Tips and Design Principles for Multi-location Websites

Here are 5 points to consider when building your multi-location website:

  • Unification:Branding and reputation
  • Set-up Structure:For scalability
  • Relevancy:Location-specific information
  • Lead Follow-ups:Centralized, decentralized, or hybrid
  • Maintenance:Content updates
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1. Unification: Branding and Reputation

  • Branches vs Franchise: Multi-location business marketing have a different approach compared to franchises. However, their branding should be the same. The website design for the branches may be slightly different from each other whereas the website design for franchises should be unified under one brand look and feel.
  • Personalization: Visitors are most engaged and feel welcomed when a location page is personalized to them. This can be done with a familiar local landmark image, community events, or a personal note from the local office executive team. How does one maintain the overall brand, endorse brand reputation, and yet give it a local feel? This is an art that can be mastered for the multi-location website.
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2. Set-up Structure: For Scalability

  • The Set Up:Depending on the amount of information that may differ from location-to-location, there are various site structure approaches to incorporating multiple locations on one website.
  • Be Found Easily:Domain/URLs: The domain and URLs play an important part of every multi-location website. Use automatic redirects from the older domains so that your site can be found easily.
  • Optimize Conversions:User experience: Consistent icons, CTAs, and responsiveness across all the pages promotes predictable UI/UX and results in higher conversions.
  • Design for Scalability:CMS: An expert web designer will agree that a Content Management Systems (CMS) like Drupal and a solid dependable hosting site, that offer a high degree of scalability.
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3. Relevancy: Location-specific Information

  • Relevant Overview page:This page can be designed to accommodate multiple locations, categorized in any of the following ways determined by the business needs: geography (states or regions), verticals, services, or business units.
  • Content adaptability: Use location-specific content on the landing page, and a clear CTA, as shown in the example. In addition, you can also add product specs, visual content like photos, videos, podcasts, and social media, and localize your content.
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4. Lead Follow-ups: Centralized, Decentralized, or Hybrid

  • Follow-up methodology: Different businesses have different criteria for justifying the set up that best works for them. For example, most service-oriented businesses such as restaurants and home contractor services would want a decentralized system of follow-ups, because they serve their clients locally. However, larger businesses, especially franchises prefer a centralized system to address their clients and follow up leads.
  • Hybrid model: Certain businesses, such as dental offices run by central management team may want a hybrid model where prospective patients’ contact-us forms or calls are auto-forwarded to multiple entities (i.e. sent to call centers, local offices of their choice as well as the central office for tracking) to ensure that quality service is provided to these prospective patients.
  • Integrations: Small, medium and large organizations have the website form fills captured by their marketing automation systems and sync-ed up with their CRMs to track and record the follow-ups all the way to closure. This gives businesses good visibility on the role of their website from leads to revenues.
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5. Maintenance: Content Updates

  • Keep the content current: Due to the dynamic nature of the different locations, it is critical to keep each location’s information updated. Often, there are distinct variables between locations of the same parent company of the franchisees.
  • Logistics:Ideally, the multi-location website should be structured to have a central agency maintain all the elements of the website, including branding, search engine rankings, and local news. This agency will also be responsible for back-end maintenance and overarching universal changes across the whole website.
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