As a business franchise owner, you face a lot of challenges. From day-to-day management and operations to marketing and advertising, there are always significant tasks on your plate. However, in today’s internet-based marketplace, it’s clear that some tasks are more important than others. One such task involves the development of an effective franchise website.
Keep These 4 Tips in Mind
Depending on the franchise agreement you have in place, you may or may not have total creative freedom over your website. Chances are everything you do will have to be signed off by the franchisor. With that being said, it’s crucial that you focus on the following four tips:
1. Leverage Brand Name
The biggest advantage to owning a franchise is the ability to leverage the power of the brand. Don’t ever forget this. If you want to maximize the return you see from your website, you must focus on the brand. It’s never about you, or even your individual franchise; it should always be about the brand name.
In terms of web design, this looks like incorporating logos, using branding materials that have been provided, and never straying too far from the franchise’s marketing messages. Logos should be on the top of every page, as well as scattered throughout. The goal is to keep the brand on the top of the user’s mind for the entire time they’re on the site.
2. Focus on Site Speed
Site speed is more important than most people realize. Roughly half of all consumers expect a web page to load in two seconds or less. Exactly 40 percent of internet users abandon a website after it takes more than three seconds to load. That means your website is turning away two out every five customers that visit if things are too slow.
How do you increase site speed? Well, it depends on the root of the problem. Google PageSpeed Insights is a nice tool that allows you to plug in your URL to see what’s slowing your site down. This is a good resource to use during the design and development phase.
3. Choose Simple Navigation
People love simple websites. While you may feel like there’s a lot of information to give customers, it’s best to narrow your focus and only convey what’s necessary. Simple navigation means less confusion, lower bounce rates, faster site speed, and higher conversions.
You only need a few parent pages on your site. This includes a home page, about us page, contact page, products and services page, and blog. There are situations where additional pages are necessary, but the fewer you have, the simpler your navigation will be.
4. Utilize Social Proof
The power of social proof in web design is something that you should take seriously. Based on the fact that you’re operating under the umbrella of a successful brand means there’s considerable market acceptance for your franchise concept. As a result, this also means there are lots of happy customers.
Find these customers and ask for permission to include their reviews and referrals on your website. These elements of social proof are invaluable and can help you reach fringe consumers. You may also be able to get some numbers from corporate that will help your social proof. For example, being able to claim that your brand serves 250,000 customers is something that will help you gain even more traction.
Putting it All Together
While web design may not be the most important aspect of operating a franchise, it’s certainly something that needs to be given more thought. In many cases, a consumer’s first experience with a brand happens online. If your website isn’t a priority, you risk damaging this experience and losing a potential customer. Keep these four tips in mind and you’ll be fine.