One of the most common questions we get from our clients is whether to embed their online data tools or to set them up as microsites. In the 20 years since we invented online data tools for corporate site selection, we’ve developed a best practices based on long experience to ensure our clients get the best possible results from the tools they’ve put on our website. Though we long ago determined that stand-alone pages or microsites have distinct advantages, we’ve always made a it a policy of offering informed guidance and then letting clients choose for themselves.
Allow me to explain. Stand-alone pages or microsites for your data tools ensure these powerful tools can take up as much space on the web page as possible. Maps can be bigger, reports and tools easier to read, the experience of the whole page tends to be more satisfying and effective. Although the website visitor doesn’t notice a difference because smart use of branding colors and well placed links make the site feel seamless to them, stand-alone page or microsite can also be used strategically to improve overall SEO.
There are some other very good reasons why this is what we recommend to clients for all of their data tools. For one thing, if a client's existing website is slow to load, this will impact their visitors' use of their online data tools. Unlike many others on the market, our data tools are very fast to load. Hosting them on a stand-alone page or microsite helps ensure they don't get bogged down.
In addition, we encourage clients putting tools on a stand-alone page to choose a memorable, distinct URL to help with branding and SEO. Sites such as AbbotsfordSiteFinder.ca, BergenForBusiness.com, GemStateProspector.com, ChooseVallejo.com or TexasSiteSearch.com are clear, memorable and easy to find. Embedded tools too often end up with long, hard to remember and unappealing URLs that can't be used in the same way.
The proof is in the pudding, as they say: an analysis of our hundreds of clients' Google Analytics shows a significant and consistent increase in traffic among clients who put their GIS data tools on stand-alone pages or microsites, compared to those who embed them in existing websites.
Our beautiful turnkey microsite templates make it easy to ensure your online data tools are based on cutting edge effective design, match all of your branding and enable visitors to quickly and easily find the resources they need to invest in your community.
But even though our recommendation is for sites to occupy stand-alone pages, we recognize that some of our clients come to us with their own ideas, requirements and limitations. Some of them are committed to the idea of embedding within their existing website for reasons of their own. Some have policy or budgetary limitations placed on the creation of any new websites beyond those already in place. Whatever the reason, if that is what they want to do, we will help them make it work.
Two decades of experience leading the pack with consistently innovative software for economic development and corporate site selection have taught us a lot about what works; this is experience that always benefits our clients. We offer your organization the flexibility to decide which option best fits your needs. Contact us today to learn how we can put this to work for your community.