Microsite SEO Strategies

Ken Gaebler headshot

If you’ve managed to get your site into the top of the search engine results for the key phrases you’ve targeted, congratulations.

But this is no time to rest on your laurels.

Beyond simply getting your main site to the top of the search engine results, you may want to consider implementing a microsite strategy.

A microsite strategy involves creating additional sites to promote whatever it is that you are selling.

If executed correctly, you can end up having multiple sites that promote your offerings in the top search engine results.

The microsites you create must be very different from your main site and very different from each other. If the content is identical, Google, Yahoo and Bing will discount the value of the microsites.

The microsites also need to create value in their own right. In other words, they might take a topic on your main site that you cover in two pages and expand the coverage on that topic to 50 pages.

For example, let’s say you own a law firm that specializes in employment law, intellectual property and real estate transactions. You’ve gotten the law firm web site to rank well in the search engines. So how would you go about doing even better by implementing a microsite SEO strategy?

You might, for example, create a microsite dedicated to the nuances of employment law. It could contain more detail on specific case types. If you execute everything correctly, your main site might end up #1 in the search results for a phrase like “Employment Law Experts” and your microsite might end up being #2 for that same phrase.

In this way, you can block your competitors out of the top of the search results. You can double your exposure to prospects because you’ve now got two sites selling for you, not just one. It’s like going from having only one salesperson to having two sales people.

You probably have a few questions: Why not just add the new content to my main site? Can I get penalized by Google for doing this? How much does it cost to build a microsite? Should I link from my main site to the microsite? Is it better to have a blog or a microsite?

I’ve got answers for all your questions. Just post a comment below and I’ll respond. Also, if you have experience executing a microsite strategy and would be willing to share what worked well and what didn’t work, I’d appreciate it if you’d leave a comment below.

The bottomline on microsites? They can be a great way to expand your marketing presence on the web. At Walker Sands, we’ve worked with many clients to create niche microsites and it has been a very effective strategy for our clients.

— Note from Ken, the author, on August 17, 2010

Somebody emailed me asking for microsite examples. For those of you contemplating a microsite strategy who might need a specific example, here’s a geographically focused microsite: STD Testing Chicago. A microsite in the same family is: STD Testing Dallas. Each site is about five pages. Microsites make sense and are completely legitimate in this case because the company has a local presence in many markets and people shop and buy with local in mind.

Over time, the site owners can grow the content and get more inbound links. They’ll have to do that to stay competitive. Again, just to reiterate, microsites are not a cure-all by any means. Having keyphrases in the domain helps a ton because it conveys meaningful information to the search engines. But there’s still a lot of work to be done that goes beyond just acquiring those domains.


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