Set your Franchise up for Success in the Digital World
One of the most attractive things about owning a franchise, is having the satisfaction of knowing that you’re investing in a business opportunity that’s proven to succeed. Unlike most franchise businesses that come pre-made, ready to hit the ground running, establishing your franchise’s imprint onto the digital world involves planning and having the right information and tools. Although it’s no cakewalk, success in the digital realm can readily be achieved, with results that pay off in the long run. To help you make that digital transition, here are 4 vital components that will set your franchise up for success.
1. Updating Your Website To Become More Modern
If you’re in need of a cleaner, more modernized website, here’s a few tips to help make that happen:
With Website Designs, Keep It Simple- A minimal design can have any style, as long as it’s highly functional and easy to use. Also, a simple design can make things easier for customers to focus on your content.
Mobile(User) Friendly- Having a mobile-friendly website just means that your website is responsive towards smartphones and other mobile devices. With almost every web-related business implementing websites that are mobile-friendly, it’s in your best interest to also mobilize your website to fit the standard online customer experience. Having a mobilized website allows customers to take full advantage of your services or products without having to go through a desktop browser.
Hero Images and Banners- Hero images and banners are popular because they are large banners, mostly visible above the fold. Their visual appeal is effective because it helps online businesses establish a positive connection with their website visitors personally and visually. As long as the hero images are relatable to the content on your website, they will more than likely create a positive impact for your franchise’s image.
Full Screen Videos In Website Background- A growing Google trend that is becoming the norm for modernized websites, is placing full-screen videos in the background heading for powerful visuals that can capture the attention of a website visitor better than any still image; no matter the size of the image.
2. Take Advantage of WordPress and Their Ever-Expansive Blog Publishing Tools
These days, if you’re going to have a website, WordPress is kind of essential. Utilizing WordPress correctly can ensure that your website is regularly functional, responsive and can be fully customized with countless number of themes and plugins.
WordPress, along with its system of themes and plugins, allow websites the ability to do so much.
With WordPress, you can:
(1) Enhance your website’s speed and performance
(2) Create and customize themes
(3) Add blog posts to your website
(4) Customize your website with themes and plugins
(5) Add opt-in forms
(6) Track your website’s traffic data with Google analytics
(7) Optimize your website using SEO
(8) Create backup and security
3. Get Social
Social media is crucial to the foundation of obtaining a strong customer base. To develop a strong social media presence, you must stay active and creative, yet strategic, so that you don’t waste time focusing on things that don’t develop your franchise’s brand.
Have A Clear Vision And Mission For Your Brand
Before you do anything social media related, try to have a clear understanding of your brand’s vision, so that it’s reflective in your mission statement. Instead of relying on current marketing trends and other external factors, the vision your franchise decides to go with should set the tone, and embody the social media strategy that best suits your franchise. To ensure that your social media strategy is based in reality, yet appealing and compelling, your franchise’s social media engagement should always be aligned with your vision and mission statement.
Try To Automate Everything
When it comes to social media marketing, consistency is the best play. But being consistent requires regularity, and you’re going to need someone or something in place to make sure that you can continue to have a steady flow of engagement with your audience.
With automated services, you can achieve that much needed consistency. Tools like Buffer and Hootsuite allow you to schedule posts ahead of time, giving you the options of dropping a spontaneous post in addition to the automated ones, or having the ability to focus on creating a new wave of content, while your current content automatically gets posted to your social media channels.
Pay Close Attention To All Of Your Social Media Platforms
Closely monitoring your social media channels will give you a gauge of how your franchise is perceived among your customers and casual visitors. This especially applies to reputation of your brand, so it pays to:
· Gather insights from your customers’ experiences
· Read, listen and study your visitor’s comments and customer feedback
· Look into acquiring social media listening tools such as Social Studio that pick the best social content for your customers.
Study Your Competition
You always want to utilize the winning formula, even if that formula comes from another franchise competitor. As long as you’re not out-right copying, studying your competitors’ social media marketing strategies can help your franchise find out what methods can be implemented under your own system. Certain topics and means of engagement could just as well be effective for capturing your own audience, just told from your own franchise’s unique and personal perspective.
4. Managing And Maintaining The Website
A crucial part for every franchise is managing and maintaining the website. The task is tedious and never-ending, not to mention you need to consistently update and improve the website to stay above your competitors.
To help plan a long-term strategy, the 2 best ways to effectively manage and maintain your website is to check for errors and always have maintenance tools that can protect the website and secure all data.
Check For Errors
After your website’s launched, there’s a few tasks that need to be completed so that errors don’t ruin your website and your visitors experience. For instance:
Check Site Speed- A fast loading website provides a high-quality experience for the website visitor and ranks you higher in search engines. Tools like GTMetrix or Google Pagespeed Insights can analyze your site speed daily, along with website speed optimization services.
Double Check Your Images- In some cases your site might be showing duplicate images or wrong image sizes. Check every image on your page for these mistakes. Image Optimization can compress your images automatically to fit the ratio dimensions.
Double Check Your Content- This mostly includes checking for spelling errors and misspelled words; good formatted content helps optimize your rankings in search engines.
Check Contact Pages, Navigation Links and Opt-In Forms- Make sure that these forms actually lead to where they’re supposed to with no error of dead links.
Make Sure Screen Sizes Are Device Friendly- Not every image will appear the same on every device. Be sure to check how your images will appear on multiple devices.
Create Your XML Sitemap- Your XML sitemap is very crucial to your website, as it organizes your content with Google web crawlers that’ll gather your most meaningful URLs, then ranks them in Google.
Standard Maintenance Tools
Maintenance tools are necessary for maintaining any website on a daily basis. These maintenance tips and procedures include:
Website Backups On A Regular Basis- Backup your website (as well as plugins and themes) every time it’s updated.
Database Sweep- To keep your website files organized and uncluttered, be sure to clean your database.
Regular Website Tests- Routinely monitor your website data by checking its loading speed, visitor traffic and overall site performance.
Securing Your Website- Aside from needing protection for your website’s personal data, in most cases, you’re going to also need protection for the personal data of your customers. It is important to have strong security to keep your website and customers safe.
Protect Your Admin Files- You always want to protect your admin and login areas, so be sure to install security plugins that limits login attempts; a firewall can also strengthen your protection for admin directories.
Using Advanced Passwords- Two things to remember when setting your admin passwords:
(1) make them as complex as possible so that hackers will have a difficult time discovering them and
(2) make sure to regularly change them.
If your franchise can focus on these 4 facets, your business will not only reflect the current status of many successful digital strategies, but also the franchises that have implemented them. Commit your franchise to embracing the digital world and it will always be in good position for expanding growth.