Do you have a long list of domains you never had time to create a website for?
Who doesn’t, right?
Here’s an idea for at least one or two of those: set up a lead generation website.
I have an SEO background, so in most cases, my advice would be: keep everything on your main site. Don’t dilute the brand.
Yet, there are several reasons why you may want to set up a separate minisite for your brand. These reasons include:
- For personal branding reasons. Ok, I have my business and my main site, but what do I do with myname.com domains which I rightfully registered so no one else would? Should I just keep it empty? I don’t have time to maintain another site! That’s when a one-page “portfolio” style website makes total sense.
- When you need to take an extra position in SERPs. This makes sense for brand-driven search results. Google will usually grant you with one — maximum two — positions when people search for your name in combination with another term, but, obviously, you’d want to control more of those search engine result pages. Let’s say people are searching for something like [your-name coupons], there will be lots of third-party (affiliate) sites that will potentially drive those customers away by showing your competitors or showing ads. So grabbing a separate domain, like your-name-coupons.online and curating the most recent special deals of yours would give you more control of that search.
- When you are launching a completely different project. I am an SEO and suddenly decide to write a book on being a mom. It is a good idea for me to register a domain (which would match my book title) to start collecting leads for my future book independently of my main business.
In all the above cases, getting those sites to rank and drive some organic visibility will be quite doable. When it comes to personal brand or brand-driven queries, all it takes is to set up a minisite and link to it from your main site.
That being said, keeping all links and brand exposure consolidated around your main site is obviously smart, yet there are many cases when you need a separate entity. On top of that, you are likely to be busy and cannot spare much time for your new site, so let’s keep things easy.
Here’s how to set up a mini lead generation site:
1. Pick a Domain
This step is getting harder and harder now that it is becoming next to impossible to find an available .com domain that wouldn’t be all dashes. I’ve got good news for you:
- There are lots of options beyond .com domains, and all of them are equally effective.
- There’s a cool tool that will help you pick a great domain and even help with branding.
Namify is what that tool is called, and it’s a time saver! The tool allows you to find a cool brandable name in minutes. Unlike other domain name generators, it focuses on short names that create niche associations and are easy to remember. You’ll love those ideas.
On top of that, Namify will draft your visual brand identity (logo and color scheme) for you to use right away:
2. Set Up Your Site
When dealing with a secondary asset (which is not your main site), the easier the setup, the better. With that in mind, I suggest using WordPress, which makes it incredibly easy to create a website.
Here’s a detailed beginner-friendly guide on making a WordPress site. All you need is to follow the steps. And here’s a huge collection of one-page WordPress themes (both free and paid) which are easy to customize to match your chosen color scheme, logo, or your main brand.
Once the basic setup is done, it is time to create your content. To make it easier, try running Text Optimizer for your core search query — it basically writes content for you.
I use Text Optimizer to create the core structure of my page: the subheadings, introduction and key points to be covered. After that, I write my text. This has been the biggest writing productivity booster I’ve ever tried.
Since this is going to be a website focusing on collecting leads, using Text Optimizer is a great idea because it is also an intent optimization tool that makes sure your copy meets your site visitors’ expectations and hence increases the conversions.
3. Set up Your Lead Generation Funnel
Finally, setting up a clear lead generation funnel is something you will be focusing on. Obviously, you will need to keep experimenting with your CTA wording and placement, here but here are a few ideas for you to get started:
3.1 Set up your lead generation forms
Setting up a lead generation form doesn’t require any technical skills these days. Here are a few easy-to-use online form builders you can use to create a form to collect leads from your site visitors.
Don’t be afraid to gamify your lead generation web forms and make them fun!
3.2 Implement secondary engagement triggers
No matter how cool your web forms are going to be, the majority of your site visitors may feel wary of giving you their email address. Some people may be in a hurry; others may not have enough trust in your brand.
Regardless of the reason, these people may be willing to convert a bit later. So coming up with additional engagement triggers is helpful:
- Install Facebook pixel to be able to reach out to those visitors through Facebook ads
- Try using a smart chatbot or feedback widgets to get those people to talk to you without sharing their personal details. This may encourage them to follow your conversion funnel on a later basis.
- Use more traffic-driving conversion optimization tactics to engage more of your site visitors. Remember that certain conversion optimization tactics will also improve your rankings, so it is well worth the effort.
3.3 A/B test often
Again, this is going to be an ongoing process: When it comes to generating leads, there’s never “good enough.” You need to experiment with new engagement triggers and change your forms on a regular basis.
This is where A/B testing to identify your better-working tactic is always a good idea. I know lots of marketers who shy away from A/B testing because it is deemed too technical. Finteza is a web analytics tool that makes A/B testing easy and available to anyone. Here’s how to run A/B tests using Finteza.
If setting up a minisite to claim your old but neglected domains has been on your mind for quite some time, I hope this guide will finally get you up and running. I did my best to make it as easy to follow and implement as possible.
When it comes to lead generation, every bit helps, and who knows, maybe this site will drive some great leads.