The marketing and advertising world has changed for franchises. Long gone are the days of advertising in phone books and newspapers to get people to walk through your doors. The vast majority of consumers today use the internet to search for local businesses, and online reviews are trusted nearly as much as word-of-mouth recommendations.
You can no longer afford to wait until a potential customer walks through your doors in order to gain their interest. Why? Because they’ve already found your competitors online. They’ve read their reviews, liked what they saw, and called or visited their storefront. If you want to get ahead of the competition, you need to make a good first impression. Nowadays, that means only one thing: you need an impressive website.
Pro Tip: Do your research and hire a good web design company. Do-it-yourself programs such as WordPress and Squarespace may seem “good enough” and they can certainly save you money at the start; however, you should expect to generate the same volume of leads that come with hiring Google certified professionals to design your website and manage your internet marketing.
Top 7 Characteristics of a Good Franchise Website Design
1. Attractive Design
It goes without saying that people need to like what they see when they first enter your website. If someone sees an outdated or unattractive design, they are much more likely to leave the site within seconds—a phenomenon known by Internet marketers as “bouncing.” You need a clean and attractive design that catches a person’s interest and draws them further into your website.
2. Quality Content
In the world of search engine optimization (SEO) and Internet marketing, “content is king.” The language on your website should be well-written and grammatically correct, but still reflect your mission and your corporate culture. Excellent web content is characterized by being:
Original – Never copy content from another site. Avoid plagiarism or else face the wrath of Google.
Concise – This doesn’t necessarily mean short. Make sure your content is factual and to-the-point instead of being littered with filler words and fluff.
Fresh – Content is not a “one and done” task. Keep things fresh and relevant! Never let a page—or an entire site’s worth of content—go stagnant. Edit and rewrite once in a while so that Google knows you’re still there.
Actionable – Your content is what drives your visitors to action. Use calls-to-action (CTAs) that encourage your visitors to do something, such as contact your business or download an e-book.
3. Functions Well
No one likes a franchise website that doesn’t work. Your pages should have fast load times to prevent people from leaving out of sheer frustration. Any buttons, animations, and links should work, and there should be no 404 errors saying that a page can’t be found.
Mobile users are on the rise. Up to 55% people use their smartphones and tablets to search for businesses, so you definitely need a website that is easy to see and use on a mobile device. If your website isn’t compatible with mobile devices, you could be losing a lot of potential customers or clients.
Additionally, Google rolled out a new algorithm in April 2015 that penalizes websites that are not mobile-friendly. If you want a franchise website that ranks well on Google, then making sure your franchise website is mobile friendly is vital.
5. Compatible Across All Browsers
In addition to working on all devices, your website should also work on all browsers: Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, and Internet Explorer, to name a few. Everyone has their own browser of choice; therefore, you want your website to appeal to all of them in order to increase your reach.
6. Easy to Use
Visitors to your website should also find it easy to navigate. They are looking for something, so make sure they can easily find it! Keep your website structure simple—avoid the “rabbit hole” effect, where each click draws you deeper in until you’re so confused that you don’t know where to go next.
7. Easy to Find
Having an amazing website does little for your business if it cannot be found. Search engine optimization (SEO) is key to the success of any franchise that is looking to be found online. SEO is a technique that helps a website rank on the first pages of search engines such as Google, Bing, and Yahoo. While SEO is often ignored or neglected, it is one of the most important aspects of a good website.
I Want a Website That Will Bring Me Business. What’s Next?
The best step you can take if you want to attract business is to hire an excellent franchise web design and online marketing company. You need professionals on your side to advise you and work with you to create a website that will blow away your competitors and impress your visitors.
Interested in learning more about SEO for your franchise? Contact one of our certified franchise marketing specialists: (888) 300-0409!