Local SEO vs. Traditional SEO: Focus For Franchise Success

local seo vs traditional search engine optimization for franchises

In our digital-driven world, the heartbeat of any business, franchises included, is its online visibility. Imagine millions of eager customers scouring Google for the next best thing - your business needs to be in that spotlight. The magic wand here? Local and traditional SEO. Let's dive deeper into this digital realm. 

Understanding Local SEO 

Local SEO for franchises is a specialized branch of search engine optimization that focuses on improving a business's visibility in local search results. It is especially essential for franchise businesses with multiple locations. Here is why localization on search engines matters for franchisors and franchisees: 

1. Location-Based Keyword Optimization 

Local SEO involves optimizing your website and online presence with location-specific keywords. This means incorporating phrases like "best coffee shop in [city]" or "top pizza place near [location]" into your content. By doing so, you can target potential customers who are actively searching for products or services in their vicinity. 

2. Google My Business (GMB) 

One of the most critical aspects of Local SEO is setting up and optimizing your Google My Business listing. When users search for businesses on Google, GMB listings appear prominently in search results, providing essential information like your address, phone number, hours of operation, and customer reviews. Ensuring your GMB listing is accurate and up-to-date can significantly boost your online visibility. 

3. Online Reviews And Ratings 

Local SEO also emphasizes the importance of online reviews and ratings. Positive reviews and high ratings can improve your business's credibility and attract more customers. Conversely, negative reviews can harm the reputation of most franchises. Managing and responding to reviews is an integral part of Local SEO. 

The Essence Of Traditional SEO 

Traditional SEO, on the other hand, has a broader focus and is not location-specific. It aims to improve a website's overall visibility in search engine results pages (SERPs) and attract organic traffic from across the web. Let's delve into the key aspects of Traditional SEO: 

1. Content Optimization 

Traditional SEO primarily revolves around content optimization. This includes keyword research, creating high-quality and relevant content, and optimizing on-page elements like titles, meta descriptions, and headers. By optimizing content for search engines, your website can rank higher for a wide range of keywords related to your industry. 

2. Backlinks And Domain Authority 

Backlinks, or inbound links from other websites to yours, are a crucial factor in Traditional SEO. Quality backlinks can boost your website's authority and trustworthiness in the eyes of search engines. Building a strong backlink profile takes time and effort but can pay off with higher rankings. 

3. Technical SEO 

Technical SEO involves optimizing the technical aspects of your website, such as site speed, mobile- friendliness, and structured data markup. These optimizations ensure that search engines can crawl and index your site effectively, leading to better rankings. 

The Battle: Local SEO vs. Traditional SEO 

Now that we understand the basic concepts of Local SEO and Traditional SEO, let's compare the two approaches and discuss why focus is essential for franchise success. 

1. Target Audience 

Local SEO is highly effective for businesses that primarily serve a local or regional customer base. For franchises with physical locations, like restaurants, retail stores, or service centers, targeting a local audience is crucial. Traditional SEO, on the other hand, can be beneficial for franchises looking to expand their reach beyond their immediate vicinity. 

2. Competition 

The level of competition in your industry and location also plays a significant role in deciding your SEO strategy. In highly competitive markets, Local SEO can help you stand out by focusing on a niche audience within your locality. Traditional SEO may be more appropriate for industries with broader appeal and less localized competition. 

3. Resource Allocation 

Resource allocation is another critical factor to consider. Local SEO often requires less effort and resources compared to Traditional SEO, making it an attractive option for franchise businesses with limited budgets. However, if you have the resources to invest in Traditional SEO, it can yield long-term benefits by expanding your reach nationally or even internationally. 

4. Brand Consistency 

Maintaining brand consistency across multiple franchise locations is essential for building trust and recognition among customers. Local SEO allows you to create individualized online profiles for each location, ensuring that the branding and messaging align with the specific community and audience. Traditional SEO may pose challenges in maintaining this level of consistency. 

The Hybrid Approach: When Both Worlds Collide 

While Local SEO and Traditional SEO have their distinct advantages, some franchises opt for a hybrid approach that combines elements of both strategies. This approach can be highly effective in certain situations: 

1. Multi-Location Franchises 

Franchises with numerous locations can benefit from a hybrid approach. Local SEO can be implemented to optimize each location's online presence, while Traditional SEO strategies can be applied at the corporate level to improve the overall brand's visibility. 

2. Diverse Product Or Service Offerings 

If your franchise offers a range of products or services that appeal to both local and national audiences, a hybrid approach may be the way to go. Local SEO can be used to target local customers, while Traditional SEO can capture the attention of a broader audience. 

3. Expanding Horizons 

Franchise businesses with plans for expansion beyond their current locations can use Traditional SEO to prepare for future growth. By optimizing the corporate website for a wider reach, you can establish a strong online presence before opening new locations. 


In the constantly shifting world of digital marketing, SEO stands as a steadfast pillar for the online triumph of franchise businesses. Be it Local SEO, Traditional SEO, or a blend of both, the secret sauce is to tailor your approach to fit your franchise's aspirations and assets.

Official Bootstrap Business Blog Newest Posts From Mike Schiemer Partners And News Outlets