From my understanding, microsites are basically you taking out multiple domain names that relate to your business,
then setting up a simple homepage for every site that will link to your main site. Using a set budget Goodle Adwords, & Google Analytics to assist/direct in traffic specs.
If you do a basic "auto microsites" google seek, there are a few companies profiting from this approach that could assist you further. If you have a basic understanding of domains, landing (home) page set up, and google ad words you could perhaps be successful without such services.
You could get lost in doing this yourself and spend way more time than it is worth... My recommendation is that you use Word or some other word processor to mock up the designs you want as a basic starting tool. In Phoenix, Courtesy Chevrolet and Ralph Paglia paid a local website builder $650 one time to build each microsite and then $35 per month to host and support each microsite.
A couple of things to remember, make sure you have lead forms that are sent to, and parse correctly into your lead management tool. Ralph Paglia had to teach the Courtesy Chevrolet supplier how to set up XML-ADF forms. Also, have text based links on each microsite to your best deep links on your eCommerce site and to all the other microsites.
Each microsite should be at least 4 pages (what Theresa described was more of a landing page), here is an example of a 4 page microsite:
1, Home Page (index)
2. Photo Gallery page
3. Specifications page
4. Current News and Articles (about the topic)
All of Courtesy Chevrolet's microsites were at least 4 pages, including the index page. They were also VERY successful. But you do need to know what your doing, or be smart enough to hire a supplier that does and won't charge too much.
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