Mini Site or Content-based Web Site?

Are you in a dilemma whether to create a mini site or a content-based web site for your new product or service? The purpose of creating a web site should be to attract visitors and convert them to paying customers. Is a mini site with a few pages enough to do this or should you spend more time and create a content-based web site which contains many pages?

Let's look at some of the Pros and Cons:

Mini Sites

Pros

1. Easy to set up - you don't have to be a programmer these days to create a mini site. Web site templates or software allow most of the work to be done already.

2. Little time - you could create a mini site within one day if you have your entire content ready to go.

3. Laser focused on selling one product or service - a mini site can simply be one long sales page with an order button at the end.

4. No distractions - customers are distracted by other options on the web site. With no banners or links to other sites, the customer can be directed to purchase immediately.

5. Inexpensive to create - if you use a free hosting account (not recommended), you would just pay for registering a domain name. Paid hosting services for a mini site can be acquired for only $30/year.

Cons

1. Difficult for search engines to spider - a web site containing many relevant pages of content will tend to rank higher in the search engines than a one page mini site.

2. Lacks pages of content - mini sites often lack in-depth information about their product or service.

3. Difficult to increase link popularity - getting links from other web sites increases your link popularity. Webmasters form other sites want to link to a web site which contains valuable information that expands their visitors experience.

4. Less traffic - less pages means fewer chances for people to find your site in the search engines, thereby limiting the amount of traffic your web site receives.

Content-based web sites

Pros

1. Search engine friendly - creating a content-based page for every targeted keyword will enable visitors to enter from numerous points within your site.

2. Easy to acquire links from other sites - webmasters want to link to web sites that will expand their visitors experience by providing more information (ie articles) or simplify their tasks (ie software).

3. Become an authority on your product or service - adding pages of content related to your product, helps people to make an informative decision before purchasing.

4. Lots of traffic - creating lots of keyword focused pages and acquiring incoming and outgoing links to and from other sites generates lots of free traffic.

Cons

1. Too many options - customers can become indecisive if their are too many options to choose from.

2. Too many links to other web sites - this may take visitors away from your site and not return. Ideally you want to keep them at your site.

3. Can be expensive to build - content-based sites can cost thousands of dollars to develop if you take into account the cost of graphics and/or hiring someone to build it for you.

4. Takes a lot of time to develop the web site - building content-based pages takes time. It may take several years to create hundreds of content-based pages.

5. Attracts "tire kickers" - visitors want to look around to glean free information but may never buy.

Conclusion:

Before you decide on what type of web site to develop, first think of the purpose of your site. If you just need a sales page and want to drive targeted traffic to your site using paid advertising (ie paid per click search engines, ezine ads) then a mini site could be sufficient.

If you plan on becoming an authority on your product or service and want to attract lots of free search engine traffic, then a content-based web site will serve you better.

Alternatively, you may create a combination of the two ie begin with a mini site, leaving room to expand it to a larger content-based web site in the future.

Herman Drost is the Certified Internet Webmaster (CIW) owner and author of http://www.iSiteBuild.com Affordable Web Site Design and Low Cost Web Hosting Subscribe to his "Marketing Tips" newsletter for more original articles at:[email protected] You can read more of his in-depth articles at: http://www.isitebuild.com/articles

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