Many internet marketers, information marketers and business owners, create small websites (aka mini-sites) whose sole intention is to sell a single product.
These mini-sites are uncomplicated and usually straight to the point. Traffic for these sites will normally be courtesy of PPC or social media – though some of the more connected marketers will trade traffic with joint venture partners.
One thing many of these marketing mini-sites do have in common is that they are often not concerned about a search engine ranking. These sites may consist of nothing more than a basic sales page, plus maybe a few up-sell and down-sell pages, and due to the sparse (and sometimes repetitive) content, these sites are not considered ‘search engine friendly’.
The sad thing is that with a little bit of extra effort, and a bit more content, these mini-sites can be optimized and easily find their way into a SERP listing. Not only that, the mini-sites become more visitor-friendly and this can increase CTR and conversions.
Mini-Site Essentials for Search Engine Ranking
Whether the mini-site is based on a landing page for a product sale, or simply looking to collect subscribers via a squeeze page, the essentials remain the same.
Why ignore all the extra traffic that could be attracted by a good search engine listing?
An SEO mini-site should consist of:
1.) A Homepage
This will not be the landing page, or squeeze page. This will contain information about the product, or free informational offer – but it will not pitch. This page should use keywords in the title, subheading and anchor text of links, as well as in the actual page body.
The homepage should discuss the general niche, or market that the mini-site owner is targeting and provide basic topical content. This page will also be used to display clear links to all the other pages.
This index page should also contain a small opt-in box, but this should be discreet and not take up most of the page. Even if the mini-site is there to sell a product, there should still be an offer available for any visitor that does not wish to purchase but might submit an email address – in order to receive some free information. Something is better than nothing.
2.) Blog Posts
Search engines look for informative, relevant content and this is where they will find it. There should be a few blog posts based around the general topic of the main product, or offer (use Google Wonder Wheel to find the perfect terms).
These should be keyword-optimized and use plenty of relevant synonyms – so the search engines recognize that the site is genuine and not just an obvious sales page.
Optimize each page (follow basic SEO copywriting advice here) around one main keyword (maybe two keywords). This will give the pages a better chance of ranking separately and will mean greater exposure and more traffic. These post pages should also link to the other pages – especially the sales page.
3.) Landing Page or Squeeze Page
This page will not be connected to the rest of the site via a sitemap, or any links back to the other pages. Search engines do not really like these types of pages – they consider them lacking in quality content and not beneficial to searchers.
A mini-site will not be de-indexed or suffer a drop in rank if a search engine locates this page after following a link from the relevant, quality content of the other pages – the site will already have proved its worth.
4.) Additional Options
Adding a Privacy Page and a Sitemap (a Google XML Sitemap is critical) will assist search engines to easily index all the mini-site pages and will reinforce that the site is genuine and trustworthy.
Trust and authority are valuable assets for good SERP positions.
Why Ignore Free Targeted Traffic from Search Engines?
With a bit of extra effort, a mini-site can be optimized to rank in a search engine. If the blog posts are optimized correctly, and good keyword research has been performed beforehand, many of the pages in the mini-site can rank.
These keyword-rich, topically-relevant pages will attract visitors that have already shown interest and are therefore pre-sold – this can increase both CTR and conversions for the mini-site.