Microsites are small websites with only a few subpages and clear navigation. They are independent of the parent company website. A microsite usually deals with a specific topic or is created for a specific campaign.
A small page with a clearly defined focus – that’s a microsite. Microsites can be precisely tailored to a product or service, so that the user can get to the desired information without a long search. Microsites are simple, clear and easy to find thanks to their own domain. Here – in contrast to the classic landing page – the link to the company is not necessarily in the foreground. This is why microsites are particularly suitable when the advertised product, service or event differs from the company’s usual services. There is a deliberate separation between the offer and the company.
Microsites and SEO
A microsite offers the opportunity to achieve a high keyword density for a clearly defined group of search terms. This is because, unlike comprehensive websites that cover a wide range of topics and therefore rank lower for individual keywords, a small site can deliberately deal with specific content. Microsites are ideal for holistic presentation of a topic.
An existing corporate website is usually too cumbersome for targeted campaigns. If you want to address a current topic or place a new advertising campaign in a targeted manner, the microsite format makes you independent of the environment of the existing website, which may not be suitable. The hassle of complex integration is eliminated.
Microsites: Plenty of scope for new ideas
Due to their independence from the company’s main site, microsites are technically more flexible than thematic subpages. When designing a microsite, there are fewer restrictions on content and presentation, but plenty of room for creativity. Of course, the developer of a microsite should follow the corporate design of the main site to ensure recognizability. After all, an inconsistent user experience is detrimental to a company’s reputation.
There is hardly a microsite that is completely independent of the main website. It is also often intentional that the user will eventually end up on the corporate website. If a current topic lasts for a longer period of time, the content of the microsite can be integrated into the existing internet presence in the long run. More time can then be invested in this task.
Landing page or microsite?
The distinction between microsites and landing pages is often not easy. For example, microsites and landing pages usually pick up visitors directly from Google because they are ideal for keyword-focused content. Many clicks also come from advertising banners. A good differentiator is the URL: Microsites are usually accessible via their own domain, while landing pages are accessible via the domain of the main website.
Landing pages are created almost exclusively for marketing purposes. They do not contain any sub-pages – so, according to the strict definition, they are not a website (site = place), but merely a page (page = individual page). The goal of a landing page is mostly that the visitor clicks on a call-to-action. Every landing page therefore includes the exact definition of the desired conversion.
When choosing between a microsite and a landing page, you can be guided by the following advantages and disadvantages:
- independent page, which is deliberately separated from the main page
- creation and editing requires comparatively little effort
- clear focus on keywords, topic and target group approach
- A microsite makes it easier for the user to concentrate on the specific campaign. For example, he is not irritated by a complex navigation.
Disadvantages of the microsite:
- Independent design can distract from the main brand.
- A microsite does not benefit directly from the SEO advantages of the main domain. (Domain Authority)
- Links and visitor traffic to the microsite can be detrimental to the main domain.
Integration into the web presence or stand-alone microsite?
The freedom in the visual and content design of a microsite provides synergy effects and offers opportunities for new ideas. For larger companies, microsites are a good way to strictly separate responsibilities. In this way, errors on the microsite have no immediate impact on the success of the main website.
However, the need to create a microsite can also indicate deficits on the main website. In the long term, therefore, a modular structure of the pages accessible under one domain is very helpful, for example, to profit from short-lived hypes. This strategy grants every company three alternatives for the quick publication of thematic focuses: integration into the existing structure, a landing page or a microsite.
The overall concept of a flexible Internet presence has room for differentiated presentations that are clearly assigned to the company despite their independence. Agile design and content management solutions help to integrate valuable content quickly and effectively.
Microsites offer themselves as an alternative to new content on the main page of a company or to landing pages. It is clear that microsites in particular must have high-quality content to attract visitors. This is achieved by describing a topic as holistically – i.e. comprehensively – as possible. Content that convinces the reader is also registered by Google as a plus for the ranking.
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