Google is the undisputed king of search engines. It is imperative that a website is not only well designed, but Google friendly as well. Having a Google friendly site will ensure that your target audience can easily locate you on the World Wide Web. Here are some franchise website design tips:

Things to avoid: The first step to designing a Google friendly franchise website is to know what not to do. The days of keyword stuffing and making specialized crawler pages are long gone. These are practices that Google define as deceptive and you will be penalized. It could even hurt your future chances of appearing on top of a search. When a franchise looks to design its website, they should be careful about the SEO company they hire. There are a lot of companies that guarantees results; but a true professional can increase the sites flow and content while realizing that results cannot be guaranteed.  In fact a page out of Google’s webmaster guidelines states,

“Beware of SEOs that claim to guarantee rankings, allege a “special relationship” with Google, or advertise a “priority submit” to Google. There is no priority submit for Google.” https://support.google.com/webmasters/answer/35291

Another thing to avoid is having multiple pages with the same content and different URLs.  This problem is very prevalent, especially in the Franchise sector where consistency of branding and messaging is very important.  It is very common to find multiple franchisee websites saying the exact same thing.  This duplicate content can cause SEO penalties and many franchisors are not even aware of the opportunity lost.  The gold standard solution is to have unique content per franchisee to overcome this issue, however that can get impractical especially if you have hundreds of locations offering the same services.  The best way to overcome this issue and build franchisee sites that are SEO friendly is the appropriate use of canonical tags.

 Content: Google emphasizes that having high quality content, especially on your homepage, is the most important factor in designing a Google friendly site. Have sniper like precision with the usage of your keywords, have a rich attractive template and have informative content that a visitor will find invigorating. Utilize the new javascript and HTML formats to create a cover interface which is attractive yet fluent. Design a page that is Google bot friendly. Do not block any sections of the page, so that you can allow the bot to do its job, and let your content do the talking. Having relevant content will drive more visitors to your website and will attract other related websites to you. A rule of thumb is to have at least 200-300+ words of content written around the specific theme that is your franchise, and keep the keyword density between 2-3%, repeated in headers, tagged in images and highlighted in text.

 Linking: Link your pages from other associated websites. This shows that others value your website and it draws more visitors to your page. If you are linked from other pages, it increases the chances of the Google bot finding your website and increases your domain authority.  Quality and relevance of links will yield the greatest impact.You should also design your franchise website with internal links, to make it easier to navigate and to make it more user friendly. Link your site to all your social media outlets. More than 30% of the traffic that comes to your site actually comes through the social media outlets. It also makes it easier for Google to find you.

 Multiple Platforms: Design a web template that is easily accessible across multiple platforms. It is an increasing trend that franchise development websites, or any websites for that matter, are getting more potential customers browsing the sites on the go from hand held devices. Mobile friendliness is actually one of Google’s main criteria when ranking websites. Creating a web design that is responsive and can easily accessible through all desktop and hand held devices are a key marketing tool. Google has actually gone and taken a stance to say that responsive designs are the preferred protocol for Google when it comes to designing a site that is SEO friendly.

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Franchise website design doesn’t necessarily follow the same structure as other businesses.  However, for franchises and for any businesses to have a great web design, it has to be Google friendly. If you are not friends with Google, your online adventure may be short lived. Give us a call today for more information about our award winning franchise development website design!

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Top-5-Franchise-Marketing-Mistakes

When you think of a franchise, one of the first things that may pop into your mind is a superpower of a business. A multi-faceted distribution channels with regional or national reach that has a consistent brand experience. Yet, franchises also make mistakes, especially when it comes to marketing.

Here are 5 franchise marketing mistakes that end up costing money

Lack of Cohesion: A local franchise should be clear with its marketing material. Quite often, their marketing strategy is not a unified front. A new franchisee should always look to apply the core values of the brand into its individual marketing strategy. This creates a general level of consistency in franchise marketing efforts and does a better job of making the material clear to the target audience. If the franchisor has a strong social media outlet, new franchisees should be taught how to use the already present framework, through a social media usage policy, rather than attempt to branch off on their own. Often franchises forget to integrate new franchisees into a cohesive social media marketing strategy.

Micro-sites: Franchises make the mistake of not having micro-sites for their separate branches. This reduces the flow of traffic to particular outlets due to the lack of localized content that is required by the search engines. This can hurt the franchise in the long run because of a reduced local footprint. The main website for a franchise should contain micro-sites for all of its separate locations. This way, customers can view reviews and marketing content of franchise locations close to them and may be even pick a favorite location. Having the micro-sites helps to improve the franchisees local presence and increases marketing reach.

Respond to the online Community: A staggering 79% of customers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations. Ignoring any responses from the online community is disastrous for any marketing strategy. When franchises are marketing, they often forget to respond to queries, reviews or complaints online. Given the value of online reviews, this is suicidal. A lack of online responsiveness also shows the target audience that the business is not really concerned about the customer base.

Lack of Content: The term ‘content is king’ is an overused term, but it still cannot be emphasized enough. In terms of franchise marketing, a major problem is often a lack of content. This problem is perpetuated because unique fresh content is required for all locations. Consumers like being informed, as this gives them a sense of control. If the content is thin, the marketing strategy online will fall flat.

SEO: This is a common mistake among big franchises. If they have an established name they tend to concentrate more their branded keyword strategies. In today’s world, users are searching for your products or services in a variety of ways, using a variety of keywords. In order to stay relevant in the conversation, your keyword and content strategy has to evolve beyond your branded keywords.

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Our team at ClickTecs faces these marketing challenges from franchise brands big and small. What marketing challenges is your franchise brand facing. Let us know as we may have a solution that fits your needs.

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