Get Your Franchisee Websites Up and Running

Getting a site up can be a potential hassle for you and your franchisees. Depending on the approach you take, it can be costly and time consuming. But you shouldn’t be discouraged! You should think of this process as a collaborative effort between both parties.

As you know, 43% of all searches have local intent (according to Chikita Online Advertising Network), so if you want your franchise to have a strong online presence, you need to do it right.

Many franchisors think that with a business listing or a social media account, they’re pretty much covered in the “local site” department but that’s not the case. While those efforts may help your online marketing strategy, a site is the way to go because it leaves a more authoritative and trustworthy feel in the visitor.

In this post we’ll go through the main steps or elements to consider when building a site and the “who does what” aspect of it. With a clearer grasp on the steps and the responsibilities of everybody involved, everything can flow more smoothly.

First of all, getting your site out there can be done in one of two ways. One way is in-house, this means that your IT department will take care of the building of the site. We’ll include hiring a web development company into this category, because not all franchises have an IT department.

On the other hand, you could go with a system like Empowerkit, that’s easy to use and helps you control the sites as you empower your franchisees.

Elements to Getting your Franchisee Sites Up

The Domain

1213666 world wide web 150x150 Get Your Franchisee Websites Up and RunningFirst thing a site needs is the domain, which is the name under which your visitors will be able to access your site (for example, The franchisee sites’ domain or URL should be tied up to the corporate site in some way. If not, they may end up competing with the main site and can ultimately be detrimental to SEO.

In both cases (whether it’s in-house or through Empowerkit), you’ll have to purchase a domain. With Empowerkit, you’ll just need to point that domain to your sites and that’ll be all! Check out our tutorial on how to do it.

Brand Compliance

logo 150x150 Get Your Franchisee Websites Up and RunningBrand compliance is one of the most important things to ensure in your franchisee sites. As you know, when building a brand, there’s a lot of work that goes into achieving a certain position and personality in the market.

From your logo, its colors, the slogan you use, the typography, verbiage, among other things are all part of your brand. It’s important to keep this consistent throughout your franchisee sites because this makes your clients feel safe and perceive you as a trustworthy company.

To get a better idea of what you need to do to achieve compliance in-house or with Empowerkit, read this post on brand compliance.


righthand 150x150 Get Your Franchisee Websites Up and RunningContent can be tricky and while it’s the fuel that keeps the site running, the process of getting the content up can be very intense. More than ever, this needs to be a collaborative effort. The franchisee site depends on fresh and appropriate content so it can rank better in the search pages and to engage your leads with your company.

If a site is just starting up, then you may probably want to include some information musts. Many of this has to do with the services you offer, the about page and general corporate content. A good idea is to provide sample texts that your franchisees can take inspiration from or that they can customize to fit the local audience. Just beware of content duplication since it can be very hurtful for SEO!

Remember that images, videos, audio, etc. are also content and they can be customized to fit the local audiences as well. This will get them engaged with your business and may even want to share your site with their friends and family.

If you need more tips for content, be sure to go back to our “Content Solutions” post. In it you’ll find great advice of how to take full advantage of content for your site.

If, as a franchisor, you’re worried about controlling the content, you can always check out a tool like Google Alerts, which notifies you when certain modifications have been made in content. Be sure to always be available to help out your franchisees in this area (since it’s such a delicate and important subject).


As mentioned, there needs to be a collaborative effort to put all of the content up. The IT dept., franchisee and franchisor should all be in this together. One needs to code all of this information, the other needs to customize it for its audience and the franchisor (or someone in corporate) should be there to supervise and offer support in this part of the process.

Sometimes, it’s even advised that the company hires someone to write and provide all of this content for the franchisee to customize.


Once the franchisor or marketing team is done with the master site, getting up the franchisee sites is very easy. The franchisee (or person in charge of doing the site) will have to do some content management to customize the information so it’s relevant to the company and to their local scenario, which is very easy with Empowerkit because there’s no coding.

Customization, as long as the franchisor allows it, is very easy to achieve. Nonetheless, since the site is just starting up, there needs to be some kind of feedback or strong communication between franchisor and franchisee. This way, you’ll both get what you want.

Sometimes, it’s even advised that the company hires someone to write and provide all of this content for the franchisee to customize.


google 76517 640 150x150 Get Your Franchisee Websites Up and RunningSEO (Search Engine Optimization) is a set of techniques that help your site to be seen. By applying this rules to optimize your site, you have better chances of being found in the search pages. This means that, when a potential client is looking up some terms that are related with your business, you are more likely to be seen. The more people visit your site (traffic), there are more probabilities that you convert a lead into a client.

A tip would be to teach your franchisees a bit about SEO to help them develop content that helps their site rank higher. Most importantly, be sure to avoid these mistakes.

If possible, you could even hire a SEO expert to help you out in finding the right keywords for your franchisee sites or to go over the content and make sure that it’s optimized for the search engines. Remember that content feeds SEO, and without SEO, there would be no point in having a site because it would probably be lost in the search pages.


182201 lens 150x150 Get Your Franchisee Websites Up and RunningDetails can be small but have the ability to make a huge difference. Your site needs to be 100% ready before publishing it and that’s why this task needs to be a two person job. While one can try to make the best job possible, another can be a fresh pair of eyes to look for little details that could have been missing or that were looked over.

Here are some things to go over to ensure your site’s publish-ready status:

The texts  –  You should proofread ALL of the texts to make sure that there aren’t any mistakes.
Links  –  Are all the links working?
Pages  –  Are all the pages linked? are their titles relevant to the site and to the visitor?
Call to Action – Is it set up properly with all the elements it should contain?

Consistency is key and while a franchisee can go over the details, it’s also advised that the franchisor (or its marketing team) goes over the site to make sure there are no brand compliance issues.


Again, you’ll have to go to your IT dept. to go through this one (especially if the site is coded and your franchisee or your marketing team don’t know how to go through it). Make sure that there’s brand compliance and that everything is ready to be published. A site with mistakes and broken links can often be off-putting to your visitors.


With this franchisee-friendly CMS, you can move around, edit and modify styles, content, links, buttons, etc., to make sure your site is done and ready for all of those visitors. Nevertheless, it’s still a good idea that a fresh pair of eyes goes through the site to ensure its publishing status.

Be it your franchisee, marketing team, or even yourself, can work through the details with the highly intuitive system at Empowerkit.


1097858 digital world 150x150 Get Your Franchisee Websites Up and RunningThis is the final step. After all the hard work, it all comes down to this. Publish your franchisee sites and with time (and if the process was followed correctly), you’ll start to see the benefits to having a competent local site.


A site is hard work but, if done right, it can pay off. Whichever way you choose to approach it, it’s always a good idea to join efforts and work on it together (franchisors and franchisees) so the process goes as smoothly as possible. Furthermore, remember that a site is not just about getting it out there: it needs to be taken care of on a regular basis. Soon you’ll be able to read a post about how to maintain franchisee sites so all of the hard work put into the site doesn’t go to waste.

If you have any questions about this post or anything else regarding Empowerkit, feel free to ask!

February 13, 2013

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