Writing by Brick Marketing in SEO
First things first, what are microsites? For those of you that don’t know, a microsite is a web page or group of pages that are separate from a main website, but supplement it somehow. They serve a more specific purpose than the broader scope of the main site. Whether or not you should launch one really depends on its purpose.
There are a few cases in which a microsite is a good idea, such as when a site is created to support a brand that is an extension of a parent company or when a company is running a special event or promotion. In all of these cases, there is enough sufficient content to justify setting up a microsite.
Because microsites can target a more specific audience and rank for long tail keywords, some website owners think that they are great for SEO. Create a microsite, get some traffic, link back to the main site, and increase your conversions- right? Well, not quite. A microsite should be created if, and only if, the microsite actually serves a unique purpose. It should not be created just to build links. That’s a spammy, black hat SEO tactic and Google is penalizing these low quality sites.
There are many reasons to NOT create a microsite for SEO. First, it’s harder to actually build up multiple sites. It takes a lot of time and a lot of effort to optimize and build links for one site, never mind four or five sites. Microsites also mean that your content is spread out. The search engines rank sites well that have lots of good, quality content. If your content is spread out across five different sites, they are all less valuable than if it had been located on one site. The search engines also put a lot of emphasis on trust, meaning that the age of the domain is a ranking factor. Since your main site is more established, the content on it will rank faster than the content on a brand new microsite.
While microsites can serve legitimate purposes, it’s not recommended to use them solely for SEO. For SEO, focus on getting your main site ranking by doing a better job at producing quality, well optimized content and building relevant links. It’s much better to ensure that you have one good site rather than a bunch of only OK sites.