Chances are you probably have never heard of Microsites, but it is a safe bet you have been on many.
Microsites are small web sites of less than a dozen pages that inform customers about a particular product, service or event. Today, thousands of companies aE” from those in the Fortune 500 to local mom-and-pop shops aE” continue to use these mini-websites as core, essential tools in successful marketing campaigns and to put focus on a specific product or service. You probably visit these sites all the time and donaEÂt even realize it.
Let’s take a look at a good potential for microsites – Phred Manufacturing. Phred is the in the situation of having several fabricated metal products it manufactures. As a fabrication house, Phred has a number of manufacturing services it also offers – many of which can be major areas of additional business – such as laser cutting, waterjet cutting, routing and flame cutting. The problem is that these services are not easy to integrate into the home website and get the benefits of each of the services in search engines and the marketplace while focusing on the products already established.
How can Phred utilize microsites to broaden and deepen its offerings in contract services?
Let’s look at some advantages:
A companyaEÂs main website traditionally has to meet the agendas of disparate groups within the organization. As a result, it becomes too broadly focused and contains text that resembles corporate-speak more than marketing and sales language.
A microsite, on the other hand, can focus more easily on a specific topic, audience or action, and create an online experience that is more conducive to selling and persuasion, especially into new areas of services. Coupled with the right, targeted name specific to the product/service you get a boost in searches just by the name itself.
Making new product or services changes on a main website with many variables can often take more time and adjustments that desired. Changes from navigation, multiple page updates, SEO updates etc. can be error prone. With a microsite, marketing and sales executives can more quickly change offers, introduce events and switch text and images to take advantage of new opportunities. As fewer pages are involved, it is a faster and cleaner process.
Higher Conversion Rates
Test after test after test confirm that because microsites are more focused, they typically produce higher conversion rates than a companyaEÂs general site. This is one reason why Google and others recommend landing pages. With the controlled, more personalized user environments, these pages can be used in keyword campaigns. Concentrated messages with limited choices simply produce more clicks.
Microsites offer unique new ways to approach your search engine optimization (SEO) efforts. For instance, although Phred Manufacturing has been around a long time – predmfg.com – just doesn’t say much to the search engines. Using waterjetcutting.com would be a great position for capturing waterjet cutting opportunities. (see Domain Name & SEO Advantages). Unfortunately, such top level names are long gone. But – phredwaterjetcutting.com works fine.
Other SEO considerations:
- Creation of keyword rich domain names will definitely give a great advantage to your new site or business, or a specific focus.
- Link building activities will mainly be targeting the homepage, rather than deeper pages.
- Optimizing the homepage is always more powerful than optimizing for deeper pages and results can be harvested more quickly.
- Conversion rates will hopefully increase as the micro site will give the impression of a specialist web site.
- It will show up on search engines as being more specific
- Customers don’t want to find a page that gives one sentence about everything; they want to find a whole page about the topic they are interested in.
- You can have various keyword-rich domain names that are highly valued by Google. With a consolidated site you would never manage to fit more than 1-2 keywords in your domain name.
- Your backlinks will mainly target the homepage as there isnaEÂt any great need to link build for deeper pages. Many directories only allow links to homepages so there is a big advantage here.
- Your brand name will be very close to your product or service, thus some visitors will think they are at the right place. SpecialistsaEÂ sites convert better in general.
Ever hear of FaceBook? Well, if you are using it, essentially you are looking at a microsite with one major issue – control. Facebook fan pages have become incredibly popular marketing tools for businesses by providing, among other features, an easy way to communicate directly with customers and prospects. However, Facebook remains in total control of everything. It grants you permission to use its media property, dictates technical requirements and decides what data to share with you.
Most of the time, and for most companies, this is a fine relationship aE” until itaEÂs not. ThataEÂs when having all of your marketing eggs in someone elseaEÂs basket may not be such a good thing.
Unlike any third-party media property, with microsites you control the entire experience and, more importantly, the data aE” i.e., the website analytics and user information.
A microsite and Facebook page can actually complement each other well by serving different needs. Many companies on Inc. MagazineaEÂs list of aEoe20 Awesome Facebook Fan PagesaEÂ use the pages to refer traffic to their own websites, microsites and tailored landing pages where they can control the relationship better and own all the data aE” including email addresses aE” produced from those connections.
Good Reasons To Use Microsites
- Your services are strongly associated to your brand name and for some reason that doesnaEÂt work for a new product or service.
- You have a broad range of products/services but need focus in certain areas.
- You want to expand into new markets/products/services that can’t be adequately accommodated by your existing web site.
- You want to put a focus on a new market and not be lost in your current product line or services.
- You want to jump into a higher search (competitive) position against established competition.
Disadvantages of Microsites
What are the disadvantages of microsites?
- Cost of micrositesaEÂ development e.g. web-design, CMS development, link building, maintenance could be an issue. However, this is mainly an issue for those companies who have failed to plan and maintain their sites. Those with a plan in place usually see very little if any change in costs. Even so, any costs are far outweighed with the advantages.
- Link building will start from scratch. This can be significantly offset by selection of the proper website name and use of modern SEO designs.
Sometimes, a network of microsites may be required for organizations that want several sites for promotions or product offerings – or when a company has affiliates, franchisees, or different store locations, each one needing an independent site.
The Phred Solution
While microsites are not for everyone, in the case of Phred, a network of interlinked sites would serve their needs well:
- phredmfg.com – for the company overview and products
- phredwaterjetcutting.com – for waterjet cutting services
- phredlasercutting.com – for laser cutting services
- phredroutingservices.com – for routing services
By interlinking the microsites and the home site, Phred can focus on individual services and it’s overall product matrix.
Is a Microsite strategy of potential benefit to your internet marketing? Contact us for a review.