There’s little debate that search engine optimization (SEO) is critical to the success of your website. However, you may have wondered whether microsites are a useful addition to an SEO strategy, or whether they can replace a website entirely. Let’s take a look at what microsites are and the impact they can have on a website’s SEO.
What is a microsite?
A microsite is a separate website or cluster of websites created for a brand. As the name suggests, they are typically smaller versions of the main website that a brand has, though some are created with the intent of showcasing a specific event or product for a company. It’s important to note that a microsite is not the same thing as a subdomain. The difference between the two is that, as the name suggests, a subdomain is a subfolder created off of your main domain name, making it simply a distinct subsection of your website. A microsite, on the other hand, is a separate, standalone website. While you can brand your microsites the same as your regular website, using the exact same or very similar content is risky, as Google and other search engines will penalize you for duplicate content.
Typically, a subdomain URL will look like “example.yourURL.com,” while a microsite will have a standard URL. So, for example, a medical spa that wants to introduce a subdomain for a blog might structure their URL as blog.fakemedspa.com.
Are microsites good for SEO?
In a word? No. Splintering your website traffic, content, and authority into separate sites makes for a confusing experience for users and search engines alike, and that’s not recommended. The best route to take to avoid impacting your SEO is to keep everything on your main website, however, there are times where you won’t want to do that. While subdomains are a part of your website, search engines do consider them to be separate entities from your main website, so it’s worth carefully considering the structure of your website as you build it.
Here are some examples of good times to utilize a subdomain:
- Creating a test environment of your website to make changes to your code
- Launching a brand or initiative that’s completely separate from your normal brand
- Your Support or Help section of your website
Microsites can’t be used to hack the algorithm either. Creating microsites with the express goal of linking back to your website used to be a popular black hat SEO tactic, but search engines are aware of that tactic. Be sure to stay away from this!
We Can Help
If this seems confusing, that’s because it is! Luckily, our SEO experts have been doing this for over 20 years, and they know a thing or two. If you need help understanding how to approach your website’s SEO strategy, set up your complimentary GROW consultation to get started.