Understanding the SEO Advantages and Disadvantages of Microsites

Understanding the SEO Advantages and Disadvantages of Microsites

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SEO spending has increased over the last few years and is likely to reach $80 billion by the year 2020.

Have you been spending more money on SEO? Have you been considering moving beyond SEO basics like keyword optimization and writing blog posts?

If you want to get more bang for your SEO buck, you might want to try giving microsites a shot. These sites can be very beneficial for a business’s SEO. The key is to create and use them the correct way.

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Read on to learn more about the pros and cons of microsites for SEO and how to create your own.

What Are Microsites?

In simple terms, a microsite is a branded site that is separate from a business’s homepage and/or overall brand URL.

It’s basically a mini-website that has its own URL (usually that doesn’t contain the name of the company that sponsors it).

If you’ve registered a new domain name for a website that’s an offshoot of your main business website, you’ve created a microsite.

Types of Microsites

You can break microsites down into two main categories. First, there are sites that are centered around a specific campaign. Second, there are sites that publish regular content and never quit.

Campaign-Specific Sites

Sometimes, a business will create a microsite in order to establish and/or support a specific campaign.

The website will be launched and populated with a variety of pieces of content (such as videos, blog posts, and infographics) that are designed to provide information and get people excited about the campaign.

Once the site is established, it may be updated on a regular basis for a short while as the campaign kicks off and runs its course. After that, it’s left alone.

Ongoing Sites

Ongoing microsites get updated with new content on a regular basis, seemingly with no end in sight. Businesses often use this type of microsite to provide resources to their customers or to keep them updated on news related to the business.

It takes a lot more work to keep this type of microsite running long-term, as it often requires a separate team to design the site, maintain it, and continue creating content for it.

Microsite Pros

Now that you have a basic microsites definition to work with, let’s get into some of the benefits of using them. The following are some of the most well-known pros (specifically related to SEO) that come with having a microsite:

Increased Brand Recognition

With an additional website out there on the internet, it can be easier for people to learn about your business and take an interest in what you have to offer. This, in turn, will help to grow your brand faster.

Efficient Email Campaigns

You can use a microsite as a type of landing page to gather email addresses and get people signed up for your business’s list. This will make it easier for you to stay in touch with potential customers and stay at the top of their mind with offers and promotions.

Provide More Value

Establishing a microsite gives you new opportunities to provide additional value to your customers. If you have information that might not fit into the theme of your main site, you can share it on the microsite, for example.

Experimentation Opportunities

A microsite also gives you the perfect platform for experimentation. If you want to try something new but aren’t sure it’ll work on your main site, start by doing it with the microsite and see if it helps or hurts your search engine ranking.

Avoid Overcrowding

You can also use a microsite to prevent the homepage of your main website from becoming overly cluttered. This can be bad for web design, as well as the functionality of your site, and may have a negative impact on your search engine ranking.

Microsite Cons

Of course, there are some downsides to using a microsite to try and boost your SEO. Keep these cons in mind as you begin your microsite journey:

Time-Consuming

It takes time to set up an effective and appealing microsite. Depending on the size of your staff, this could take them away from updating and improving your main site, which could have a negative effect on your current search engine rankings.

Content Creation Difficulties

Duplicate content is a huge no-no in the SEO world. With a microsite, if you’re not careful, it’s easy to fall into the trap of sharing content that’s very similar to what’s on your main site. This, in turn, can cause search engines to penalize you.

Decreased Traffic

In some cases, your microsite could also pull traffic away from your main website. If this happens, your main site will be penalized and won’t rank as well, which is the opposite of what you want for your business’s long-term success.

How to Create a Microsite

Now that you understand the pros and cons of having a microsite, do you think it’s worth it for you to create one?

If you have the resources to dedicate to the site’s development and maintenance, it might be a good strategy to help you improve brand recognition and provide additional value to your audience.

If you do want to create a microsite, here are some tips to help you get it right:

  • Start with the Basics: This includes good web design practices such as clear fonts, contrasting colors, and eye-catching images
  • Know Your Audience: Make sure you gear your content toward your target audience
  • Include a CTA: Make it clear what you want people to do after they’ve visited your microsite
  • Gather Data: Use your microsite to gather information on your customers and learn more about their habits or preferences

Don’t forget to follow up, either. Reach out those who visit your microsite via email and give them some kind of offer to help turn them into engaged and loyal customers.

Should You Use Microsites?

As you can see, there are definite pros and cons that come with using microsites as part of your business’s SEO strategy.

If you think that the pros outweigh the cons, keep these tips in mind so you can create your own microsite in the simplest way possible.

Do you want to learn about other SEO techniques that can help you boost your website’s search engine ranking?

If so, we have lots of free SEO tools that can help you take your business’s strategy to the next level. Check them out today!

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