Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Why a Microsite Might Be a Good Idea

There is a lot of conventional wisdom that has popped up during the rise of the World Wide Web. Maxims like, "Do not use a lot of animation," or "No blinking text" were based on the pervasive misuse of bad web design by novices and technical people who created websites before designers got a hold the technology.

These maxims are wise, but not always helpful when new ways of communicating and marketing are needed. In the hands of skilled thinkers and innovators breaking these rules can be effective. That's what brings me to a great idea that goes against the conventional wisdom of having a splash page.

I am one who generally doesn't like splash pages, but there is a good use for them, if it is understood what is to be accomplished by them. A micro-site is a good example. It is a site that is an adjunct to an organizations regular website. It is focused on a specific area of interest or theme, and has its own look and feel.

One reason these have become more popular to do is that the price of URL names, and web hosing space have fallen significantly. You no longer have to have a splash page that advertises your message in linear sequence before you enter the main site. It can now exist simultaneously along-side your main site, and advertise whatever marketing message you want to get across without impeding the user's progress.

These are especially useful if an organization wants to implement an advertising campaign or solicit for funding. Without overhauling the organizational website to fit the campaign look or constraining the campaign to fit the current website, this organization will have the freedom to create a rich experience, evoke interest, and reach new audiences that are not being reached with their main website.

Create a Micro-site

Give it memorable URL, and people won't easily forget it. The site can contain links that point to specific areas on the main site. At the same time the micro-site would be linked to a specific advertising campaign. The micro-site can be media-rich and exciting, even if the main site is average. The point is to create a landing page for advertising purposes that matches the campaign theme. The main site is the company brand, and is consistent with their look, while the micro-site doesn't necessarily have to be.

Here are two examples: See New Mexico tourism or

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