An effective website strategy is an integral part of a business’s marketing toolbox.

The website is the de facto face of the business and is often key to its long term health. Even for traditional businesses, companies that have locations or sells through conventional distribution channels, an effective website strategy is vital.

website planning

There are three broad categories of websites: brand sites, microsites, and landing pages. Each has a distinct role, and none does the other’s job well.

Before you get started, think about the objective. What’s the most important thing you want to accomplish with your website. And once you’ve generated the list of ideas, revisit the word “primary.” What’s the objective in your list that’s most important, that matters most to your business. Put the rest in a parking lot for future consideration.

The Brand Site

The website is the brand or business’s home base. It’s where consumers find all the information they want or need about the business. It’s where the company interacts with its customers and prospects. Ideally, a brand site is more than a brochure site. It should create incremental value for the business’s primary audience, value that goes beyond product benefits.

Brand Sites tend to be relatively large and long-lived. Consumers actively choose to go there, often as a result of Organic or Natural Search. A brand site’s primary focus should be relationship building.

The Microsite

A Microsite is a small website focused on a single marketing or business initiative. If you are launching a new product a microsite is the program’s home base, it’s where consumers can learn about a new product. Are you promoting a grand opening? A microsite tells prospective consumers all about your new store’s location and its role in their neighborhood. Do you have a high value, long purchase cycle product like real estate? A microsite can be the right solution for you.

Microsites generally have a moderate size and lifetime. Consumers usually come to the microsite as a result of marketing activity such as advertising and/or PR. A micro site’s primary focus should be preference building.

The Landing Page

A Landing Page is the workhorse of marketing. It’s where shoppers, consumers who’ve responded to advertising, should be taken. It’s a site where they can do something. This might be a sale, or a lead, or a request for information, but it will be specific, and there should only be one desired action. A well designed landing page follows best practices, and is vital to a successful marketing effort.

Tablet with Landing PageLanding page sites are small, often just one page, and live only as long as the marketing program they are designed to support is active which can be a few weeks or a few months, it depends on the marketing strategy. A landing page can also be a subset of the brand site or the microsite. Generally, a landing page’s primary focus is sales.

Conclusion – An Effective Website Strategy

  • An effective website strategy is selected by understanding the role of each type of site, what they do well, and what they don’t do well
  • Keep the site focused on the needs of your primary audience and your business
  • Don’t ask your website to do what it’s not designed for