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What is the SEO Value of a Microsite?

     -     Aug 8th, 2018   -     Search Engine Optimization   -     0 Comments

From time to time we work with companies that have microsites that focus on a specific area or niche the company serves. The thinking is that the company’s expertise can be prominently featured and not have to compete for prominence as it does on the main site. For accounting firms, it’s common to have microsites that are industry focused (i.e. real estate, construction, technology) designed to attract prospects within a specific niche and geography. While this approach has proven successful in the past, many marketers are wondering if there is still SEO value to building microsites. The challenges involved in using microsites are various including the cost for initial development, technical maintenance, content update requirements, developing calls to action as well as establishing other methods to drive engagement. This all comes on top of the responsibilities to maintain and grow the company’s main website. To answer this question, we will review several statements made by Google to unravel the mystery. The good news is there is clear direction provided that marketer’s can use to shape their strategies and answer the questions.

What Does Google Recommend?

Since Google accounts for a large percentage of search engine traffic to a company’s website I like to defer to them when dealing with strategy-based questions. This issue was brought up during a recent Google Webmaster Hangout and John Mueller addressed it. The question focused more on keeping content in silo’s, but the answer is applicable to microsites. (See the video at the bottom of this post).

“I assume this is something like creating niche sites or something general… generally like that where you create small websites that are focused on one specific topic.

From my point of view, that’s usually something we recommend against, just because it’s a lot easier for you to maintain things on one website, where things are kind of interconnected on one website. And it’s a lot easier for you to kind of buildup that almost like brand awareness, I guess, with regards to your one website, compared to having like, all of these other different individual websites that are kind of connected to your main website but not really on your main website.

So for the most part, I’d recommend trying to focus on like a smaller number of websites and keeping everything together and kind of tying everything together in a reasonable way so that when users find your content, they can easily kind of move along that path to actually converting into whatever you want them to do, if you want them to buy something or sign up for something. Kind of make that as easy as possible so that when they go back to your content, they know what to find and what to do.”

Other Considerations

Most marketers who are familiar with search engine marketing (SEM) or search engine optimization (SEO) know that high quality content is important. It’s something that is talked about all the time at Google as well as online and in the various marketing communities we are involved in. If a company is going to invest resources to create a microsite and not fill it with high quality and compelling content (different from the main website), its not going to perform. Some companies make the mistake of creating a microsite that has the exact same content as the main site. Knowing that Google prefers custom (another way of saying high quality) content, it’s illogical to believe that simply cutting and pasting content is going to create strong value for the site.

Contact Us

The decision to build a microsite is as much as marketing decision as it is a SEM one. There are clearly times when one is needed that extend beyond digital marketing. However, it’s important for you to be aware of the management challenges and impacts these sites will have on your SEM. If you have questions about the information provided or need assistance with a SEO or SEM issue, FlashPoint Marketing can help. For additional information please call us at 954-621-8080 or click here to contact us. We look forward to speaking with you soon.

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