Why on earth do you want or even need a micro website and what is it anyway?
Nick Brittan | Marketeer
Let’s start with what it is.
A microsite is a branded content site that lives outside of an organisations homepage and/or brand domain. Some may argue it can also be part of your domain, but I think the word “site” gives it away.
So why would you want one?
I will use a little role play to give one example. Imagine you are a furniture retailer and I am a potential internet buyer. I love my dining set and just want to change my chairs. I head straight to Google, entering the search term “funky dining chairs.” Hey presto results, lots of them. At the top the usual suspects. Big brands with big budgets to secure the prime page and ad positions.
Google would have you believe that I like many will be clicking on these top links. Well I am not. I am looking for a certain style, something modern, something traditional, something funky, something that the big brands are not offering. Now imagine that you have a microsite website under funkydiningchairs.com. The content has been honed to just focus and promote funky chairs. What do you think will happen?
If nothing else this may have started you thinking of imaginative domain names for your own microsite websites. Do be aware though Google EMD ( Exact Match Domain) is there to prevent poor quality sites from ranking well simply because they have words that match search terms. Content is and always will be king.
Oh, and by the way… funkydiningchairs.co.uk, .com and .net were all available when I posted this thought. You’re welcome.
The pros and cons
Ask webmasters their opinion on micro sites and you’ll find a lively debate on the pros and cons. On one hand they are perfectly formed, highly targeted, simple to design and a very cost effective marketing channel. On the other hand these pesky little websites are seen as a no no to Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) purists. As with anything, stand back and look at what the commentator’s business does. Are they likely to dissuade you from their offering?
Are micro sites any good?
Yes they are good if conceived with a sound business goal in mind. A micro site is another channel. How you configure, direct an audience, monitor and react is no different to any other channel activity.
The uses of a micro website
For manufacturers, wholesalers, retailers and service providers a micro site can be used to launch something new, clear outstanding stock, offer discounts, educate users, promote an event or maybe support a press release. It can be a beacon to direct your audience to or a support device. With the right planning and execution, micro sites can be integrated to any position within your sales and marketing funnels.
Cost is key
A micro site can be built for a few hundred pounds. The concept design may add to this but can be reduced by understanding your goals and giving a good brief. As with all overheads you need to consider the return on investment, whether that is increased sales, exposure and visibility or brand awareness. This requires a monitoring process, but it doesn’t have to be too complicated or fancy. Simply using a dedicated telephone number, email address or asking site visitors to contact Dave, these can all be monitored. By the way… you do not have a Dave which is how you know where the contact came from.
Think of a micro site like a magazine advertisement, a direct mail campaign or sponsorship. It is a channel and can be used without getting bogged down in all the technical intricacies of your main domain.