We offer a specialised website platform designed specifically for franchisors who want - or need - to give their franchisees a website that generates more leads. Our Franchise Website Solution puts you as the franchise owner in control, but still allows your franchisees to securely manage their own web content without requiring that every franchisee have a separate website.
Why Your Franchise Business Needs a Good Website
One of the key benefits a franchise can offer its members is a well-designed website that retains all of the franchise's brand equity in one website platform yet still allows franchisees to manage their own online presence from within that platform. This allows you, as the franchise owner, to control your brand story as tightly or as loosely as you want, and ensure that franchisees aren't tempted (or driven) to set up their own websites because they think they can do a better job.
Why Your Franchise Needs One Website, Not Many Websites
Prior to 2012, it was common for franchise businesses to set up multiple websites - one for each franchisee. These would have website addresses like:
- franchise.co.nz (the corporate / head office website)
- auckland.franchise.co.nz (franchisee 1)
- wellington.franchise.co.nz (franchisee 2)
- franchise3-hamilton.co.nz (franchisee 3)
- franchise4-christchurch.co.nz (franchisee 4)
This approach was designed to achieve high local rankings in each local market in which the franchise operated. It also made it possible to allow individual franchisees to manage their own website content since they would log in to their own website to make changes. The downside was that it was difficult to monitor the content each franchisee loaded. It was also difficult to run a central online marketing campaign, which meant that many individual franchisees would take it upon themselves to run (and pay for) their own SEO, content marketing, and Google Adwords campaigns.
In 2012, Google changed the game when it launched two massive changes to its search ranking algorithms, known in the SEO industry as Penguin and Panda. These changes invalidated the above approach almost overnight, and many franchise businesses lost significant traffic overnight. The main reasons franchise websites suffered in particular were the fact that they tended to duplicate content across multiple websites, and they also set up links between the different websites to cross-promote each other. Both of these approaches had long been frowned upon by Google. In 2012, Google finally started penalising websites that used them.
Franchise Websites - the Best-Practice Approach
Today, the best approach is to create a single website that contains all of the web content for your franchise brand. The new website address structure will look something like this:
This approach has the following advantages:
- Your local search rankings are likely to increase compared to the previous approach, since you now have significantly more relevant content from across the individual sub-sites, which helps influence Google when evaluating local search rankings. Duplicate content is largely eliminated.
- You can run online marketing campaigns for the whole franchise, and drive them back to a single landing page. You can even run localised campaigns that bring visitors into landing pages within the local franchise sections of the website. And individual franchisees can still run their own online marketing campaigns if they want to.
- You can measure your website traffic, conversions and social engagement for the whole business in one place, as well as providing sub-reports for individual franchise owners if you want.
- Each franchisee can be granted permission to manage the content for their branch pages. When they log in, they can only edit and manage their content. They can even delegate different tasks to different staff if they want to.
- The franchisee sub-sites can include as many -or as few - features as you want - limited only by your imagination (and your budget). Popular examples include service pages, case studies, testimonials, photo galleries, news, events, timetables, product re-ordering, online web forms ...
- As the franchise owner, you get complete access to franchisee content, so you can easily edit or remove content that isn't of high quality or in keeping with your brand. You can even implement an approval process whereby the franchise head office must review all new and changed content before it is published to the site.
- You can implement a secure franchisee intranet for communication with your franchisees. For example, you might have a Leads dashboard where you post incoming leads for each franchise. Or you might have an internal ordering system whereby your franchisees can order franchisee supplies from an internal online store.
- You can have an online store where the individual orders are fulfilled by the franchisee nearest each customer. This gives you the benefit of an ecommerce store without cutting off your franchisees.
In short - a single website solution puts you, as the franchise owner, in control of your online marketing message and presentation of your brand.
Our Franchise Website Platform
Our Franchise Website Platform has been developed as a direct result of working closely with two well-known national franchises to migrate to this new, best practice approach, and includes the following features. This list is a guide to our core offering - we can add or subtract features to meet your specific needs. This platform is flexible, easy to use, and easy to extent.
- A single website, with sub-sites for each franchisee.
- Easy-to-use content management tools that allow franchisees to create, edit and manage their own content, and no-one else's.
- Integrated online marketing and SEO tools that make it easy for you to outsource your SEO, Social Media, Email Marketing, and Google Adwords campaigns.
- Conversion tracking tools so you can measure the effectiveness of your online marketing campaigns, and easily generate reports for sharing with your franchisees.
- Multi-user role-based access. Each franchisee can have more than one user account, each with different roles, so they can delegate different tasks on the website to different employees.
- Workflow publishing tools that let you review all new franchisee content before it is published to the live site (this is optional).
- Best-practice SEO tools to ensure that your website has the best chance of achieving high search engine results.
- Built-in website analytics so you can track and analyse your website visitors.
- Integration with social media, including the option to allow franchisees to promote their social media profiles on their own subsite.
- Marketing tools for capturing and segmenting visitor data.
- Reliable hosting (with regular backups) so you don't have to worry about whether your website is up and running.
- An integrated online store, including customer-specific pricing
- An internal ordering system for franchisees to order products and supplies from you directly (no more phone calls or
- A secure intranet for franchisees so you can provide information, product updates, and training online to your franchisees without requiring them to log into a separate platform.
- Easily customisable online forms for handling franchise enquiries.