Franchisee Websites Usability is what makes it easy for a visitor to journey through your franchisee sites. its goal is to give those coming into your site, the most efficient (usable) site possible, so that internal elements, like the lack of information, aren’t putting them off from converting into a customer.
Have you ever accessed a site where the links were broken, you couldn’t find the way around it and that took too long to load? Just like you would when encountering an unfriendly site, a visitor may get irritated with a franchisee site that doesn’t address their needs and will probably just move on to one that does (i.e. your competitors!).
If you’re still a little bit lost and would like to know what a user friendly site is exactly, go through this checklist to make sure that you’re fulfilling your customer’s expectations!
A Checklist to a More User Friendly Franchisee Websites Design
What does this mean? An intuitive site would be one that isn’t too complicated to get through. Just by accessing it, visitors will be able to figure out how to use it.
Experience has made people pretty familiar with how sites work and they expect to find certain things in certain places, they need consistency within a site and they need certain actions to produce certain reactions. Take advantage of the fact that people already know how to move through a site and give them the functionality they want!
A Mobile Friendly Site
You can see it everywhere: people are practically glued to their gadgets and mobile devices. Moreover, 47% of them are using them to search local businesses!
According to a research Google did, 75% of users prefer a mobile-friendly site. Even more so, 50% said that even though they may like a business, they’ll steer away from them if they don’t have a mobile friendly site!
If you’re feeling a bit lost in this department, don’t worry! Our “Mobile Franchisee Sites” post’s got you covered.
Here’s a side by side example of what an unfriendly mobile site looks like compared to a functional, responsive and adapted mobile site! The one on the left would be difficult to get through. On the other hand, you can see a goal-oriented and concise mobile landing page that takes into consideration the way visitors use their gadgets!
The navigation is probably one of the main elements in a site. It’s the way that you get from one part of a site to another (or to other sites). So basically, through it, you lay out the structure of your site. So what does a good navigation menu requires?
– ALL the pages in your site should be linked and labeled with a name that makes sense.
– If you’re site has too many pages, a drop-down navigation menu could be a better option for you so that you don’t have 20 links plastered in your header.
– Plus, if there’s a lot of content in it, a search box will make looking through your site a lot easier!
– Either way, your navigation menu should be logically organized and have a set position (preferably above the fold) that’s consistent in ALL the pages in your site.
This next image is an example of a navigation menu. As you can see it is prominent, on the upper part of the page and it’s organized logically with a drop-down menu so that the space isn’t crowded.
Visitors in your site are there to research your business which basically means that they need certain information from you. There are key pieces of content that will help them know more about your business (like your phone number, a CTA and the services you provide) and you need to make sure you’re not missing them in your franchisee sites!
Remember that visitors need to get what they’re looking for or else, they’ll go away and take their business to your competitors. So be sure include those information musts in your franchisee sites!
If you need a bit more help in this subject, check out our “Information MUSTS” post!
Tied up to the section above, verbiage has a lot to do with usability. Having too technical or patronizing content in big chunks of text will probably steer the visitors away from you. Remember the main way to communicate a message in a site is through the written word, so make sure you have friendly and readable content that is relatable and represents your franchise’s voice.
Moreover, try to communicate through clear instructions and don’t try to deceive your visitors!
People live and work through their computers so, more than ever, they want to protect them. They need some kind of reassurance that, by clicking this or that option, they won’t un-knowingly transfer a virus into their computer.
If a site looks too sketchy or just not at all trustworthy, it will leave a bad impression. By getting your sites certified, you’ll provide your visitors a sense of security when browsing through your site or when clicking in your calls to action.
In this next example you’ll see that, upon arriving to the registration page in a franchise site, they add these two signs (emphasized with the red arrows). These reassure the user that:
1. Their information will remain private and
2. That the site is secure.
With a strategy like this, there will probably be no doubt in their minds that would prevent them from becoming a lead or from converting all the way!
If you’re a franchisor, you know why it’s important to have brand compliance across your franchisee sites! Rogue sites are a cheap solutions your franchisees find to an online presence problem when an official answer isn’t offered to them. BUT! This often results in a compliance issue which can result in a misrepresentation of your company.
If you need some more help, check out this post on how to achieve brand compliance.
A Fast Loading Speed
People want instant gratification. Time is one of their most valuable assets so don’t think they’ll wait forever for your site to load! This often happens when a site has too much information to go through before appearing in a visitor’s browser. If this is happening to them, you should figure out where the loading speed is getting stuck and try to fix it for them.
Obviously, much of this will go back to your visitor’s internet connection but if a large percentage of your target audience has this problem (you could use Google Analytics to find out), you should give them a hand!
Style is one of the most important elements in a site. Colors, typography and the overall arrangement of your site affect the way visitors perceive it. That’s why it’s important that the colors used aren’t obnoxious or dull; that the typography for your texts, buttons and links is readable, among other details.
You want to create an overall pleasant experience so, I would advice not playing any video, sound or animation automatically when entering a site because it is annoying (believe me). Instead, add that content so they have a choice to play it whenever they want.
In this next example, you’ll see a site that has a soft color base and a brighter green to accent important elements. To the right, pointed out with a red arrow, is a video, which the visitor can play on demand and even choose to view more by clicking on the green button below it.
Details In Check
Details can entail a lot of things and here we’ll go through some that you need to be mindful of:
– Are all of your links/pages working? Nothing is more discouraging that clicking into a page that’s not finished or that’s not there anymore.
– Are there too many typos that may make the text unclear?
– Do the page titles pertain to that page’s content?
– Are the inquiries in the sign up forms labeled correctly?
– Is the premium content ready to be downloaded?
These are some other tiny details here and there can make a huge difference of how somebody perceives your site! Even if you don’t think too much of it, somebody may notice and be thrown off by it. Aim for perfection in your site!
A site without these characteristics can be off-putting and may make your potential leads run off. Be sure to go through your franchisee sites and ask yourself, are they ready to receive visitors?
Remember that the main reason you put up a site is so that potential customers can find you and get to know your business so by having unfriendly franchisee sites, you could be losing potential leads! Keep your sites in-check with this user friendly checklist and don’t let customers slip through your fingers!
Do you have any questions regarding this post or Empowerkit? Let us know in the comments section below!