February 8, 2022

Landing Page vs. Microsite: What’s the Difference?

With over 200 million websites active today, companies need a lot more than a basic web page to stand out and attract an audience. Landing pages and microsites are some of the advanced tools that businesses use to build their brands online and increase their conversions.

On the surface, landing pages and microsites are quite similar. They’re both separate pages from the primary site, built with a specific focus, and intended to inspire action from the audience. Despite the similarities, these assets have significant differences and are used for entirely different purposes.

Read on to find out about landing pages vs. microsites and when to use each for your business.

What Is a Landing Page?

A landing page is a standalone web page specifically designed to make the user take an action when they click from an ad, email, or other digital sources. The sole purpose of a landing page is to convert leads, whether by purchasing, downloading, signing up or any other CTA (call to action) you’ve provided.

Uses of a Landing Page

Some of the uses of landing pages include:

  • Signing up for an email list
  • Free trials
  • Event promotion and registration
  • Free downloads for resources like ebooks and white papers

Benefits and Shortcomings of Landing Pages

Since landing pages can be hosted on the primary site’s domain, they are relatively inexpensive and easier to build, compared to microsites. This also means that designing and deploying them is simpler and faster.

However, because of the hyper-focus of landing pages, they aren’t as engaging as other web pages and may not offer much information to your audience.

What Is a Microsite?

A microsite, also called a minisite, is a separate web page or a group of pages designed to provide more information on a specific topic or promote a product or event. While a microsite can have its independent URL, it can also be implemented as a sub-domain of the brand’s main website, such as "microsite.mainwebsite.com." They are often temporary websites that are taken down once the campaign is over or the information is no longer relevant.

Uses of a Microsite

Some of the uses of minisites include:

  • Promoting a product or counting down to a product release
  • Marketing an upcoming event
  • Educating the audience on a specific topic
  • Testing out new domains, branding styles, content, etc.

Benefits and Shortcomings of Microsites

Microsites that allow users to navigate multiple pages increase the time spent on the site, reducing bounce rate in the long run. They are engaging and informative and are excellent tools for building brand image and loyalty.

However, microsites are more expensive, take more time to build, and require heavier maintenance compared to landing sites. Calculating the return on investment (ROI) from microsites can also be a challenge, and having different sites from the primary site may confuse customers already used to the primary site.

What’s the Difference Between a Landing Page and a Microsite?

The key difference between a landing page and a microsite is their purpose. Landing pages are highly oriented towards driving conversions, while microsites are often used for marketing and generating brand awareness.

Both landing pages and microsites cause a positive impact on your brand, but in different ways. While a landing page might bring in more conversions, they do little brand building and may not give detailed insights into the audience. Microsites are excellent for these, but may not bring as many conversions as a landing page can.

Should You Create a Landing Page or a Microsite?

The choice between whether to use a landing page or a microsite depends on your objectives. If you’re looking to convert your site’s visitors into prospects, a landing page is the tool for you. On the other hand, if you’re looking to increase brand awareness, get more engagement or educate your audience, microsites are for you.

Your budget may also affect your choice. Microsites typically require more upfront investment to get up and running compared to landing pages, which might not be possible on a strained budget.

Most companies, however, find out that they often need to combine microsites and landing pages when developing their online presence. As your marketing goals change, both microsites and landing pages can be useful assets in your toolkit throughout the year.

Need Help?

Do you need help building your landing page or microsite? Cleverly builds and maintains high-quality websites and landing pages that convert. Contact us for a free consultation with our experts and find out how we can help.