Robert Beerworth Team : Web Strategy Tags : Web Strategy

How to use a microsite when the main website isn’t the vehicle

Robert Beerworth Team : Web Strategy Tags : Web Strategy

In a perfect, theoretical world, we wouldn’t need microsites.

In theory, a well-planned and flexible website should be able to handle everything thrown at it, including the design and content usually associated with a microsite.

That’s the theory anyway.

In practice, we can never foresee what we will need online, especially as the web advances and what we can do and how we do it will inevitably stretch the capabilities of even the most well-planned website.

That’s often the justification for the microsites and it isn’t a bad one.

A good example is Mortgage Choice, a large and successful Australian mortgage broker.

Their website is a typical, content and link heavy website with a consistent treatment of all content across the website. The design doesn’t appear capable of promoting, cross-promoting or highlighting campaigns or specials and if the website attempted to do so, they would be largely lost.

The Mortgage Choice Stress Test (link now removed as the microsite is no longer operating) is a good example of how a microsite can be used to complement and enhance the primary website, where the primary website is not designed or capable of making the leap a dedicated microsite can.

(As aside, the vanity URL isn’t ideal though presumably it is because the main website doesn’t support embedment of the microsite content.)

The Stress Test microsite is clean, focused and simple. It really is a good example of how a microsite can and should be designed.

Interestingly, in spending time on the Mortgage Choice website, there really are some nuggets of solid content, especially around info-graphics, something surprisingly well executed and innovative for a financial services business.

I’d be considering floating that rich content to the top and depending on the flexibility of the primary website, treating the info-graphics (with supporting content) as their own microsite; they really are a good read for the new and anxious home buyer.