In a previous post, we covered the common mistakes we’ve witnessed in the last two decades so you can sidestep them.

Now that you know the things to avoid, we want to give you a checklist of things you should be considering in every microsite project.

#1 Define the brand guidelines

Try to define how far you are willing to push the brand to be as creative as possible. Some microsites would have very rigid brand criteria, but more creative projects would have looser boundaries. An example of this is a microsite we built showing different brand assets e.g. a different font and making use of more playful elements e.g. colorful design and new icons targeting professional investors of Legal and General Investment Management.

#2 Specify your target audience

If you can hone in on what your target audience needs, you can design your microsite to have the right user experience. For example, BNP Paribas has a subsidiary company and they wanted a simple microsite to showcase their capabilities and push prospects and clients. Therefore, we designed and built the site with simplicity in mind.

#3 Decide your KPIs

When you clarify what you want to get out of your microsite, it can be optimized to deliver your intended results. For instance, the BNP Investigator is an ongoing thematic campaign that BNP Paribas run. They endorse a key theme complemented by a series of articles, capabilities and promoted funds. The microsite functions as portal (sadly not a time-travelling one which predicted COVID-19) to wrap up all this content and doubled as a lead generation program.

For lead generation, there’s a form built in the site to allow people to either ask to be contacted or sign up for updates. Furthermore, the updates use our content distribution technology to pull in five RSS feeds (one in each language) so that when a new article is added, it’s automatically emailed out to subscribers. We also worked with their content and media agencies on this one to make sure all elements work well together.

#4 Prioritize your content and personalize if possible

Make sure you highlight content in order of priority so your agency can lay out pages in order of importance. During the briefing, tackle what functionality, e.g. dynamic content, animations or other interactive elements should go onto the page.

When we built a microsite for Legal and General Investment Management to promote a research paper, we created dynamic versions of the page for different audiences to display different content based on the user selection. Furthermore, the site served a known audience (e.g. email recipients) or an unknown audience (e.g. users coming from ads). Known users get access to the research straight away, but unknown users had to fill in a form to get to the PDF. This simple demand generation technique increased LGIM’s subscriber base.

#5 Maintain open communication lines with your agency

Things change. That’s just a fact of life. However, it’s important to communicate the changes and expectations you have for your microsite to your agency in a timely manner. It would also be helpful to set a short-term or long-term plan for the microsite and keep your agency updated. Sometimes, successful microsites are killed before being properly evaluated as to whether they can fulfil an objective or be repurposed.

We maintain Legal and General’s microsite housing their annual report outlining LGIM’s behaviour as stakeholders. To maintain the site, we regularly receive the reports and sit down with the team to discuss what and how elements in the report should be highlighted.

#6 Don’t forget basic best practice guidelines for site development

The fact that it is a microsite doesn’t mean that best practice guidelines don’t apply. Remember to factor in SEO elements from the start of the project, pay attention to your CTA text and build it with UX practices in mind. It’s also useful to review your content to make sure that it’s not too similar to your main site text. This is to avoid being penalized by Google for duplications. Finally, remember to build your key analytics tags so that you can monitor metrics for engagement.

Want to know more about building microsites or have some use cases to consider? Leave us a message here and we will get your relationship manager to get in touch with you.