Does My Business Need a Microsite?
Posted 29 April 2015
A microsite is a small website which is usually designed to complement a primary website. They are usually focussed around a single project or product. There are numerous ways to use microsites, most of which tend to involve marketing campaigns. In this article we’ll be thinking about the question “does my business need a microsite” and highlighting some of the ways in which microsites are more or less attractive than alternative options.
Does My Business Need a Microsite?
Yes: The Standalone Product or Project
One of the strongest arguments for microsites is that they allow you to focus entirely on a standalone product or project. If you’re gearing up for a big launch then this is a great way to shine the spotlight on what you’re doing.
Why is a microsite such a good option?
Well, it demonstrates the value/prestige of the thing that it’s dedicated to. If a product or project has its own website then it must be pretty important, right?
An individual product will often have its own website design and branding that can be complemented by a bespoke microsite. It might not be appropriate or possible to redesign your whole website each time you release something new, but microsites make this kind of high impact launch a possibility.
Yes: The Marketing Argument
There are several reasons why marketers tend to like microsites.
The first is that generally speaking they are easier to market. Microsites allow you to focus completely on one objective and prioritise this absolutely. They allow you to advertise what you’re doing without any distractions.
They also let you tap into a different market. Maybe you’re looking to expand internationally or reach out to a new demographic. Microsites allow you to tailor your communication to these groups without compromising your existing operations.
They’re also a great way to try something new and experiment online. Maybe you’re uncertain about how effective a new approach will be and want to give it a try in a safe, constructive context. Microsites are a good way to try A/B testing and see what works best for your company.
An Alternative to Microsites: Landing Pages
There are numerous reasons why landing pages trump microsites. If you’ve established a strong reputation then surely you’re want to benefit from this by hosting everything on your primary domain?
Landing pages are a great tool for SEO and driving organic traffic to your site. Microsites tend to have higher bounce rates than landing pages. Adding landing pages to your site means that you’re submitting more pages to Google that will be crawled and contribute to your overall profile in search engine results.
There is also a marketing argument for landing pages. There’s no reason why you can’t apply all the techniques and design features of a microsite to a landing page, but with the added benefit that users are more likely to see exactly who is behind the promotion. Whilst microsites often intrigue, landing pages convert.
An Alternative to Microsites: Social Media
Another good alternative to microsites is using social media to create separate online communities, all pointing back to your website. If you’re a professional services company, for example, setting up multiple Twitter accounts allows you to give autonomy to individual teams and create sector-specific communities.
If you’re wondering “does my business need a microsite” then this is a free and easy way to engage with the principles behind microsites without the cost and administration burden.