Landing Page vs Microsite: What’s the Difference?
Well, what’s your focus? Is your goal to convert a visitor to a sale or increase awareness about something? Let’s find out what’s right for you landing page vs. microsite.
Your website is the face of your business. Everything posted on your website, from design, content, and site experience represents your brand.
But sometimes, there are pieces of information, events, or even products that we don’t always need to present.
That’s where microsites and landing pages come into play. These web pages are the perfect place to direct your visitors while keeping your homepage clean and targeted.
Landing page or microsite — what’s the difference and which is better?
Landing page vs microsite: The definition
The meaning of a landing page and microsite can easily get mixed up in digital marketing lingo, but each format has its unique features and applications.
To get us all on the same page, here are the definitions.
What is a landing page?
Landing pages are individual website pages that are built for conversion.
They are primarily used to create a focus space for visitors to take a single action, like signing up for an offer or buying your product.
A landing page is typically based on your website domain like www.domain.com/landing-page, and is designed without a navigation bar.
One classic example is the ExpressVPN sales landing page. It features a special deal, FAQs, and a 30-day money-back guarantee geared to getting prospects to try out its service.
That said, a landing page can be an essential component of your website. It can help you get more leads and improve your overall conversion rates. Hence, it would be best to familiarize yourself with designing an exceptional landing page. You can do this by checking out a comprehensive landing page checklist from experts. With this, you can create a landing page that’ll work effectively for your business.
What is a microsite?
A microsite is a mini-site: a small cluster of web pages created for a specific digital campaign that may diverge from your main brand/website.
This is because it needs a dedicated set of content, styles, or call-to-action. Generally, a microsite can be within a website like www.microsite.domain.com like LinkedIn Business.
Or can be on a separate domain entirely like MrBeast’s Feastables, built as a marketing campaign to promote his new chocolates.
Differences between landing page and microsite
Microsites and landing pages are great options for making something temporary or smaller than a full-fledged website.
They are often created for ONE specific campaign and goal, whether to drive sales during the year-end or generate leads and brand awareness.
Landing Page vs Microsite – So what’s the difference?
Despite the similarities, a microsite and landing page essentially have different functionalities.
Landing pages are designed specifically to convert prospects. Unlike microsites, they focus on persuasive messaging and use the quickest way possible to convince and convert prospects.
Microsites, on the other hand, are created for brand awareness. They are informational and often designed to entertain and engage new visitors so that they will remember them.
Besides different purposes, each digital format also comes with its pros and cons.
Landing page vs microsite: Pros and cons
The pros and cons of a landing page
It’s quick and easy to set up a landing page since it is just one standalone web page. Given that it is hosted on the same domain as the parent site, the page can benefit from existing SEO.
Plus, you have complete control over a landing page, and you can add it to your website’s navigation or make it so that visitors can only reach them via a campaign link.
This makes the landing page a great choice if you want to capture attention and move targeted prospects further down your marketing funnel.
Not to mention, a landing page is excellent for conversion! With no navigation buttons, links, blogs, or other distractions, the average conversion rate can increase to 26% or more. And you can easily track this ROI by using UTM tags and heatmaps.
Moreover, a landing page can be excellent for target messaging. It lets you create a message tailored to a specific audience. With targeted messaging, you can drive more conversions by forging connections with your target audience as you speak their language.
As for integration, a landing page can make it as easy as possible. Whether you want to connect marketing automation tools or install tools like Google Analytics, page builders can seamlessly do it with a landing page.
That being said, landing pages do have some drawbacks. A landing page cannot replace your website, as the messaging in a landing page is highly targeted to only appeal to particular audiences interested in the offer.
The pros and cons of a microsite
Microsites are practical for promoting a new product or service that targets audiences or keywords that differ from your primary brand.
Since a microsite is built on a new domain, it gives you a chance to experiment and be creative. You can use a different tone of voice, design, and even new engaging content styles.
With more pages on a microsite, brands can inform, engage and teach your prospects about what you have to offer.
Furthermore, a microsite is easy to navigate due to its non-overloading and clutter-free design and content style. It’s also SEO-friendly because it’s much easier to locate, light, and limited in scope. Since the audience is specifically targeted, it has a low bounce rate.
Lastly, having a microsite allows you to gather valuable analytical data. It can help track bounce, conversion, and click-through rates, which are essential in knowing whether your site is working correctly.
However, there is a cost to maintaining a site for your business.
Though setting up a microsite is not as expensive and complicated as a website, you still need to buy a new domain and spend time designing and developing it.
On the other hand, microsites can also make it difficult to generate traffic as you are starting from zero and need to earn new backlinks and establish yourself as a thought leader.
Also, you’re only allowed to put limited content on a microsite. Thus, you need to be extra careful with your content choices to get the most out of the microsite. It’s also important to note that a microsite may hurt the SEO score of the mother website. This is due to the limited content, which may contain plagiarized content from the parent site.
Which is better for your marketing?
So which one is better, a microsite or landing page? The truth is, it comes down to your goal. There are instances when you want a landing page over a microsite and vice versa.
If your goal is brand awareness, building a microsite is the way to go, while landing pages are suitable if you want to boost conversion rates.
Besides your marketing campaign goals, some other factors you want to take into consideration:
- Team size – Do you have the team capacity to build and maintain the digital campaign?
- Time and budget – When do you want to launch, and how much is your budget?
- Importance of campaign – How important is the marketing campaign to your business?
- Target audience – Who are your audiences and their expectations?
When deciding between a Landing Page vs Microsite, here’s a quick summary to help you determine which option is your best choice.
|1||Page||1 or more pages|
|Parent domain||Published site||Subdomain or new domain|
|Temporary/ long-lasting||Lifespan||Mostly temporary|
|You want to create a quick, targeted landing page to drive the desired behavior that is standalone and doesn’t need to be organized with other pages||Use case||You want to create a mini-website (a collection of pages) that exist outside of the company homepage in a separate domain or subdomain for a specific event or marketing campaign.|