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Franchise Development Website Awards: Cold Stone Creamery Joins Three-Way Tie for No. 6 Spot in 2019 Top 20

A panel of 10 franchise industry experts judged more than 175 franchise development websites to determine the best of the best.

By Madeline LenaStaff Writer
4:16PM 05/24/19

For the latest iteration of its Franchise Development Website Awards, 1851 Franchise did a deep dive into more than 175 websites to determine the brands that stood out from the crowd.

1851’s panel of judges evaluated each franchise development site according to three criteria: quality of site, quality of content and quality of form. Sites were scored on a five-point scale in accordance with these three criteria for a maximum score of 15 total points; the overall website rankings are based on a composite average of these scores.

Over the course of the month of May, each of the top 20 franchise development sites as determined by the judges will be broken down, one by one, to highlight their strengths and what stood out to the judges.

Along with Showhomes and AAMCO, the No. 6 overall spot in this year’s rankings is held by Cold Stone Creamery. The gourmet ice cream franchise brand pulled in a composite score of 11.8 out of 15, breaking down into a score of 4.0 in quality of site; a score of 3.8 in quality of content; and a score of 4.0 in quality of form.

When reviewing Cold Stone’s franchise development site, Franchise Business Review president and COO Michelle Rowan commended the brand’s placement of third-party awards front and center, as well as its “high-quality” imagery and video throughout. “There is tons of information available in the drop-down navigation for people to research the opportunity on their own,” she noted.

After noting that this franchise development site made him hungry for some ice cream, FranConnect president Keith Gerson said that the site had “awesome SVG video running behind the banner and very well-placed calls to action.”

“I also appreciated the simplicity of the navigation with only four tabs to engage with,” Gerson said. “It’s very powerful on the home page to read all of the award accolades – after all, a brand these days isn’t what you say it is – it’s what your customers and other third-parties say it is, particularly on social. It’s nice to see current posts in the news section and the sales process laid out for prospects.”

An opportunity Cold Stone has, Gerson noted, is in the text-heavy portions of the site: “Check out your Google Analytics to get a sense of where you’re losing interest based on page views and time on site,” he recommended of brands when updating their franchise development sites.