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Good News and Bad News about Microsites and Landing Pages

Good News… I am seeing and hearing a lot more dealers thinking about using microsites and landing pages.

Bad News… I don't hear a lot about the strategy behind their use or what they intend to use them for.

It reminds me of the early CRM years when a lot of us rushed to get us some of that CRM without understanding how we would implement CRM in our store. I wrote an article for Dealer Magazine back then called “Just Because You Built It Doesn’t Mean They Will Come”.

“Just Because You have a Microsite, Doesn’t mean they will come”

If you are building a Microsite in WordPress thinking that it will have some magical SEO value and be so optimized that you will get all this traffic and somehow sell more cars as a result, I hate to be the one to break it to you but…

IT WON’T

All you will succeed in doing is placing property on the web that requires your time, effort and mone for you to try and rank, takes your focus off of the ball trying to get traffic to it, which ultimately produces very little. You become frustrated and just quit leaving the sites out there that you paid good money for to die in internet wasteland.

If you think you are going to use Microsites & Landing Pages as an offsite SEO mechanism to build back links.

“This is a tactic not a strategy”

Back links from you Microsite network are a good side benefit but they are not what Microsites and Landing Pages are for.

The best Microsites and Landing Pages are the ones that convert. Call them High Performance Landing Pages. High Performance Landing Pages have 4 characteristics. They are:

Engaging

Dynamic

Disposable

Aagile

An Engaging landing experience uses an arsenal of tools like flash, video, social media and pre-conversion segmentation to capture and keep the user’s attention and drive them through conversion.

Dynamic landing experiences are those that are highly context specific, perhaps even personalized with content based on where the user has come from, what they have searched on or what they’ve done in the past. They aren’t static, they are specific.

Most importantly, landing pages should be disposable. The best online marketing campaigns employ continuous testing for continuous improvement and that means we can’t get too tied down to any one landing page concept. We can’t invest so much into a landing page that it becomes too expensive to trash it and move on if it’s not working.

Finally agile Landing pages need to be conceived, executed and launched in minutes, hours or days. Not weeks or months. I hear dealers every day who can’t get Microsites or Landing Pages developed and launched in under 4-12 weeks. That’s too long… Way too long. A 4-12 week development cycle on a landing page probably means that too many resources are being spent on the page and you are paying a lot of money to have it developed - from IT to agencies to marketing resources, and it probably means it is no longer disposable as well.

So, take a look at your landing pages. Can you use the words engaging, dynamic, disposable and agile to describe them?

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