Written by Kahl Orr, founder of Rise, a franchise marketing agency that builds high-performance websites for some of the fastest growing brands.
As a franchisor, you handle a multitude of responsibilities, from supporting multiple sites to the ever-important expansion of your business and its footprint. As a result, your digital presence is often not prioritized until it stops working.
A single, centrally managed website is crucial to your success as a franchisor and franchisee. The benefits of a brand central website can include more impactful search engine optimization (SEO), consistent brand standards across sites, a unified customer experience, better data insights, and more. The franchisor-controlled master website ensures a unified brand experience while maintaining the local presence of each franchisor. Let’s take a closer look.
1. Synchronization of SEO Efforts
Managing hundreds of franchise websites and their microsites can make it difficult to avoid duplicate content or pages that compete with your company’s site. Coordinating the foundational elements of SEO, such as site structure, title tags, meta descriptions, backlinks, and digital assets from a central location, sets your brand up for success. Consolidated efforts not only boost your SEO but also contribute to your website’s domain authority. This main indicator determines the ranking in search engines. Using a single domain name in place of the small, independent sites for each franchise site makes it easy to achieve high domain authority. When franchisors and franchisees share your SEO efforts under one website, you are likely to notice an increase in web traffic as well.
2. Adhering to brand standards
When franchise networks work with multiple digital agencies to manage their websites, it can be difficult to maintain brand standards. One website can simplify all of this. The franchisor will have more control over the brands and can make website improvements that affect all franchisees at once. You can stay consistent and true to your brand with a central website while still serving unique people and locations.
3. Unify customer and user experience
The last thing you want to hear from your customers is that your website is confusing. For example, let’s say a potential customer is looking for pet toys in their area. Your work appears in search results many times. However, all web pages look and feel different. Not only does this experience erode your credibility, but your customers are also likely to look elsewhere. With a centrally managed website, you can take back control of your web presence and provide a user experience that makes customers want to reach you.
4. Improved data insights
Tired of grouping your analytics environments together? With a single website, you will have access to a unified view of user behavior. You can track all site traffic, view global trends at a glance, and better attribute your marketing efforts. For example, each region can control lead assignment and referral identification using phone numbers assigned to each office and web forms directed to a centrally managed email distribution list. When it comes to A/B testing or comparing different versions of a web page and their performance, you can achieve high traffic volume and statistical confidence faster with a centralized website.
5. Make easy regulatory updates
Imagine having one place to manage web updates for all your franchise websites. With a central website, the franchisor can grant levels of control to the franchisees and delegate tasks to other users, allowing them to make changes unique to their region or region. The central website is also scalable. As your franchise grows, you can add new locations, roll out promotions, create new offerings across the franchise network and cost-effectively scale your digital marketing initiatives.
6. Security risk management
If there is a security breach, a disjointed web presence can leave the franchisor stumbling to understand an area they likely don’t know much about. Instead, they should focus on their business and reaching new customers. A central position of privilege allows you to be proactive in protecting data, users, and digital assets. With a single domain, you can schedule website backups and enable strong security measures. Security risks are constantly evolving. Having one place to implement much-needed protection will affect the entire franchise network.
Building a unified web presence for multiple sites under one brand requires expertise and significant coordination to drive customers effectively to your franchise sites. To save time and money, consider hiring a web development agency that specializes in working with franchisors and leveraging their knowledge and skills to deliver a solid return on investment. No matter how you approach it, developing a central website and complementary digital strategy is key.