Your website is the centerpiece of an effective digital marketing strategy for your franchise. If you are a franchise owner, then you are going to want to optimize your website so that it attracts the right customers who are searching for your product or service online. The key is to create a simple, easy-to-use, but complete website that visitors will find attractive and helpful.
Franchise Website Elements
Here are 10 important elements that you should include in your website plan in order to get the best results.
1) Name, Address and Phone (NAP)
It may seem obvious that this basic information needs be included on your website, but you may be surprised that it is sometimes overlooked or not highlighted on some business websites. Besides a clear listing on your site, you will also need to make sure that this information appears in the same way any place where it appears on the Internet. This includes your social media accounts, your Google+ page, local directories, review sites and any other place where your business is listed. By ensuring consistency, search engines will be able to accurately identify any listings of your business and increase your ranking accordingly.
2) Schema Mark Up
A schema provides search engines with the formal language to describe the structure of your online data to allow them to properly index and rank the page. This form of optimization allows you to add hidden notes to your web page that let the major search engines know the meaning of your data. This content can help search engines to categorize your franchise website correctly so that it has a better chance to rank in the search engine's results page.
3) Team Page
A team page on your website shows the people behind your business. There are many different approaches to introducing your team to your website visitors. For a traditional approach, you can show the professionalism of your staff, with head shots and business bios. A more informal approach might show employees in casual photos with descriptions of their likes, hobbies and personal information. Depending on your business and the image you want to project on your site, you can present the team page with one of these approaches or a mix between the two.
4) Link to Google Reviews
Reviews are great social proof that your business is doing good work, especially when they appear on third-party sites like Google. Provide a link to the Google reviews of your business so that potential customers can see what others are saying.
5) Location-Specific Landing Pages
A landing page is designed to capture sales leads for particular services. Your franchise website should include landing pages so you can capture information about sales leads for your franchise. For example, if you run a cleaning franchise, you may have two different landing pages for commercial and residential services. Your landing pages should clearly tell the visitor about your offer and contain a simple, but relevant form (see below) to allow you to 1) receive their information and 2) deliver the offer you promised.
6) Location-Specific Blog
The corporate office of your franchise may have its own blog, but you should also have a blog for your own franchise. Your blog can contain some information specific to your area, but in general, it is a tool used to answer questions and educate visitors about the topics they're searching online. Publishing and promoting articles helps visitors to find your website and further learn about your solutions.
7) Conversion Forms
A relevant form should appear on each landing page, allowing you to capture information from visitors to your website. Your website will need its own set of forms so that information about your leads will go directly to you and not to the corporate office.
The amount of information you require on forms will depend on the offer, but overall, less is more when it comes to forms. You should ask for only the necessary information you need to make contact or learn about with the lead.
The form to the right shows the required information to access an e-book. With just three fields required on this top-of-the funnel offer, it should typically have a higher conversion rate than a form with additional, unnecessary fields.
8) Local Video
Video is a great storytelling tool. With your own videos, you can increase your online presence by featuring stories, how-tos, instructional videos and even testimonials from your customers. Videos of any length can benefit your online presence and show expertise in your field. Whether you have a large budget for video or virtually no budget at all, the important part is just to get started. Your videos will surely improve over time as will your video content library.
The video below is an example of how an insurance company created video content that shares safety tips. Using the authority of a local fire investigator, the company provides helpful information to consumers looking to keep their homes "fire safe." By sponsoring this safety video, the company offers valuable tips homeowners can use and, at the same time, leaves a positive impression of their brand with viewers.
9) Social Media Sharing Buttons
Social media is a smart way to share your thoughts and content with others. Social media sharing and engagement starts conversations about targeted topics and connects you with potential leads and customers.
On your website, add sharing buttons to your content so that your customers can share it on their own social media accounts. You will transform your best customers into brand ambassadors as they share your content with their online communities and followers.
10) Clear, Concise Calls-To-Action
A main goal of your franchise website is to encourage your visitors to take some action. With your calls-to-action, you should clearly state what the next step is in approaching your business and invite your visitors to take it. Your website design should make it easy to take the next step. Include calls-to-action on your homepage, your blog and other web pages. The call-to-action should be attractive and directly to the point about what benefit a visitor will receive by clicking.
Optimize for Better Engagement
By incorporating these 10 elements on your franchise website, you can begin to successfully use your website as an online marketing tool. Generating more traffic, leads and sales for your franchise is possible when you understand how to structure your website to attract, educate and engage with potential customers.
Want to learn more about developing a smart business model for your franchise? Read our helpful e-book, "How Chickens Can Transform Your Business," below.
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