The term “microsite” refers to branded content that exists independently from the main company website.
Microsites have their own URL and are typically used for specific campaigns or for posting ongoing content.
A blog, if it exists outside of the company’s main website, could be considered a microsite. Some popular examples of microsites include Blendtec’s WIllItBlend and Officemax’s ElfYourself. We’ll explore other examples and why they work in this article.
The top 3 benefits of creating a microsite
While creating a separate web entity for your business might seem like a hassle, there are quite a few benefits. Microsites do not necessarily have to be long-term projects. Many of them only exist for the duration of a marketing campaign. Here are three top benefits of creating a microsite:
1. Focused content
A microsite allows for more focused content. For example, if you run an e-commerce website that sells clothing, you could create microsites for specific brands or demographics. A visitor looking for children’s clothing specifically could visit your microsite without being distracted by other product pages that may not be of interest.
2. A place for experimentation
Do you have a great idea for a marketing campaign, but aren’t quite sure if it will be effective if you launch it site-wide? Microsites are easy and affordable to set up and are great for experimental and research purposes. You can even set up several microsites with different messages to see which one performs the best. The possibilities are endless!
Creating a unique, easy-to-remember URL for your microsite that’s relevant to focused content will allow users to find your website quickly. A low bounce rate will most definitely boost SEO for your website. Also, owning an assortment of keyword-rich domains is highly valued by search engines. However, you will want to be mindful of duplicate content. If you create a microsite, be sure there is no similar content on your main company page.
Microsites: 5 Companies doing it right
If you want to start using microsites for your business but aren’t sure where to start, look to these companies for inspiration. These microsites are creative, fun, focused, and encourage user interaction.
As part of its This is the Pepsi campaign, Pepsi worked with Google to create the microsite PepsiGoBack. This WebVR experience allows users to travel through time and witness Pepsi’s iconic moments. It’s a compelling interactive experience that uses new technology. There is definitely a cool factor with this microsite!
2. The Collaborative Fund
The Collaborative Fund is a group of entrepreneurs, internet companies, and investors working together to make the world a better place. Wanting to encourage the concept of car sharing, it created FutureofCarSharing.com. This simple microsite features an interactive infographic touting the environmental, social, and economic benefits of carsharing.
Music is personal. Many of us associate music with happy or sad memories. Spotify took hold of our personal relationship with music and created YearinMusic, a personalized, interactive microsite that displays statistics on your listening habits during the previous year. It’s easy to use and easy to share! The site also includes other music stats of interest such as Top Artists and Playlists.
4. Bolthouse Farms
Bolthouse Farms is committed to healthy food and a healthy planet. It combined its love of food with our persistent need to post pictures of our food on social media and created URWHATUPOST.com. The site shows real-time conversations on social media about healthy food vs. unhealthy foods. This colorful page is full of information and you can participate by using the hashtag #UrWhatUPost.
As a digital marketer, I continue to be impressed with Domino’s. The company is always forward-thinking in its advertising. Remember its order a pizza via emoji campaign? Of course, they make full use of microsites, along with WebVR technology. Check out DominosDXP, a fully-equipped, one-of-a-kind pizza delivery vehicle with a warming oven! The microsite allows the user to get a close look at the vehicle and all of its features and even go along for a ride.
All of these microsite examples are hyper-focused and interactive. Making use of new technology such as WebVR adds a cool factor that’s impossible to ignore. While many microsites are simplistic in design, the nature of microsites allows you to take risks.
Have these companies inspired any ideas for your first microsite? We’d love to hear about them!
Guest author: Richard Horvath started his career designing websites and is now the President of TheeDesign, an award-winning web design and digital marketing firm in Raleigh, NC. Richard works closely with small businesses and startups, creating visually appealing and SEO-friendly websites. He guarantees quality work and complete customer satisfaction. He recently opened a second agency in Houston, TX called TheeHouston.agency.