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How to Measure the Success of a Franchise Sales Website

Your brand’s franchise development website could be the make-or-break factor when it comes to hooking a potential buyer. Here's how to determine what's working and what's not.

This month 1851 Franchise’s Franchise Development Website Awards have returned to celebrate the most effective and engaging development sites in the industry. A panel of nine expert judges evaluated each franchise development site according to three criteria: first impressions, quality of content and ease of use. Sites were scored on a five-point scale in accordance with these three criteria, with the overall website rankings based on a composite average of the judges’ scores. 

Each of those three criteria has its own subset of categories that further evaluate the details of what makes for a quality franchise development website, but what does a breakdown of those metrics look like? 1851 took a deep dive to explain what goes into the build of the most successful development sites.

First Impression Metrics


A website’s usability is as simple as determining how effectively its visitors are able to see and use the site. This includes everything a user might experience when clicking on the home page: the menu bar, a search function, content, images, initial inquiry forms and any hyperlinks that direct further into or away from the website.  

UI/UX Design

User interface and user experience design of websites optimize the functionality of the website to help the user navigate seamlessly through the site. That means these designers need to know who the target user is and how to optimize their experience in order to convert a sale or generate a lead.

Site Performance

A website’s performance is composed of several elements that ultimately drive the quality of the overall user experience — things like page-load speed, uptime and time to first byte. Overall, those who are visiting your site are going to expect a website that not only looks good but gets them the information they’re looking for as quickly and easily as possible. 


SEO is a subfactor of first impression metrics that has subcategories all its own, but what’s most important in determining the strength of your site’s SEO is measuring its organic search results. That means auditing your top-performing keywords and pages to reflect the way that visitors are finding your site organically so that you can mimic that experience and keep that traffic coming. The speed and performance of your website also influence SEO strength, so make sure your site isn’t being bogged down by old or irrelevant content.

Mobile Accessibility

Like usability, mobile accessibility is as simple as it sounds — optimizing your website to be easily accessible from a mobile device. The most important element of mobile accessibility is design. The ratio of images and text sizing should be fitted to the size of the screen they appear on so that user experience is as easy for a user to navigate on their phone or tablet as it would be on a desktop.

Content Metrics

Motivating Content

With first impressions out of the way and the user experience nailed down, it’s time to talk about what good content for a franchise development website looks like. Videos and images of franchisees in the field working through their day-to-day tasks serve as good motivating content that can inspire prospects to look further into an opportunity into franchising with your brand. Testimonials from existing franchisees are also a great way to help a prospective buyer picture what their life would like if they chose to buy. 

Calls to Action

Language is a driving force behind motivating someone to buy. A successful franchise development website uses calls to action that make it easy and exciting for prospective buyers to start the process of “claiming their territory” and “learning how they fit in the family.” A proper call to action can be the key piece in igniting any prospective franchisee’s journey into ownership.

Reasons to Buy Now

Outlining the reasons to buy now makes all the difference compared to simply listing reasons to buy. For many, buying into a franchise may be something they’ve always thought about doing but there was never a specific reason that pushed them into doing it. Franchise development sites that motivate buyers to “buy now” with stories of recent milestones, awards and opportunities see more success than those that don’t. 

Ease of Use Metrics


After reading through exciting and informative content comes the third and final piece of the franchise development website: the initial inquiry form. If a prospective buyer is serious about working with your brand, the easiest way to move that relationship forward is by taking their information. The location of the initial inquiry form is crucial. It should be easy for a buyer to find, and it should appear in multiple locations so there’s never any doubt about where to find it.


The depth of the form should not be too intense. Forms that ask too many questions or require too much information from prospective buyers might overwhelm them and deter them from inquiring further. Stick to the basics like name, email, phone number and reason for interest in the brand. Once both parties are deeper into the process of buying, it’s okay to start asking for more information.

Ease of Application

With only a few questions to answer, the ease of the application process should be straightforward. Keep the process simple by keeping your buyer on one page and send them an email afterward confirming that you’ve received their application.