When promoting a campaign, when should you develop a microsite vs. a landing page? This simple question has generated many conversations here at Geonetric, especially as we work with clients to promote their wellness campaigns online. And like many questions, the answer is: it depends.
Let’s start by defining microsites. A microsite is a mini website separate from the hospital’s main website. Microsites are typically small sites – with 3-10 pages. What makes them different to a small website is that microsites are usually built to be promotion specific – they focus on a specific topic or target a specific audience. Microsites deviate from the organizational site in terms of design, colors, logos, and messaging.
There are several reasons why you may need to create a microsite:
- You are launching a campaign: Microsites may be created to promote a specific campaign, such as an educational campaign, centennial celebration, or wellness event. The microsite can provide content, design, and calls to action that coordinate with the campaign. Check out National Jewish Health’s microsite created to promote its Family Air Care® Indoor Allergens and Mold Test Kit . The site contains pages of relevant content and clearly directs visitors to order the kit.
- You have multiple facilities: Health systems with many facilities may choose to promote them using microsites. These microsites typically contain similar branding elements as the main website, but can better target the individual facility’s region and dig deeper into its services. Genesis Health System created a microsite for its Mercer County Hospital that contains a similar look as its organizational site.
- You want to target a specific audience or promote a specific brand: Hospitals often offer services that attract an audience that’s different than the organizational website. Perhaps you offer a health facility and want to attract consumers looking for wellness services. Perhaps you have a college of nursing program and want to target students. Or perhaps you have a children’s center that needs a more fun, personable site. The Reginald S. Lourie Center for Infants and Young Children, part of Adventist Healthcare, recently launched a microsite to cater to parents and their children as well as build awareness of its individual brand.
Microsites help you promote a product or service with detailed, relevant content. Because of that focused content, microsites can produce more conversions than the organizational website and may even help with improving organic search rankings for the topic.
Landing pages are typically one-page sites. Like a microsite, they focus on driving visitors to take an action. Landing pages are most often used as part of a temporary inbound marketing campaign where the call to action or offer is the focus on the page. Landing pages typically use: 1) images and a look that coordinates with the inbound marketing effort, 2) very little navigation, and 3) a clear call to action on the page. For a great example, check out Rush-Copley’s breast health SEM campaign. The keyword “mammogram” takes visitors to a landing page that encourages them to schedule an appointment.
When to use microsites vs. landing pages
There isn’t one answer to the question of when to use a microsite vs. a landing page. Many factors help determine the best approach:
- Complexity of the topic
- Internal processes
- Call to action
It really depends on your specific situation. Regardless of the option you select, they both help you provide targeted content that drives visitors to take an action. They are easier to develop than organizational sites, since they aren’t as deep or wide in scope. And using analytics, both mircosites and landing pages allow you to track everything from number of visitors to conversions. So to answer the question, it does depend. But both options will help you successfully promote your services and campaigns.