When a small business experiences growth the owner has the option to open more locations, or to franchise the business and allow others to gain some ownership of additional sites. In general, franchises look at two different avenues to grow their business. Growth by sales and growth by recruiting new owners. No matter the growth strategy, franchises must invest in solid marketing strategies.
The digital environment brings an interesting dilemma when considering marketing strategies for franchises. These dilemmas can be quite different than what’s implemented for single business entrepreneurs. One important marketing strategy is to consider web design for franchises. This takes on its own set of challenges especially when trying to develop a robust local web presence while adhering to corporate brand standards.
Marketing Challenges for Franchise Owners
Challenge #1: The main issue around a franchise’s prominence in local search results is a key factor when considering digital strategies. Let’s face it, a local business’ success is reliant on the local community. A franchise can no longer only rely on face to face relationship building to drive sales, but it’s expected they invest in a robust web presence.
Challenge #2: Another challenge in developing a web presence for franchises is control over social media. Franchises need the ability to respond and develop ongoing communication and relationships with their local customers. Participating in social media is really no longer an option, it’s expected by customers.
Challenge #3: And lastly, a key challenge in web design for franchises is around updating content on the website in a timely manner. Maintaining and updating content specifically related to a franchise’s location or territory is important to any franchise owner. When considering content updates, use relevant offers, events, newsletters, blogs and infographics to connect with a local community base.
Essentials When Considering Web Design for Franchises
To overcome these challenges, here is a list of nine essentials when considering web design for franchises:
Consider the Brand
Defer to corporate when considering logo, color palate, vision statement and font. This is one advantage of being part of a franchise. The brand is already determined for you. Make sure to use it as an advantage. There’s no need to recreate the wheel and try to be unique here. Use the already established brand standards when considering web design for franchises to ensure that brand consistency stays intact.
Local SEO For Franchises
A local search presence can be a confusing subject for franchise owners, but bottom-line, as a franchise owner, it’s important to let Google, or other search engines, know the location, services and/or products offered. There are many factors that drive local search including optimizing local directories, maintaining a local phone number, optimizing reviews and chatter on social media. Social media will continually become a more important part of local search – so it’s important to invest wisely here.
Local Market Listing For Franchises
Being part of a larger corporate franchise doesn’t mean the business can’t have its own identity. A local franchise should be listed on the larger corporate website either with its own local page, or at the very least its own local listing within the corporate website. An important consideration of web design for franchises is how a business can build a local presence, this includes a local phone number and address on the website for relevancy in local search results.
Social Media for Local Franchises
Critical for franchises is the ability to connect with nearby customers. In today’s day and age, a big part of creating a community is around responding and connecting via social media. Maintaining and operating a unique social media page for a location will not only provide local search benefits but will allow a franchise to connect with the community around them. Incorporating a social media strategy into your web design for franchises will help take advantage of customer recommendations and social sharing of products and services offered.
It’s not only a nice to have but it’s a critical need for businesses to update their website with relevant and the most up to date content. When consider web design for franchises it’s a must to choose a flexible content management system (CMS) which allows easy to make updates with regards to services and special offers. A CMS system allows business owners to update a website without the time and expense of an experienced web developer.
Professional Web Design For Franchises
Don’t take a chance on developing a professional web design for franchises. Invest in a professional web design company that knows what it takes to not only design a nice looking site, but knows the tactics and strategies specifically for franchises. Web design for franchises is more complicated than just building a website for a single company entity. Use a professional web design company that has the experience in developing web design for franchises.
Content Creation For Franchises
Creating content specific to a particular franchise is important part of building a presence on the web. Not enough franchises take advantage of this powerful strategy and they wait for their corporate marketing stakeholders to do this work for them. But a local franchise needs to think about content creation, like newsletters, blogs, events, offers, special products and services. Creating digital, relevant content will help a website rank well on keywords and also provide content for customers to share on social media.
Calls to Action
Let’s face it, the creation of a website is clearly about driving business, optimizing conversions and driving lead volume. Web design for franchises must take into consideration lead forms, contact us buttons and other strong calls to actions. And, don’t ignore the power of a great offer. Everyone likes a deal – so offering a free sample or service will especially encourage first time customers to submit a request. Also consider including a subscription form to collect email addresses for emailing newsletters and coupons.
There’s no denying that customers are browsing the internet on a variety of different devices and the future of web design for franchises must take into account building a mobile responsive website. If a website is not optimized for mobile then a customer may find it difficult to navigate the site, become frustrated and leave the website with a poor impression.
When considering web design for franchises it’s important to ensure the franchise maintains a local web presence. This doesn’t necessarily mean a separate website, but it means optimizing the location on the overall corporate website. This can all be done through key web design strategies for franchises.
Getting web design right could be the difference between success or failure, so don’t go at it alone. A poorly laid out website with convoluted content can be devastating to any business, especially a franchise. Creating a strategic approach to web design will greatly benefit a franchisor. Invest in a company that not only knows web design but has expertise in local SEO strategies for franchises.
If you need help designing a custom website for your franchise or putting together a marketing strategy to increase sales and build a strong brand consistency across locations, feel free to contact our founder.