Today, the biggest online marketing challenge for local businesses is not putting up a website, it’s knowing what else needs to be established online to give the business total ownership of their local online presence.
Franchise businesses that have the power of corporate branding and messaging have a definite advantage, but they must evolve beyond providing their franchisees with a stock landing page hanging off the corporate URL with the only differences being name, address, and phone number.
Here are 11 things national brands can provide their local representatives to enable them to create a comprehensive local marketing presence as defined in Local SEO – Owning Your Local Online Presence:
- Ditch the landing page and give reps the ability to register their own domain on a simple hosting account and install WordPress with a single click
- Provide a branded WordPress theme that can be installed and easily customized with local imagery either taken by the rep or provided through a royalty-free repository
- Distribute a recommended site map and keyword-rich seed content so reps know what needs to be included on their site
- Publish a list of relevant blog topics with examples of how they can be used during different times of the year — the same topic can often be used in June and January, but with slight alterations due to the season
- Give instructions on how to claim and complete Google Places and Bing profiles for maximum visibility for specific searches
- Provide a list of recommended local profile sites like Yelp, MerchantCircle, and Manta where the rep can publish an online business listing
- Distribute a walk-through of how to create a Facebook page, Twitter account, and LinkedIn profile to build out a presence in social media
- Teach reps how to create a Google Analytics account and implement tracking on their website
- Create training on getting started using social networks, getting followers, and posting non-salesy, value-added updates
- Develop email auto responder capabilities that can be plugged into rep websites to nurture leads into prospects
- Provide reps with customizable presentations that can be used for webinars for local prospects
Ultimately, a successful local online presence that captures leads and converts them to prospects requires technology, content, process, and training. Armed with knowing exactly what they need to do, local reps can do some of the pieces themselves or can easily turn to their nephew, assistant, or an outsourcer who will have a specific playbook to follow.
Not knowing what needs to be done is what prevents many local business owners from establishing a successful local online presence, but a national brand has the resources to create and maintain the online marketing guidelines that will help their revenue generators be successful.
What else can national brands do to connect to a local presence?
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