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How to Tell the Difference Between a Landing Page and a Microsite

By Eileen Burick

In a previous post, I laid out the definition of a microsite. But what is the difference between a landing page and a microsite?

In its simplest terms, a landing page is quite similar to a microsite: It’s the destination for a variety of highly targeted inbound links, whether driven by social media, emails, SEO links, ads or marketing campaigns. Landing pages are also similar in intent: lead generation or other transactions, although there are some that are purely informational.

Beyond that, however, there are two significant differences:

  • Where they reside. A landing page is generally associated with the corporate website, with a dedicated link (i.e., Acme.com/landingpagename). Microsites can also have their own dedicated URL.
  • Quantity of pages. By definition a landing page is just a single page, whereas a microsite can have one or several, with a navigational structure just as a corporate website does. Although, a general rule-of-thumb would be 1-10 pages.

Because of that, landing pages and microsites are vastly different tools. A minimalistic landing page is most useful when you just have a single transactional goal; in contrast, a microsite is like a Swiss Army knife that you can outfit with different capabilities depending on the circumstance — and has major advantages when it comes to:

  • Acting as a hub of information. In this excellent video, Kim Albee, President of Genoo, and Ardath Albee, author of “eMarketing Strategies for the Complex Sale,” discuss some of the ways that a microsite handles “problem to solution” scenarios better than corporate sites. By virtue of its brevity, a landing page can’t as effectively serve as a one-stop-shop hub.
  • SEO links and targeting. As I discussed in Lead Generation Made Easy With Microsites, keyword-rich text and dedicated domain names mean microsites offer advantages when it comes to climbing the search engine rankings.

There are, of course, times when a landing page will fit the bill. But when it comes to a broader or more complex pitch, microsites will generally be a superior solution. Stayed tuned for an upcoming post in which I describe what landing pages and microsites have in common.

In the comments: What are the criteria you use to decide whether a landing page or a microsite is the correct solution for your business?

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Eileen Burick

About Eileen Burick

Eileen Burick and her expert team at Burick Communication Design (BCD) are passionate about combining creative aesthetic, strategic communication skills and cutting edge technologies to accomplish your key business objectives. Whether you’re a CMO or marketing leader who wants to launch a digital makeover, redefine your brand’s value, generate/nurture leads for sales, or make your online marketing more effective with targeted campaigns, BCD can transform your message with WOW-factor to drive results. Follow me on Twitter, Pinterest and LinkedIn

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