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Concrete contractor boosts franchise visibility with Semrush’s Local SEO tools

“Semrush has 100% helped us rank the websites of our local franchises. It all comes back to credibility. With how quickly and accurately they’re listed across various directories, it puts us at a very high level to start building their SEO and earning local search traffic out of the gate.”
Becky Lane, Director of Marketing and Brand Building at Sam The Concrete Man

Business Objective: Set franchises up for success by increasing local visibility

Sam The Concrete Man, is a concrete contractor with local franchises across the United States. As their business grows and adds more local franchises, her team is responsible for setting those local businesses up for success online.

Here’s how it typically works: the marketing team manages the business’s primary website. As each local franchise is licensed, they also launch a unique site for that franchise in the form of a subdomain.

Their main goal for each subdomain: to rank in Google’s map pack and at the top of the organic search results in that franchise’s local community.

The faster this is all up and running, the earlier that franchise can begin attracting and converting leads.

But as the business continues to grow, this task becomes increasingly challenging for the team to manage. With over 100 franchises to contend with, they need a more efficient process if they want to succeed.

Enter Semrush.

“The variety of tools under one roof is really nice,” says Brand Manager Heather Clark, “because you don’t need to leave the platform to find different analytics. It’s all just in Semrush.”

And with a streamlined toolkit, the team can focus more on building a solid and scalable local SEO strategy that will support franchise growth. 

Here’s how they do it.

Solution: Use local SEO tools to build hyper-local credibility and attract more leads

The team knows that, if they want to set their local franchises up to win, they need to establish credibility online, fast. 

To do this, they use a three-step process:

  1. Ensure each franchise is listed accurately in all the most authoritative local directories
  2. Optimize each franchise website to rank in local search
  3. Audit each website to eliminate errors and ensure a positive user experience

Let’s explore each step in more detail below.

Step 1: List each franchise in the most authoritative local directories

If the team wants a franchise to connect with customers online, they need to make sure the correct business information is easy to find. And the best way to do that is to make sure the franchise is included in as many authoritative online directories as possible.

But that’s easier said than done. 

Manually creating and finding these listings isn’t feasible. And other tools they’ve tried were not reliable. But with Semrush’s Listing Management tool, they can easily push a franchise’s information to more than 70 authoritative directories from one central location. (In contrast, the number of directories offered for listing management placements by other tools was as low as five in some cases, despite promises of great coverage.)

First, they enter their franchise’s business information into Semrush’s Listing Management tool to see if it’s already listed anywhere else.

Next, the tool automatically distributes the franchise’s business information to more than 70 directories, creating a new listing or updating existing ones as needed.

Later, the team can easily report on each franchise’s progress by exporting their listings to a PDF. Using this information, the franchise owner can easily claim and manage their listings going forward.

This strategy has helped each franchise build instant credibility in their local community.

“I think the biggest success for us in that realm would be Nextdoor,” says Becky Lane, Director of Marketing and Brand Building. “It’s a super hyper-local site, so it’s difficult for us on a national level to create, claim, and manage. The fact that we are able to create that through Semrush has been very effective, because Nextdoor is a great source of referrals.”

Step 2: Optimize franchise websites for local search

Next, the team uses Semrush SEO tools to identify target keywords and optimize each franchise’s content for local search. 

The team starts by benchmarking their visibility against their biggest local competitors using the Semrush Domain Overview tool.

The Compare Domains report in Domain Overview helps you benchmark your visibility against key competitors. Shown here, the Organic Traffic graph shows a year-long organic traffic trend for Sam the Concrete Man and one of their local competitors.

Then, to improve their visibility, they update their list of target keywords to rank higher for more impactful search terms. 

They do this a few different ways:

For existing websites, Semrush’s Position Tracking provides a quick snapshot of the top keywords they’re already ranking for, and their impact.

Position Tracking's Top Keywords widget shows you what you're already ranking for. And the Positive Impact widget shows you which ones have delivered the biggest growth in visibility.

To find new keywords, they use the Semrush Keyword Magic Tool to build lists of unique keywords for each franchise to target.

The Keyword Magic Tool helps you build a list of relevant keywords to target with your site content. Just enter a seed keyword to start browsing Semrush's 25.2 billion keyword database.

Then they vet these at the local level in Semrush's Keyword Overview, which shows city-specific keyword metrics and search results.

Keyword Overview provides essential keyword data such as volume, difficulty, search intent, CPC and competitive density at the national or local level.

Keyword Overview’s local SERP snapshots help them identify online competitors.

Keyword Overview's SERP Analysis widget analyzes the real-time search results for a keyword in any city.

Then, they use this knowledge to find even more keywords in the Semrush Keyword Gap tool.

The Keyword Gap tool compares the ranking keywords between two or more domains and identifies opportunities.

How they use all this keyword data:

  • Planning weekly blog articles to educate their audience and build credibility
  • Creating unique page content for each franchise, avoiding duplicate content
  • Optimizing pages and metadata with high-priority local keywords

Finally, they track each site’s local performance on their priority keywords in Semrush's Position Tracking

Position Tracking tracks a site or subdomain's performance on their target keywords in organic and paid search.

Step 3: Eliminate technical issues with a thorough website audit

With more than 100 subdomains—one for each franchise—maintaining site health could easily become an arduous task. The Sam The Concrete Man team saves time and effort by automating this process with Semrush. 

The Semrush Site Audit tool has over 140 technical and on-page SEO checks to maintain site health, boost visibility, and ensure a positive user experience. 

Site Audit automatically identifies and prioritizes issues impacting a site's technical and on-page SEO, and usability.

With Site Audit, the team gets regular reports not just about the main site’s health, but also each franchise subdomain. The tool also prioritizes the issues it uncovers, so they can spend time resolving the most impactful issues first. 

This helps them make sure the site—and each franchise—can be crawled and indexed, making it more visible in search. And by doing this regularly, the team can tackle small problems before they become major issues, saving time and avoiding frustration.

Key Takeaways

Since adopting Semrush, Lane and her team have been able to build the overall visibility of Sam The Concrete Man, while also setting each franchise up for online success. And they’ve done it using a streamlined set of tools—Semrush—to complement a scalable local SEO strategy. 

Semrush helps them:

  • Distribute each franchise’s information quickly and accurately to the most authoritative directories, using the Listing Management tool
  • Identify and target top local keywords using the Keyword Magic Tool, Keyword Overview, Keyword Gap, and Position Tracking
  • Maintain a user-friendly, crawlable, and indexable site for each franchise thanks to Site Audit

“Semrush is a very easy-to-use platform,” says Digital Content Specialist Lindsey Vandenberg. “Everything is explained very well. You don’t ever have to leave the platform. And the information provided is substantial, helpful, and useful.” 

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