Everyone is very familiar with websites nowadays. If you are a business owner, a website is a must, and keeping it up to date is vital. A term that you may not have heard of before is ‘microsites’.
What are they?
In short, a microsite is a branded content site or a small group of web pages. They are typically located outside a businesses’ main website with its own domain, but they can also exist as a subdomain of your company’s website. A microsite will generally be created for a particular campaign, event or content to prevent these getting lost on your main website.
Microsites vs Websites
The difference between the two can be quite confusing so let’s find out what sets them apart.
In simplest terms, a website is a large space that directs viewers to all sorts of information about your business. This includes your story, your products, your portfolio etc, whereas microsites are smaller and have much more targeted content. Your website will be the site that people come across when looking for your business, while a microsite will be the site that they find when looking for information about a specific aspect of your business that you have created an individual site for.
Pros and Cons of a Microsite
Pro: More Focused and Targeted Content
Having a microsite allows you to create content that will be about one product or campaign that can be placed on a separate site, therefore lowering the risk of this being lost on your website.
A clear presentation of a product or service is incredibly more valuable to customers who have specific interests. A microsite provides them with the content that they’re looking for without a lot of other pages, link and offers that won’t interest them popping up.
Pro: It Will Boost Your SEO
Since a microsite is actually its own website, it will have its own unique URL. A short, memorable URL will make it easier for visitors to find it and access a product or service faster. And consequently, your SEO standing will improve also. Creating a domain that is filled with keywords will get the attention of search engines and boost your rankings.
Pro: Used as In-House Buying Platforms
One way that we here at Nettl have seen microsites being used are within multi-office businesses. These microsites are being used as in-house buying platforms as they allow businesses to create a branded e-commerce and ordering site for their staff to easily buy and administer their corporate stationery and marketing materials. The time and money that businesses are able to save making a branded microsite make them very appealing.
Con: Could Confuse Visitors
If a user is stumbling across your business for the first time and finds your microsite before your website, it can be very confusing for them. These first-time visitors may learn campaign-specific information without finding the details they were initially searching for. If they can’t reach your main website easily, they may decide to shop elsewhere.
Good Microsite Examples
Microsites can be used in a variety of different ways to achieve a business’s goals and objectives. Here are some of the best microsites out there that could provide a dab of inspiration.
The Bright Future of Car Sharing
This microsite was a collaboration between the Collaborative Fund and Hyperkat which aims to educate visitors on the benefits of car sharing and its impact on the planet. The site allows users to scroll from left to right, learning about the types of car sharing. This feature is great and interactive for users to stay interested and learn about the history of car sharing.
My Creative Type
Set up by Adobe, My Create Type provides users with a quiz to learn about their creative types.
Users of the site are asked to answer a number of questions that are matched with creative traits. After each question is an animation or ASMR element that add to the experience of the user. Once you have answered all of the questions you are given your creative strengths, untapped potential and the biggest challenges that you must overcome in your creative journey.
If you are thinking of taking advantage of a microsite, make sure that you are thinking about the objectives of your business and the type of content that you are displaying. A microsite will work very well if you have an eye-catching design and provide users with an interactive experience.