Many companies have multiple product lines and service area locations. This can make managing content on a single website difficult or even impossible when you consider search engine optimization (SEO) goals. This is where microsites come into play.
Microsites are small websites, usually with less than 10 pages, that focus on one specific subject, product or location. They give your organization the opportunity to put a single product or location in the spotlight it deserves. In many cases these locations or products would be buried two, three or four links deep in a larger website, making it difficult for consumers to find them. It also makes it difficult to achieve placement on search engines.
Let’s say that you have a company with multiple locations. For this example, we will look at Toale Brothers, which has multiple locations and different services at each location. From a search engine optimization perspective, it is difficult to put all the locations and service keywords in the right places while keeping the site readable.
For Toale Brothers, we recommended setting up a series of microsites, one for each location, with about 5 to 8 pages each. For example, Toale Brothers Funeral Home & Crematory, Sarasota has a microsite at ToaleBrothersSarasotaFuneralHome.com where we focused efforts on achieving placement for “Sarasota” related searches like “funeral home Sarasota” and “Sarasota crematory.” This makes it easy for consumers in Sarasota to find information about the location closest to them. It also allowed us to focus on the services offered at that location, which eliminates confusion in consumers about what services they can expect there.
Why and When to Use Microsites
In general, you should think of user experience and ease of access when considering SEO micro-sites. Microsites work best when you are using them to focus on a narrow topic, product, brand or location. The goal is to feature that item and bring it to the front page, making it easier for both consumers and search engines to find it. Microsites are also good when different locations have slightly different product and service offerings.
When Not to Use Microsites
If your products and services are the same across each location, like McDonald’s, it is not necessary to build microsites for each location. In that case, creating your Google My Business profile to manage all the location data is a better way to deal with that.
If having multiple websites would cause confusion among consumers and make it difficult to find the information they need, don’t build microsites.
Also, if the only purpose is to get more pages in the organic search results, don’t build microsites. This is actually a violation of the terms of service for all major search engines. They consider it an attempt to manipulate them, and they don’t like it.
If you think your company could benefit from using microsites, or if you need help with your search engine optimization, contact us to see how we can help.