How do you know if you need a website, landing page, or a microsite? It may be tricky to determine which to use at first, but Ross is here to help!
Based on your needs and goals, Ross helps you decide what route to take. We’ll work with you on building out the website, landing page, or microsite that will best support your marketing effort.
The first step to selecting the right platform is having a basic understanding of the purpose of each web page. In some situations, one may be more effective than the other. We’ll explain what each of these pages are to help you understand when to use them.
A website is commonly the first place your customers and prospects go to when researching more about your business or products. Your website is your online first impression and contains key details about your business. It holds all the information you need consumers to know about products, services, contact methods, and more. It houses several pages such as product pages, a blog, a log-in page, etc. that are interconnected through navigation menus.
It may have several different functionalities such as online ordering or shopping, customer service chats, or search capabilities. The main purpose of a website is to describe and explain the business while also giving users access to product or service information.
Additionally, through analytics, you can gain insight into how your website is performing. Analytics will track what pages your customers are visiting most, where they are clicking, how long they spend on each page, which pages aren’t performing so well, and more. This enables you to gain a better understanding of how your website is functioning and what interests your customers. From these insights, you can determine if updates to your website are needed.
Landing pages are typically designed for a specific product, service, or offer with the purpose to drive sales or capture leads. In many cases, landing pages are created with a subdomain. Subdomains have additional information (text) added to the beginning of the website’s domain name. This allows you to separate the landing page from the main website and organize content for a specific topic. Subdomains also help when it comes to tracking the incoming traffic of the landing page.
These pages may not have as many navigation options as a website has. Instead, they have a call to action and a fillable form where the visitor can claim the offer or ask for more information on the service and become a lead. The goal is to encourage the visitor to take action whilst on this page.
If neither of these sounds like the right fit for your goals, then a microsite may be a good in-between. A microsite will share similarities to both a website and a landing page. A microsite is essentially a mini website that describes the business, product, or service on a single page. In some cases, microsites may have a navigation menu with tabs or internal links that take the visitor to different sections across the page.
Microsites are ideal for launching new products, services, or large-scale promotional campaigns. They help to create excitement about a product and give detail about it all in one place. Similar to a landing page, a microsite may have a subdomain used for tracking and analytics. Including the subdomain URL in marketing helps to keep the visitor's attention on the focus of the microsite and not become distracted by all the information on the main website.
Next, you’ll need to know the differences between a website, a landing page, and a microsite. While there are some similarities, knowing what sets them apart will help to make the right decision that helps the site or page resonate with your target audience.
Out of the three, a website is the largest with the most functionality and complexity. Established businesses will want to have a website so that they can attract customers and provide information about their company and services. Websites will have more navigation and interconnectivity enabling visitors to learn more and easily maneuver throughout all the pages of the website.
A landing page on the other hand is simple and clear when it comes to the product, service, or offer. It has simple navigation that directs the visitor to take an action. These pages are aimed at a particular audience to create a potential lead or conversion.
Lastly, a microsite is similar to a website but smaller. They focus on a specific campaign or product in detail but do not contain additional information on other services – as the main website will contain the full scope of information. In some cases, new businesses may decide to use a microsite in place of a website as it requires less investment and less time to create than a multiple-page website takes.
Now that we’ve covered what they are and their differences, it’s time to decide when each should be used. The goals you have will help narrow down if you should use a website, landing page, or microsite.
If you’re looking to tell your business’ story, mission, values, explain products, provide resources, list locations, and contact methods, etc. then a website is the right fit. Websites allow you the space to list all this information in an organized fashion. With a website, you can add functionality such as customer service chats, contact forms, scheduling, downloads, and more to help the visitor advance further through the marketing funnel. You can also showcase your culture, values, and mission to connect with customers and prospects – overall working to improve upon your brand image. Plus, tracking enables you to learn what your customers are interested in. From website analytics, you’ll be able to see what pages have the most traffic and make further marketing or business decisions based on these insights.
When you have a new service, product, or offer to promote, a landing page is great for driving engagement and leads. Landing pages can also be used for new locations or events. They can be dedicated to attracting interest in upcoming webinars, free trials, discounts, or other campaigns. Landing pages can be tied to specific campaigns to help drive traffic and engagement to the page containing additional information. The landing page URL is used in the campaign in digital ads and call to actions, all of which can be tracked to see page engagement, click-through rates, and more. Using this approach helps keep the visitor focused on the campaign itself – the reason they went to the page in the first place.
These singular pages can also be used to test out personalization, different media like pictures or videos, and alternate copy or voice. Testing different alternates on landing pages may help you discover high-performing elements that should be carried over to your website.
A microsite should be used when you need to create buzz around seasonal products or promotions or new services. These work well for marketing efforts that are too important to be tucked away on your site and too big for a single landing page. Microsites can greatly assist in growing campaigns as it helps to separate the campaign from all the other information on your website while also keeping it connected. As mentioned previously, microsites can have subdomains to directly tie them to specific campaigns for tracking and reporting benefits. Gaining insights from tracking can provide useful when it comes to making any changes or improvements to the campaign itself or even the microsite.
Do you still need help deciphering which to use for your business goals? Ross is happy to chat with you and walk you through your options. Based on your needs, we can help you select a website, landing page, or microsite and assist in building them out. We’re here to help you along your marketing journey. Let’s get the conversation started. Contact us here!
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