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One Website… or Many?

One of my readers, DH, writes:

“When selling information products on the Internet, what are the pros and cons of having a home website with more than one product and having micro-sites only for the more expensive and lengthy products vs. having a micro-site for every product?”

I told DH that he would need a separate micro-site for every product.

A micro-site, also known as a landing page, is a long-copy sales letter posted on the Web. The copy on your landing page describes the product and its benefits, and links to a form where visitors can order it online.

The reason information marketers should have a separate micro-site for every product is that each one of those products is unique. The reader hasn’t heard of it before, so he has to be sold on buying it. To make that sale, you need a long-copy sales letter.

By comparison, if an Internet user goes to Amazon.com to order the new Harry Potter book, she already knows what she’s buying. That’s why Amazon.com sales pages for books are relatively brief vs. the long copy we use on our landing pages to sell information products.

Each of your product landing pages should have its own unique domain name rather than be an individual page on a central website. And you should choose domain names that are easy to remember. For instance, the landing page for my e-book on how to write and sell your first e-book is at myveryfirstebook.com.

The only thing the visitor should see on the landing page is the sales letter copy selling the product. Don’t add a menu bar with a lot of options. And there should be no navigation. The visitor can either order the product or leave the site. There should be no free content for him to read or download. You want him to focus on one thing only: the reasons he needs to buy that product right then and there.

However, as effective as single-product landing pages are for selling information online, there’s one thing they don’t do very well: They do not attract a lot of organic search traffic. The reason is that Google recognizes them as sales letters – and Google doesn’t rate sites with sales copy very high.

The solution? Create a “portal” site for your Internet information publishing business.

Have links to all your individual product landing pages on this portal site. And in several places on the site, encourage visitors to opt into your e-list by subscribing to your online newsletter or downloading a free report.

Then, add one or more sections to the portal site where visitors can find and download free content – articles… press releases… special reports… videos… audios… content-rich Web pages.

Why are you adding all this free content to your portal site? Because Google loves content, and will, therefore, rank the portal site much higher than it will rank your product landing pages. That way, you’ll benefit from organic search traffic and get lots of visitors.

A percentage of those visitors will click onto one of your landing pages and buy a product. Or they will click on a box or banner that lets them opt into your e-list. Result: You sell more products and build your list organically instead of having to buy traffic.

Another reason I like having a portal site is because when people ask me what products I sell, I can’t remember them all. But I can remember the URL for my portal site. I tell them that they can find every product I sell at ctcpublishing.net.

The portal site serves one additional function for the information marketer: It further solidifies your credentials as an expert in your niche.

There are lots of Internet marketers selling info products on every conceivable topic. The ones that sell info products on the same topics you write about are your competitors.

Often, the reader perceives little difference between all the available info products on a given topic. What helps differentiate them… and close the sale… is the reputation of the author/publisher as a guru in the field. Your content-rich portal site gives you an instant online presence that sets you apart – and gives readers enough trust in you to buy your products.

[Ed. Note: Bob Bly is a freelance copywriter and the author of more than 70 books. To subscribe to his free e-zine, The Direct Response Letter, and claim your free gift worth $116, click here now.

Ready to get started with your Internet business, but don’t know how? Find out how simple it can be right here.]

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Bob Bly

Bob Bly is an independent copywriter and consultant specializing in business-to-business and direct marketing. He has been hired as a consultant by such companies as Sony, Chemical Bank, J. Walter Thompson, Westinghouse, and Prentice-Hall. Bob is also the author of more than 50 books including The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Direct Marketing (Alpha Books), Targeted Public Relations, Selling Your Services, How to Promote Your Own Business, and Keeping Clients Satisfied. A phenomenal public speaker, Bob will share with you how easy it is to start your own business. Whether you’re ready to quit your job or are just looking to make a little money on the side, you’ll want to hear Bob’s advice.