The costly mistake of switching to a new franchise website

Considering migrating to a new website? Avoid the tendency of keeping up with the Jones'. Think of the possible implications and plan carefully before you act.

The costly mistake of switching to a new franchise website

Considering migrating to a new website? Avoid the tendency of keeping up with the Jones’. Think of the possible implications and plan carefully before you act.

Client inquiries, traffic, orders, checkouts and sales. Although you may not give it much thought these days, your website plays a crucial role in generating online visibility for your franchise. Back when the internet and world wide web were the shiny new toys around, websites were a luxury for those brands that could afford it.

Today, they are a necessity and they compete with multiple others for rankings and positions on Google. Websites are not just the “business card” to your franchise. They’re the window into your business. Your clients interact with it and get a feel for your offering. They know what kind of customer service you provide, where they can find discounts, how to place orders, get informed about new developments, etc. In short, websites are one of the cornerstones to your franchise business’ success.

Because of the importance of your website, many franchisors believe that giving their franchisees a new website or building a new parent website is a great idea. But, if not planned properly, this can be the worst thing you do for your franchise business. Why?

The sad truth

Say that you’ve got quite an old website. Even though it may have good  SEO  and is positioned well on Google, the chances are that with all the technological developments happening around us every day, you’d like an upgrade. This upgrade could mean a fancy, shiny and new website with a whole lot of bells and whistles. So, you hire someone to build your new website.

Once they’re done with it, they plug out the old, plug in the new and leave you to face the consequences: poor website performance, negative impacts on search engine optimisation, a decline in web metrics, a loss in organic visitors, website traffic that can plummet to half of what it once was and even less. The list goes on. This is why proper planning is key.

The costly mistake of switching without planning

Switching to a new website without proper planning is often the result of a lack of knowledge about the upgrade process, no checklists being followed and the biggest and scariest of them all – the lack of understanding of the risks involved and how much can be lost until it is too late. You face losing thousands of pounds in sales and revenue simply because you switched to a new website that didn’t factor in all the steps that should be taken when considering making such a major move.

Sadly the statistics are grim. Three out of every five website migrations result in traffic loss. The clients who propel your franchisees drop out and choose a competitor instead. This is not what you want as a franchisor, do you?

What’s the best way forward then?

Franchisors need to give their new websites a lot of careful attention and plan everything in a systematic way. This includes the website architecture. It means asking yourself questions such as what aspects of the old website should be kept and which ones dropped? Unfortunately, many web design companies don’t consider this. They simply plug out the old, plug in the new and let you deal with the rest. Irrespective of how detrimental it can be for your business.

As a result of this, if you are considering implementing a new website, you need to partner with the right agency, which will not only look at your URL structure, design your new pages with SEO in mind, migrate you effortlessly to a new site without the negative ramifications mentioned above and overall, ensure that your website works in your favour without losing potential sales, clients, traffic and more. Your agency partner should be able to help ensure that your new website performs better than the old one instead of the other way around.

Avoid the mistake of not hiring a professional, going with the cheapest option and not considering the migration and the risks involved. Although you may think that partnering with an agency will be too costly, it can actually save you a lot of resources in the long run all while ensuring you retain and grow your organic traffic instead of losing it to your competitors in a cutthroat marketplace.

Dani Peleva
Dani Peleva