In today’s digital age, maintaining an online presence is essential for any business, especially for franchises. Google Business Profiles (formerly known as Google My Business) play a crucial role in how potential customers find and engage with businesses. For franchises, managing Google Business Profiles efficiently and effectively is key to attracting customers and driving success. Today, we’re going to explore the best practices for managing Google Business Profiles for franchises.
Consistency is Key
Firstly and very importantly, you should maintain a consistent brand image across all franchise locations. We have seen many examples of where a franchisee has set up their own Google Business Profile and shortened the name, changed it slightly or even added keywords into the name. Ensuring that there is full clarity within how franchisees present themselves across all marketing is important. The business name, address, phone number, website, hours of operation, and other essential information need to be accurate and uniform across all Google Business Profiles. This consistency builds trust and helps potential customers easily recognise and connect with your brand. It also shows other potential franchisees that you have a strong and consistent brand.
Claim and Verify Each Location
Next, you want to ensure that each franchise location is claimed and verified on Google. This process authenticates the ownership of the business and allows you to manage and update information effectively. Make sure you verify your profile as well as this will make it more likely to appear in local search results, increasing visibility to potential customers in the area.
Optimise Profile Information
Providing detailed and relevant information about each franchise location improves the chances of ranking higher in Google Maps and makes it easier for customers to find out information about their closest location. Utilise the “From the business” section to describe services, specialisations, or any unique offerings of that particular location. Add high-quality images showcasing the franchise’s ambience, products, and services to attract and engage potential customers.
Manage Reviews Responsively
Encourage franchisee owners to monitor and respond to reviews promptly, no matter whether they are positive or negative as it is always best to respond. It’s always best to encourage customers to leave positive reviews, but even if a negative review is left, address it in a professional and empathetic manner. Engaging with customers shows that you value their feedback and are dedicated to providing excellent customer service. Remember, maintaining a positive online reputation is vital for attracting new customers.
Utilise Google Posts
Leverage Google Posts to share updates, promotions, events, and other important information about the business and individual franchises. Posts appear in the knowledge panel, enhancing the visibility of the profile and providing additional opportunities to engage with your audience.
Implement Local SEO Strategies
Incorporate relevant keywords and phrases in the business description and posts to enhance local search visibility. Tailoring the content to match local search intent increases the likelihood of potential customers finding and choosing your franchise location.
Monitor Performance and Insights
Regularly review the performance and insights provided by Google Business Profiles. Analyse data on views, searches, calls, and actions taken by users. Use these insights to make informed decisions, adjust your strategy, and improve each franchise’s online presence.
Train Staff for Online Interaction
Educate franchise staff on how to handle online enquiries, reviews, and feedback effectively. Providing excellent customer service online is as important as it is offline and contributes to a positive brand image. It also shows that your franchisees are well supported and trained and not just left to get on with it.
Encourage customers to engage with your franchise by leaving reviews, asking questions, and following your Google Business Profile. A highly engaged profile is more likely to attract attention and improve search rankings.
Managing Google Business Profiles for a franchise requires a strategic and consistent approach. By following these best practices, you’ll enhance the online presence of your franchise, attract more customers, and ultimately drive business growth. Stay proactive, engaged, and attentive to customer needs to make the most of this powerful tool for franchise success.