To Microsite or not to Microsite? When is it a good idea?

A while back, we decided that we needed a tool to help us market specifically to our prospective NPO/NGO clients. We needed something that was to the point, guided the user through the benefits of using Juizi, and then steered them down a very specific train of thought to a form that would help them make contact.

We decided that a microsite branching out of our own main site was the best way to do this.

http://npo.juizi.com was born.

So, what is a microsite?

A microsite is a small, additional site placed on a different domain or a subdomain. This is primarily used to spotlight a subsection of your site or product that is mentioned on the primary site. For example, your main site would be site.com, but your microsite would either be microsite.com (different domain), micro.site.com (subdomain), or even in some cases site.com/micro.

A focused path

As with anything you do on your website, knowing your short term needs and long term goals will assist you in putting together your plan of action for your microsite. Because the site is smaller and more targeted, it gives you the opportunity to have a very focused user journey with target content to guide your site visitor.

Any new product and event can easily be showcased with bolder, more accessible text, because content will generally not be as plentiful as your main site. This makes for pages that can easily be scanned, either getting a user to contact you or sign up that much quicker.

What we took away from this experience

It really depends on what you’re trying to achieve. As with any tool or path, there will always be pros and cons. Know what your goals are in terms of activity and user journey. Build it for the right reasons (focusing attention on a service or product), and know which reasons will not pan out (specifically to increase SEO). There are a lot of different options for different goals.

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To Microsite or not to Microsite? When is it a good idea?