Friday, November 12, 2004
Kevin Lee points out the benefits of using a microsite (1 - 10 page minisite) built to target specific market segments instead of using your existing e-commerce site. Lee says using a microsite only for ppc campaigns can result in much higher conversion ratios and allows established companies to reach audiences they otherwise would've missed. He uses Fairmont Hotels as an example.
"A microsite can be used for power keyword segments of a search engine marketing (SEM) campaign, the entire PPC campaign, even for a campaign segment you couldn't have executed without it. For example, Jens Thraenhart, director of Internet strategy at Fairmont Hotels and Resorts, recently shared his observation that microsites are a great tool to target niche audiences that wouldn't have responded to content on existing sites.
Several Fairmont hotels are perfectly suited to catering to the needs of golf and spa enthusiasts. Yet the existing site's messaging and content aren't as strong as they could be in respect to the lucrative golf and spa categories. Fairmont's new microsites have the content and message tuned to the appropriate niche. They've sped up editorial approval in the engines and delivered conversion rates that resulted in profitable campaigns.
As with landing-page testing, we've seen lift in conversion rates and ROI for microsites and minisites at levels approaching 200 percent. Of course, the lift for your particular site depends on where you start and how customized you get."
Aren't microsites just landing pages in discuise?
The sites Lee suggests building are definitely landing pages and built to convert. Obviously, creating a page for ppc purposes may seem different than creating a site for natural ranking reasons but one must be careful when doing so. If the main company site links to the minisite and vice versa then automated penalties can be incurred for manipulating each site's PageRank or link popularity. If a company decides to use minisites I highly recommend not linking to them from the parent site.
Additionally, I personally don't care for the feel of minisites. Often times they're shallow and lack any of the trust building factors I look for before I do business online. Even if the minisite converts a visitor, what happens when they find out the real company their money went to? I'm guessing buyer's remorse is higher as well as chargebacks.
I think Kevin has a good point in his article but one must be very careful when implementing his method and must be aware of all the pros and cons associated with it.
Are Microsites Spam When Only Being Used In PPC Campaigns? By Jason Dowdell at 11:30 PM