What Makes a MiniSite Effective?

Now that there are a number of MiniSite developers out there I’ve been receiving an increase in emails about what qualities to look for in a MiniSite. I myself design MiniSites and full-scale websites for domains in my portfolio. Right now I have about 80 developed names and through the process of building these sites, I’ve learned a lot about what makes a MiniSite effective.

Before I start I think it is important to define “effective.” What I mean here is that the site ranks well in search engines and does a good job of translating traffic into revenue. These are two very measurable qualities and my “effective” MiniSites show-up on the first page of Google and Yahoo for a variety of keywords and have a CTR of over 10%. So what are some of the tricks to building an effective MiniSite?

1) Content is Key
Many people overlook the importance of content when it comes to building a MiniSite. The content on your site is what will dramatically help your search engine rankings and hopefully keep people on your site. It is important that your content be more than just a filler but also provide people with useful information. Take a look at JuryLaw.com, StimulusCheck.us, or CricketGames.co.in for examples of sites that I’ve build that have good targeted content.

It is also important that your content contain relevant keywords and anchor text. Using a tool like the Google Adwords Keyword tool you can easily find related keywords and rank by popularity. Including these keywords and making good use of anchor text is important if you’d like your site to rank well in search engines.

2) Professional Header
When you are creating a MiniSite it is important to remember that you are building a brand. Having an unprofessional or basic header at the top of the page will not win-over your visitors. Instead make sure you focus on a header that brings credibility to your site and makes visitors feel like they are not just there to click on links for the site owner. If you aren’t a Photoshop wizards yourself forums like DNForum and NamePros have people that will happily create a nice-looking site header for you for under $30.

3) Multiple Forms of Monetization
Using Google Adsense is great – but the more ways you can monetize your traffic, the better chance you have of engaging a visitor with a product or service applicable to them. Amazon has a great affiliate program that makes it easy to add books, dvds, software, etc. to your site. ClickBank is a great service for adding eBooks and educational resources to your site that you are commissioned to sell.

4) Update Your Site at LEAST Quarterly
Search engines like fresh content – as do site visitors! The more you update your site the better rankings you will get over time – this has been proven time and time again. It doesn’t mean that every site must become a blog, but updating just four times a year can go a long way!

5) Allow your visitor to Contact You
Put a contact form on your page or at least provide an email address where visitors can reach you. This goes a long way towards building trust and allows your to interact with your visitors. A great example of this is on JuryLaw where people will sometimes contact me asking about law resources online or books about Jury Law. This is a great way to actively sell a product or service to your visitors or even promote other sites you own.

The list goes on but for the sake of this post I wanted to provide the top five things I do to build effective MiniSites. I started developing websites back in 1993 so have seen the web, HTML, PHP, Javascript, etc. grow to where it is today. A MiniSite is a great way to monetize your domain name and can oftentimes provide far greater revenue than you would find with a parking service.

Feel free to share your own tips in the comments section of this post or feel free to ask me any questions you might have!

{ 2 comments… add one }

  • Ron Wells July 17, 2009, 7:23 pm

    Thanks for the great insight…I also have a few that I recently built (HealthyMenu.com, CrossbowGuns.com, GolfSet.com, ComputerSpeakers.net, and more). Most are on the first page on Google, so I agree 100% with your post!

    Reply
  • yamanote July 17, 2009, 11:47 pm

    This hub is a mini-site case study I put together. It might be useful to someone.

    http://hubpages.com/hub/Mini-Sites-Magic

    Reply

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