For a customer, the ecommerce experience hinges entirely on getting what they came for - be that a product, an answer or information about what they're seeking. On the business side of selling, this requires an extensive schedule of overhauls—each time something is changed or introduced, the accompanying images, content and site structure must be changed to accommodate it. For an established company site, this constant state of flux introduces its own problems, such as persistent coding errors that can break links or cause images to appear incorrectly or not at all. Security, design cohesiveness and scalability contribute additional complications. The solution? Microsites.
Smaller, Agile and Targeted
Microsites offer a rich environment for expanding SEO, especially when dealing with temporary promotions or "limited edition" versions of classic SKUs. Not only are they assigned a specific URL for easier metric-gathering during a campaign, they can be filled with content that's specific to that item, rather than your brand as a whole. This concentrated dose of information, particularly when paired with regular blogs or social media updates linking back to the microsite, helps grab Google's attention and improve your placement on search engine results pages. As Luke Clum of CreativeBloq points out, a focused topic and quality information are actually two of the most important qualities for microsites to incorporate.
Easier Navigation for Your Customers
With less to 'wrangle' in an update, your microsite can be optimized for different devices and browsers far more quickly than a bulky, traditional site. This means that it can run parallel to current campaigns, even if it's formulated and added late in the initial marketing blitz. Customers don't have to search and hunt through pages and tabs, which means they gain a more favorable impression of your product and brand. Action-oriented conversion tactics such as newsletter signups or contest entries can be presented front and center, reducing opportunities for bounce or distraction.
When It's Over, It's Over
The issue with many modern advertising campaigns is "re-raveling the yarn" when a campaign has concluded. If you leave a static, non-working page up, customers will get frustrated. With a traditional site, every trace of the campaign needs to be tracked down and scrubbed, lest . confused customers will have a less-than-optimal ecommerce experience. Microsites are easy to shut down, and if all roads thread into the microsite to begin with, a short explanatory note or an auto-jump to the company webpage is all you'll need to head customers struggles off at the pass. With microsites, there will be no more "ghost" pages filling up the dark corners of your main site, just a clean dead-end from which you can redirect your customers to more conversion-friendly pages.
It's Better for Your Budget
For smaller companies, or larger ones with a lot of irons already in the fire, a site refresh can be a headache-inducing proposition, especially when it comes to the bottom line. The simplicity and reduced effort of microsite development makes implementing one an ideal middle ground—all the functionality of a larger site's promotion page with the lower cost of a campaign-specific piece of interactive media. Alex Charalambous of Circle S Studios' Spur cites cost efficiency as a compelling reason to give microsites a try: they are the shed-versus-addition when expanding your marketing "house"—both hold lots of potential, but one is far less expensive to add.
Customers must be carefully led down each digital path you'd like them to tread, and building the perfect ecommerce experience starts with using your resources efficiently to make the biggest impact. Your site is your anchor, don't tinker with its holding pattern unless you absolutely have to! Consider making a microsite or two and testing your conversion before reinventing the wheel. You might be pleasantly surprised.