We all know the importance of your franchise business having a website. But, do you truly know the importance of your website and how it can become a way for prospective customers to find you? The 5 items below serve as a way to grade your current website.
1. Your Franchise Website Should Be a Learning Center
Does your website only sell your services? Or, perhaps it’s only a fancy brochure with stock images and doesn’t do much to help serve your customers. Since content is easily found online and competition is at its peak, it’s important that you are seen as the industry leader. The best way to do this is to educate your customers on each aspect of your business. It doesn’t matter if you work at the “Home Office” or if you are the franchisee, your website should teach the website visitor. This helps build trust, boost engagement and it’s a great way to dramatically raise your Google rankings (known as SEO).
Since people learn in various ways make sure to have a broad range of content they consume. This makes it vary easy to use similar content but repurpose it into each content type. Make sure not to have the exact same (word for word) content as Google may penalize you for having duplicate content. Here are just a few types of content you should consider to help teach:
- white papers
- case studies
For more information on this topic, read the article on the importance of having a Learning Center on your website.
Why you need a blog for your Franchise website
While this falls into the broad category of your website’s Learning Center, it should be the cornerstone of your website. This is a way for the website visitor to get an inside look at your business, who you are and how you serve your customers. While it may seem arduous to create content on a regular basis (we recommend at weekly), it may be easier that you think. Since you know your industry, trends, breaking news and other industry related topics, it should be easy to talk about it on your company website. Since Google looks for content and text is the easiest content for them to scan, the more you have, the better for SEO.
Some people don’t like the word “blog”, but you can also use the following to classify regular content you post to your website:
- latest news
2. A Franchise Responsive Website
While this should be the most important part of your website, we didn’t put it first, because it’s not the sexiest topic…but it is very important. Since mobile phones are quickly becoming a large portion of how your customers will view your website, it’s important that they have a good viewing experience. A “Responsive” website is one that automatically adapts to the size of the browser, no matter if it’s a smart phone, tablet, laptop or large computer. Your website will look great on every device. Is your website Responsive? If not, give us a shout and we’d be glad to help you update your site so it’s viewable on each device.
3. Franchise Social Media Strategy
Gone are the days when people debated the validity of using social media in your business. We all know it’s important but it can be hard to find the time to make it a priority. But we can assure you that it is important that you utilize social media. Keep in mind that people are visual and want to see something rather than read text about it.
How to use social media for your franchise:
1. Youtube for franchises:
Testimonial videos, faq videos, promotional videos, marketing videos, office walk-throughs, employee introductions
2. Facebook for franchises:
Post photos of your office, posts about what you are doing
3. Twitter for franchises:
Tweet out your latest articles, retweet helpful articles involving your industry, answer questions, create a live chat for 30 minutes where you field questions
4. Pinterest for franchises:
Pin content that’s applicable to your industry. If you’re in the medical field, you may Pin items like nurses clothes, favorite foods to eat quickly in the break room, etc.
4. Franchise Video Marketing
While the search engines do like text, they also know that people much prefer watching videos. Studies have found that video increases engagement, builds trust and increases sales. Plus, people feel more connected by watching videos about your business. While video can be expensive and time consuming, here are 6 types of videos that we recommend you start with. These a few types of videos we recommend that you start with to get a good ROI.
- A “welcome to our franchise” video for new franchisees
- 10-20 FAQ videos (this works not only for the franchise but also for the individual franchisees since each one may have their own frequently asked questions)
- 10 tutorial videos (what can you teach/train about your products/services?)
- An About Us Video (or about our team, or about our upper management, etc)
- Top 10 products videos – create a short video for each of your top 10 products (this also works if you are a service based industry
- Training video (teach or train your employees or customers)
- Testimonial Videos – Here are some testimonial videos that we’ve produced for a franchise
5. Every Franchisee and Franchisor website should use a flexible CMS for their website
A “CMS” is a Content Management System, which simply means that content can easily added to your website. YOU should have control of your website. You probably don’t want to worry about the custom coding and setup, but you probably want to add content to your website and your website should allow you to do this. A CMS should be flexible so it can grow with you. There are many CMS’s built just for the franchise industry but there are also other options that work just as good, if not better. We’d love to talk with you about what CMS may work best for your needs.