Besides increasing the search visibility of a franchise network, the presence of franchises reflects a successful business. However, is it necessary for franchisees to serve customers by managing their own websites?
In this article, we’ll discuss the pros and cons of franchise websites and explore why it can be useful for franchisees to run their own sites. Let’s get started.
Pros and Cons of a Franchisee Website
Let’s start with the main pros and cons to help you decide whether franchise websites are beneficial for your franchise business.
- Stronger digital presence. Allowing franchisees to run their own websites can foster personal interactions with customers, leading to a higher chance of maintaining strong customer-brand relationships.
- Local SEO opportunities. Franchise websites can leverage more local search engine optimization (SEO) opportunities in their region to appear at the top of search results.
- Easier personalization. When a franchisee has access to their own website, they can easily market local promotions or discounts without having to wait for these changes to be made on the main website.
- Unclear brand image. Having a separate website means that the franchisee will have partial control over the brand’s public image. If the franchisee makes a mistake, consumers will attribute this to the overall brand rather than the individual franchise.
- Inconsistent marketing. Another possible drawback is brand inconsistency. Lack of coordination between the franchisor and the franchisee can lead to misalignments and overlap in digital marketing activities.
- Decentralized maintenance. It’s easier for franchise businesses to monitor and maintain the performance of one site as opposed to multiple different ones.
Why It’s Useful for a Franchisee to Have Their Own Website
Amplifying all the pros covered above, here are some more reasons why allowing your franchisees to have a separate website should be considered as part of the franchise agreement.
1. Increase Online Presence
Having franchise websites strengthen the opportunity to expand a brand’s digital presence. However, franchises must start with the proper foundations to do this successfully.
Apart from setting up a domain name, franchisees also need a website builder or content management system (CMS) like WordPress to develop the website.
Then, to make the website accessible to the public, reliable web hosting like hostinger.co.uk is needed. Ensure that the chosen hosting provider offers all the essential services, such as high uptime, superior security features, and 24/7 technical support.
The combination of an easy-to-use website builder or CMS and a reliable web host can provide any business a smooth start toward establishing a solid digital presence.
2. Better Online Marketing Efforts
Having multiple websites for your franchise business is an excellent way to amp up the brand’s marketing efforts. For example, a franchise website is a great medium to promote local offers, discounts, or special seasonal items.
Furthermore, social media can be an affordable and effective tool to promote a franchise website. Whether through Instagram posts or TikTok videos, social media is a powerful platform to generate brand loyalty, recognition, traffic, and sales.
“Another benefit of franchise websites is their ability to track and monitor the performance of a brand’s digital marketing initiatives at a local level. For example, each site’s Google Analytics can reveal insights such as how many visits convert to leads or which marketing funnels bring in the most traffic.” Aabhas Vijay – Founder, https://www.littlelittlesteps.co/
3. Rank On Search Engines
Franchise websites with high-quality content can offer relevant results to users’ search queries and earn local link building, which helps their search engine results page (SERP) ranking and online presence.
Aside from high-quality content, franchise websites can also drive traffic by having a responsive web design. Since Google favors mobile-friendly websites, it’s crucial to ensure all content loads properly on mobile devices.
Not only does a fast and mobile-optimized website help customers make important buying decisions, but it also lends credibility to the brand. Use Google’s Mobile-Friendly Test tool to determine the mobile-friendliness of your franchise website.
4. Local SEO Opportunities
Franchising is essentially about reaching a broader audience. Through franchise websites, SEO can be implemented to attract local consumers and increase traffic to both a franchise’s site and its brick-and-mortar store.
Let’s look at ways to optimize a web page for local SEO benefits:
- Use local keywords. Utilize keywords that are relevant to local search results on the web pages. Tools like Google’s Keyword Planner or SEMrush can help identify what people in the nearby area are searching for.
- Optimize meta descriptions and title tags. Both elements play an essential role in making a solid first impression and helping search engines understand the website content.
- Collect customer reviews. Online testimonials can encourage potential customers to learn more about a business. Since Google favors websites with many reviews, this can help franchise websites have a better local SEO ranking.
- Claim and verify a Google Business Profile (GBP). When consumers search for your local franchise location, a GBP will display relevant information such as phone numbers, opening hours, and images. A franchise website helps strengthen your business’ local GBPs by increasing credibility.
- Create relevant content. Engage users and demonstrate your franchise brand’s expertise through high-quality articles on topics important to the business and local community. Remember to use local keywords to rank in organic search results.
5. Emphasize Brand Story
In a franchise industry, the brand is the selling factor. However, brand consistency can be a challenge when managing individual websites. When done correctly, franchise websites help to amplify and strengthen the brand story.
If you want to let franchisees formulate their own digital marketing efforts, ensure to consistently convey the brand’s story and value proposition across all platforms. This helps establish a cohesive brand identity.
It is good practice to develop a brand style guide for franchisees to ensure they stay consistent with the main website’s branding and message. The guide can include details about the website’s style and tone, a list of approved terms or jargons, or a general code of conduct.
6. Increase Customer Trust and Satisfaction
A well-established franchise website can attract new customers and potential franchisees. And with more successful franchise locations, the greater the brand’s credibility.
However, this only works if all franchise websites are customer-oriented. Build a foundation of satisfied customers by ensuring that the personnel behind your franchises are adequately trained in your products and services, as well as in customer support skills. Customer inquiries should be promptly, accurately, and courteously addressed.
Have your franchisee post consistent, informative, and interesting content to further improve customer satisfaction. Consistent content updates are an excellent way to address customers’ concerns and show the brand’s unique personality.
Franchise sites can significantly impact the success of a franchise brand by bringing in more traffic and leads. Letting franchisees run their own websites also helps target local customers in specific geographic locations.
To recap, here are six key benefits of having franchise websites:
- Better online presence
- Stronger online marketing strategies
- Higher ranking on SERPs
- More local SEO opportunities
- Amplifying the brand story
- Increasing customer satisfaction
By delivering a cohesive brand message, targeted online marketing efforts, and strong communication, franchise websites can contribute to the brand’s success.