What Is a Microsite and Do I Need One?

Websites are a great way to showcase your company, expand your reach, and capture leads for your business. For some businesses, however, their company grows to a point where they have additional needs that can’t be met with their original website.

The solution to the problem isn’t always as simple as just adding new pages – the most worthwhile solution is to create a microsite.

Microsites are used when your business has a specific need that should be separate from your business site. Your microsite has a separate URL from your company website, but they can link to each other.

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The best way to understand a microsite is to think of it as a mini website with only a few pages designed to promote something within your business. They are most often used to promote a specific product or service. Microsites are different than your main website because they are targeted for a more specific audience or demographic. For example, a business might create a microsite for a specific city in order to attract potential customers looking for services in their area.

Another example of the proper use of a microsite would be a retail store that comes up with a brand new marketing campaign and wants to promote the campaign through its own website.

In order to determine whether or not your business needs a microsite or just a few additional pages, ask yourself if the new idea or content you’d like to add would confuse your customers. If the answer is yes, then a microsite is the solution.

Why you need a microsite

Deciding if you need a microsite to promote a specific product, service, or campaign can be difficult, especially if you don’t understand the benefits. Below are a few advantages of having a microsite.

1. Better search engine optimization (SEO)

Since every microsite has its own URL, it’s easier for individuals to find and land on your site. And since microsites are highly optimized, it’s not as difficult to rank for the keywords or phrases you’re targeting.

You’re focusing on more niche content, so you can be more detailed and in-depth, which search engines will favor.

2. Increased brand awareness

Having a microsite that’s designed to specifically address your product or service is helpful because it increases awareness for both what you’re promoting and your brand as a whole.

Dedicating a microsite to a particular product increases the excitement surrounding it as well. Potential customers will have a better experience when they can easily find exactly what they want since there are fewer pages to click through.

Some companies will create fun, interactive microsites that promote their brand simply through creativity and engagement, rather than sales. For example, OfficeMax uses the microsite ElfYourself specifically for brand awareness. Users love the site and the only connection to sales comes in the form of coupons at the end of each video.

Screenshot of ElfYourself

New products or services can get lost in bigger websites, so creating a microsite allows it to stand out. Utilizing a microsite allows you to focus all attention on the specialty product or service and eliminate distractions, which further develops brand awareness.

3. More detailed content

A website contains so many pages and topics, that the information is not always as specific as it could be. However, a microsite is much more focused and gives you the unique ability to present more detailed information to attract buyers.

The more you can convey to a visitor how your product or service benefits them, the easier it is to convert them. When you communicate with a potential customer through a microsite, you’re able to give a more specific description, provide relevant information, and showcase how the product or service meets a need of the visitor.

4. Faster creation

Since microsites have fewer pages than bigger websites do, you can create them quickly. If you don’t have a lot of time, but you want to promote a new product then a microsite is a great option.

A great example of this is if you are planning to promote a product that’s seasonal. Developing a full website doesn’t make sense and isn’t a good use of your time or resources. However, a microsite is the perfect solution to a seasonal promotion. You can take the microsite down once the promotion ends and you won’t have wasted your valuable time.

5. More cost effective

Depending on the goals you have, microsites are more cost-effective than developing a bigger website. Above, we mentioned seasonal promotions. If you are promoting seasonal products or services, it’s less expensive to create a few pages on a microsite that you can take down once your promotion ends than to add on to your large website.

Putting together a microsite that showcases a specialty you want to focus on is quick, as well as efficient. It’s much easier for information about a new product or service to get lost in the mix of your big website. And if no one can find it, it’s a waste of your time and money. Instead, you can create a few quick pages that stand out and are easier to keep track of.

What is your experience with microsites?

Have you launched a successful microsite? Do you have a product or service you’d like to test out on a microsite? Tell us about it in the comments below!

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