In the information age, having a strong online presence and a well-designed business website is crucial for any business that wants to succeed. And while most businesses have the freedom to create their own web design strategies, franchises have general rules and guidelines for their local branches.
Having the support of experienced business and relying on their already proven strategies might sound like a great deal, but this cookie cutter marketing approach doesn’t always work. In reality, you’ll have to tweak this marketing strategy to fit your specific local market, while also complying with corporate rules of the franchise.
Here are 5 tips to help you create a successful website for your local franchise business.
Branding and logo
One of the biggest advantages of being a franchisee is that you already have a big portion of the work done. As a part of an already established business, you won’t have to worry about creating a brand image and building name recognition from scratch. Franchise companies already have a brand name, a logo and the overall visual identity and these are the elements you shouldn’t change at all. Try and stay as consistent as possible, as the slightest changes can affect the way your customers perceive your brand.
Even though the lack of freedom to manipulate the brand image might sound like a drawback for some, you should think of it as an advantage. This means that you won’t have to work with expensive graphic designers when building your website, which will leave you with more time and resources for other aspects of the web design process. Besides, there are plenty of other things you’ll be able to customize and adjust according to your own ideas.
Focus on local
Having the visual aspects of your web design sorted out is only one step on the way to building a successful website for your franchise branch. Although you can rely on many tried and tested strategies of your franchisor, you’ll still have to make a great effort to adjust their business model to your local market.
This is probably one of your most important tasks as a franchisee. You need to find a way to bring your brand closer to the local audience and if you don’t do this right, a head start you had as a branch of an already established brand will go to waste.
Focus on content
As mentioned before, as a franchise branch, you won’t have to worry much about the visual aspects of your website. However, this means you can focus your efforts on creating stellar content. This is also a great way to cater to your local audience and improve your website ranking for geographically-specific searches.
Not only that, but creating engaging, locally specific content can also help you when it comes to your social media strategy. Many people actually avoid following franchise businesses on social media, because they find their content to be too general and not tailored to their specific needs. Luckily, with extensive knowledge about the local market and well-researched content strategy, you can attract more audience, both to your website, and your social media accounts.
Multiple landing pages
Franchisees often make the mistake of creating a simple, one-page website for their business. Although this strategy can help you get some decent website traffic, it’s becoming more and more ineffective when it comes to generating leads. While your home page has to be optimized for more general keywords, multiple landing pages will allow you to diversify your content strategy and target highly specific keywords.
Once you attract visitors to your landing page, ask them for contact information or direct them to another page that offers more information. Also, make sure to include clear calls to action that stand out and that it’s clear to your visitors what the next step is.
Finally, responsive web design is something that is essential, not only for franchises but any business that cares about their online presence. The screen sizes are changing, and your website should be able to do so too. With your customers browsing from many different devices, from smartphones to desktop computers, you need to make sure that your website is properly optimized for all of them.
According to statistics, 91% of small businesses don’t have a mobile-optimized website, despite strong user preference for mobile search. Also, 40% of users claim they would leave the website if it’s not optimized for their device. This means that even if you manage to rank well, you can potentially lose customers if your website is not responsive, so don’t forget about the small screens and make sure that your website is mobile friendly.
Balancing between corporate rules and guidelines and catering to your local market can be a challenge, but, hopefully, these tips will help you create a successful, franchise-approved website that will attract local visitors and generate leads.
What’s the biggest obstacle you’ve encountered while creating your website?