Microsites are gaining traction in the marketing industry. There is ever-increasing popularity of adding microsites to a marketing team’s integrated marketing and communications strategies. But what is it exactly?

To better understand the term, a microsite is a type of branded content site that is not part of a company website but is rooted within the company’s domain names. It is also possible that a microsite has its own URL that is different from the parent website.

Among its many uses, the purpose of a microsite can include:

  • Building brand awareness
  • Improving SEO
  • Increasing brand engagement
  • Generating leads
  • Showcasing expertise
  • Reaching new audiences

A microsite’s structure should feature the following:

  • Unique content
    • Should stand out from the parent website.
  • User-friendly navigation
    • Should be easy and intuitive to navigate.
  • Interactive element
    • Should get the user to participate in a campaign, make them stay on the site longer, and be engaged.
  • Share buttons
    • Should have buttons to share on social media, mobile apps, email, and other platforms.
  • Clear call-to-action
    • Should have a CTA that is clear and actionable.
  • Analytics
    • Should have performance analysis tools to measure your KPIs.
  • Optimized URL or domain name
    • Should have a URL that includes anything about the microsite.

Microsite vs. website

You might be wondering about the differences between a microsite and a website. 

Your website is the main source of your online presence. It is the primary connection of your brand to your customers, clients, employees, applicants, and other visitors. A website is where you put everything about what your brand is, who you are, and what you do. It is the parent or the umbrella that acts as the invisible source of your microsites since they are totally different in content and design.

A website:

  • contains the full information of your business
  • has numerous tabs and pages
  • is meant for long-term use

Microsites lean more towards information aimed at engaging as many visitors as possible, depending on the specific goal. The content is usually more fun and interactive, and they do not provide any information about the parent website such as “About Us” or other tabs usually seen on a website. It is a micro website with a specific purpose, focusing on one aspect of what you do such as reaching a specific audience or showcasing a new product.

A microsite:

  • focuses on one marketing campaign or topic
  • has a unique URL that is totally different from the main website
  • has a different theme and brand appearance which is separate from the main website
  • is temporary and for short-term use
  • contains its own unique content

Microsites are also compared with landing pages. A landing page uses only one page and is published within the main website. It is often used for conversion purposes. In terms of similarities, microsites and landing pages are both used for a specific purpose such as a marketing campaign. Both are smaller than a website. They are also usually published temporarily, but can also be accessible for longer periods of time.

A landing page:

  • converts visitors
  • shares the same URL as the main website
  • doesn’t contain external links
  • has only one page

For more information about the differences between the two types, see our article about microsites vs. landing pages.

When are microsites a bad idea?

Ask yourself if you really need a microsite. Though it’s nice to have one, it can sometimes be a bad idea in instances such as the following:

  • When you want to improve search rankings
    • Microsites have a separate domain than your main website and Google sees the microsite URL as a wholly new website, forcing you to build up its search value with new backlinks and content updates, which can take time and resources that are better spent improving your main site.
    • If your microsite has identical content as your main website, Google will not regard it as unique content, resulting in a low ranking.
    • If your microsite has the same keywords as your main website, you’re simply splitting your resources and your sites are competing with each other for rankings.
  • When you want to use it to replace your outdated website
    • A microsite is not a backup website and it will diminish the search authority of the main website which can cause confusion for the brand, main website, and target audience.
  • When you want to increase your web traffic
    • If you want to increase your main website’s traffic, a microsite will not help because it will split the number of people visiting both sites.
  • When you don’t want to maintain multiple sites
    • If you’re having a hard time handling another site in addition to your main website, do not create a microsite anymore. It is a waste of time and money.

What you need to achieve a good microsite

Now that you have an understanding of what a microsite really is, you might be wondering how different it is to make one compared to a website and a landing page. It’s time to find out how to create a microsite.

  • Strategy and planning
    • Identify your target audience and how you can achieve your microsite’s primary goal.
  • User stories and flow mapping
    • Identify the needs of your target audience and map their navigation through the microsite.
  • Keyword research
    • Identify the right keywords to use in your microsite content so that it ranks high on the SERPs.
  • Architecture or sitemap
    • Develop the structure of your microsite, making sure to optimize your information architecture and URL structure for SEO and UX.
  • Messaging, voice, and tone
    • Create unique content for the microsite according to the goal of the brand.
  • UX & UI design
    • Make sure the microsite’s infrastructure and interface design is aimed for the best user experience.
  • SEO
    • Optimize the microsite content through keyword analysis, on-page SEO, market research, and competitor analysis.
  • Internal and external linking
    • You can link your microsite to the parent website or any affiliated social media accounts.
  • Analytics
    • Using tools like Google Analytics and Google Search Console help monitor your microsite’s performance.

The Digiters can help

Instead of going through all these tasks on your own, it is better to hire an expert who can help you with the different aspects of the microsite.

Here is where the Digiters come in. After all, why do it yourself if you can dedicate your free time for to matters and get a global expert to do it for you instead? Aside from providing lower microsite creation cost, we can help you with the following:

  • Microsite development and design
  • Microsite maintenance
  • Microsite conversions

Reach out to us and discover how! Send an email to info@digiters.ch today.