Franchise website question..one or many?

by Kpick
2 replies
  • SEO
  • |
Hi All,
I have an interesting question for the collective. We are developing a website network for a national franchisor.
Right now they have 40 franchisees in 40 different cities.


For SEO do you think we should have 40 separate sites with local keyword in the domain (i.e. keyword-city.com) and make each site its own stand alone site?
Or should they keep all sites under one master domain with a sub page (i.e. ClientName-keyword-city.com).
Here are a couple of points:

1. . All of their main keywords triggers a local search.
2. The franchisor wants complete control over all sites
3. Will each site need complete new content?
4. Any ideals on boosting our local SEO results?

Thanks in advance for any advise
#franchise #questionone #website
  • Profile picture of the author Gareth Mailer
    Originally Posted by Kpick View Post

    Hi All,
    I have an interesting question for the collective. We are developing a website network for a national franchisor.
    Right now they have 40 franchisees in 40 different cities.


    For SEO do you think we should have 40 separate sites with local keyword in the domain (i.e. keyword-city.com) and make each site its own stand alone site?
    Or should they keep all sites under one master domain with a sub page (i.e. ClientName-keyword-city.com).
    Here are a couple of points:

    1. . All of their main keywords triggers a local search.
    2. The franchisor wants complete control over all sites
    3. Will each site need complete new content?
    4. Any ideals on boosting our local SEO results?

    Thanks in advance for any advise
    Definitely all on the same site. I work with two major franchisors in the UK, I also worked with quite a few when I was an account manager i.e. when I was miserably employed - I've seen both approaches being utilised, so I can say categorically to always try, wherever possible and where brand considerations allow, to keep everything on the same site.

    1. For an exact match domain to work, it has to match the keyword precisely - typically, only .com, .net, .org, .co.uk and .org.uk will work (in the UK). Having a hyphen in there, or anything else other than the keyword, will mitigate the boost.

    2. By putting everything on separate sites you are simply diluting link value/authority between 40 sites - you also have 40 rounds of link building/maintenance to do, and typically the additional chore of having to create franchisee specific content for each 'about us'/'contact us' page etc. By having everything on one domain, ALL pages stand to benefit from the injection of authority into the site (obviously through links).

    3. Remember, even generic terms can be localised now, too - for example, searching for "swimming lessons" which sitting at a computer in London will produce markedly different results to searching for "swimming lessons" while sitting at a computer in Manchester. Take a look at AdPreview and search for some of the more generic search terms your client wants to target - this may be one reason to create microsites for some franchisees who are serving wider locations with more search volume i.e. have the location in the domain name, and optimise for visibility around generic keywords in that location. Check AdPreview.

    4. You have more control if everything is on the same site - franchisees can be a bit unruly, sometimes need to reign them in

    5. To make life easier, I would also recommend setting up specific guidelines for each of the franchisees i.e. Google Places optimisation, Analytics tracking (set up separate profiles and track the specific subirectory) and potentially link building to their specific section of the website (and subsequently bolstering your efforts in the process ).

    p.s. yes, all sites will need completely unique content - ideally, at a bare minimum, about 200-300 words per page.
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