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5 Tips for Creating a Great Franchise Sales Website

As the modern sales landscape has shifted, so have the strategies to keep people engaged. A franchise sales website is a prime opportunity to take advantage of a new landscape.

In the franchising world, it’s no secret that franchise development has been forced to adapt to new candidate expectations and behaviors over the last several years. Today, when developing a franchise development marketing budget, the franchise sales website needs to be top of mind. Especially in a post-COVID world, franchisors must learn where to invest time and funds in order to optimize their brand’s franchise sales website budget and ensure that their online presence is as strong as possible. A strong franchise development website can be one of the most powerful tools for franchisors in today’s landscape. 

“No matter what method of lead generation you are utilizing, whether it is Instagram, Facebook, PR or portals, the main goal should be using those as vehicles to drive traffic to the franchise development website,” said Raintree* CEO and co-founder Brent Dowling

Here are five tips for creating a great franchise sales website. 

Clear Information

First, prospects crave information, and the franchise sales site must provide it. They want something akin to “Franchise 101”: everything and anything that has to do with starting a franchise, choosing a franchise, what to look for in a franchise, building their business, finding clients, hiring employees, marketing their franchise location, making a profit and so on. The messaging on franchise development sites needs to be about how to position the opportunity — Why You?/Why Now? — and clearly showcase the financial value proposition.

The website is meant to facilitate the buyer's research, so the sections should be clearly labeled and easy to understand. The sections should provide information that answers fundamental questions about the brand and the franchise opportunity. 

User-Friendly Design

Of course, users want a good-looking site, but franchisors shouldn’t spend all of their budget on appearance — the site also needs to be set up in a way that loads quickly. The franchise development website budget must include optimizing speed performance, usability, UI/UX design and mobile accessibility.

“It is clear that franchise development websites are really starting to tell stories and featuring great UI/UX design and visual imagery,” said Dowling. “These first impressions are so important in the franchise industry, where entrepreneurs are investing from an emotional standpoint. The franchise sales sites need to create an easy user experience, and it is clear that brands are getting better at this.”

Call to Action 

The overall design and layout of the website should match the company’s branding, present the information in a clear and simple way and effectively guide users to a call to action. The contact form is the most critical part of this strategy. The buyer journey is different for everyone, and everybody who visits the site should be presented with all the information specific to the brand before encountering a form to fill out for more direct contact. 

A strong contact form might include text to encourage leads to book an exploratory call with someone on the team or a PDF download with brand and investment information as an incentive. The form can also be connected to a free online appointment scheduling software, like Calendly, to book leads automatically. When developing the website’s layout and design, it is important to always give visitors a chance to easily get in touch if they’re ready to take things to the next level.

Third-Party Content

Once the fundamental basics of the franchise sales website are complete, it is time to add the secret sauce: content. In today’s internet age, content is king, and the right storytelling can help guide the user around the site and make them feel more comfortable and passionate about investing in the brand. Some examples of content might be a blog page, a page to put all PR, video testimonials from franchisees or even embedded social feeds. 

“It is important that franchise sales websites focus less on themselves and more on the desires of the prospective buyer,” said Dowling. “One of the main ways to do that is through creative content, longer video testimonials and storytelling. In addition, third-party content is very useful, as it has a lot more weight for the prospects than the franchisor simply speaking about themselves.”

SEO Optimization

In order to cut through the clutter of the internet and compel candidates to engage, franchise development sites must optimize for SEO to move to the foreground over competitors clamoring for attention.

Understanding SEO and Google Analytics is a must when creating a development budget in order to understand which tools people are using to find the brand and how to leverage those channels. Use a keyword tool like Moz’s Keyword Explorer or Google’s Keyword Planner to get a sense of how popular those terms are and what the competition looks like. Then, incorporate these terms into the content and website design organically. 

*This brand is a paid partner of 1851 Franchise. For more information on paid partnerships please click here.