I’m biased: I’m a huge fans of building microsites as part of your marketing strategy. We’re such big fans that, over these last years, we’ve built over 470 of them for ourselves and our clients.

I don’t think I’ve read we’ve read anywhere an argument for building microsites as a marketing and SEO strategy, but now is as good time as any to do it.

First, let’s define a microsite: it’s a site you create that isn’t your primary web site, whose goal is to support your primary marketing strategy. Here’s a good rule of thumb: if your client is obsessing over every little detail–it’s probably not a microsite but his primary site.

Second, what is a microsite NOT? Here is what it is not, at least for us:

  • It is not a spammy site. I mean, most people who make microsites are low-quality so they create spam-like sites. But it doesn’t have to be–and for us, it doesn’t.
  • It is not a generic network site. It may be part of a site network, but it may not.
  • It is not a cookie-cutter sites of each other. Click, template, update title, done. It may be, but (surprise surprise) not necessarily.
  • It just takes content from other sites and republishes and re-uses it. It may but it may not.

Third, given the above–what a Microsite is, and isn’t–there are a few cases when a Microsite would be useful to have:

  1. You want laser-targeted SEO value. If you want to rank in Google’s results for a keyword, what better strategy than to create a site explicitly on that topic? This is important because, unlike your primary site, you can craft this site with your SEO objective directly in mind.
  2. Credibility. If you want people to see how serious you are and how much of an expert you are on a topic, what better way to do so than.
  3. Your current primary site is a beast and you want to fresh approach, simultaneous to your main approach.
  4. You want a “skunkworks” to work on a different angle, simultaneously to your primary focus on your primary angle.

Fourth, note that every microsite or microsite network isn’t the same. Some decisions to make include:

  • Should it be known (publicly) that these sites are related to each other in a network or not?
  • Should it be known (to Google) that these sites are related to each other in a network or not?
  • Should it be known that these sites are associated with your primary brand and primary site, or should they seem independent?
  • How well-developed–in other words, how complete-looking–should each site be?

Sound interesting? Considering a microsite network? Give us a call!