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USING MINI-SITES TO INCREASE YOUR SALES

by: Cary Christian

For those of you who have your own websites, they serve one major purpose: to sell your products or services. You may also include interesting complementary content, links to other sites, ads for affiliate programs you belong to, and lots of information on you or your company. But let's face it. Your main purpose is to sell your products or services.

There are many others among you who do not yet have a website but are interested in getting one.

The same simple marketing tool will work wonders for both groups: the mini-site.

WHAT IS A MINI-SITE?

A mini-site is a one or two page web site that focuses completely on one single product. The content of the mini-site has only one purpose - to convince your visitors to buy the single product to which your mini-site relates.

Why would you not include other content on your mini-site?  Because that is not its purpose. You can still maintain your content website and you should still offer your products for sale there. But the mini-site is extremely focused to enable you to direct highly-targeted visitors who are motivated to buy directly to your product.

WHAT MAKES A MINI-SITE EASIER TO PROMOTE?

Since a mini-site deals with only one product or service, it is much easier to optimize your site for the search engines. Your title should be keyword rich. Think of what people might type in as a search phrase to find your product and adopt that as your title. (I'm talking about the HTML "TITLE" tag, not necessarily the title your visitors see at the top of your page).

The description tag for your site should focus only on the product your mini-site is designed to sell. Begin your description with a keyword-rich phrase and describe your site and the product being sold in detail. Avoid generalizing. Your goal is to produce highly-targeted visitors so let them know exactly what they're getting when they click through to your site.

Limit your keywords (in the "keywords" tag) to phrases strictly related to your product. Again, you want only targeted traffic.  Concentrate on the keyword phrases you think people will use to find your site. You can use Overture's keyword tools to see what phrases people are using most frequently.

Place important keyword phrases in the alt-text tags for any graphics you include on the page.

The text on your page should deal exclusively with the product or service being offered on your site. Your text should have one purpose only: to sell! Remember, you've worked hard to this point to attract only highly-targeted visitors. These people want your product. Don't disappoint them. Sell it to them!

HOW YOUR PAGE SHOULD LOOK

Design your mini-site using standard HTML coding. Do not use flash or tons of fancy graphics. Do not include links to other sites or banners of any kind whatsoever. This site needs to be a straightforward, professional, no-frills, selling machine. It needs to load fast, get to the point, get the sale, and allow your new customer to purchase easily and hassle-free.

HOSTING YOUR MINI-SITE

You will need your own domain name and hosting service for your mini-site or sites. If you already own your own domain but decide to purchase a new domain name for each of your mini-sites, you can have the mini-site domain names redirected to subdirectories within your main site that contain your mini-site web pages. This means you won't have to have a separate hosting service for each domain.

However, a word of caution is needed here. Check with your host and with the redirection service to make sure the redirection will not adversely affect how the search engines see your HTML tags.

BUT I DON'T HAVE ANY PRODUCTS!

If your Internet marketing efforts are geared toward promoting affiliate programs, you can use mini-sites to stand out from the crowd. Use a mini-site to attract targeted traffic and presell your visitors on your affiliate programs. Using the mini-site you can offer a bonus for joining your affiliate program or for buying the affiliate program product. Or you can simply use it so that you are not promoting the exact same site all other affiliates of the program are promoting. Preselling in this manner will increase your affiliate sales.

DRIVING TRAFFIC TO YOUR MINI-SITE

Once you have developed your mini-site, do some test marketing and fine tune your site to sell. Once you have achieved what you believe is a good conversion rate of sales to visitors, purchase some traffic using the pay-per-click engines and/or ezine advertising. If you have designed your site properly and crafted your sales message well, your sales should take an immediate and substantial jump.

TOOLS TO HELP YOU CREATE YOUR MINI-SITES

If you want to build your own site from scratch, Shelley Lowery's new book, Web Design Mastery, will be invaluable to you. (See our recommendation of this new work near the beginning of this newsletter). You can find it at:

http://www.ebookstarter.com/click.php?lid=3&af=philcary

If you prefer to build your site using simpler, online tools, try Site Build It! at:

http://buildit.sitesell.com/peaksbc.html

Site Build It! includes your own domain name, web hosting for the year, regular submissions to the search engines and much more.

BOTTOM LINE

No matter what you are selling, and whether you currently have your own website or not, properly built mini-sites can create a tremendous increase in sales and help you to minutely focus your marketing efforts.


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