One of the main questions we should ask ourselves whenever we are thinking of building a microsite is a very simple one, that one should ask oneself facing pretty much any situation in life that requires any effort whatsoever: “is it worth it?” A very to-the-point question that can save us from A LOT of unnecessary drama, trouble, and resource wastage.
So today, we’ll deep dive into the difference between the creation of an entire microsite (which even if it’s micro, is still a site) or a simple landing page. And even when the difference appears to be super clear, there actually happens to be a very thin line between them that often can cause wasting resources or underestimating a situation. So let’s jump right in and see where we should head to, shall we?
Differences between a microsite and a landing page
So let’s begin with the basics: where’s the difference between a microsite and a landing page? And there’s a very short and a very long answer, but here we always try to keep things simple, so let’s make it an in between point. The main difference resides in the functionality that you’ll need for this particular page or site. If you are planning on having a bunch of different CTAs in it, if you need a couple of different forms or a bunch of different options for users, then that’ll probably be a much better fit for a microsite. On the other hand, if you are planning on a rather simple thing, maybe just a sign up form, or a very simple “Purchase now!” CTA, then a post-click landing page will be the one to go.
There’s also a lot of people that spare a difference when it comes to how long you’ll want this site or page to be running. Microsites can be created for a temporary campaign or project, and then shut down once it’s over. And even when landing pages can also be removed from your site, in general, they are mostly used for aspects of your process that will continue to be there (landing pages for people to get to when they click on your ad, landing pages for people who want to subscribe, landing pages for people interested in buying your product, among many others). The bottom line is: both can be temporary or long term, and probably you’ll need to figure out how much time and effort you’ll want to dedicate to that specific project.
When to choose a landing page
- You need users to respond to one specific CTA (or requirement): if this page is meant to have your users do just one specific action (such as buying, subscribing, contacting you) then a landing page is the one to choose. It’s simple and quick, and it’ll be clear for your users that there’s nowhere else to go, and they’ll convert.
- You want to share concise and brief information about something: A landing page, as its name indicates, it’s just one page — so you can’t write Remembrance of Things Past on it. If the info you want to spread matches these qualities and can fit in just one page, then this is also a great case for a landing page.
- You need to make things fast and/or cheap: landing pages, being much more simple, require a lot less effort and resources (less money, less time, less work) which makes them much quicker to launch, and much cheaper and easier to create. So if you are either in a rush or on a budget, then a landing page will probably be the place you want to be.
When to choose a microsite
- You want users to deep dive into the complete experience: there’s a lot you want them to know, and there are a bunch of different things they may want to do with all that information. So turns out, as far as content goes, microsites are not only SEO-goldmines, but they are the best option when it comes to creating a detailed and personalized experience for your users.
- You want to get creative: microsites are awesome places to publish a bunch of different content and get really creative. Do you have articles? Bring them in! Videos, illustrations? They are all welcome! And since it’s a small version of your main site, the decision on how much effort to put in your microsite is 100% on you.
- You are willing to hire someone to build it: even though microsites are not as hard to build as actual websites, depending on how much functionality you are going to need, you may need to hire a microsite professional to help you create an awesome site that your users will love visiting.
- You have the time and budget for it: microsites are awesome, but they do require some effort that landing pages don’t. So if you have the time and the budget, then a microsite where you can expand your ideas and creativity will definitely be an amazing goal to pursue.
So the bottom line here is quite simple: landing pages are awesome for getting conversions, launching quickly, and not spending a ton of resources. Microsites are the best fit when it comes to creating personalized and detailed experiences for your users, and reach much more for brand awareness than they do for conversions, so they cost a bit more. I guess the question here is: how deep are you looking to go into your new project? How much functionality do you need? And can you afford it? And right then and there you’ll have your answer.