Let’s get caught up. Last week, we started discussing a question from Amy Diamond Ray, of Johnson County Chem-Dry
that I think is worth addressing in the Digital Minute. She said (in part),
“Can you put out some information on how franchises can help other franchises using social media networking? …What helps most, as far as improving my google ratings while also improving the ratings of my fellow zees? Links? How and where is the best place, or way, to create Links with other sites within our chemdry family? Tags? Does it do any good to tag another franchise in my posts? Or In my comments?
“I see that Links and link structure are important, but can you explain where and how to get those links on a level that the franchises can understand? It seems we have a large base of franchise business sites that should be able to really help each other if they understood better just how to do that.
“I want to know what I can do on Facebook? On Instagram? Twitter? Google+/GMB? LinkedIn? Pinterest? Blogger? Tumblr? If I hashtag another franchise in the comments, does it help them at all?”
We discussed last week how being a part of the network is a great advantage that you should use. This week, we’ll cover Part 2:
1) You’re part of a network. USE IT.
2) “Think before you link.” (I like that, I might trademark it.)
3) Look at the big picture.
Let’s do this.
2) “Think Before You Link”
Links are funny things. Search Engine Optimization as it pertains to local service area businesses is more than just making your website attractive to Google. It is about making your website very user-friendly, but it’s also about forming connections all around the web. The more websites that link to yours (organically), the better recognized your website will be. That’s why there’s so much importance on having your name, address, and phone number (NAP) consistently listed across the Internet (this is how companies like Yext or Moz.com are helpful).
The types of links that you can provide to other franchises might be somewhat helpful, but what will be more helpful is getting links from other local businesses. For instance, local news network directories, notable establishments like universities, libraries, the BBB, and other municipalities.
Links also have to be done in such a way that it doesn’t come off to Google as “stuffing” which will get you blacklisted and makes it so you’re basically in Internet jail. You won’t get any attention from Google after that point. It’s a lot harder than it sounds, which is why it’s best left to accomplished vendors.
If you’re wondering how sharing other franchisees’ links on social media will help them, see last week’s entry.
Links are one of the most important aspects of SEO, BUT it has to be done correctly. Remember the following principles:
- Links have to be relevant: to your industry, your area, and your customers.
- Links need to be prominent. They need to come from websites that are either well ranked themselves or otherwise authoritative with regards to Google. An SEO’s specialty is finding those places to be listed.