Microsites can be used to help schools achieve a variety of goals. Microsites are a great way to deliver more leads and enrollments to your programs, and they can also be used to highlight a specific campaign or student persona, hard-to-fill program or a high cost-per-acquisition program.
Microsites can range in size from just a few pages to over a hundred pages or larger, depending on the goal of the site and the traffic acquisition methods.
Why should we do a microsite?
Reasons for creating a microsite can vary. You may want to launch a new program and have a different website (other than your main school website) to send potential students through, or you may want to dig in on a topic area that is important and relevant to your school but may not be appropriate for your main site.
In many cases, these microsites do not have to adhere to the same strict branding guidelines as your school websites or sites on subdomains in your ecosystem, so you may be able to experiment with verbiage and imagery that you can’t normally use.
Other reasons for creating a microsite or mini-site include providing additional ranking opportunities or using the site for the ability to market more than one program or offering, such as if you are an agency trying to help fill programs for multiple schools.
Steps to create a microsite:
1. Market research
First, we take a look at your target market to determine the need for a microsite. In this stage, we craft user personas and gain more information about your programs.
2. Competitive analysis
Are there others in your space using this tactic? If so, what are the sites? What are the tactics they are using and what keywords or key themes do they rank for? What is their overall strategy for microsites? We analyze everything from domain name to content to personas and look at everything your competitors are doing.
One key to a good microsite is to have an excellent domain name. If you don’t have a domain in mind, we make recommendations to you with a framework of the branding we might use for each example.
4. Keyword mapping and content strategy
Once the domain is in place, we determine an overall SEO-focused content strategy for the new microsite. Every part of the website, from the Information Architecture (IA) to the strategy for internal linking is meticulously mapped out.
5. Content creation
Usually for microsites we utilize our team of experienced writers who can work efficiently and at scale to adhere to strict deadlines. In some cases, we may approve the use of an internal team and we provide a calendar and specific content briefs for them to execute on.
Simply creating the site isn’t enough – it must be backed with a solid strategy for promotion. Our link acquisition/digital PR team reaches out to publications, relevant institutions and organizations to get their assistance in promoting the new website.
Existing microsite not ranking?
We also assist some of our partners with rankings or traffic on existing microsites.