4 Factors for Successful Microsite Design

August 22, 2014In Development, Framework, Research, Creativity4 Minutes

If you’re looking to set up a corporate site or distinguish other sub-brands from your main website, it’s time to go with a microsite. What is a microsite? A microsite is basically a small website that is meant to supplement your main website or achieve some kind of purpose. For example, a microsite can be built for a specific brand that carries a distinct line of products. It can also be built to set up a viral marketing promotion. It makes sense to create one to target new audiences, distinguish brands/products, or set up big event promotions.

Great energy agency team working on a microsite design.
Successful microsite design launch.

But what makes a microsite successful? There are several factors, with the first being focus. You need a focused topic to give your users the space to really consume the information you want them to consume. The microsite design needs to be themed around the topic, and the content also will need to stick to the conversation around the topic. Companies have gone as far as to set up a microsite for one single flagship product so that they can really hone in on their audience and get direct results for that specific product.

A microsite should also organize content like a funnel. You want to start out by calling out to the audience for that microsite and then progressively serving information. For example, the main page can call out to the audience and link to the introduction. The introduction can lead to more complex topics and so on. It’s almost like delivering a presentation that’s so organized that it’s impossible for the person to not understand what you’re trying to say.

Of course, the microsite needs to have a clear goal. Your microsite should have a goal according to what your organization needs. One microsite may have the goal of collecting leads or even nurturing a prospect into a qualified lead while another may have the goal of branding the corporate site and getting people to connect with them in social media. It’s important to note that the microsite design needs to reflect the goal. If the microsite is a lead generation site, a simple UI design should be built to lead to the opt-in box or page. Content should also be set up to lead users toward signing up.

Finally, the design should work hand in hand with the metrics and the process. Like other types of sites, things like UI, UX and conversion need to be taken into consideration. The good news is that microsites are simple, so it’s easy to isolate and test what aspects of design improve metrics. The key thing to focus on is to really go for engagement. It’s all about being focused on this type of site, so you want to make sure that you put out all the stops and keep the audience’s attention.

Microsites can be extremely effective in helping you achieve your secondary project goals: build a social media following, get qualified leads, or promote a sub-brand. Designing these sites is more straightforward than something like an eCommerce store, but you still need to know where you’re going with the design. Following the guidelines laid out in this post will help you get an idea of how to set up your microsite for success.

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