Local Franchisee websites can perform better in local search, be more engaging and drive customer conversion.
Franchises operate locally and as such need an online presence that captures and engages consumers locally. Locally optimised websites can perform better in local search than traditional location finders or landing pages on corporate websites.
Small locally focused franchisee websites can perform better in local search than big franchise websites that use ‘franchise locators’ and franchisee landing pages. They can also be more effective in driving customer conversion.
What makes a high performing local franchisee website?
Locally optimised URL
for example; www.yourfranchisename-brighton.co.uk
Locally optimised title tag:
Local franchise + keyword + cit
For example: ‘Your Franchise Name’, plumber, plumbing services, Brighton.
Mobile optimised (Mobile Responsive):
Over 50% of web search is now done on mobile devices. Non-responsive websites are penalised by search engines as they do not provide a favourable user experience.
(NAP = name, address, and phone) should be consistent with all local listing sites and presented in schema micro-format.
Local Phone Number for “Click to Call”:
Customers searching for a local business online show a strong preference for local phone numbers. More people are using “click to call” when using their mobile phone to search for local services. However, our research shows that 78% will not call a 0800 number (or any number beginning with 08) using their mobile phone. Far better to use a local number to get the customer to call you there and then.
Use local content to differentiate local franchisee sites.
It is difficult to create totally unique content for every franchisee website particularly when they should all be ‘on brand’. It is easier to intersperse brand content with local references such as locations, points of interest, news or social events. This not only avoids the issue of duplicate content, but will improve your local search performance.
Call to action and simple lead forms:
Goes directly to the franchisee or franchise lead management system.
Service Area Businesses (SAB):
Business such as plumbing, cleaning, home care, etc, should offer “service area location pages” on the website and optimise them for key locations.
The temptation is to just list lots of towns in the service area, but this isn’t very effective. You need to create locally optimised pages for the key locations that you service. (Call us for more advice on websites for Service Area Businesses).
As franchises grow, the tendency is to move towards a centralised ‘corporate’ site that tries to serve every franchisee. This is perfectly understandable, however it does not necessarily serve the franchisees. A corporate sites tries to be “everything to everyone”, but in doing so, this can diminish the very strength that all franchisees have –local presence and knowledge.