It may seem that microsites and landing pages are identical, but these digital marketing tools have some crucial differences.
Both of them, as a rule, are created in the short term to reach a specific goal or campaign. So, which one is better for your business?
The fact is that there’s no “better” option. Just in some cases, a landing page is enough, while the other situations require you to create a microsite.
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1] What is a microsite?
On the one hand, a microsite is a small targeted online project, which can inform, train, entertain, and increase conversion.
On the other hand, it contains everything related to your brand, products, and values – this is a wide-ranging channel for informing and selling.
A microsite is a separate domain, unlike an LP. Usually dedicated to a narrow topic, it contains several pages compared to dozens and hundreds of pages on the company’s main site. These few pages are filled with specific content for a particular audience.
Such projects are especially useful when the proposed product or service is difficult to understand, and the details cannot be explained in several blocks.
Advantages and disadvantages of a microsite.
Advantages of the microsite
- The ideal solution for informing customers and enhancing brand loyalty.
- Useful, entertaining and informative (nice to read) tool.
- Encourages users to explore the site, increases the time people interact with your brand.
- Allows you to significantly increase traffic and reduce bounce rates.
- An individual URL means the most effective use in offline advertising (TV, print, radio).
- Campaign-friendly URLs are easier to remember and share.
Disadvantages of a microsite
- Duration and high cost of development and customization.
- Significant time for creation and deployment compared to classic one-pagers.
- You need to search and purchase additional domain names.
- You need to make great efforts to fill and maintain it.
- It’s more difficult to create effective calls to action.
- It is not possible to accurately assess the return on investment.
- There is a chance that the campaign-targeted URL will scare away loyal customers from the main website.
2] What is a landing page?
The LP’s aim is promoting a certain product/service and it is hosted on your main domain, and the URL clearly reflects your campaign.
If the main site is a widespread tool for information and sales, then a landing page is designed to push your potential clientele further along the sales funnel to perform the desired action. Its main purpose is conversion (purchase, subscription, registration).
Here, the rules of persuading a client come first, entertaining and informational aspects are soft factors. Landing pages look sharper and more aggressive in comparison with a microsite – they should not contain distracting messages, they pursue a single purpose.
They are hyper-focused, optimized for keywords, briefly and convincingly convey facts and figures to the user: “Working with us is profitable and safe, follow this step and get a lot of advantages.”
If the homepage is oriented towards navigation and information, the landing page is created to increase conversion.
The advantages and disadvantages of a landing page.
The advantages of a landing page
- Quick deployment.
- Lightweight and fairly inexpensive.
- Great at conversion.
- No need to buy extra domain names.
- Low maintenance required.
- Allow you to track and analyze user activity, transferring valuable information to the marketing department.
- Increase website searches visibility.
Disadvantages of a landing page
- Uninformative, which may not satisfy users.
- Not too attractive and interesting, unlike microsites.
- Cannot serve as an alternative to the main site.
- Very demanding for CTAs’ quality.
3] Microsite or landing page: what to choose for business?
Now we know two things.
- If your goal is to create a brand, attract potential customers and provide them with amazing user experience, as well as increase loyalty, the best option would be a microsite.
- If your goal is to attract more traffic to the main site, raising awareness about one specific product/service, increasing conversions using a CTA, there is nothing more suitable than an LP.
Therefore, the answer to the question largely depends on the specific needs of your business at the moment. But still, there are some other factors.
- The staff of the team.
- The extent of your campaign.
- Campaign time limits.
- Your target audience: If they prefer to be responsible and make their own decisions, it is better to communicate through a microsite. If you have to drive them step by step, you should choose a landing page.
- Targeted action: if this is a trifle like downloading a free book, the LP is ideal. If this is something more important (for example, a trial version of CRM), then an informative microsite is more useful.
Both tools are powerful digital marketing tools, and many companies have to use both options in different situations. Understanding the advantages and disadvantages of them, you can make the right decisions for your brand!
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