally, there are some topics that don't require research at all. These are universal FAQ topics addressing questions that most prospects have across industries:
- Your pricing & cost
- Problems with your product or service
- Reviews of your product or service
- Your product/service vs. competitors
- Which solutions to their problem are best
Plus a couple franchise-specific ones:
- Common misconceptions about your industry
- Qualities that typically make up a successful franchisee
We hope these ideas help you to get off the ground running. Identifying topics that interest your target audience and delivering them in a satisfying way is half the battle in getting found in search results. Combine that with conversion optimization and you're off to a strong start.
Want to learn more about getting your franchise opportunity found online? We've created an SEO guide just for franchises.
Topics: Strategic Blogging