A microsite is NOT a landing page. Microsites are not designed to “cheat the search engine” system, or overload a simple page with keywords to get “Google Traffic.”
A microsite is a highly targeted website designed to deliver targeted messgaes to a very select group of consumers.
BROADCASTING – things like television, radio and newspapers scream your message to thousands of people at a time hoping a few of those people are interested in your pitch.
Microsites are NARROWCASTING or targeting a very specific message to a very specific, targeted group.
By building a network of microsites to suppliment your main online presence, you can target a variety of products or services to a variety of select groups.
WIKIPEDIA says Microsites are:
A microsite, also known as a landing page, minisite or weblet, is an Internet web design term referring to an individual web page or cluster of pages which are meant to function as an auxiliary supplement to a primary website. The microsite’s main landing page most likely has its own domain name or subdomain.This is also known as niche marketing.
They are typically used to add a specialized group of information either editorial or commercial. Such sites may be linked in to a main site or not or taken completely off a site’s server when the site is used for a temporary purpose. The main distinction of a microsite versus its parent site is its purpose and specific cohesiveness as compared to the microsite’s broader overall parent website.
Microsites used for editorial purposes may be a page or group of pages that, for example, might contain information about a holiday, an event or similar item which gives more detailed information than a site’s general content area may provide. A community organization may have its main site with all of the organization’s basic information, but creates a separate, temporary microsite to inform about a particular activity, event or similar.
Often, microsites will be used for editorial purposes by a commercial business to add editorial value. For example, a retailer of party goods may create a microsite with editorial content about the history of Halloween or some other holiday or event. The commercial purpose of such editorial microsites, (beyond driving product sales), may include adding value to the site’s visitors for branding purposes as well as providing editorial content and keywords allowing for greater chances of search engine inclusion. Normally, microsites do not contain web applications.
Microsites may be used for purely commercial purposes to create in-depth information about a particular product, service or as editorial support towards a specific product, such as describing a new technology. A car manufacturer, for example, may present a new hybrid vehicle and support the sales presentation with a microsite specific to explaining hybrid technology.
With the prevalence of keyword contextual advertising, (more commonly referred to as Pay per click or PPC), microsites may be created specifically to carry such contextual advertising. Or along a similar tactic, they’re created in order to specifically carry topic-specific, keyword-rich content with the goal of having search engines rank them highly when search engine users seek such content topics.
An additional benefit of a microsite is that it can lower your PPC cost because the microsite can focus on specific keywords improving your Quality Score therefore lowering your cost per click.