When assessing what’s important for your franchisee websites, what matters most is the return on investment (ROI). In most cases the success metrics you should assess for franchisee websites to help define the ROI, in order of importance, are:
1. Lead-to-Customer Conversions: Website leads that convert to paying customers.
2. Lead Generation: Visitors that complete a call to action form on the site.
3. Website Traffic: The amount of traffic generated to the website from various sources.
4. Search Rankings: Search engine rankings for targeted key words in local search results.
When considering the rate of success you can achieve on these key metrics for your franchisee websites, to ultimately increase unit-level sales and royalties, there are certain features and capabilities your solution will need in order to produce positive results in the long run. Below is a list of the most important features and capabilities you should require to achieve optimal results:
Static, unchanging websites yield low, stagnant placement in search engine results. Experts agree that the strongest impact on higher search rankings, by far, is effected by frequent content updates to a website, which has shown to yield a 55% increase in traffic and a 90% increase in leads.
Franchisees must be able to publish some degree of original content to their local franchise websites. For one, local content directly increases local search rankings, in turn driving more targeted traffic; secondly, local-centric content ensures a unique and engaging experience for the local market, in turn increasing conversion rates.
Although local websites are specifically geared towards increasing unit-level performance, it’s important that franchisors maintain a comfortable level of oversight and control. There needs to be easy mechanisms for the franchisor to distribute certain content to franchisee websites, and ensure brand consistency across all sites.
Ease of Use
It’s imperative that the content management system for franchisee websites is extremely simple to use for those who are non-technical. Franchisees are slow to adopt software solutions that are complicated to learn and use. Strong franchisee adoption is a must, so the system’s ease of use will be a major factor in its ultimate success.
You need an easy way to deploy new franchisee websites quickly and cost-effectively, and take websites down if need be. There should be a management interface which allows a non-technical staff member to effortlessly deploy new franchisee websites, and deactivate those for locations that close, without having to bother (and pay) your IT team for it.
There must be a way to measure results. Ensure there are comprehensive analytics available to the franchisor, and more simplified analytics for franchisees. Being able to show franchisees performance insights of their local websites in an easy to understand and digestible manner is a powerful way to gain broad adoption and support.
There are numerous other features you’ll likely want, but the above chart outlines the fundamental capabilities you’ll need for the solution powering your franchisee websites in order for it to be a successful undertaking. Since Empowerkit was designed specifically to meet the needs of franchisors and franchisees, it accounts for all of these capabilities and much more.
Read the next post in this series to learn about the a number of key considerations to weigh in making a decision for your local franchise websites.