If you weren’t in the web marketing world in the early 2000s, you may never have heard of a mini site before. While rather self explanatory, a mini site is basically a website with a minimal amount of pages, and created to serve a larger purpose website such as a brand or sub-brand.
A mini site can take many forms — the most common types being:
- Review site
- News aggregator
- Micro blog
- Interactive map
- Community forum
- Niche directory
- Online tool
And yet, you may very well ask, why exactly would a brand create a mini site, instead of building the asset on their main domain? Let’s find out!
All mini sites usually feature the most popular products or services in a category, while obviously including the brand-in-question’s offering too, although it would be presented in such a manner to elude any suspecting visitors that there is some bias at play.
To build and retain trust, ownership of the mini site must remain unknown, in order to have the visitor naturally assume the content is entirely objective and independent. If any major brand does their own reviews and comparisons, we don’t take their recommendations as seriously as we would from a third party. As a result, greater trust leads to warmer prospects and higher conversions.
As any mini site grows in traffic and authority, it will begin to attract attention and extra earning opportunities on its own. This could manifest in content writing gigs, free products in exchange for reviews, advertising for a recurring fee, or a potential buyout. None of this could be possible if the site was integrated with the main brand domain.
The other opportunity is in the form of backlinks. While we are not huge advocates of PBNs for a wide variety of reasons, making use of the opportunity for an extra link is a no brainer. As the mini site gains authority over time, the value of the link(s) will only increase and provide greater support to the main site in the long term.
In the case of new products or services offered by the main brand, the mini site can simply feature them as a new piece of content, giving them an instant boost in traffic and sales. In this regard, a mini site sustains a compound effect for any brand, and can launch new items with less friction and more traction.
Alternatively, if the main brand goes out of business for one reason or another, the mini site can continue to operate without facing any issues. In such cases, it could simply promote other offers on an affiliate agreement, where it earns commissions for anything sold via their unique link. Inadvertently, building a mini site is also a way of building a backup plan, diversifying your assets and de-risking your market strategy. In extreme cases, it could even spin off into a brand of its own.
Considering the higher conversion rates, increased backlinks, extra revenue opportunities and promotional platform, there is absolutely no reason why any brand should not experiment with a mini site or two. The extra costs for the domain, hosting and content, over the long haul, is negligible. The potential return — on the other hand — is endless!