SEO for Franchise Owners: Using Local Directories with Centralized Brand Websites

by | Dec 3, 2013 | E-commerce, SEO, Web Development, Wordpress

Franchise Concept Illustration


Using Centralized Brand Websites in the Local Market

In the online marketplace, a franchisee’s challenge is to be on the first page of search engine result pages (SERPs). Every important keyword needs to rank, unlocking new sales and/or service leads. The question becomes, does the franchisee use the webpage provided on the centralized, branded website or go out and create a brand new site? When franchisees optimize the centralized branded website together, they create a strong web presence, making it harder for the competition to out-rank them organically. However, with the push toward a more mobile, local and social presence, can centralized, branded website remain competitive? Yes, they can.

Brand Websites and Local Directories: A Powerful Combination

When franchisees leverage the power of a centralized, branded website, local directories, and social media, they create a strong web presence. As the webpage ranks organically, local directories act as mini web pages, providing additional ways to attract searchers.

Local Directories

• Are index-able and found in the SERPs
• Provide a social presence in reviews, recommendations, and ratings
• Offer an avenue for creating deals and specials
• Supply pertinent information to searchers such as, address, phone number, hours of operation, etc.

Why is a local presence important? Just look at the statistics below.


How Using a Centralized Brand Website and Local Directories Help the Franchise Owner

Larger Web Presence

Keyword Insertion – When a franchise owner uses local directories, they have multiple opportunities to rank for a variety of keywords. By adding specific keywords to a targeted directory, the owner can determine where the traffic is coming from, how much traffic is generated by that directory, and how successful this keyword insertion is. Each directory can be targeted with a specific keyword to increase ranking within these directories. Additionally, these directories provide valuable links to the centralized webpage with these keywords, increasing the overall web presence for targeted keywords.

Geo-Specific Linking – By using a directory’s ability to geo-target a specific area, links from those directories help the centralized webpage to orient itself in the local market. If a franchise owner increases his directory link profile in a given city, then the webpage will show relevancy for that given city.

Demographics – Each local directory has a target demographic that they are trying to reach. If the franchise owner has the same demographic, using this directory will help the drive traffic to the website and generate leads from that directory. Links from this directory back to the webpage provides a strong, relevant link back to the website.

Increase Social Presence

Reviews – Positive interaction with the franchise brand is vital to success in the online market place. Local directories provide a place for positive rankings, reviews, and recommendations. Interlinking the webpage and a few chosen directories will increase reviews and relevancy.

Local Content – Because a franchise webpage may have a limited amount of space to add content, fresh, keyword rich content can be added to local directories, like Google Plus to increase brand interaction, potential keyword ranking, and the ever important authorship on Google. Content shared here can link back to the webpage, giving a better link profile and provides the franchise owner to share news and industry knowledge.

Generate Sales and/or Service Leads

Increase Traffic – local directories are searchable, meaning they show up on search engine results pages. Because people are searching for local businesses on the go with smartphones and tablets, directories are a great way to drive traffic to brick and mortar locations. More foot traffic means more sales.

Online Incentives – Many local directories understand that business owners use their services to drive traffic to brick and mortar locations. Therefore, they’ve created ways for franchise owners to drive traffic by incentivizing customers with online deals and specials. By providing a specific deal on one directory, the franchise owner can gauge the amount of traffic that the directory is generating. These sales can be for brick and mortars, but they can also be used for service area businesses, as well.

Viral Sharing – all content, deals and incentives provide opportunities for people to share this information with others. When one person shares, the business owner benefits because s/he gains a new customer. Happy new customers, tell other people spreading the brand awareness even farther.

The Result: A Stronger Brand

By using a centralized brand webpage and local directories, franchise owners can remain competitive in the online market. Using these directories in combination with a branded webpage, the owner is able to build his/her online reputation and brand, increase the website’s web presence, and to generate sales and/or service leads. By leveraging the power of local directories in a targeted, strategic approach the franchise owner is highly competitive in his/her market and the brand become more competitive overall.


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