Trust is already a given for most franchises. When you're popular, like Mcdonald's, for example, you don't need to put in as much effort in building a positive image and cultivating trust, compared to smaller, lesser-known franchise businesses.
However, some franchise businesses aren't that popular and still need to work their way to the hearts of their target audience, especially in new areas.
They need to show they’re trustworthy and prove that they’re exactly what they claim to be.
Is your franchise business struggling to penetrate new locations and attract franchisees? Today, we will share with you the top franchise SEO and marketing tips that will help you build trust and appeal to your intended audience.
The first stage in the customer journey is the awareness stage. This is when potential customers first hear about your brand or see your products and services.
During this stage, you want to make a good impression, whether they scrolled through your social media post, clicked on your site, or landed on your landing page.
The goal is to captivate prospects who just discovered your franchise and pique their interest enough to make them want to know more about you.
There are a few things you can do to make a good first impression and make you appear trustworthy:
Optimize Your Local Website
Aside from having the main website of your franchise business, you should also create localized versions of it. Offer to customize the contact number and address specific to the location of the branch.
It’s also important to personalize the website copy by incorporating the local slang of that area. This will help local customers to connect with the business faster.
Studies show that website design and navigation have the biggest impact on a user’s first impression. Make sure your website design and navigation are both aesthetically pleasing and functional.
Make it clear that the local versions of your main site exist only as an extension. They should still look and feel the same, except that they’re localized.
Also, give the assurance that they will be fast and optimized for local franchise SEO.
Post Aesthetically Pleasing Content on Social Media
55% of people discover new products and brands on social media. Captivate potential franchisees across various social sites by posting visually appealing content.
Showcase your program and perks for your franchisers. Set your main social media account as an example for your franchisee to follow.
Make it clear to your franchisees in different locations that they need to have their own social media accounts that they can personalize according to the needs and preferences of the people in their neighborhood.
It’s also necessary for announcing area-specific promos and sales.
If you’re worried about continuity and consistency, just create a branded template they can use to maintain your brand’s visual identity across all touchpoints and locations.
Being consistent makes your presence online look more put together. Plus, it’s easier for brand recall.
Encourage Your Franchisees to Create a Strong Online Presence
Marketing at a national level is your responsibility, but when it comes to reaching out to local customers, it’s your franchisee’s responsibility.
Make it clear that they need to build their own local presence. But assure them that you will equip them with marketing materials they can use to promote their franchise locally while maintaining a consistent visual identity.
Tell them to be authentic, and showcase local customers and employees on their social media accounts. You also want to show customers in the local area that you share the same values to connect with them faster and build trust.
Localize Your Solutions
Aside from consistent branding and beautiful visuals, another way to captivate potential franchisees in new areas is to help them identify their target customers’ pain points and present a solution.
Localize your solutions. Let your potential franchisees know how your offerings will solve their potential customer’s problems and what makes your products unique compared to your competitors.
Now that you’ve made a good first impression, it’s likely that they’ll want to explore your site or scroll through your social media accounts.
When this happens, your goal is to continue piquing their interest and impressing your potential customers by doing the following:
Offer to Localize Product Descriptions and Offerings
20% of purchases are abandoned because of missing or unclear product information. This means you need to optimize your product descriptions to convince doubtful buyers. Keep them short and straight to the point.
Sometimes, a photo can look different on screen and miss some important details.
A good product description allows you to correct any skews and point out important details, like where you sourced your materials, the materials they’re made from, and other crucial information.
Offer to localize your products’ descriptions if they choose to franchise. This means that you will present your product in a way that solves their local customers’ problems. It also means using that area's slang.
Studies show that 77% of consumers are more likely to trust a business if they share the same beliefs.
Make sure your show your authentic self by being vocal about your values and what you believe in on social media. You also want to state this information on your About Us page and local marketing campaigns.
It's also important to create programs that show what you stand for as a brand. For example, participating in local fundraising, volunteering in your local area, and many more.
What does your franchise company believe in? What bigger change do you aim to do?
Double Check Grammar and Spelling
You want your website, marketing materials, and social media accounts to look and feel professional. To achieve this, check the spelling and grammar of your site copy, product descriptions, and many more.
If your words are spelled incorrectly and your grammar is off, your business will feel sketchy and drive away potential customers. It will also turn off potential franchisees.
Now that you’ve piqued the interest of potential franchisees and impressed them with a custom solution, it’s highly likely that they’ll consider buying from you.
To make this happen, focus on making it easy for customers to determine that your products or services are exactly what they need and make a purchase decision.
Here's how to ease anxiety and build trust in potential customers:
Create Comparison Guides
Show customers how your products stack up against other franchise businesses.
Feature Customer Reviews, Testimonials, and Ratings
What better way to convince potential franchisees to choose you over competitors than to showcase social proof?
88% of people trust online reviews as much as they trust personal recommendations. Leverage positive reviews and ratings to prove that your franchise business is trustworthy and legitimate.
Other forms of social proof you can leverage to speed up the purchase decision process include case studies, product reviews, testimonials, user-generated content, and influencer marketing.
Offer Multiple Secure Payment Methods
Make your customers feel safe giving your personal and financial information by identifying any possible security concerns for online payments.
It also helps to display SSL certificates and third-party logos on your site. You also want to make it easy for customers to carry on with their transactions with you by offering multiple payment methods.
The more options you have, the more customers you can accommodate.
Provide Excellent Customer Service
Once a franchisee has signed the deal with you, don’t go MIA and leave them. Always provide them with the continued support they need to keep their branch thriving.
It’s a great way to establish trust and encourage them to refer you to people they know. Continue to establish a relationship with your franchisees by asking for their feedback and acting on their suggestions or complaints.
It’s also important to provide your franchisees with post-purchase content like continued training, onboarding content, and product updates that they can use to help them run their business smoothly and successfully.
Franchises need local SEO to rank well in search engines, reach new potential customers, and establish trust.
When you rank high in the SERPs, it signals to users that you're trustworthy and that Google recommends your business.
Let your franchisees know about this and help them get started by educating them about the best local franchise SEO practices they should follow.
You can start by applying best SEO practices for the main website and the individual franchise locations. You also need to create business listings in national and local directories.
But for the local directories, you can entrust this to your franchisees.
Just keep in mind to avoid duplicate content issues to build a successful franchise SEO. Although the localized versions of your site should have the same look and feel, they shouldn’t contain the exact same content.
It’s important to tweak and customize your copy to avoid duplicate content issues.
Here are some franchise SEO tips to improve your franchisees’ rankings in the local SERPs:
You’re not the only franchise business vying for the attention of your intended audience. That’s why it’s important to stay competitive by having a robust digital marketing and franchise SEO strategy.
Attract potential franchisees by understanding the potential challenges that they may face when trying to build a presence online and create a roadmap or a list of guidelines that each location can follow to ensure success in their respective areas.
At Digital Resource, our franchise SEO specialists will work with you to create a custom strategy that will put your business ahead of the competition on both local and national levels.
Wondering how we can make this possible for you? Contact us today for a free consultation!