Landing Pages vs. Microsites

Landing Pages vs. Microsites

By Emily Gierlich | Digital Marketing Strategist

 

Your customers and potential customers turn to the internet for answers, and they want them fast. Regardless of whether your business is B2B or B2C, and regardless of whether you seek to drive leads, serve customers, sell products or provide support, success depends on the efficacy of your web presence.

When you deliver readily found, highly relevant and immediately accessible information, users will convert at a high rate. If you don’t, you will lose the fight for customer attention to competing websites that are better, faster and stronger than yours.

The fight goes beyond just getting customers to your site. You can lose even the most qualified leads if you frustrate them with poor navigation; if they can’t find what they need quickly and intuitively, they won’t hang around long.

Very large, information-rich sites can contribute to the problem. A site that exhibits absolutely everything your company offers can be a search engine optimization gold mine, but such robust websites can create the sort of online noise that customers must filter out. Unless funneled to a specific page from a paid campaign or referred directly to you, your customers may not have the patience or capability to hone in on what they seek from your massive site.

You have two alternatives: the microsite and the landing page. Either can trim away info that might be excessive for some users. Properly applied and designed, the microsite or landing page provides a simple channel that connects specific types of users with specific, valuable information that drives conversion.

Consider these examples:

  1. You own chiropractic office with one receptionist and two chiropractors. Exceptional word-of-mouth recommendations bring in patients and a lot of telephone traffic. Your receptionist sometimes falls behind, as potential patients phone in for detailed insurance information or ask about treatments for specific medical conditions. These time-intensive prospective calls come on top of more routine queries from current patients. These patients ask for after-care instructions and booking appointments. The receptionist could handle these high-value calls more efficiently by referring callers to simple URLs (landing pages) or to a pared-down hub of information (a microsite) that answer common questions in detail.
     
  2. You own a growing mortgage lending company. First-time home buyers are a third of your business; they routinely seek preapproval letters and info about mortgage options. Another third of your customers are referred borrowers who request to speak with a loan officer by name. The final third comprises homeowners who want to refinance. Your substantial website hosts plenty of educational content for clients at various steps of the mortgage lending process. The content includes rate updates, amortization calculators, staff contacts and bios, office locations, a blog, a listing of various types of loans, contact forms, application forms, tax info. and more. It’s all great stuff, but maybe too much of a good thing can overwhelm new homebuyers. Separating your content into more digestible pages geared to specific types of mortgage shoppers will reduce the intimidation some borrowers feel. When you make the lead comfortable at your site, that lead stays at your site long enough to convert.


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

A microsite is a miniature website with its own domain. It focuses on a single topic or small number of closely related topics relevant to a defined audience.

A landing page is a standalone web page on your company’s main website. It often does not appear in the main navigation, for purposes of shareability or because you want only specific segments of web traffic to get to it.

In the chiropractor example, the owner might opt for a microsite geared toward aftercare instructions - stretches, back exercises and in-home therapeutics. This site may be as small as five pages, each with detailed information on how the aftercare regimen assists the patient’s overall recovery. Each page of the microsite could contain an online form for scheduling a follow-up appointment, a link to an FAQ, and a phone number to call if the FAQ isn’t enough. This model cuts down on incoming calls for the receptionist and ensures cyclical scheduling and well-informed patients. The business could create a single landing page with a bulleted list of accepted insurance vendors along with their visit limits, dollar limits and referral requirements, to save time and hassle if the practice does not have medical coding software that can quickly cross-reference.


What Are the Benefits of a Microsite?

Microsites can:
  • Drive more in-market traffic with granular information and simple URL structure. In the mortgage example, the lenders may build a microsite along the lines of mortgage.com/1st-time-homebuyer, made to serve clients who have never opened a mortgage and are shopping for their very first house.
  • Retain users on your site. First-time homebuyers will click around the microsite confident that all the information serves them specifically, from application to closing. The bounce rate will be low, because clients won’t need to look anywhere else for what they need.
  • Provide continuity that drives leads. Since microsites are small - usually between five and 10 pages - the customer’s journey is easy. For example: Chiropractic patients looking for follow-up care on a lower back adjustment can find an informational PDF, an anatomical diagram, and physical fitness resources all within three pages, all with clickable phone numbers, scheduling forms or other calls-to-action at their fingertips.

On the office side, employees must be able to navigate easily between the main website and the microsite, to update and exchange content. The Titan CMS admin interface lets employees quickly navigate between each site from the back end, which reduces drudge work, increases productivity and assures consistency of your brand on both sites.

Titan CMS allows reuse of vital content, such as your contact information, location, directions, and scheduling forms, across multiple pages. You can create content for one page and share it anywhere on your microsite with a single click. Editing the original write-up automatically updates the information anywhere it was shared on the site. This is a time saver for businesses such as the mortgage lender, which often must update mortgage rates on pages across the site.

Such actionable items as registration forms, search boxes and FAQs are ready to use in Titan CMS out of the box. Titan CMS also comes with a running list of standard content blocks for dropping into your microsite content to fit specific client needs.

Is a microsite too comprehensive for your business objectives? Try a landing page instead.


What Are the Benefits of a Landing Page?

Landing pages can:

  • Accomplish a single goal.  A landing page should serve as a one-stop shop for completing a lead form, downloading a file or making a purchase. The mortgage company would create a landing page that contains a chart of refinance rates based on credit score and neighborhood, linked from a paid ad for homeowners in the consideration phase.
  • Be built quickly. The Titan CMS platform can be developed for specific company goals. The busy receptionist at the chiropractic office can set up a page between appointments, simply by entering the needed content . Titan CMS has a simple dropdown list containing all available layout options. It’s just a matter of choosing how you want your pages to look.
  • Convert at a higher rate. Because the content on a landing page is focused on a particular audience or action, conversions on these pages tend to be rapid. Landing pages are perfect for promotions and special offers, and can be hidden, reused, or deactivated quickly without taking up real estate on your main website. For example, the chiropractor could prepare a $50 Discount landing page for a patient’s referral of a friend. 

Following landing page best practices can also ensure your visitors get the information they need and convert at the same time.

Whether a microsite or landing page fits your business best, we can help your company design, build and easily edit your selection. Titan CMS can help you manage content that converts. Titan CMS lets you add and remove elements easily, and it readily supports SEO best practices, so your microsite or landing page shows up where and when you and your customers need it to show up.

Ready to learn more? Have a concept for a microsite or landing page but don’t know where to begin? Schedule a demo or contact us to learn what Titan CMS can do for you!

 

 
 
Originally Published: Thu, January 07, 2021