How to Use Microsites to Your Advantage

Mar 7, 2012

What’s a microsite?

I just love Wikipedia, they have the best descriptions:“Microsite is an internet web design term referring to an individual web page or a small cluster (around 1 to 7) of pages which are meant to function as a discreet entity within an existing website or to complement an offline activity. The microsite’s main landing page most likely has its own domain name or sub domain. They are typically used to add a specialized group of information either editorial or commercial. Such sites may be linked in to a main site or not or taken completely off a site’s server when the site is used for a temporary purpose. The main distinction of a microsite versus its parent site is its purpose and specific cohesiveness as compared to the microsite’s broader overall parent website.”

A website should be a major point of focus in an online presence. These primary sites are our brand representatives, our corporate brochures, and an entry point into engaging with our companies, and our foothold in the digital landscape. Our websites are the ‘who we are and what we do’ and maybe even the how we do it story that should be compelling visitors to sign up now, buy our product or services, and fulfill what ever it is we are looking for to grow our companies. Websites should be our lead funnel, customer service center, and even our storefront. But this is a topic that requires its own series of posts, or a book.

But let’s get back on topic regarding microsites and what they can do for you. There are several advantages to a microsite. Just to name a few:

1. It can provide high value back links to our primary website
2. It allows an organization to feature or highlight key individuals, topics or trends without diluting the rest of a company’s online efforts
3. It can improve search results for both sites with high value relevant keyword rich content
4. It’s a platform to test an idea or niche direction before totally investing
5. It creates and builds a community around a single idea or single aspect of your business

Some ideas for microsites:

1. To promote a book or an event
2. If your CEO is an active speaker on a topic or within an industry, creating a website that showcases their expertise and experience can help generate activity and develop or establish prominence in the field
3. If getting invitations to industry expert panels and speaking engagements is not your core business than a ‘speaker,’ or if they wrote a book, ‘author’ site would make sense. As an example (and a little shameless self-promotion), my own speaking website, mardysitzer.com. feeds links to and receives traffic from our main company site bumblebeellc.com
4. Focusing on emerging trends is a great idea for a microsite
5. It’s the perfect way to attract traffic on that topic and separate yourself from your competitors with a dedicated site on that topic alone
6. A campaign or cause that is supported by your company but not a part of what your organization does. This helps your visitors to understand the heart and soul of your company without distracting from the business at hand.

How about other ideas for microsites—care to share your ideas or experience?

Mardy Sitzer is a Certified Inbound Marketing Professional, and President of Bumblebee Design & Marketing. Since 1993, Mardy has been delivering creative and innovative marketing solutions. An avid reader of all things internet and marketing, she also writes blogs, articles and web content for industry magazines as well as for Bumblebee’s clients. Follow her on Twitter (twitter.com/MardySitzer) or email her at mardy@bumbleb

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