If you are interested in building a website for the first time, or rebuilding an existing site that is outdated, you might have heard the term “microsite” tossed around, and wonder what it is and if it’s right for you and your business.

Read on.

What is a microsite?

Simply put, a microsite is a one-page website. Most people think they need to have a multi-page website, but that’s not always the case. Sometimes a beautiful, well-developed microsite is all you need.

Does a microsite stand-alone or is it part of a larger site?

The answer to both questions is yes. Depending on your needs, a microsite can be a stand-alone site, or it can be a separate landing page that’s part of a parent company or a larger site.

We have designed several microsites that stand alone and work beautifully. In one case, it was a separate landing page that was used as part of a specific ad campaign. And then in another case, we designed a microsite to live on the larger parent company site but with its own branding and look and feel because it was a separate initiative.

It depends on your business and your goals. Microsites are entirely customizable to fit your needs. The important part is having a web development team that can support you in this effort.

In Part 2 of this blog, you’ll see examples of all these different types of microsites that we’ve mentioned. Additionally, we’ll explore the strategy behind the design.

How do I know if I need a microsite or a full site?

A microsite could be a good fit for you if:

  • Your business is new, with only a few basic products or services.
  • The primary call to action can be understood and completed easily. For example, you want customers to call, email, text, or complete a form.
  • You don’t have a large team. Maybe it’s just you, and you don’t need a big “Who We Are” page.
  • You want to do SEO for a singular product or service or run Google Ads.
  • You have a specific ad campaign you want to track.
  • You have a specific initiative or offering that is part of a larger company but needs its own landing page, and look and feel.
  • You are pressed for time.
  • Your budget is limited.
  • A full site would be a better fit for you if:

  • Your company has been around for a few years or more.
  • You have recently expanded your products or services.
  • You have a larger team.
  • What you do needs to be explained in greater detail.
  • You need specific pages to guide the customer experience: Pricing, Testimonials, Blog, Our Process, Calendar of Events etc.
  • You want to do SEO for multiple products and/or services.
  • You don’t have a tight deadline, and just want things done right.
  • Your budget is flexible.
  • Ok, I want a microsite. How do I make it amazing?

    Custom Design & Development

    The most important part about a microsite is that it has to be well-designed with the user in mind. It’s all about creating a “flow,” so it feels natural for the user to move through the site with ease, finding the information they are looking for quickly.

    Intentional Content

    Microsites can have the same or similar content to a multi-page site, so it’s essential to ensure the design is based on the amount of content needed.

    Be intentional and thoughtful about the amount and layout of your content.

    For example, you might want collapsible or expandable sections so that users aren’t confronted with too much information at once. You might want to include product features or highlights to be on a carousel or rotate horizontally so that it doesn’t become too vertically cumbersome and create too long of a scroll depth.

    Professional Photography / Videography

    Professional photography/videography is one of the most crucial parts of a well-done microsite. One page can be just as impressive and hold as much power as a multi-page site IF it contains visuals that are show-stoppers, instead of “eh, I took that casually on an older iPhone four years ago.” That approach will not fly on a microsite.

    We strongly encourage professional imagery on a site of any size, even if it needs to be stock photography, while you wait to develop professional images of your own.

    A Clear Call To Action

    To optimize your microsite for conversion, you must ensure your website is designed for lead generation. This means having a clear call-to-action (CTA) on every page and making it easy for visitors to fill out forms and submit their contact information. Your call to action should be in multiple places on the microsite and brief and easy to understand.

    Notice we didn’t say 47 calls to action; we said one. Maybe two, but that’s pushing it. Make a decision about how and when you want to be contacted and what you want the customer to do, and guide them through that process.

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    Optimized For Mobile Devices

    This is a non-negotiable part of microsite design and development. The majority of website users today are on their phones. If your site is not optimized for mobile, it will create immediate frustration, and the user will probably never give your site another chance.

    Ensure your website developer creates a design that will work well and function beautifully whether the user is on their desktop, laptop, tablet, or mobile.

    To Sum It All Up

    Microsites can be an excellent option if you follow the guidelines above. If you are looking for a microsite developer and want to learn more, we would be happy to help.

    In Part 2 of this blog series, we will dive into several recent microsites we’ve designed for our clients, presenting the design and the strategy behind it so you can see a few examples and decide if a microsite is right for you.

    Stay tuned for more.