What’s a Microsite, and do you need one?

Microsite: (def)

microsite is an individual web page or a small cluster of pages which are meant to function as a discrete entity within an existing website or to complement an offline activity. The microsite’s main landing page can have its own domain name or subdomain. (Wikipedia)

Sample Microsite from proservs.ca, our example of a microsite website by PoMo MediaTo the definition above, I’d add that a microsite can also be the primary website of an individual or organization that conducts the vast majority of its activity either offline or via social media.

From the information above you can see that for most small to mid-sized organizations, a standard website is still the best and simplest solution for a primary internet presence.

Who Needs a Microsite?

Microsites really come into their own to satisfy needs at the two ends of the worldwide web spectrum.

  1. Very Large Organizations:
    Organizations with multiple divisions, hundreds of products, thousands of employees, etc., can eventually end up with websites that are so busy and full of information that they become nearly impossible to navigate. It can also be very difficult for visitors to quickly locate only the product, person, or service they need. Setting up small (even single page) websites will make specific information much easier to find, and the SEO (search engine optimization) advantages of an independent URL (web address) become readily apparent.
  2. Very Small Organizations:
    Professionals and individuals who are self-employed, or small organizations such as nonprofits and associations, are faced with an equal but opposite dilemma. They rely on word of mouth, or are able to function fairly well on the internet using just a business Facebook page and/or LinkedIn profile. Unfortunately, without an actual website there can be big issues around credibility and authority. These issues extend well beyond simple problems of “being found” online. In the 21st century there is now a basic expectation that any “real” business or professional will have a website. Here again, a microsite is a perfect solution.

Microsite Benefits

  • Custom URL
    A website with your own custom domain name
  • Credibility and Authority
    Consumers, clients, members, and the public are always more comfortable dealing with people and organizations that they trust. In the preweb days that meant a bicks-and-mortar location. Today that means a “dot com” website.
  • SEO
    Search engine optimization refers to the steps one takes in order to make it easier for people using search engines, like Google and Bing, to find a website. Obviously, a website is a prerequisite to being found at all on the web.
  • Marketing
    Even a one page microsite is a capable and potentially powerful marketing tool. At a bare minimum it means that you’ll be found when people find your competitors and colleagues.
  • Boosting Social Media Engagement
    By linking to your social media accounts and profiles from your microsite, you can actually increase the likelihood that your accounts will be found before (or at least among) the social media accounts of your competitors or members.

Microsite Examples

You will find our own sample microsite at proservs.ca This site would serve the needs of a self-employed professional, like a lawyer, mediator, or real estate agent.

TorontoRealEstate.Deals and CaliforniaRealEstate.Deals
Two websites that have their Domain Names available for sale. Both using one of the new, highly specialized .deals Top Level Domain.

A microsite that solved a problem for a nonprofit organization, read the full story below;

This organization that links contemporary artists together had a problem. Their primary means of communication with one another was through a Facebook Group. However the group had been in existence online since 1996 and had used the same name in multiple online forums since that time. They learned that organizations that had nothing to do with them were using the fluxlist name as corporate identities and URLs. There was no danger of losing access to their own name as it had been secured through continuous use. But there was a significant risk that the name was being confused and its meaning diluted because of its misuse by non-related entities.

Since it would be expensive, complicated, (and possibly futile) to attempt to get others to cease using the name, it was decided that a microsite, tying together all of their online communities would be a better solution. The microsite ensures that people searching for the artist network will find it, rather than unrelated corporate entities.

If a microsite is right for you,

PoMo Media Will :

  • Help you choose and purchase a Domain Name
  • Setup  a simple 3 page microsite based on WordPress
  • Secure your new website against hackers using SSL encryption and “captcha
  • Setup a personal email account for you at yourdomainname dot com

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