We see it a lot on the web. Companies displaying menu after menu of services and products. It’s a fine balance between appearing as a “Jack of all, master of none”, and showing your company is flexible and comprehensive in what it can offer.
Microsites can be used to address this problem to a certain extent.
What is a Microsite?
A microsite is a website concentrated on a very specific product or service. They can range in size from a single landing page, to several linked pages, to an interactive flash experience based around that particular product or service. Which one is best for you will depend on your industry, audience and your product, but a microsite will help to bring focus and relevancy to a specific product or service.
What are the benefits?
There are plenty of reasons to consider siphoning off some of your services and giving them their own site. In no particular order, here are some points to think about:
A microsite gives you the opportunity to break away from your corporate brand, which may or may not be restricting the growth of one of your products or services. For example, a bank might be launching a new account aimed at student savings.
- Address the overcrowding issue
Offering site visitors too much choice and no obvious path through your site from initial landing to a call to action. So many times we see home pages which have yards and yards of text, telling the visitors a hundred different messages. If it takes a visitor a long time to find what they want, they will become frustrated and leave.
- Delve into the details
With so many different products and services on one site it may not be possible to go into too much detail on each one. A microsite offers the freedom to go into more details, like specifications, history, press coverage etc.
- Communicate with your target audience
Your audience are more likely to respond if the website seems relevant to them in terms of graphic design and the tone of the copy
- Define you as a specialist
A microsite will help to establish you as an expert, which people will remember. Want to buy pink envelopes? Then go to www.pinkenvelopes.com!
- Highly targeted
When visitors get to your site they will be presented with exactly what they want without having to look for it. The whole site can be geared towards a single call to action. Very useful for pay-per-click campaigns.
- Search engines will like you
A domain name with relevant keywords in it, and a site which is highly focussed around a particular product or service will likely perform better in the search engines
- Leverage direct mail campaigns
A microsite can be created for mail campaigns as a landing point, specifically designed for the offer and reflecting the branding, design and tone of the printed piece to aid the transition from one media type to another. It is then also possible to track the performance of the campaign, by having a specific microsite with web statistics will give a lot of valuable insight into the effectiveness of the campaign.
- Product launches
They can be used for new product/service launches. It gives your product an identity of its own and sets it apart from everything you have done in the past.
I said that these were in no particular order, but I have saved the best for last, which should be self explanatory from the following statistic:
“50% of visitors to any website will only look at the home page, then leave”
If your homepage is completely relevant to them, contains enough key information and includes an obvious call to action, then you will bypass this widely accepted statistic.