Reasons Why Every Franchisee Needs Their Own Website
September 29th, 2020 by David Martin
Often when you become a franchisee you’ll get access to lots of new marketing materials from the franchise owner. Some will include leaflets, banners, signs, etc. You might have to pay for some of this, others are given as a welcome gift or are included in the initial fee. Another thing you might get is access to a subdomain website.
This can be a quick way for you to get onto the internet and market your website. However, there are some downsides to you having to use the franchisor’s domain name to host your own mini website.
That is why so many franchise owners are using their own websites. And here are some of the top advantages for you.
1. Better search ratings for local searches
Franchises are all about taking a large brand and giving people a small slice of that brand within a local area. Some, like care franchises or fitness franchises, can have operations across the world. While there are advantages of this (recognisable and trusted brand name), there are also disadvantages.
One of those disadvantages is that you might have a poorer digital footprint in local searches. If your franchisor is in the US, for instance, and you’re in Essex, then your franchisor’s server is most likely in North America. While there is a small difference, it is likely that this creates a download delay for your potential clients in Essex. Plus search engines can see the server is in the US, this can count against you in searches for a local area.
This small delay can lower your ranking for those searching for you in Essex. Therefore, you will want a server that is based in the UK. And there are plenty of providers who can offer that. A small difference can make a huge impact.
2. Better SEO tactics
In addition to the above point, franchisors in one area might have a different audience, therefore the SEO work that they’ve done on the main website could have no impact on your franchise.
For instance, some care franchises could be known as ‘Home Care’, ‘Assisted Living’, ‘Home Living Services’, ‘Assisted Living Care’, etc.. For instance, ‘Elderly’ is used far more often in home care searches in the United States that it is used within the UK. If your franchisor has a certain keyword focus, then it might harm your franchise’s success without localising through your own website.
In addition, your own website allows you to take control of your website’s SEO footprint. It will allow you to add the functions that you need to add to improve the ranking on search engines. For instance, you can add blogs, schema, Meta data and more.
3. Concentrate on a sales path that is unique for your audience
Not all audiences are the same, as mentioned previously. That means you might need to collect information in a more unique way. That is why your own website can be very useful. It will help you to build a sales funnel that is unique for your business, generates you leads and helps you to move forward and build a strong business.
For instance, your franchisor might concentrate on SMS or email marketing, but your local audience prefers Facebook. Using your own website allows you to build a sales path that takes this into account, without having to work with another service.
4. You can find an easier solution
Most franchise software is unique and built for the franchise. This is good in so many ways, but it does cause some issues. For instance, some people struggle with technology. If you’re one of those people, you might not understand how your franchise website works and this can just cause it to look messy and unappealing.
This can lose you customers not help you gain them.
However, by switching to your own website you can build an infrastructure that you’re comfortable with. A good infrastructure that you understand allows you to build a website that you are happier to maintain and therefore will be full of up-to-date information.
5. Easier to find staff to help
When using a franchise system, it’s going to be harder to find staff who are comfortable with the website software. Unless they’ve worked with it before, most will be no better off than you are. However, using your own website software, like with WordPress, Shopify, BigCommerce or others you can find those who are experts in the software to help you develop, maintain and upgrade your website.
This is a better solution if you want to take your website to the next level and grow your business. You want to be managing your franchise through the delegation of tasks, including keeping your website up and running.
While the franchise mini-domains and the marketing support you get from franchisors is useful, your own website might be a better option for the long term. It gives you more control over many aspects that can help you find and manage leads in your territory.
But before you go ahead and buy your own domain and website, check with your franchise agreement, they might have some stipulations in there for your own domain.