Avoiding these Issues Can Help You Create a Better Performing Franchise Website
A panel of franchise industry judges evaluated 200 franchisor websites for 1851’s annual Franchise Website Awards, finding both positives and negatives across the board. The panel of experts came up with the following “do’s” when it comes to developing and improving your franchise website:
- Michelle Rowan, President and COO of Franchise Business Review: Focus on "What's in it for THEM." Instead of talking about the features and benefits of the brand, identify what's important to your franchisees, e.g., flexibility, lifestyle, financial freedom, and how your offering can help them achieve it. Another quick fix is to replace long paragraphs of text about the brand's history with photos and videos of its evolution and current look, culture and popularity.
- Steve Beagelman, CEO of SMB Franchise Advisors: Make the top menu static so that when you scroll through content, the navigation, menu and form buttons remain at the top of the screen.
- Todd Bingham, President of Pinnacle Franchise Development: For me, the conversion is what it is all about. The form to request more information should be easily accessible on every page and above the fold.
- Stan Friedman, President of FRM Solutions: Keep your development websites current and update their look and feel. Make them inviting. No matter how many places you advertise, or promote and showcase your brand, the one place that all leads will visit before engaging directly is your public-facing franchise development website. Make it sizzle. Also, pay attention to your Google analytics and respond accordingly.
- Craig Slavin, President of Franchise Central: Turn them from being "top-down" (how great we are) to "bottom-up" (the benefits and end result of being our franchisee). Testimonial-based websites are the best because the franchisees are telling candidates how great the franchise and company are.
- Jack Monson, Director of Digital Strategy at Qiigo: Make the sites personal by showing your development team, CEO and other corporate team members. People buy from people -- show the brand’s human side to prospects that are researching.
- Jamshaid Hashmi, CEO & President of ClickTecs: Make sure your franchise development form is easy to view and prominent and can be accessible from all pages. Don’t force the user to click again to get to a form. If the ZMOT (zero moment of truth) for the user happens on a particular page, immediately capitalize on it by having the form easy to find.
- Kay Ainsley, Managing Director of MSA Worldwide: Put a contact box on each page and make sure the information posted is current. I totally disqualified one site because they listed the franchise events they would be attending — in 2015!
- Keith Gerson, President of FranConnect: Social proof is critical. Provide multi-media (video) testimonials from satisfied franchisees -- lots of them. There's an old saying - "Advertising, you pay for. Public relations, you pray for."
- Rick Batchelor, CEO of Qiigo: Make sure there is a strong call to action on all pages and put more focus on the prospect rather than on your own brand.