A microsite is a “mini website” with multiple pages and usually some type of navigation bar. The visitor can browse around the site and determine what is content important to them.
A landing page can also have multiple pages (multi-step landing page) but there is generally one or two paths for the visitor to take towards converting. The visitor is guided through the content and pages in the order you decide.
Now that we have a basic understanding of the differences between the two types of sites here are three factors to help determine which is best for you
Does your product or offering need explaining or is it self-explanatory?
If you have a complex product, a microsite may be a better option. The extra pages of a microsite allow you to explain the various details of the product while still making the information optional. It’s there if visitors need it but does not impede the conversion if the visitor doesn’t require additional information.
If a product / offering is self-explanatory or easily explained, a landing page or multi-step landing page could work better. This option is also great if you have content that you want every visitor to see.
It is important to understand how your target audience searches and makes decisions.
Is your call to action (CTA) asking for a large commitment like installing a software demo or a small commitment like viewing a free guide.
Larger commitments generally means that the visitor will want more information before making a decision and will also have higher anxiety in deciding. A microsite can provide the additional information needed in a familiar and professional format of a website.
For a small commitment or very specific CTA, the additional pages of a microsite may be distracting or confusing for the visitor in how to proceed. The clear path of a landing page or multi-step landing page may be better in this situation.
There is not one set answer for using a microsite vs. a landing page and many factors play a part in determining which would be best.
You may have a complex product but your target audience needs to be guided through the process. You may have a CTA with a small commitment but your target audience needs to be in control and determine what is important themselves.
The only way to know for sure whether a microsite or landing page is better, is to test it.
Thank you for taking the time to read, if you have any questions or comments please post below or e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org.