Thursday, 21 March 2013

Microsites Creation Strategy for SEO and Link Building

By +Mina Adly Younan

Introduction:

A Microsite is an individual web page or cluster of pages which are meant to function as an auxiliary supplement to a primary website. Their main aim is to direct traffic and increase page rank through back linking to official websites and/or to act as editorial support towards a specific product or service. A Microsite should have a unique value proposition that is indirectly related to the industry of the official website.

Since Microsites’ main objective is to drive traffic, they need fresh and updated content to maintain a continuous stream of visitors that a portion of them are filtered to the official websites.  Sometimes Microsites gain a great success that they become eventually a brand by themselves with thousands and millions of frequent loyal visitors like P&G’s HomeMadeSimple.com and BeingGirl.com

What Microsite Strategists and Copywriters should put in mind when creating a Microsite?
1- Defining the target audience
2- Orient the Content to be about the customer, not the brand. 
3- Consistent content
4- Frequently Steady Update: Remember! A Microsite is a content promised to your customers

Objectives:

Any Microsite strategy, either written to be presented to a client, upper management, or creators, should have a clear and simple objective opening summarizing its purpose and the value proposition it is presenting.   



Processes of Microsite Workflow:

Step 1: Brainstorming for the Microsite idea
Duration: 4 Hours
Tools Used:  Google AdWords Keyword Tool, Google SERP, MindTools

The first step is to brainstorm all possible suggestions for the new Microsite idea. In this process, any concerns about staying organized should be suspended. The goal is to pour all thoughts outside without worrying about whether they make sense or how they fit together.
The time consumed in the brainstorming process is consumed scientifically in methods such as Mind Mapping, Venn diagramming, competition observation, Searching, focus groups, and using Mind Tools
  

microsites strategy


Step 2: Breaking Down the Ideas:

Duration: 2 hours
Tools Used:  Google AdWords Keyword Tool, Google SERP, SEMRush
After collecting no less than 10 applicable ideas from brainstorming, comes the next step of expanding the list of ideas to a list of keywords. After that, filtering them all based on the following factors:
  1. Keywords Research for Search Traffic Volume both globally and locally
  2. Competition analysis: if there are similar sites offering the same Value Proposition or dominating specific short-tail keywords  
  3. Content Resources Research in terms of availability and update rate
  4. Relevancy to the main Site’s industry: It might be a good idea but has nothing to do with the official website. After all the purpose of the Microsite is to drive traffic to the main website so It should be indirectly related to it.  
  5. Feasibility: the idea should not have specific preparations or expensive investments or resources and can be easily executed by designers, developers, and content curators.

 After filling the above requirements and filtering the suggested ideas we will come up with 2 outcomes:

  1. The main Idea of the Website
  2. The target Audience

Step 3: Domain Name Selection

 Duration: 1 hour
Tools used: Name Station, Google AdWords Keyword Tool, NameChk, GoDaddy  
The Domain name is the Microsite’s image. So it needs a lot of effort trying to find the most appropriate and relevant domain name. Also, the selected domain name will define the name of the Microsite and consequently its logo and design.  
The Process will depend mainly on Keywords search volume and Domain Names Availability.


Step 4: Design

Duration:  
Tools Needed:
The Design Should be simple and expressing the main purpose of the Microsite putting in mind the target audience and the industry of the main website.
The development should also incorporate Interlinking strategy and references to similar topics based on Keywords


Step 5: Content Development Strategy

Duration:
Tools Needed:
A team of Copywriters (Content Curators) should be assigned and have a portion of their time dedicated for updating the content of the Microsite through creating or curating editorials. Update rate should also be defined based on available resources and available content online.
The Microsite Strategy should provide examples of Content Topics to give everybody involved in the process with a clear vision of what the new site will be about.  
Keywords ideas with traffic volume should also be added to help the writers create tehri content with SEO in mind to keep in-page KeyWords density and to select topics with a high serch volume and low competition.

Step 6: Maintenance and Running

Duration:
Tools Needed:


  1. Frequent SEO audit
  2. Keywords Rank Tracker
  3. Impact on the main (official) website
  4. Social Media integration and optimization. 


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