PPC Strategies for Franchise Businesses in 2024
Whether you’re a franchisor aiming to expand your network or a franchisee trying to increase local store traffic, pay-per-click (PPC) advertising offers a quick and effective way to achieve your marketing goals.
Unlike SEO and content marketing, PPC lets you pay for search ad placements, giving you immediate visibility in the search results when someone searches for something related to your franchise.
Today, we’ll look at the challenges of doing PPC for franchise businesses and explore various strategies for maximizing the ROI of your paid search campaigns.
The Basics of Franchise PPC
Franchise PPC is a digital marketing strategy where franchisors or franchisees pay for ad placements on search engines to promote their locations, products, or services.
When a user searches for keywords related to the franchise, paid search listings can appear at the top and bottom of the results page.
This model allows franchises to control their advertising spend by paying only when someone clicks on their ad. This makes PPC a cost-effective way to drive traffic, generate leads, and boost sales for individual locations or franchise networks as a whole.
Here’s an example of a paid search result for Merry Maids, a house-cleaning franchise operating across the U.S.
Note: The PPC model is also frequently used across social media advertising. However, we’ll be focusing on paid search for the purposes of this post.
The Challenges of Franchise PPC
Many of the difficulties of franchise PPC stem from the simple fact that most franchise networks consist of several geographically dispersed franchise units.
This spread of locations can make it tricky to run PPC campaigns that work well locally and still match the franchise’s overall branding and marketing strategy.
For example, creating an effective keyword strategy can be a challenge because different franchisees could end up competing against each other for the same keywords. Similarly, decentralized PPC campaigns run the risk of branding inconsistencies. Also, having each franchise location run its own ads can make it hard to track campaign performance reliably.
While it’s certainly possible for franchises to overcome these hurdles through centralized management, comprehensive guidelines, and robust tracking systems, it’s understandable why many franchises prefer to outsource their PPC campaign management to seasoned marketing agencies.
6 PPC Strategies for Franchise Businesses
Now let’s walk through some fundamental strategies you should incorporate into any franchise PPC campaign.
1. Set Campaign Goals and Define Your Target Audience
It’s essential to start by clearly identifying what you want to achieve with your campaign—be it increasing brand awareness, generating leads for services, driving in-store traffic, or boosting online sales.
Once your goals are set, you’ll need to define who you want to target. Flesh out your buyer personas by specifying their demographic characteristics, interests, purchasing behaviors, and geographic locations.
These foundational steps will ensure your PPC efforts align with your broader business objectives and are targeted toward users most likely to respond positively to what your franchise offers.
2. Target the Right Keywords
Targeting keywords that your prospects actually search for is critical for the success of your PPC campaigns.
Not only will this improve your chances of attracting clicks from users genuinely interested in your franchise, but it will also increase the odds of those clicks converting into meaningful actions (like purchases or inquiries).
You can find suitable terms using keyword research tools like Google Keyword Planner. This tool helps you discover keywords related to your business and provides insights into the level of competition and estimated bid prices for securing these terms.
You can maximize the effectiveness of your keyword strategy by incorporating a mix of keyword types:
- Broad keywords: These keywords cover general topics related to your business. While they increase the reach of your ads, they tend to have lower conversion rates.
- Exact match keywords: Targeting the exact phrases users enter into search engines. These keywords tend to be less competitive and have higher conversion rates (since they target users with clear intent).
- Long-tail keywords: These are typically longer, more specific phrases that capture users close to making a decision
- Local keywords: These keywords include the geographic area you’re targeting and are especially useful for attracting local customers
3. Organize Keywords Into Ad Groups
Once you’ve identified your target keywords, you should place closely related terms into separate ad groups based on topics, products, or services.
This organization allows you to structure your campaigns into more manageable and targeted segments. Each ad group becomes a focused container for keywords that share a common theme, ensuring that the ads you create for each group are highly relevant to those specific search terms.
Keep in mind that relevant ads are more likely to earn higher placements at a lower cost-per-click (CPC).
4. Develop Compelling Ads
Next, you’ll need to create ads for each of your ad groups.
The key here is to ensure each ad is relevant and engaging, clearly communicates the value you’re offering, and encourages users to click.
This means using strong headlines that speak directly to the needs and interests of your target audience, descriptive text that highlights the benefits of your product or service, and clear call-to-actions (CTAs) that guide users on what to do next.
5. Build Conversion-Ready Landing Pages
Before launching your PPC campaign, you’ll also need to create conversion-optimized landing pages (ideally, one for each ad group).
These are the pages users go to when clicking on your ad. Landing pages are essential for turning user interest into action, whether it’s making a purchase, joining a newsletter, or filling out a contact form.
Some key elements of a high-converting landing page include:
- Compelling headline: An attention-grabbing headline that clearly communicates your value proposition
- Focused and persuasive copy: Concise text that speaks to the visitor’s needs, highlights the benefits of your offer, and guides them toward taking action
- Strong CTA: A prominent and unambiguous button inviting users to take the next step
- Engaging visuals: High-quality visuals that complement the surrounding copy, showcasing your product or service
- Social proof: Reviews, testimonials, and case studies to demonstrate that other customers have positive experiences with your franchise
- Simplicity: The absence of unnecessary distractions, like navigation links, pop-ups, and complex forms
- Mobile optimization: Fast load times and a responsive web design that works equally well across desktop and mobile devices
6. Continually Adjust to Maximize Conversions
PPC campaigns require constant monitoring and adjustments to optimize performance. It’s extremely unlikely that your initial campaign setup will be perfect from the start. You’ll need to embrace an ongoing process of fine-tuning to maximize the return on your investment.
Pay close attention to key performance indicators (KPIs), such as click-through rates (CTRs), cost per conversion, and return on ad spend (ROAS). These will help you pinpoint aspects of your strategy that are performing well and those that need refinement.
Here are a few important areas to consider:
- Keyword optimization: Allocate more budget to high-performing terms and consider pausing keywords that aren’t delivering results
- Ad copy testing: Continually try out different copy variations in your ads to see what resonates most with your target audience
- A/B test landing pages: Create separate variants of each landing page to see what messaging and design leads to the best conversion rates
- Ad scheduling: Analyze the times and days your ads perform best and adjust your scheduling accordingly
Despite presenting some unique challenges for the franchise business model, PPC advertising can be an invaluable addition to the franchise marketing mix.
Paid search gives you near-instant visibility within your target audience’s search results, helping you capture the attention of potential customers as they actively search for topics, products, and services related to your franchise.
By following the strategies outlined above, your franchise can begin to harness the power of PPC to drive traffic, generate leads, and boost sales for both individual locations and the franchise network as a whole.