Search Engine Strategies for Mini-Sites by Dan Thies
One of most popular marketing concepts today is "mini-site." A mini-site is essentially a one-page sales letter, linked to an order form, specifically designed to sell a single product or service. While mini-sites are very effective sales tools, it can be a major challenge to attract search engine referrals to a mini-site.
Conventional wisdom says that you have to buy your traffic through e-zine advertising, pay-per-click, and affiliate program commissions... but that's not whole story. A high percentage of sales of my new book have been from direct search engine referrals.
In fact, you can optimize a mini-site for search engines, although it may require some real HTML coding skills to get job done.
In general, mini-sites lack three things that search engines value most: keywords, content, and linkage.
The Keyword Challenge Because a mini-site is a sales letter, choice of wording in headlines, and throughout site, is dictated by site's primary purpose - it's supposed to close sale. Somehow, a balance has to be struck between effective selling copy and keyword placement. In a moment, I'll explain how this can be done.
The Content Gap Most top-ranking sites carry significant content, optimized for a group of thematically related keywords. The structure of site itself contributes to overall search engine rankings and traffic, by reinforcing theme. A mini-site is only one page, with a sales message. Don't worry, there are several ways to bridge this gap.
The Missing Links Unfortunately, a "links" section sort of defeats purpose of a mini-site, which is designed to keep visitor in one place until they've made their decision. So, link swaps are out of question. Even affiliate programs usually don't help with link popularity because of way affiliate links work. This, too, can be overcome.
WARNING: This is a bit more complex than usual e-zine fare... you may have to read it twice to fully understand it.
Step One: Optimizing For Keywords The first obstacle is opening headline - you need it to be effective and attention-getting. The solution? If you can't change your headline, use an image instead of a regular H1 tag! With GIF or PNG compression, you should be able to bring even biggest headline in at less than 1K - you can also use your keywords in image's ALT property.
Beyond opening headline, it's easier to work keywords into your sub-headlines and copy. If necessary, use a style sheet (CSS) to reduce font size of your heading tags - your subheadlines should be H1 and/or H2, and be as keyword-focused as possible. Pick at most 5-7 keywords and work them into your copy - ideally each keyword will appear 3-5 times, somewhere on page. Work as many in as you can, as early as you can.