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Every year, Entrepreneur releases a list of the top 500 Franchises based on criteria like brand and financial strength, franchisee support, and stability. This year was their 40th annual Franchise 500 Ranking, and needless to say, things have changed quite a bit since that first annual list. With the rise of the internet and social media comes more online reach for franchises, and more competition.

So, how do these top franchises portray themselves online, and what lessons can we learn from studying their website designs, structure, and content? We investigated the Top 30 franchise websites to see what the strongest franchises are doing, and learned some interesting facts along the way (Taco Bell has a wedding chapel at its Las Vegas location?). Read on to see our insights from studying the websites of these top franchise brands.

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Franchise website redesigns can seem like a daunting task.

After all, it is a lot to take on. There are typically multiple stakeholders (each with their own design preferences), folders full of brand assets, and the pressure to create a website solution that caters to individual franchisees, and the brand as a whole. At SpaceCraft, we've helped many multi-location businesses own their web presence and have created eye-catching, functional franchisee website templates that can grow as franchisees expand.

Whether you're starting completely from scratch or looking to overhaul your existing franchisee website structure, there are a few key items to keep in mind. Read on to see the top considerations for a successful Franchise website redesign, and tips for how to prepare for the redesign process.

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What are the benefits of owning a franchise? When starting a franchise, business owners can run a business that already has an established template for success. They have the power of a strong, established brand, a pre-delivered set of tools to start their business, as well as the peace of mind that comes with a corporate team that is there to help.

The franchise formula has been proven to work. However, many franchises struggle with creating and maintaining the online presence of their locations. Some franchises have one website that has little input from the individual franchisees. Others do not have guidelines for creating websites, which leaves franchisees on their own to build a website that may not work as well as it should. By utilizing a franchise website builder, both franchise owners and franchisees can utilize a website that strikes a balance between brand consistency and individuality.

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Google Analytics is a helpful way to understand how your website is performing online. It is often intimidating to log into Analytic and see tons of buttons, tabs, charts, and numbers. We’ve narrowed down some of the most basic, yet important metrics for you to look at to get an idea of how your site is working.

Once you have set up Google Analytics on your website, you can log in by visiting analytics.google.com. Use your Gmail or G Suite email address and password. In this guide, we will go over four reports: Audience, Acquisition, Behavior, and Conversions. Once you’re in, you will navigate between each report through a column that’s located on the left-hand side of the screen.

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How to Make My Website Searchable

Make the most out of local profiles

If your website is for a business, then you should make sure to have profiles on major local listing sites. At the very least, having listings on major aggregate sites like Google My Business, Yelp, and Facebook, are essential. These local profiles are important because they provide space for users to leave reviews. These websites also have a very high domain authority, so they appear prominently in search engine result pages. You should also create local profiles on industry-specific sites, like Angie’s List for home services or The Knot for wedding-related venues or services.

Of all the local aggregate sites, Google My Business is likely the most important. The information on your Google My Business listing displays in Google’s “local 3-pack” in the search results and on the map listings. If you want your business to have a strong online footprint, then you should make the most out of these listings by adding posts,...

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Optimize Google My Business Listing

Does your business or organization have a verified Google My Business profile? If you want your business to have a strong digital footprint, then a robust Google My Business listing is essential. The information in your Google My Business profile is what appears in Google’s “3-pack” and the map listing. Optimizing and verifying your Google My Business listing is important, especially after Google’s recent algorithm changes that favor local results

Luckily, the Google My Business interface is easy to use and customize. You can access via desktop or download it to your smartphone through iTunes or the Google Play store. It is also completely free to use. While it is easy to use, it does take some effort to live up to its full potential. Read on to see how to optimize your Google My Business listing.

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Why Am I Not Ranking on Google?

In the early days of Google over a decade ago, search engine optimization (SEO) strategies were very different. In those times, the best way to drive traffic to your site was to show up on the first page of search results. Over the years, especially recently, Google has made many algorithm changes. This means that search rankings are not the same as they used to be.

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How To Get More Reviews

Many business owners are aware of how important online reviews are when finding new customers, but many struggle with actually getting people to leave reviews. We all know that the best way to get 5-star ratings is by perfecting your customer service, but actually getting that review can be a bit trickier. We’ve put together a few ways to get positive reviews, faster, so you can grow your online authority.

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As a business owner, you work hard to provide excellent customer service for your clients. Your may have perfected your customer service on the job, but what about on the internet? Your online presence is essentially an extension of your business, and online reviews bring extra opportunities to build relationships, solve problems, and also improve your business’s reputation.

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HTTPS Website Builder

At SpaceCraft, we're constantly looking for ways to improve our website building platform, and we're excited to announce that all SpaceCraft websites can now take advantage of HTTPS, the most secure protocol available for websites today. Read on to learn more about SSL web hosting and HTTPS, and discover the benefits it can provide website owners and visitors alike.

What Is SSL?

SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) creates a private session between a web browser and a website. During the session, the browser and the website use a cipher to encrypt data before sending it to the other party. The website, and the browser being used to view it, use a decryption key to decipher the data. Without the key, the data looks like a random jumble of letters, numbers and symbols.

What Are the Benefits of SSL Web Hosting?

SSL creates a safer web browsing experience, which is a great thing for you and your website's users, especially if your website gathers personal information such as credit card information, phone numbers, passwords, or medical...

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