47% of B2B marketers and 52% of B2C marketers used microsites in their content marketing strategies in 2016. What are microsites? How do they function? What are the SEO benefits a brand can get from microsite?
To understand the SEO benefits of microsites, we need to figure out what are microsites actually. Shall we begin?
A microsite is simply a website that lives outside of a company’s regular website or main URL. It is generally smaller and specific to an individual topic or target audience. It is an individual web page or small cluster of web pages that act on behalf of the parent website, as a separate entity. A microsite typically lives on its own domain, but some exist as a subdomain, and a part of the original brand. These microsites are many times used by enterprise level organizations who have many digital properties. Microsites, when done properly, can be a great marketing strategy – as brands like Virgin Mobile and Coca-Cola have done.
Yes, some may say that microsites are not useful, but experts have claimed that established as well as establishing brands are sure to benefit from microsites. These still have a place in a targeted, strategic marketing campaign. Some can target a specific buyer persona, and some can highlight a specific campaign.
But first, let’s deal with the confusion that people sometimes face, differentiating a microsite with that of a landing page.
- Domain: A landing page is never a separate entity, it lives on an existing domain, similar to About Us page, Services page, or Contact Us page. However, this is not the case for a microsite. A microsite is altogether a separate entity that lives separately on its own domain. Also, a microsite may have one or more pages.
- Use: Landing pages are more after conversion, by letting people know about your service, your USP, you mission & vision, as well as client testimonials, and so on. Microsites, on the other hand, inform about a new venture by your brand, or a new offer as such, etc. Though effective microsites do have CTA buttons that can serve as a backlink to your main website.
- Focus: Landing pages tend to inform the visitors about multiple stories that are there on the other web pages of your main site. Microsites cover only a single story and give information about it across all its pages.
Now let’s look at some of the most significant advantages of a microsite, and when to use this strategy for your business. Microsites are a Portal to efficiently Present/Launch a brand new Product of the same Brand.
If your brand is going to start a new venture or a new business segment that doesn’t fit with your existing clientele, you may find it challenging to include the same into your official website. Adding an entirely different segment to an already stable and usable website could prove harmful to the SEO of the website.
In these case, microsites are a boon to marketers. You can simply create a microsite that establishes a whole new business segment, without hurting your main website. Backlinks could be efficiently given to let the audience come to the main website.
Microsites Focus on a single Subject
Microsites concentrate on a single subject, in comparison with a bigger website, with several nested web pages. This simplicity makes it easier for potential customers to navigate the site faster. An immensely focused and clearer presentation of the new product could be given through a microsite since it highlights and features product-specific information.
And no distraction from other internal pages results in higher and faster buyer ratings.
Ease of Access for the Users
As we know, unlike regular websites, microsites tend to be rather simplistic and easier to navigate. And since your microsite has its own URL, it’s easier for your viewers to remember or recall it. It is a major challenge for marketers to make the viewers stay glued to their websites, and find the campaign. Viewers generally don’t want to spend much time and energy to locate campaigns from the main site.
But since you can make the URL of your microsite product-specific, related to your niche or tagline, the URL becomes unique, thus improving recall rate. And the more your website gets visited, higher is the chance of getting quality leads.
Benefit for SEO
The interesting part of a microsite is, it is actually its own website with its own unique URL. This is a huge SEO advantage for marketers.
Unique and easy to remember URLs help people find your upcoming product and service faster. And moreover, your microsite can have a collection of keyword-rich domain names that are highly SEO-friendly. LSI (Latent Semantic Indexing) keywords could be used in the microsites that will bring a user back to the main website. Regular websites can never have more than one or two keywords in their domain name.
Branding is boosted from a Positive Angle
As already mentioned, a microsite deals in one single product, that is to be launched. It is a single initiative to be carried out. And hence the branding style is also different, stopping any similarity with your main website. Your new product becomes a separate entity and prevents any visual confusion for your target audience.
And since this is the case, your upcoming product or service will have its very own website and stand on its own. Though the numbers of pages are undoubtedly less, the uniqueness and “standing out” look and feel affect the branding from a positive angle. However, though being a separate identity, you can still link back to your main website. This helps you double your website conversions.
No worries about putting vivid Details
Suppose you are in a constant process of venturing new products or services. So when it is a continuous process, each time if you keep on adding vivid details of your products on your main official website, after a certain time, it becomes overwhelming. Not only it affects the SEO ranking of your page, but also it lengthens the web pages. And not to mention the confusion and distraction created for existing and potential users.
So it is always recommended to create microsites where it is easier to put all these details, to easily clarify your proposals and product features. No matter how much minute details you put on your product’s microsite, it doesn’t matter. Which is otherwise impossible for your main website.
The Pocket-friendly aspect of Microsites
There’s a notion around microsites that they are expensive to create and function. Well, let me tell you all, that’s nothing but a myth! Microsites are way less expensive to create in comparison to bigger sites with several web pages. Since the pages are less and the contents are also fewer, it is faster to create and easier to manage a microsite.
Faster and Smoother execution
Owing to their single clear focus and concise feature, microsites can be quickly deployed ensuring solid measurable results for the marketing team. This efficient opportunity of rapid implementation and faster successive launches, help a marketer achieve goals and generate higher ROI. And since the main design is somewhat based on the original brand, design decisions are also quickly taken and confirmed.
So all said and done, microsites are never a dumb choice. Microsites can indeed provide a seamless, user-friendly navigation, and make it easier for visitors to get the relevant information they are looking for. Microsites provide excellent flexibility for a brand and acts as a tool for brand reputation management. What more a marketer can ask for to make his visitors’ experience smooth and worthwhile.
However, creating a microsite can be a smart approach only when you are aiming to launch a brand new product, that is so very different from your original brand and website. It is of course for specific campaigns and is not applicable as a short-cut for SEO. Neither it is recommended for startups who have just started their business and don’t have a diverse target audience, and not much people know their brands. So don’t commit these website mistakes, be smart and calculative in your moves.
How many microsites does your brand have? Have you seen success using microsites? Or don’t you have a microsite yet? Feel free to get in touch and let us know all the story!