How Microsites can Deliver Maxi-Value

You’ve probably heard the old adage, “Two heads are better than one!”

The idea is two people working to solve the same problem are more likely to get better or faster results.

The same principle often applies to websites. Sometimes there can be major advantages by having two – or more – websites. There are plenty of reasons this is true, but the two more important reasons relate to SEO and marketing.

These multiple websites usually fall in the category of “microsites”. They are smaller sites that are create to fulfill some very well defined purposes. Do you need a microsite? Maybe not. Unless you understand how they work, you’re not ready to answer that question, so let’s go over the basics.

Microsites for SEO and Marketing

When it comes to microsites, the way they work to improve your SEO and marketing are very interrelated. Here is an example that actually happened to a friend of ours just a short time ago.

He invests in residential real estate and was looking to buy some property in a city where he currently doesn’t own any property. He navigated to Google and started searching for real estate investment professionals in that area. This would include brokers, property management firms and others.

He immediately found a company that specialized in selling residential investment real estate in this city. He also discovers that there is a community organization that dedicate to promoting real estate investing in this city. One property management firm is also listed near the top of his search results.

He made contact with the president of the company that specializes in selling residential real estate to investors and had a long and fruitful conversation with him. After their discussion, his realization came to that this company is, in fact, the same property management company that is responsible for creating the real estate investor’s community organization.

Looking over each site carefully as he got off the phone. He found that there are pages within each site that linked to the others. This creates the kind of backlinks that search engines like Google use to rank websites. Since each of these sites related to residential investment real estate, it made logical sense that links would exist between them. This makes the links far more valuable than links coming from an unrelated “content farm,” for example. (Content farms are websites that publish all kinds of unrelated content; eZine Articles is an example of a content farm. Google doesn’t think highly of them in general.)

Microsite Traffic

First of all, any visitor that lands on one of these investment real estate microsites is quite likely to click over to one or both of the related sites, so the traffic they create has value. Let’s dig a little more deeply into the marketing value microsites create. Let me give you a different example to illustrate this.

A successful instructional music book publisher has a series that help people teach keyboard to themselves. So he put out a quality product and over time developed a good ecommerce website that included a blog and other elements that earned him a great position within Google’s search results.

Next, he decided to add a series of books that focused on teaching guitar. He created a link on his homepage that book visitors to a page that promoted his guitar books. The volume in guitar books was small and he didn’t want to give up very much of his valuable home page space to this new line of products. However, every time you make visitors click a link, many of them drop out, so he wasn’t moving very many guitar books.

He decided to spin off the guitar products into a microsite. This let him grab a domain name that was perfect for selling guitar books. Now he didn’t have to dilute his successful keyboard site promoting the guitar products. On the new guitar book site, he could publish blog articles to drive traffic to his site and boost his SEO.

One Product Multiple Markets

The entrepreneur selling the keyboard and guitar books is an example of two separate products that appeal to two different consumers. The microsite strategy has another great application: Sometimes the same product will have two or more separate buyers because it has more than one application.

Hydrogen peroxide is a common household item. It’s useful for hair bleaching. But, it can also be useful in aquariums to boost oxygen and as an additive when watering plants. A smart entrepreneur might create three separate microsites that tout these different applications of hydrogen peroxide and sell the same product to three different groups of consumers. I think you can see how difficult it would be to sell to these three different markets from just one website.

Do you have a use for some microsites? It can be an easy, effective and low-cost strategy that delivers very valuable results.