Microsite Site Management for a Future-proofed Web Site

What is a “Microsite,” and why might we design, build and maintain one?

Microsite definition:
A microsite is a small, carefully targeted, focused site that caters to a narrow set of visitors (customers)
A promotion and marketing tool that is easy to develop
A one-shot strategy rather than a long-term investment

The purpose of a microsite is to reach a specific set of visitors.

The microsite could be anything:

  • Themed pages linked from your main site
  • A stand-alone site with a small amount of content
  • A contest site
  • A special promotion or product launch site
  • A viral marketing campaign site

When might you need a microsite?

  • When launching a contest
  • When promoting a short-lived product

  • When providing very specific information
  • When you need a short address (URL) for a word-of-mouth campaign
  • When starting a new service
  • When launching a new product or product line
  • When testing a new business focus or branding strategy

How to Build a Microsite

Here are some rules for designing, building and maintaining a microsite

  • Keep the focus narrow. Keep text to a minimum. Don't pad the sales copy
  • Keep scrolling to a minimum. Keep almost all content above the fold
  • Focus on a “Call to Action,” “Getting the Order,” i.e., Selling
  • Ensure that navigation is streamlined
  • Make download times short
  • Add interaction and sticky options
  • Develop content that will bring visitors back
  • Link back to your main Website

The role of the site should be defined. The focus can be anything that brings visitors back and reinforces the site's message.

What do you Need?

Microsites are built with the same tools that you use to build other sites, and development costs are similar (depending on the scope of the site).

The rules for using microsites are flexible, allowing experimentation and risk.

Benefits of a Microsite

The benefits of microsites include:

  • Communicating a clear message to a focused set of visitors
  • The ability to use any available technology to communicate your message
  • Visitors can be engaged with greater interaction
  • The audience can be targeted with greater precision
  • Several microsites can be used to test the viability of different approaches
  • Microsites help collect visitor data
  • Opt-in data about visitors can be used for future campaigns

Success Measures

Success depends upon the purpose of the site, but there should be clear measures that are put in place. These measures should be developed during the site's planning process.

Cost-benefits should also be measured. Are there increases in sales? Are more customers qualified by the microsite, or is information that is collected by the microsite delved into action plans?

Microsites represent an opportunity for creative Web development.

Your organization may benefit from the use of this tool.

Links to site management information on this site.