The How’s and Why’s To Optimize: Top 10 Tips to Enhance Your Microsite Listing

Attention ALL clients who are advertising on Albany.com, Saratoga.com, LakeGeorge.com, GlensFalls.com, Adirondack.net,  CliftonPark.com, GuideToWilliamsburg.com or our wedding sites: If you haven’t taken full advantage of your microsite, now is the time!

The goal of your microsite is to provide enough detail and calls-to-action that visitors (i.e. potential customers) feel compelled to call, contact, or visit your business right this moment. Below, we’ve compiled our top 10 tips to optimize your microsite for better results.

Table of Contents: Optimizing Your Microsite

This microsite optimization guide includes the following sections (click any of the links below to jump to a specific section):

  1. Optimizing Content for Users and Search Engines
  2. Linking to Social Media Accounts
  3. Adding Amazing Photos
  4. Adding Coupons
  5. Promoting Your Events
  6. Uploading PDFs
  7. Adding Compelling Videos
  8. Adding Press Releases
  9. Reviews & Reputation Management
  10. Double-Check for Accuracy

Tip 1: Optimize your Content for Users and for Search Engines

The Why: Search engines love content. In fact, in the digital world, content is referred to as “king”. It is still one of the most important factors for getting found online and in the search engines. Without content, it would be hard for search engines to determine what page to show a result for a given user’s search. Because of this, it is crucial you add content about your business on your microsite.

Let me illustrate this point with an example:

If someone were searching for a bakery in Colonie, their first step would most likely be going to Google and typing in “Colonie bakery”.

Now, say you have a microsite on Albany.com and you are a Colonie bakery. Pretend your name is “Sweet as Pie”.

Without any description about your business, it would be very hard for people coming to Albany.com to realize you are a bakery in Colonie –  it would also be hard for the search engines to figure this out.

The best thing to do is spell it out for them: in title of your name, you can say “Sweet As Pie – a Gourmet Bakery in Colonie”. Now you have made it clear to users and to search engines that you are a bakery located in Colonie. In your content, consider including something like this:

Looking for a Colonie bakery? Visit Sweet as Pie, a delightfully delicious bakery located in the town of Colonie, just minutes from Albany, Latham and Schenectady. Enjoy our world famous scones, pies, cakes, cupcakes, breads and assorted danishes, all fresh from the oven each morning. Sweet as Pie Bakery offers the perfect sweets and treats for just about every occasion including meetings, birthdays, weddings, or even just to satisfy a nagging sweet tooth any day of the week.

We can customize any order! Our Colonie bakery will cater to your needs and will travel from Albany to the Adirondacks – we are committed to delivering the best baked goods around. People travel from far and wide to visit our bakery in Colonie. But don’t take it from us – Come see for yourself! We are open every day 7am-5pm. Interested in a custom order? Stop in or Call us at 555-2727 to make an appointment.

For even more impact, add calls to action like “Call us to place an order” and bold relevant text copy that includes your ‘keywords’ (e.g. “bakery in Colonie” for the example above).  This can help with Search Engine Optimization and help you get found in the search engines for that particular keyword phrase.

BONUS: Because your microsite has a link to your website, adding these keywords to a page that links to your site can also help it get found in the search engines.

The How:

1. Login to your microsite account

2. Click “Edit Your Business Details”

3. Click on the “Details” tab

4. The Intro Paragraph field allows you to add 250 characters and will show up on the listing page with all the other listings in your category. Choose wisely here and stick to your key components and services.

5. The Long Description field allows you to add an unlimited amount of text – you can give as much information about your business offerings, location, and more. We strongly recommend you list-out all of your services, provide hours of operation, and showcase what region’s you service.

Need to find more customers in Albany, Saratoga, Lake George, or the Adirondacks? Discover the best ways to advertise to your local target audience on our regional guides by contacting our Digital Marketing Strategists today.

Tip 2: Link to Your Social Media Accounts

The Why: How much time do you usually spend on sites like Facebook or Instagram or Twitter each day? On average, nearly 1/4 of our time online is spent on social media. And for many of us, social media sites like Facebook and Twitter make it easier to discover what’s happening around the world and even within our own communities. Today, more and more consumers follow businesses on social media because it’s an effortless, hassle-free way of staying connected and learning about the latest specials, products, services, and events.

If your company is active on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, or Twitter, add links to your social media accounts from your microsite. This way, potential customers can follow your business and discover your latests posts.

The How:

1. Login to your microsite account

2. Click on the “Contact” tab

3. Add the hyperlink (URL) of the Facebook Page, Twitter account, and/or LinkedIn page for your business.

Want to reach even more people on Facebook? Learn about promoted posts on our regional guide Facebook pages by contacting our Digital Marketing Strategists today

Tip 3: Add Amazing Photos

The Why: While content is king, a picture is still worth a thousand words. Have you ever felt motivated to book a hotel or try a restaurant just from seeing their amazing photos? Conversely, have you ever felt turned-off by the pictures you saw on a company’s website?

In addition to swaying visitors, having great visuals can give you an advantage in the search results because search engines love to see a combination of text and images on a single page.

We know the power of photos, so we have given all of our microsite users the ability to add up to 20 photos to their microsite. Use this as an opportunity to show potential customers your store, your property, your products, your services, and, ultimately, your customer experience. It’s amazing how something as simple as adding photos can take your listing from meh to WOW.

The How:

1. Login to your microsite account

2. Click on the “Photos” tab

3. Before uploading photos, slideshow photos must be sized to 550×340 pixels. If you need help sizing the photos, please contact Mannix Marketing at 518-743-9424 or send your photos to [email protected]

4. Click “Upload Photos” on the right hand side of the screen. Click “Add Files”. Browse your computer for the photos and click “Open”.

5. Once you have added all photos, click “Upload”. If you need help, contact [email protected].

 

Tip 4: Add Coupons

The Why: Everyone’s looking for a deal these days – especially with the economy the way it is. Why not drive traffic to your business by providing shoppers with a special offer? Coupons can be a great motivator to buy, can help you track your marketing, determine your target audience, and help spread the word about your business. How many times have you told someone about an incredible deal you just got?

When you add coupons to your microsite, you’re not just creating a buzz and driving consumer behavior, you’re also increasing your chances of standing out. Coupons are fed into specific coupons pages on the sites you are advertising on. For example, if you are marketing your business on Saratoga.com and you added a coupon to your microsite, this coupon would also be featured here: Saratoga.com/coupons/. If you are a lodging property, we have a special section devoted to just lodging specials too, seen here: LakeGeorge.com/specials/. On some of our sites, this will not only give you more exposure and more microsite clicks, but could potentially land your special or hot deal to be right on the homepage of the website! (as seen on Albany.com, LakeGeorge.com and Saratoga.com) Plus, you have flexibility. You can set the deal for any length of time you desire, switch them out, and set disclaimers and expiration dates.

BONUS: On the listings page, your microsite listing will also have a link letting visitors know your business is offering HOT DEALS, making them more liable to click on your listing over one of your competitors!

The How:

1. Login to your microsite account

2. Click “Add Coupon”

3. Select whether your coupon is for a lodging special or any other coupon or special offer

4. Provide a title and add in details of the promotion.

5. If there are any disclaimers, please fill in the box. (If there are no disclaimers, this field can be left blank.)

6. If your coupon is located on your website, please include the link of the page on your website where this coupon is located (Coupon URL) (Include http://).

7. Fill in the coupon expiration date. If there is no expiration date, leave the field blank. Once created, all coupons will be made into a printable link for users to print out and bring to your establishment.

Got a great deal or special to promote but need help spreading the word? Learn how we can help get your deal in front of more consumers by contacting our team today.

Tip 5: Promote Your Events

The Why: Whether you have happy hour specials, shopping sales, volunteer opportunities, community events, etc. you have the opportunity to let the public know about the many things that are happening at your business.

And if you add an event to your microsite, your event will also be placed in a queue to go onto our regional events calendars spanning Albany NY to the Adirondacks. Our events calendar is one of most popular sections on each our websites and gets over 11 million visits per year. Make sure your event gets the exposure it deserves!

The How:

1. Login to your microsite account

2. Click on the “Events” tab

3. Select “Add Event”

4. Submit your event information with a start and end date. Add in as much information about the event as possible for maximum impact. Click “Proceed”

5. Check your event details for accuracy

6. Click “Submit Event Now!” Your event will automatically be fed onto your micro-site, and will also be reviewed and approved for the main events calendar.

Find out how to get more exposure for your event by contacting our Digital Marketing Strategists and how to advertise your event on our regional guides 

Tip 6: Add PDFs

The Why: Have a brochure or menu you want to feature? Upload your PDFs to your microsite. Not only will you be able to offer site visitors the opportunity to download or print information about your business- you also give search engines another piece of media that helps them learn about your microsite. Just like content and photos, search engines love seeing a mixture of media and this is one more way to boost your search engine placements. PLUS, if you have information on your PDF, search engines may also index those pages.

The How:

1. Login to your microsite account

2. Click to the “PDFs” tab

3. Click “Upload PDFs”

4. Click “Add Files”. Browse your computer for the PDF and click “Open” (please note: all PDFs need to have a file size of 256KB or smaller).

5. Once you have added in all your PDFs, click “Upload”. You are allowed to add an unlimited number of PDFs to your microsite.

Tip 7: Add Compelling Videos

The Why: Did you know that over 178 million US Internet users watch online video during the month?* Video is an increasingly popular way to showcase your brand, tell a story, and keep users interacting with your business.

Do you have a TV commercial or a product demo? Showcase this on your microsite. Don’t have a video for your business? No sweat! You can use this as an opportunity to showcase a latest industry feature pertaining to your business or trending video. Do a search on YouTube to see if anything fits within your industry. You may be surprised what relevant videos you find! Remember, this will help provide an even stronger online media mix, strengthening your search engine placements.

The How:

1. Login to your microsite account

2. Click “Edit Your Business Listing”

3. Click on the “Video” tab

4. If you have your video on YouTube.com, Blip.tv or another video hosting platform, copy the “embed code” from that location. The embed code in YouTube.com can be found to the right of the video right under the account name. Please uncheck “Show Related Videos” before you copy the code. If you have a raw video file, please send us your video file to [email protected] so we can produce the embed code for the video.

5. Click “Save Changes”

Tip 8: Add Press Releases

The Why: Growing your business? Adding a new product? Hosting a seminar? Upload a press release to your microsite for free! It’s easy to submit and lets our editorial staff know when you have something interesting happening. After review, your press release will be fed into our Business News RSS feed for thousands of subscribers to check out. Moreover, your story may be featured on the home page of one of our local sites for HUGE exposure.

A press release is also a great way to earn a link back to your microsite, which can give an extra boost to your placements in the search engine results.

The How:

1. Login to your microsite account

2. Click on “Submit a Free Press Release”

3. Fill-out the form and include a picture or a logo

4. Click “Submit”

Tip 9: Encourage Reviews

The Why: Whether you’re “B2C” (business-to-consumer) or “B2B” (business-to-business), potential customers are actively looking for the best fit for their needs and often trust the recommendations of current and former customers.

Because our sites allow people to submit reviews, take this as an opportunity to encourage happy clients to submit a review on your microsite. Not only will this help you stand out from your competition and provide more content about your business- it also puts you in control of your online reputation at a time when many other review sites don’t let businesses have such active control.

The How:

Top 5 Ways To Get 5-Star Reviews**:
1. When someone thanks you in person, writes you an email or sends you a letter of appreciation, ask them if they would tell others by writing a review. Offer them a link.
2. Do you send e-newsletters to past guests? Provide a link to add reviews from each issue!
3. Monitor comments on your Facebook page, and reply with a link to clients that have positive things to say, encouraging them to review.
4. Target your regulars. Thank them for their loyalty and ask if they would write a review for your business. Write the link down for them, or email it to them.
5. Add a link to your email signature. In your everyday correspondence with hundreds of customers, you may get a good deal of people using this link to add a review.

Tip 10: Double-Check Your Microsite for Accuracy

Almost done! This last tip is perhaps the most important. After you have finished filling out your microsite with content, photos, PDFs, events, coupons, press releases, and videos, check to make sure all information is accurate and grammatically correct.

Your micro-site may be the first place where someone learns about your business so you want to make that first impression count.

  • Directions: Is the map directing visitors to the right location?
  • Forms: Are you are receiving emails to the correct email address from the contact forms?
  • Phone Number: Is your phone number still accurate?
  • Address: Has your address changed since you last checked your microsite?

Once that is all done, sit back, relax and know you did everything you could to enhance and optimize your microsite.

Whew! Although this appears to be a lot of work, optimizing and enhancing your microsite can pay out in dividends. We are confident you will see how impactful these changes will make to your brand exposure, inquiries and click- through rates.

What are you waiting for? Login to your account and get started on editing your microsite for FREE! All of these features are included free of charge, so make sure to take advantage. As always, the team at Mannix Marketing is here to help! If you need assistance or do not have an account, call us at 518-743-9424 or email [email protected]

Need a Digital Marketing Review?

For a free 15-minute phone consultation to discuss your marketing opportunities, contact our Digital Marketing Strategists today.

 

*Cited from comScore Video Metrix April ‘10 (stats on average)
**Cited from Managing Your Brand: What To Do About Negative Consumer Reviews

About Jennifer Manz

Since Jennifer Manz started at Mannix Marketing in 2005, she has gained experience in nearly every aspect of digital marketing – mobile, social media, search engine optimization, technical SEO, conversion rate optimization, and analytics. As our Director of Digital Marketing, Jennifer leads a team of enthusiastic and ambitious digital marketing experts, web developers, designers, social media masters, paid search experts, and content marketers.