by Randall CraigFiled in: Blog, Make It Happen Tipsheet, Marketing, Strategy, WebTagged as: Conversion, Digital Strategy, Technology
How many websites does your organization have? Of course there is the main site. Then there is the “old” site that includes all of the archival content. Then there are specialized microsites for various products, events, and advertising campaigns. And finally, there are all of the landing pages that support all of the search engine pay-per-click ads. It doesn’t take more than a few years to grow a mess that is both hard to understand and difficult to manage.
Here are some guidelines that can help unwind and rationalize a web “site” strategy:
Main domain: This is your organization’s main website, (www.RandallCraig.com is an example), and doesn’t need much more explanation. All content should be attached to this domain, to improve discoverability – and so that all search engine optimization advantages accrue to this one domain.
Landing Pages: These are designed to provide direct access to a purpose-driven page, usually to improve conversion from an advertisement, but also as shorthand to get users to a specific content page. The advantage of a Landing Page is that it contains only relevant content (and navigation, and call-to-action) – no distracting debris. A downside is that over the years, the pages begin to multiply and collect dust. They often contain no-longer-valid offers, and can be confusing if a user finds their way to one. Recommendation: When you create landing pages use relevant – but not easily guessable names. Users may try guessing Landing Page names, thereby potentially exposing offers that they are not authorized to receive. Each year while you still remember their purpose, delete (or “un-publish”) any that are no longer valid.
Microsites: Microsites are usually smaller, special purpose websites that support a specific product, event, or marketing campaign. There are four approaches to creating a microsite:
No matter which approach is taken, a key question is the microsite’s lifespan. Whether it is finite or forever, just asking this question opens issues of ongoing microsite marketing, content updates, and support.
Whether you are doing competitive analysis, researching a new prospect, or looking for your next position, reviewing the family of websites (and their history) can provide tremendous insights. And if you want a bit more to do, consider rationalizing your site(s): while you might not be able to do it all at once, it doesn’t hurt to make an inventory.
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