September 25, 2018

Are You Using Microsites? (You should be)

What separates a microsite from a business’s main website blog or any other branded platform is that it has its own independent URL — usually one that doesn’t use the name of the company sponsoring the site.

Microsites work to widen your reach and target a narrower audience. Although it might seem counterintuitive to create a microsite to focus on just one piece of your business puzzle, they can help you build trust in your overall business.

Is a microsite a smart choice for your business?

If you use a microsite for a good purpose and execute it well, it can be beneficial.

Microsites are a great way to target a specific audience – and by extension target your email marketing campaigns. By adding an email subscription sign-up form to your microsite, you can build a highly-focused list of potential leads.

Microsites are a great option if you want to test an idea or concept before attaching your brand to it. In this example, if the content is validated by your target market, you might move the content to the main brand site, and redirect the pages of the microsite to the brand site.
Microsite benefits include:
  • Pair the right people with the right promotions. Microsites are designed for a specific purpose. That means you can use them to interact with specific, targeted audiences using tailored messages. A microsite can also highlight specific areas of your brand you want to promote.
  • Get more rank recognition. Since microsites are focused on a narrow topic, you have the chance to create web pages that contain SEO niche keyword opportunities (especially in your URL). The more you can build for a keyword, the easier people will find you.
  • A more focused experience. Microsites let you move people towards a specific action – by giving them only the information they need to take that specific action. By reducing distractions (like website navigation), microsites can help boost conversion rates.

What to know about microsites and SEO

On a microsite, there’s an opportunity to create content that ranks for more niche SEO keywords. If you do the math it seems to add up, right?

      Extra website for your business + more keywords on the website = better SEO

It would be nice if SEO math were that simple.

Unfortunately, there’s no perfect formula to make your business visible online. A microsite might help increase your brand’s visibility, but it’s not a guarantee.

Why? Well, there are two sides to this:

  • Some people argue that a microsite is a chance to rank for more specific keywords while still being under your company’s brand umbrella
  • Others argue that it dilutes SEO efforts because they target smaller, more specific audiences over a short time period – which subsequently drives less traffic so they don’t gain the site authority they need to rank well

The reality? Both sides are true.

So, to ensure your SEO is on point for your microsite, focus on the following:

  • Clearly outline your reasons for a microsite. Are you running a special promotion? Looking for a hub to house some specific, regular content? Whatever it is, this needs to be fully addressed before anything else
  • Outline an SEO strategy based on the microsite niche. This kind of site is not meant to just be a smaller version of your main website. It needs to target specific terms that will bring people directly to it.
  • Create an individual domain or a subdomain. A microsite is meant to be a mostly separate entity from your main website that exists for a specific, singular purpose. Single purpose = single domain.
  • Look for inspiration. Whether you create your microsite yourself or outsource for development and design help, it’s helpful to have microsite examples to follow.

Example Microsites

Here we'll show a company's main site and then its corresponding microsite.

BlendTec

Main Site
Microsite

Patagonia

Main Site

Microsite

Nike

Mainsite
Microsite

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