How Can Pay Per Click Work for Franchise Development Leads?
The success of a pay per click campaign for Franchise sales has a lot to do with your brand and how you market the phrases through the search network.
Why does it have to do with your brand?
Search engine marketing is all about putting your brand in front of people that are searching for your business. If you have a coffee franchise, that’s great because a lot of people are looking to start a coffee business. Therefore, you can run a campaign and get your site in front of people searching for your business. More targeted = more conversions. If you are an earthworm franchise, it will be harder to convert because you will have to market for more broad keyword phrases.. The more broad you get, the less your conversion rates. If you market the phrase “farm franchise” and your earthworm site comes up, people are less likely to request information. If you market “Franchise opportunity” this is as broad as it gets. There are thousands of searches per month, but that visitor might be looking for a restaurant, a painting franchise or a learning franchise. The sites that do the best here are portals because they have more options. More options = more conversions.
Create a Landing Page
If you are serious about SEM, you need to create a landing page separate from your franchise sales web site and include a call tracking phone number and form and call to action. A lot of franchises are doing webinars to explain their opportunity. So, your landing page would have three calls to action – phone call, form for information, or sign up for webinar. Run a test for three months and determine a goal for success.
Display Network vs. Search Network
Google has partnered with thousands of web sites to provide advertising. This is called their Display network. If you are a real estate franchise, you can do a search and you will find that Google has partnered with the top real estate web sites on the web (realtor.com, zillow.com, homes.com, etc.). You can place BANNER ads on these web sites promoting your opportunity. So, if you have an automotive franchise, what better place than to advertise your opportunity on the top automotive web sites on the web. Rates are much lower ($0.25-$0.50 per click through). The benefit is that rates are lower, you can use banner ads to attract people, and you can advertise geographically and on very targeted web sites. The drawback is that bounce rates tend to be much higher and you are still promoting a business opportunity whereas consumer marketing tends to convert better.
Google’s search network provides more targeted leads, but tends to be 10x more expensive. The average click fraud rate for SEM in general is about 24% so for every $100 you spend, you can assume $24 is going out the door by people who are simply clicking your links like competitors.
Landing Page or Web Site Design is Key
The ads you put out MUST match the design of the landing page or web site. Your ads must explain a business opportunity so when someone clicks on the ad, they expect a description of the business opportunity, NOT your product or service. You don’t want to post ads that talk about your dog walking business and people think they can click the link and find information about your dog walking service. The ad descriptions you use are vital to the success of the campaign.
Analytics are Key
No matter what you do, you need to have analytics configured to track the success. The call tracking number you use should allow you to record phone calls and the number of calls. You should have Google analytics to track form completions and overall traffic and determine which keywords are driving the most conversions (not necessarily the most leads).
At last year’s Franchise Leadership conference from Franchise Update Media, they showed that 5% of the deals for the top 300 franchise systems were closed from SEM leads. Referrals accounted for a 34% close ratio while search optimization was responsible for a 34% close ratio. Pay per click can be successful, but you need to focus on the right keywords, write great copy, provide a compelling web site design, and track all of the analytics and conversion rates.
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