High-Performance Franchise Development Websites

Your recruitment website is your home base and the most important asset you have to grow your brand

Brand Journalists has been creating award-winning franchise recruitment websites since 2008. Our sites have won numerous Star Awards from the Franchise Development and Leadership Conference, as well as the top 5 and top 20 rankings in the 1851 top franchise websites list for 2015. Our websites convert at 400% above the industry average for recruitment websites, and our clients regularly produce the majority of sales from the websites we launch.

All websites are not created equal!

A pretty design or flashy presentation doesn’t equal real sales results. We are students of how people buy franchises, and we understand how typical entrepreneurs wrap their minds around a franchise opportunity. When we build a site in 120 days or less from start to finish, clients often remark, “Wow! That was the easiest website project I’ve ever been a part of!”

Here’s the truth about your franchise development website: a typical franchise buyer will do a substantial amount of reading and online research, often upwards of 50-60 minutes. That’s the appetite a real buyer has for information on your offering. We know this from tracking thousands of IP addresses and doing painstaking research for our clients to better help them understand how their buyers behave online. If you don’t have enough of the right kind of content on your website to satisfy this appetite, buyers not only won’t opt-in, they’ll just fade away. You can have a beautiful website, but if the content isn’t well thought out, it will underperform. In fact, data proves that the quality, depth, and structure of the content dictates both your conversion rate and your ultimate sales results.

Brand Journalists creates your brand story first, then designs your website around how to best present your brand to the perfect candidate. This involves a team of experienced writers, our CEO, and talented video journalists reporting, interviewing, and visiting with your home office, your franchisees, and your customers. In fact, 80% of our typical web project is content creation, and 20% is the actual production of your website. We’ve honed our skills working on dozens of sites, and since we stay involved with clients for years after the site launches, we have a keen understanding of what produces the end sales results that CEOs desperately need.

What is involved with a franchise recruitment website?

We believe a well-built and thoughtfully designed franchise recruitment website is essential to increasing the number of organic, non-broker and non-portal franchise buyers you recruit each year.

A franchise purchase is both high cost and full of complex psychology, making franchise development marketing one of the more difficult types of marketing to execute.  With as much as 70% of the decision to purchase now made prior to opt-in, self-directed franchise buyers are looking to your franchise website to replace the first hour or more of conversation with a recruiter.

We also believe that to make your brand story come to life and help a potential buyer visualize themselves in the role of your next franchise owner, you need to carefully unpack your offering and sequence the pieces in the right order. A high-performance website gives an orderly and linear path through substantive content that delivers positive reinforcement of the desire to purchase.

When you engage vendors to build a new recruitment website, you are really creating the first contact. Franchise buyers do extensive online research and typically visited the franchise opportunity site on average 16 times, versus 3-4 times for leads. Clearly, franchise buyers have a voracious appetite for content, information, and data points to help them make an informed investment decision. If a franchise buyer went to your franchise opportunity site right now, would they find new and engaging content worthy of 16 separate visits?

To that goal, below are the individual components of the high-performance recruitment website we want to build for your brand that will support the franchise buyer appetite.

Franchise Development Consulting and Research For Your Brand

  • Target Buyer Approach Document – before we launch your new website, we will produce an Approach Document that we create using the data, interviews and research we gather. An approach document is a listing of which types of franchise buyers we believe you should target, how they see value in the brand and basic strategies to get at them in the market.
  • Crafted Value Proposition – based on research, interviews and detailed discussion with your franchise owners, sales and management team, we will draft an initial value proposition describing why a buyer would select your franchise system
  • Sales Objections Matrix – using conversations with your front-line salespeople, we will create a matrix of common questions and objections that typical buyers raise in the sales process. We use this information to give structure to the website content, creating relevant pages that address real issues for buyers.
  • Keyword Research Report – we will create a targeted keyword list that outlines branded, segment and sales funnel keywords, mapping out the on-page search optimization needed to index the site correctly.
  • SEO Report – We will create a SERP tracking report on your current site showing current ranking for these terms so you have a baseline to review over time.
  • Competitor Analysis – using organic search data, we will create a list of your top competitors’ buyers will see when doing self-directed research. If possible, we will show how they rank compared to your website and illustrate where the opportunities for increased visibility are.

Custom WordPress Website

  • Sitemap – before starting on content, we will create a detailed sitemap of your new site, laying out all pages in the order of the research funnel.
  • Custom Built WordPress Theme – we will design your website from scratch, using a custom and clean WordPress theme designed for franchise recruitment.
  • Up to 20 Internal Pages – your new website will contain up to twenty article format pages.
  • Full Mobile Responsive Website – once edits are complete we will optimize your site for responsive mobile use on a variety of device types so your site displays and converts well on any type of device.
  • AMP Page Types for Fast Loading on Google Search Results – For newsfeed, blog and some select research pages, we’ll create AMP style fast loading pages to help you optimize for mobile search. Google sometimes gives preference to amp-structured content.

Brand Storytelling and Sales Content

  • Franchisee Interviews – We will interview 6 franchisees of your choosing, creating a transcript of the interview to use for website content. We will probe the reasons for selecting this franchise, learn how they view your value proposition and better understand the language your franchise owners use to describe this business.
  • Field Visit to Home Office with Brand Journalists Team – We will spend 1-2 days on location at your headquarters and will interview your team. We are learning how the business works, what the culture of the business is, getting to know the leadership team and better understanding your business as a whole. We use this information to create your brand story and we will be able to speak about your brand as if we were actual stakeholders
  • Custom Video Production Field Visit – During the field visit, we will create a series of five videos:
    • A brand story video for the home page of your site that explains why now is a good time to become a franchisee in this system
    • A leadership video of the founder / CEO
    • An interview with the VP of Development speaking about the value proposition
    • A training and support video
    • A marketing services video
    • We can add additional videos if needed or swap out some of the above depending on how the story evolves. There are additional charges for more than five videos
    • We will create a dedicated YouTube video channel to use for embedding on the site.
  • Documentary Film of Franchisee on location – In addition to the basic five videos, we will spend a day on location at a franchise location, filming a day with one of your franchisees. We will create a documentary style 4-5-minute movie that helps people understand the business your franchisees are in. We can create more than one of these if you have additional budget – brands often have libraries of these and they are very influential for prospects.
  • Custom Infographics – we will research statistics that relate to your industry and create five custom infographics to use on the site and in your franchise development marketing.
  • Optional Podcast Series – We will create a series of 6 podcasts to use for embedding on the website, in email drip campaigns and in other off-site marketing. Each podcast is 20-30 minutes in length and is hosted on a cloud-based podcast platform. The podcasts are as follows:
    • Interview with the CEO / Founder on the DNA of the brand and why now is a good time. Initial overview that unpacks the themes, culture and value proposition in an orderly and enthusiastic manner.
    • Interview with the VP of Development on the common questions people have, funding strategies and some sales process information that helps people understand the path to ownership
    • 4 Interviews with top-performing franchisees talking about their journey to ownership, how they view the business, what a typical day is like and their insight into this brand.
  • Downloadable Franchise Report – We will create a downloadable PDF Franchise Information Report to use for prospects when they complete a short franchise request information form on the site. The website will send out an auto-responder email with links to the PDF and the thank you page will have a hard-coded link that will open the file. The PDF is a print-oriented version of the website content, condensed into a readable format a prospect can print and make notes on.
  • Online Franchise Application – we will create a mobile friendly, single page franchise application to use on the website.
  • Custom Gravity Forms with CRM Integration – We will setup a series of custom Gravity Forms on the website that use integrated Spam filters and utilize a database for entries on the back end of the website. We will connect all request information forms to your CRM via plain text or custom API if needed. We will help you map all fields and ensure your reporting for website leads is setup. We work with most major CRM systems.
  • Initial Blog Content – We will populate your franchise development blog with 4 initial articles we will pull from historical mentions of your brand so your site has articles in place at launch. This is important for search indexing and increasing the organic footprint of your website.
  • Custom Google Analytics Setup Including Goal Conversion Tracking – we will setup a custom Google Analytics with goal conversion tracking established.
  • Custom Trackable Phone Numbers – if you engage us for lead generation, we will set up custom tracking phone numbers using CallRail for up to three dynamic marketing sources, usually PPC, Organic and Email or Radio. These calls record marketing info and provide recordings of all inbound calls for sales coaching purposes. Costs apply to usage.
  • Revised Franchise Portal Copy – After completing your website, we will revise your franchise portal ad page copy with updated messaging so your portal exposure matches your new website and prospects see similar messaging and creative across all channels. Once approved, we will work with portals on your behalf to update as needed.
  • Evaluate Email Drip Campaigns and Update with Website – We will also review and revise your initial email drip campaigns coming from your CRM and provide a new set of structured new lead drip emails. These will incorporate some of the new messaging and creative. A typical initial campaign has 7-8 emails over a 60-day period.
  • ADA Level II Compliance Completed – We will insure your new website meets ADA Level II compliance for accessibility. This will help you avoid any nuisance lawsuits.
  • Organic On-Page SEO Completed for Launch – using the keyword research and SERP tracking report, we will complete some initial on-page SEO work for every indexed page on your site. We will provide sitemaps directly to Google on your behalf and ensure proper indexing on search engines. If we work with you on ongoing lead generation, we will be able to provide regular SEO ranking reporting.
  • Daily Backups for Site Installed and Tested – If you host your site on our preferred WordPress Host, WP Engine, we will provide ongoing patch management, security updates, daily backups and one-click restoration of your site if you ever have any issues.
  • HTTPS Secure Cert Installed – We will install the correct security certificates for your site and ensure it indexes under both HTTP and HTTPS for Google. Any canonical linking will be transferred from non-secure to secure and for legacy links, we will ensure there are proper redirects so you don’t lose any organic ranking on Google.


Free Website Audit

Want to see how well your website performs and get tactical feeback on what is missing? We do free website audits and can mystery shop your website. We produce a report you can share with your team. If you want to increase results from your company franchise recruitment website, this is a great place to start. 

If you are considering a rework of your franchise sales website, talk to us before you make a decision. It might be the most important call you make.

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