Almost 95% of consumers will base their trust in a company on their website. Having a well-designed and user-friendly site is no longer an optional extra for businesses — it’s a must. It becomes part of your marketing strategy and helps you to stand out above your competitors.
As a franchise, your website can help create brand loyalty and trust among consumers in various areas. It’s also critical that your franchisees rate high in search results in their specific areas.
The internet has made it possible for small businesses to compete much more with large ones. If your franchise’s website doesn’t catch the attention of potential customers, you’re going to lose out.
A franchise often won’t have one single website for all of the various locations, but allows each franchisee to run their sites independently. This can cause the franchise image to become muddled, and customers might not see one consistent message from the various locations, which impacts their trust in the franchise.
Let’s learn more about franchise website design, the essential aspects to consider, and the process you’re going to want to follow.
Why are Websites so Important?
Websites form a vital part of your operational and marketing strategy. Most consumers search for businesses using search engines like Google, Yahoo, or Bing, and many traditional marketing avenues are no longer effective. A site optimized for search engines will help consumers find your business quickly and give them information about the franchise.
The website can also prompt potential consumers to action and generate leads. Many companies also use their websites to increase sales.
You may argue that your franchise will be visible in a search if it’s listed with a directory. However, if a potential consumer doesn’t have a website to browse, they likely won’t try and contact you.
The website builds customer trust in the brand and gives much more information than what they’ll find in a directory listing. It shows that you’re professional and that the potential customer can trust you. You can also channel your social media marketing to your site, where your customers will be able to find all the information they need.
What Do You Need to Consider in Your Site Design?
The website design franchises should opt for must meet specific requirements for it to be effective. Many companies are competing to get the attention of your potential customers. Your site should stand out and make it easy for customers to keep their attention on you and choose your product above others.
Many franchise websites are more significant than small-business sites in size. For that reason, the site must be structured correctly. If you have individual sites for each franchise, they should adhere to the same design, brand, and copy standards. If the website isn’t structured correctly, these standards will be impossible to maintain.
Search Engine Optimization
SEO has become a buzzword in web design, but it’s vitally important so that customers can find your site. Your franchise web design must include strong keywords and content to ensure that it is visible as part of the top results in any search.
Another requirement is ensuring that the site is completely optimized for mobile use. Most users will view your site on their mobile device, and the site should be equally impressive on both mobile and desktop. This is especially critical if you channel social media ads to your site. Google also rates mobile-friendly sites higher than those that aren’t, which means your ranking is influenced if consumers can’t access your site on a mobile device.
Another consideration is how user-friendly the site is. You can use one page or multiple pages to showcase your franchise. Regardless of which option you choose, the potential customer should find the information they’re looking for quickly and easily. The site should be easy to navigate without struggling to find relevant tabs. Your franchise website design should be done with the user in mind, not the business.
The content on your site is also essential. You should use professional language that will reflect your franchise’s culture. There shouldn’t be any grammatical errors, which make you look unprofessional. The copy should also make the information clear. You can have a great website with excellent graphics that’s easy to navigate, but if the copy isn’t of the same quality, the customer won’t get the information they need.
Your site has to be safe. That means you should have an HTTPS instead of an HTTP address. It’s becoming increasingly easy to hack sites and get access to customer information. Whether you have a complete database of customer information or just a contact form with an email address or phone number, the website design franchises choose has to be as secure as possible.
Finally, your site has to be fast. Researchers have found that up to 40% of potential customers will leave a site before making any purchase if the site is too slow. Internet speeds are becoming increasingly fast, and web design franchise options need to keep up.
How to Create a Franchise Website Design
There are a number of key steps to focus on during the web design franchise process. And no matter what, you want to make sure you get a good return on investment (ROI).
Review of Business Goals
If you work with an outside consultant or design agency, the first step is to have an in-depth discussion about the goals you have for your franchise web design. You should consider whether your priority is to drive traffic to your site, grow an e-commerce section, or convince potential customers to visit the franchise location in their area. The goals you choose will influence how the web design franchises opt for will take place.
Analysis of Your Current Site
After you’ve discussed your goals, you should take a hard look at the existing site. This analysis includes which aspects you need to look into changing. Of course, if you don’t have a website yet, you won’t follow this step.
From this point on, you’re probably no longer involved in the process in a hands-on fashion. The web design franchise framework is the platform where software can be developed by adding code. Your designer will define the framework to make your site unique and user-friendly.
This comes in when you have an intranet for employees to use or multiple sites for external audiences. Information architecture organizes and labels websites, software, and online communities. This step is essential because it influences how easy it is to find information on your site, impacting the useability.
The content of your site goes hand-in-hand with your marketing strategy. Your content is what draws potential customers to you. During the content strategy development stage, you should indicate the crucial information that should be on the site. You can then decide what else you’d like to feature to maximize SEO and the value that potential customers will get.
When discussing your content strategy, you should consider the people you’re targeting. You have to decide on the language you’re going to use to target the right group. You should include clear calls to action in your copy and map the content according to the customer’s life cycle. You also need to set up a schedule if you’re planning on adding to the site regularly, like in a blog.
Website Design and Development
Once you’ve discussed exactly what content the website should have, the team can start working on the actual design. All of the aspects that you’ve discussed up until this point will now be put into action. Your developer can use various languages to develop your site, depending on the specific needs you’ve talked about. Part of the design will be your franchise brand book. You can choose to keep your current corporate identity or redesign it together with the development of the new website.
Search Engine Optimization
Once your website has been developed, your designer will populate the site with content, ensuring that it increases your listing on search engines. If you had an existing site, your consultant would work on an SEO migration plan to ensure that any changes you made to the website are reflected.
Before the site goes live, there are a few things that your developer needs to do. You’ll work on a strategy to determine how successful the new website design is. The website will also go through a quality assurance process. Once you’re satisfied with the new site and the developer has ensured that everything functions well, the site can go live.
What Should You Look For in a Consultant or Developer?
If you’re hiring an outside agency or website developer, you should look for someone who understands franchise website design and can deliver a quality site that will exceed your expectations.
You should have a project manager who will discuss every aspect of the website and update every step of the design process. This person should guide you in every aspect and help you make the best decisions for your franchise.
You ideally want your site to go live on time and within your budget requirements. You also want to see an increase in organic traffic to your site after it’s gone live, with successful conversion.
Common Concerns Around Franchise Website Design
The first concern that many franchisors have around web design is the cost involved. The answer isn’t straightforward, as the price depends on your exact design needs. You should set a budget when you first discuss your requirements. Your designer will explain how many concepts you’ll receive and the details around your site’s hosting. You can also discuss the revisions included in the price and who will be on the team working on your site. If you require ongoing maintenance and development, you should mention this to your consultant.
Websites are no longer just nice to have. They are a core part of your marketing strategy, with most consumers basing their opinions of a company purely on their website. Your franchise web design can mean the success or failure of your business.
The process of the web design franchise’s needs can seem daunting, but if you have a good consultant or project manager guiding you, it gets much more manageable. Your consultant can help you make informed decisions and develop strategies that will benefit your franchise in the long run.
Part of developing a new website is to make sure that it’s rated high in a search. You must ensure that the site is mobile-friendly and easy to use. Use copy that fits the franchise culture and targets your audience. That way, potential consumers will find the franchise in their area with no hassle.