Improve SEO to Get Better Leads
February 26, 2015 by: Bob Sheehan

Improve SEO to Get Better LeadsFor small and mid-sized businesses, there are hundreds of ways to spend your marketing budget. You could hire a public relations firm, buy commercial space, or even invest heavily in social media ads.

But don’t forget about search engine optimization (SEO), which is completely free! Google handles 3.3 billion search queries every day, and if your business can secure one of the top spots on the search results page, you’ll be reaching more leads than you could imagine.

Although there may be some upfront costs to optimizing your website for search engines, such as hiring experts and upgrading your website, there are generally no ongoing expenses. In some cases, businesses that produce a high-quality, original article or blog post will see their website in Google’s top spot for several years.

It’s Easier Than You Think

The principles of effective SEO may be simpler than you think. It’s all about finding keywords that are relevant to your business. After you’ve identified the keywords that consumers are using to find your business, you can include them in blog posts and website content that is intended to engage, inform, and entertain your customers.

When you provide content that is designed to benefit your customers, your SEO will naturally improve. If your website produces high-quality content on a regular basis, Google will begin to recognize your website as an expert in your industry, and it will reward you with a better search ranking.

Learn more about content creation and how it affects your company’s SEO.

Use Links Strategically

Another way to boost your SEO is to use links strategically. Although marketers may be tempted to link to several websites from their own, it’s best to limit the number of these links. When you provide links to too many websites, your bounce rate is likely to increase, which hurts your search engine ranking.

Your Long-Term SEO Strategy

Although SEO is a powerful tool for local internet marketers, don’t expect instant results. Once you have taken steps to enhance your website, it will take a few months for Google and other search engines to crawl your website in search of new content. See our Google Magnet Handbook to learn more.

The Bottom Line

SEO should be part of your long-term marketing strategy. By posting new content frequently, search engines will get the message that your company is credible.

Once you start improving your SEO, the effects will continue for years to come. Advertising campaigns, by comparison, can be effective, but only in the short term.



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National-to-Local Franchise Lead Generation
February 24, 2015 by: Chris Marentis

National-to-Local Franchise Lead Generation

Now that there are so many local franchises promoting their business online, it’s becoming more difficult than ever to stand out amongst the crowd. That’s why it’s critical for franchises to develop an effective local internet marketing strategy, and an important part of that strategy is search engine optimization.

Create Unique Content

If you’re looking to make your franchise get noticed, the first step is to create unique content for each specific franchise location. While all of your local pages should contain the keyword along with the location, it’s important to remember that Google and other search engines punish websites with duplicate content, so you need to make sure each web page on your domain is original. In other words, you can’t use the same content for each local page and change out the location data.

If you need help getting started with website content, find out more about content creation.

Maximize Your AdWords Potential with SEM Landing Pages

If you are one of several franchise locations in a geographic area, you may want to work with other franchises to create landing pages for your entire metro area. Otherwise, you may be limited to targeting consumers in a five- or ten-mile radius. Although it’s generally beneficial to target consumers as narrowly as possible, a smaller radius can leave out some potential customers who are searching for businesses from work.

By widening your SEM, or search engine marketing, landing page to a wider geographic area, you can reach more consumers. If you include a list of more specific geographic areas, consumers will be inclined to click on the location that’s closest to them.

Local Strategy, seo Advertise and SponsorshipGet Franchise Owners Involved

To build more local relevance, you might also want to get franchise owners and store managers involved in the process of creating and maintaining a local franchise web page. Make sure you’re capitalizing on your local franchise marketing efforts by using your franchise’s landing page to highlight local promotions and current events.

To differentiate yourself from other franchises, you might also want to include a photo of your franchise location on your landing page. That way, consumers might be more likely to identify your franchise location and eventually become loyal customers.

Although it takes some effort to stand out among many other franchises, it is worthwhile to use smart SEO tactics to build your local customer base and increase brand loyalty.


How do you get your franchise to break through all the online noise to find customers at the local level?




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Employee Advocacy
February 23, 2015 by: Glen Hellman

Employee Advocacy

It’s as old a story as the birds and the bees, yet adapted for the Zoors and the Zees. The number 1 priority of an entrepreneur for starting a business is to feed the family. I know, I know not an earth shattering revelation.

Now this is where I’m going to apply some radically, novel thinking so hold on to your seats! A franchise needs to turn a profit if the franchisee is going to feed the family. According to what I picked up 30 years ago in my undergraduate Accounting 101 course I’m going to theorize that profits require either revenue or alchemy and since we can’t count on a predictable alchemic profit system we’re going to have to depend on that pesky revenue thing.

There are no happier Zees than those that are swimming in the kind of profits that can provide security for a family and there is no better path to profit than selling more stuff. Happy selling Zees are the Zoors and Zees equivalent of the loving birds and bees.

Most franchises are smart, hardworking, subject matter experts and solid business people. They can sell, they can build stuff, they can do stuff yet few have a Harvard Master’s Degree in Marketing. Few have the time to even think about lead generation or afford to build a marketing department.

Twenty years ago marketing was a simple formula and the landscape changed at a glacial pace. Today, thanks or maybe not thanks, but due to the Internet, change now takes place at Internet fast speeds.  New social media platforms, changes in Google search algorithms, changes in consumer behavior in how consumers  gather information, how they research, what devices they use for search…it’s a tornado of changing winds. It is more than a full time job to keep up with the tactics necessary to beat the other guy who’s scooping up your leads, much less execute an effective, integrated digital marketing plan.

These factors are creating an ever increasing gap between what is required to be found, heard and trusted on the web and a franchiser’s ability to execute a lead generation engine. This gap is costing your brand money, and maybe franchises.

In these changing times, smart franchisers find ways to effectively educate and introduce their franchisees to the tools required to succeed in the digital marketing arms race. Through well thought out programs, proving the value of smart digital marketing, and devising cost-effective, ROI-driven, tactics that require little investment, effort or mindshare of the franchise owner.

So Zoors, how can you help your franchises design a “no-brainer” (not because they don’t have brains but because they don’t have enough brain cycles or manpower), fire-and-forget weapon to win that war?

At Surefire Social, we apply integrated technology solutions and marketing talent to build and maintain the programs needed to ensure that your Zees are happy franchisees. We want the next call the Zoor gets from their Zee is a birds and bees-like thank you.

Contact us to find out how we’ve successfully implemented local campaigns for national brands whose success is on the sales success of network of local independent dealers, resellers and franchises.



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The Importance of a Dashboard
February 20, 2015 by: Sean Kidder

The Importance of a Dashboard

Most local internet marketing professionals are involved in a variety of projects, from social media to print ads to special events. Despite all this activity, it can be difficult for your company’s owners and managers to understand what their marketers are doing and how their actions are affecting the bottom line.

View a Snapshot of Your Performance

Thanks to a well-organized dashboard, however, your company’s executives can see a snapshot of your marketing strategy. With an at-a-glance look at your performance, everyone is able to recognize strengths and weaknesses in your marketing plan so that you can continue to improve.

Use Data to Make Smarter Business Decisions

Businesses can also use this information to forecast their growth and make business decisions accordingly. For instance, if your marketing dashboard shows that your small business is picking up a larger share of the market in a particular geographic area, your company’s leaders may consider opening a new shop in that area.

Why It Pays to Automate

If you had to compile a marketing performance report every time your company’s CEO asked for one, you would spend a large portion of your time gathering, organizing, and sharing information. When you can automate your marketing, all of your marketing channels—such as email, social media, and print advertising—can be managed in one place. Thankfully, there is no shortage of tools that enable marketers to streamline their processes.

The more you automate the marketing and sales process, the better you’ll know each prospective customer. When you can reach out to a customer who is already interested in what your company has to offer, there’s no need for cold calling, which is often unsuccessful—and uncomfortable.

Not only that, but you can also use marketing automation to better serve your current customers. Many companies use online dashboards to respond more efficiently to customer issues.

Save Time and Money

For busy marketers, managing multiple social media accounts can occupy a large portion of their workday. That’s why many companies use software to help them manage their social media accounts. Posts and updates can be scheduled in advance and customized for each social media network. By spending less time on day-to-day management, you can spend more time improving your local social media marketing strategy.


While some of the automation software that’s on the market may seem pricey, the right software could prove invaluable to your company and could easily pay for itself. Check with your IT department before purchasing any software to make sure it’s compatible with the other tools your company uses.



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