Your franchisee sites are there to inform and hopefully convert potential clients, that’s why there must to be certain basic information about your business in there. Nonetheless, you’d be surprised at how many businesses miss the mark at some of the key information a site should have. People want instant gratification and if they don’t find what they’re looking for, they’ll move on and take their business elsewhere.
This post is meant to help you out so you don’t lose leads due to not having the right information. Think of it as a checklist that you can go through to make sure that your site is complete. You may think of some of these as obvious but it’s not rare to see businesses who forget to include them.
Information MUSTS for Franchisee Sites
This might be the most obvious one of all. Of course, your logo is your identity and they certify that a franchisee site has a whole company behind it, how could you not include it in your site? But it happens. Let the visitors know what your site’s about at a first glance. Your logo should be prominent or on a very visible area of (every) page.
Your local franchise’s information
Phone, address and service hours. Customers need to contact you. By posting this valuable information, you put yourself out there. Plus, this gives your customers the assurance that they’re dealing with a real business (especially when they’re about to go through an online transaction).
This information has such importance that it should be included at least in the footer or header of every page.
Another thing people are looking for in a site are deals or specials. They want to know what else they can gain when purchasing your product or service. That’s why they should be updated constantly (depending on the kind of deal it is) and should have clear instructions or information about how to get said deal/special.
This is a great way to get new customers to think about converting and to persuade regular customers to keep coming back for more.
Call to Action
This could be one of the most important things a site should have. A call to action (CTA) most commonly refers to a button, but it can be any piece of text or information on your site that gets your leads to convert or maximize lead generation. Think about the CTA that is more convenient for your line of business and exploit it to its maximum marketing potential.
Be it your menu as a restaurant or the assistance you provide, you should always include a “Services” page or listing. How will people know if they want to buy your product or service if they don’t know what you’re offering them?
Including pricing with the services may be a little bit tricky because it can change from franchise to franchise or even change over time. Still, it’s helpful information that lets the potential client organize his/her finances.
About Us Information
This is one of the most popular pages in a site and while a customer may not actively be looking for it to close a deal, it can prove that you have a history and it validates your business. Remember that they are trusting you with their money and they want to know your values to get a better idea of who you are as a company.
Franchisors and franchisees may overlook this from time to time but people want to be sure of what they’re getting when purchasing a product or service. You can promise them that they’ll get what they pay for, but hearing it from another customer that’s going through the same things they are gives your business credibility.
Don’t let this opportunity go to waste!
What information should I include for my franchise?
Now that I’ve laid some key information musts, we need to take a look at how these are going to work in your own franchise. Obviously, each business is different but this information can be adapted to best fit your line of work. Furthermore, once you know what you need and how to apply it to your own franchise, we’ll go over how to execute it.
If your franchise is a quick service restaurant, there are a few things that you need to consider. For starters, you should add a map or address because as a consumer, you either want to go to the physical location or are looking to get some takeout. Tied into this are the service hours. It’s also very recommendable to add a phone so people can call to order takeout, make reservations, etc.
Another big thing, and that many QSR restaurants forget, is that you should include a menu. Especially if, for example, you have a “sandwich of the day” kind of deal. Menus and specials should be present in your site so your customers are persuaded to buy your food.
Be sure to keep your site updated. A sight like the one in this next image can be discouraging. More so, if people are just going to your site to find the specials or the menu. With the somber styling and the lack of information (or a placeholder like here), you’re on your way to scare people off your site!
A franchise that focuses on professional services (consultants, lawyers, financial services), need to be very smart about their information. The people that contact (or are looking to contact) some of these services, are looking for professional answers. They are trusting you with their money, their legal case, etc. and more than ever, there needs to be mutual trust.
The qualifications of your business should be in display: what are your areas of expertise? What kind of experience do you have? What’s your company’s profile? What are the values and objectives of your company? What education do your professionals have? These information is key to portray a trustworthy company.
Testimonials will play a crucial part in you earning their trust. Use real stories of success that your company helped solve.
An effective call to action for these kinds of businesses is offering a free quota or the first hour of a consultation for free. This way, the leads will be able to try your work ethics and experience first hand before converting.
In this next site, you can see that the logo of the company is not apparent at first glance. It’s animated and you have to wait a good 10 seconds before it appears in the video. As you know, a visitor will stay on a site around 5 seconds before s/he decides if it’s what s/he wants. The phone number is also missing at first glance: you have to scroll down to see it. These, tied in with the old school design doesn’t give this site a very professional feel.
Repair & Cleaning
As a franchise that specializes in restoration or cleaning, you know that the number one thing your site should have is your phone number. Remember that people are probably not going to your physical location but rather want you to come to their home or office to provide your service.
A phone number, the service areas and hours should be priority number one!
A list of services will be very important for you too: there are many restoration or cleaning franchises out there and each one provide different services. If they know what you’re providing, it’ll be easier for them to make a decision and convert.
For example, in this next site, you can see that this cleaning franchise has a list of reasons why to chose them but there are no services in the whole site. Of course, they clean but what do they clean? Is there an area of expertise? Do you charge extra for some of those cleaning services? Customers have these questions and you should answer them so they feel comfortable choosing you.
How to put this advice to good use?
Like everything in a franchise, to get this information up on your site, you’ll need to collaborate with your franchisees. As a franchisor, you need to provide your franchisees with samples or templates that they can customize or get an idea from. At first, your franchisees may feel lost so by letting them know what to include and giving them an idea of how to do it, they’ll be on their way.
It’s obvious that you won’t be able to keep going back to each and every one of their sites to provide feedback or update the information. There will be a point where s/he will need to take over and update the daily menu (for example). Remember that constant updates are very important (not only for your leads, but for SEO) and nothing throws a customer off more than outdated information. Don’t misinform them and be the trustworthy.
Information is a great tool to get your online business rolling. People are looking for you but they want to find the information that will get them to convert. Go through this post again and make sure your franchisee sites aren’t missing the mark.