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Getting Started with Microsites
Getting Started with Microsites
Michael Stephenson avatar
Written by Michael Stephenson
Updated over a week ago

Overview

Element451 offers Microsites, highly personalized supplemental web pages, or clusters of web pages that institutions can use to provide tailored and engaging experiences for different student populations. These Microsites are used mainly during the admit phase. Still, they can be customized to suit any population or funnel stage of students, providing a unique and personalized experience tailored to each student.

With the help of Microsites, institutions can easily design and implement various sections with content and tools that students can explore. Each section is crafted to provide essential and relevant information that will benefit the student and help keep the institution top of mind. Academic planners, career explorers, social media feeds, and more can be added to these sections. These personalized touch points along the student journey help to improve engagement, yield, and campus fit.

In Microsites, only system-delivered tokens are available. To access these tokens, click the tag icon when adding text.

Accessing Microsites

Navigate to Engagement > Microsites

Before Creating Your Microsite

Before creating your Microsite, please consider these questions and gather the assets outlined below.

Questions to Consider

  • What is my audience for this Microsite?

  • Should all populations see the same content on this Microsite? If not, what content should be shown to specific labels? Examples can include declared major, term start, funnel stage, etc.

  • Do you have a plan to keep your Microsite fresh with new and updated content? How often do you plan to refresh it?

  • When and how should students gain access to the Microsite?

    • How will you drive traffic to and back to the Microsite?

    • Will the Microsite need to be attached to the admitted student portal?

    • Should a Magic Link be generated via a Campaign to provide access?

    • Consider all your advertisement options, such as email campaigns, social promotion, and use of your main website/student portal.

  • Is there a particular action I want students to take on this Microsite, such as paying a deposit or registering for an event? Consider using labels to display content based on action or no action.

  • Are you using “signature events” in your instance that you can promote via your Microsite? Consider orientation, open houses, campus tours, etc.

Assets to Gather

  • Institution and program accolades

  • Student and faculty spotlights (pictures and text)

  • Four-year program curriculums

  • Career-related clubs

  • Internship examples

  • Popular locations around campus and in the local community

    • Recommended to have at least 30 locations

  • List of next steps or checklist items to complete

  • Fun survey questions

  • Links to social media sites or group pages

  • Video footage, high-resolution images, logos, and favicons


The Anatomy of a Microsite

The Login Page

To access Microsites, students must first authenticate themselves. This can happen in two ways:

  1. Through the Login page, use the credentials created during the account creation process to complete an application

  2. Using a Magic Link that is provided through a campaign

The login page is designed to cater to all audiences. Limited customization options are available as the user has yet to log in. However, our configurations allow you to make your page branded, visually appealing, and engaging.

Content can be added to the Login page via blocks. Only text, factoid, and call-to-action blocks can be used on the login page.

The Dashboard

Once a student is authenticated through the login page, they are taken to the dashboard. The microsite's dashboard is a personalized page that displays relevant content, designed to make students feel like the page was customized specifically for them.

Content can be added to the dashboard in blocks and sections.

Each content block and section can be configured to display for all students or targeted to specific audiences using labels. This allows you to provide customized experiences based on interests, demographics, funnel stage, and more!

Learn more about blocks and sections below:

Content Blocks

Content blocks are designed to present relatively short snippets of information at a glance and can sometimes be expanded within the dashboard page. Because of their size, content blocks are displayed in a card format.

Content blocks include narratives on student life, photos and videos of campus, student and faculty profiles, featured events, featured locations around campus, call-to-action, factoids, and more.

Content Sections

Content sections, on the other hand, are designed to hold more significant amounts of content and provide a more interactive experience. Because of this, sections create a supplemental page within the Microsite, which is linked in the header and footer. In addition to the page, depending on the content type, the section may also create a content block (or card).

Content sections include tools like the academic and career explorer, the location explorer, checklists, documents, and more.


How to Create a Microsite

Now that you understand the basics of a Microsite, you can start creating one. Here are the recommended articles to review next:


Microsite URL + Domain

To access your Microsite's URL and to configure the domain settings, click on the eye icon in the top right corner of the header.

Primary Domain

Element451 automatically assigns your Microsite a primary domain and can not be edited. It will look something like this: fire.microsite451.sites.451.io.

External Domain

While the primary domain URL is functional, it doesn't share the same institutional brand identity and trust as a URL ending in .edu. To that end, you can configure an external domain to mask or hide the primary domain and use a URL ending in your school name or abbreviation. You'll likely need to work with your IT or website team for this process.

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