First off, before we talk about how to set up a Google Business Profile (GBP) for your franchise business, let’s talk about jus thow critical an optimization GBP is.
Why a Google Business Profile is Crucial for Franchises
If you think your GBP is just one more thing you need to manage that doesn’t actually matter all that much, think again. Turns out, it’s the top factor driving local search these days. That means when you have a multi-location business, each location needs an outstanding profile.
Regardless of the industry your franchise operates in, whether it’s a restaurant, retail store, fitness center, or service provider, a Google Business Profile (GBP) is an indispensable tool. A strong GBP enhances your franchise visibility but also serves as a virtual gateway for potential customers seeking information about your business.
From essential details like operating hours, location, and contact information to reviews, photos, and even a direct link to the franchise’s website, a well-optimized Google Business Profile offers a comprehensive snapshot of what the franchise offers. In an era where consumers rely heavily on online information to make purchasing decisions, having an up-to-date and engaging Google Business Profile is more than a marketing strategy – it’s a necessity for franchise businesses to thrive in the competitive landscape.
And how well you optimize your profile — per location — can make a measurable difference in search rankings and conversions. If you can properly set up your Google Business Profile, it’ll be sure to help you accomplish two important goals: improve your local search ranking and increase customer conversions.
Setting Up a Google Business Profile for Franchises: Step 1 — Bulk Up
Managing multiple GBPs for multiple locations is much, much easier when you get a bulk verified account through Google. This allows you to add, verify, and update locations at scale.
Here are some important things to know when setting up a bulk verified account:
- The primary owner of the bulk account needs to be the same for all locations (you can’t have multiple primary bulk account owners). The owner requesting the account needs to have an email address with the business’s domain to verify their connection to the business.
- You can organize it so that individual store managers can access and manage their own individual GBPs, if you choose.
- Google may request photos that show external signage for some locations to verify your business.
- Make sure to include a page on your website that lists every location and includes the correct address and phone number for each.
- If you have any duplicate locations listed, remove those.
- Google will ask for unique store codes for each location, but this is for organization purposes only and doesn’t impact search rankings.
Not sure how to set up a bulk account? Go here for step-by-step support.
When you’re able to easily set up and manage multiple business locations, then you have more bandwidth to focus on optimizations.
Setting Up a Google Business Profile for Franchises: Step 2 — Add Details
Pick your business categories
First determine the primary keyword you want to rank for, then choose the primary business category that most closely matches that keyword. The more specific you can get, the better.
Once you have your primary category locked down, add more categories so you can rank for each of those too. And if you’re not sure what to add, check out what your competitors have selected. There are a few tools you can use to dig into the keywords and categories of your competitors.
Bonus tip: If there are seasonal changes in the products or services you sell, try changing your primary category to reflect those changes. For example, if you have a plumbing business, you could change to “frost-proof faucets and spigots” in the fall and “leak detection and repair” in the spring. However, it’s a good idea not to change your primary category more than once a week to avoid raising red flags with Google.
Select predefined services
In the services section of your GBP, there’s an option to select predefined services. Check off all that apply to your business so you can start ranking well for those terms.
Another way to rank is when you include attributes of the business owner or the business itself. These can include things like “Black-owned business,” “women-owned business,” and many more. That way, if a potential customer is searching for those specific terms, your business has a greater chance of showing up higher in the search results.
Optimizing Your GBP for Multi-Locations & Franchises
Then Get More Reviews
You may be aware that your star rating and the number of reviews you have can definitely impact search rankings. This is true across every location you have under your franchise business. But getting reviews across locations at scale can be challenging — this is where GatherUp can help.
GatherUp’s platform simplifies the review management process for you — allowing you to easily and efficiently gather, monitor, and respond to feedback and reviews and use them to inform your marketing campaigns (including SMS (or text) marketing), engage with customers, and improve the overall customer experience.
The platform also allows you to set appropriate user permissions to suit your organization’s needs. You can create multiple users and assign them access to certain locations — or all locations — empowering local teams to handle review management, or your corporate team to take charge.
To learn more about how GatherUp can support your franchise business, schedule a demo.