Let’s assume that you need more leads in your locale. Your local SEO tells you that a mini site is a great idea. Problem is Google has slowly put the kibosh on Micro Sites without much hype. It’s been a problem for Google for quite some time. A company sets up a website that caters to their strong points. The site flashes their main offer on the screen, has a nice call to action and a keyword domain name. Throw some links at the site and you’re gold, right? Not so fast, Speedy. With the latest algorithm changes it doesn’t quite happen like that anymore.
The “gSlap” (kinda’ sounds kinky) of the keyword domain has made it even tougher for those with keyword domains to rank for their main terms in Google. And that’s even if it’s a dot com with no hyphens. Also the age and “trust” of a domain come into play here. Some popular SEOs (not pointing fingers) have been quoted as saying that age doesn’t play a part in the algorithm. If you believe that’s the case then you obviously haven’t had any customers that have been ballin’ on a budget in a while. Lately however, (within the last few months) this seems to have been played down a bit, but only if the site has no incoming links whatsoever.
Another important algorithm update that is slowly killing off the Micro Site is the local update. Now this has a huge impact on local businesses. If you don’t have profiles on Google and other local sites then you’re missing out on the positive impact it can have on your business currently, especially if you have an established website.
Even the accuracy of your local business listing can have a dramatic impact on your rankings. The use of InsiderPages categories by Google is largely because of the great category hierarchy that the site has built-in along with the obvious “trust” of the domain. So, be sure to go out and claim your local profiles… especially on sites like InsiderPages, CitySearch, MerchantCircle, Yahoo and of course Google.
All of these changes have made it a little tougher on the Micro/Mini Site. So what’s the solution? We have to focus great website design built with conversions in mind. Obviously we would all like to have dedicated sites touting all of our services but for the majority of small businesses this method just isn’t going to work as well anymore and can get quite expensive with the many factors in play.
You could argue from the PPC perspective but I say what’s wrong with building out a page on your current site, optimizing it for conversions and sending paid traffic to it? Instead of managing a ton of domains you’re managing one domain on one content management system. You can also point out that there are ways to beat the system but honestly what’s the point? It’s just easier to build one site, optimize the pages to communicate your different services effectively and build links.
The Micro Site is Dead, R.I.P. Micro Site.
Practicing the art of Search Engine Optimization over at St. Louis SEO, Chris enjoys researching algorithm updates and other geeky SEO stuff. His company offers up an array of SEO services including Local SEO, content and blog management and website design.