Do Emerging Franchisors Need a Franchise Development Website?
A franchise sales website is at the heart of organic lead generation. With organic franchise leads being the most sought-after, qualified leads that franchise brands can attract, having a strong, information-rich website for serious franchise prospects to navigate is imperative. It’s typically the first stop in the due diligence process for them and a vital asset for franchise development. Here’s why:
Provides Better User Experience
Ideally, you will have a consumer website – where existing and potential customers can research the product or service you offer, the brand’s history and mission, locations, hours of operation and more – and a franchise development website. While it may seem easier to house consumer and franchise information on one site, it could be cumbersome for the user to navigate and cost you franchisee candidates who become frustrated sifting through content that doesn’t pertain to the franchise opportunity. However, including a link to your franchise development website on your consumer site is an effective way of taking the potential franchisee to the information they need regarding the franchise business opportunity.
The franchisees you want may be different personas than the customers you hope to attract. While there are likely some ideal franchisee candidates among your brand’s customers, not all your customers will be well capitalized or have the experience, drive and vision you desire. Therefore it’s best to have two distinct, separate sites for the different audiences.
There may be some overlap of information between your consumer and franchise development sites, such as brand history and mission, but the latter should be devoted solely to everything pertaining to the franchise opportunity – investment, support, territories and franchise request form. It should also include a franchise development blog, case studies, eBooks, infographics, video and more material designed to encourage interested entrepreneurs to pursue your brand’s franchise opportunity.
It’s a Home for Owned Media
Franchise development websites are where a lot of lead nurturing happens. It’s where your earned and paid media should direct interested entrepreneurs. The site is the place where prospects can get a good idea of who the brand is, whether they’re a good match, provide financial requirements and answer many of their questions.
The tools for enticing prospects to take next steps are the owned media collateral mentioned above – especially the blog. There, prospects can take a deeper dive into numerous topics, including franchisee success stories, what differentiates your brand from the competition, the support extended to franchisees, profiles of brand leadership as well as other articles highlighting the benefits of being a franchisee in your brand.
Enhances Inbound Marketing
Inbound marketing – when entrepreneurs visit your site because your brand’s keywords ranked it high in searches – facilitates franchise development. The more content you publish with your brand name linked to franchising, the greater your search engine optimization (SEO) results will be. Regularly adding fresh content to your franchise development website with keywords and phrases that help answer the questions prospects have about your brand boosts your chances of ranking high in organic searches.
Ideally, your brand will show prominently in search results when entrepreneurs are looking for franchise opportunities in your industry, and click on your brand’s link. If they click on the link to your consumer site, they can next click on the link labeled “franchise,” “own a location,” or something similar that will take them to your franchise development site.
Easier to Analyze
Your franchise development website will also provide you with an opportunity to learn more about the people interested in your brand. Whenever someone visits your website or downloads any of your content, you can gather information about them with digital analytics. You can gain more insight into who the interested entrepreneurs are, which will help you hone your franchise sales efforts and increase your ability to connect with potential leads. When you know your audience better, you can create focused content that better engages them.
Here’s What You Should Include
A franchise development website is a necessary means for growing your franchise system. In order for it to be truly optimal, your franchise development site must be designed well and populated with relevant content. Here are some tips to get started:
- Develop a strategy – Your brand’s growth depends on quality growth more than quantity expansion. Think about who you want to target as your franchisees, what keywords to use, what the site will look like and ease of navigation among other things.
- Create engaging content – Consider hiring a website development team or outsourcing to an agency to help develop the right collateral that will attract and connect with potential franchisees.
- Include calls to action – As the franchisor, you want site visitors to reach out to you. So, encourage them to do so with active copy, such as “apply now,” “download the franchise kit,” “fill out the franchise form.” Be sure to include a phone number and email for follow up questions.
Winmark Franchise Partners, with 30 years of franchise experience and more than 800 franchise owners representing more than 1,225 locations for five brands, can advise emerging brands on developing their franchise development website, and achieve the results you desire.
For more information, contact us here or at (844) 234-8520.