• http://www.bazaarvoice.com naja2183

    Hm- really interesting, thanks Scott! I have launched Microsites for SEO reasons before, and this is a great way of explaining the benefit of Microsites for Paid Search segmentation, as well.

  • http://www.search-usability.com/ Shari Thurow

    Hi Scott-

    Microsites must be clearly defined. A microsite for search engine advertising is perfectly understandable and acceptable. But a microsite for SEO reasons? Most microsites for SEO, I believe, are mostly search engine spam due to the low quality of site navigation, content…among other things.

    There is a time and place for SEO microsites.

  • http://www.writersear.com/ mdmcginn

    Tell me again the advantages of putting content “outside the formal framework of your main web site”? That seems to me an admission that visitors shouldn’t look to your main website for your best content. Can’t site owners be persuaded any other way to adopt “agile marketing practices” which in this context means “useful content strategy”? I’ve seen death-by-committee kill landing pages more effectively precisely because they aren’t part of the site’s formal framework. If I had something important to say, I would use my SEO powers on a section that’s off the corporate radar.

  • Scott Brinker

    Thanks for the comments!

    Shari — I can fully appreciate the concern around any technique that has been abused by spammers. But if we let that dissuade us entirely, we would have all abandoned email long ago. The difference between good marketing and spam, in both cases, is something of valuable being delivered to the user (in their eyes!).

    That being said, I’m not an SEO expert, so I won’t claim that microsites built exclusively for SEO are the best possible SEO strategy. However, I have seen microsites for PPC campaigns be incredibly successful. And, since in this search/social age, nothing stays in a silo for long, if you’re going to have a PPC microsite, you might as well have it follow best SEO and SMO practices as well.

    mdmcginn — The reason why landing pages tend to do better outside the framework of the main web site is that a web site structure typically assumes a “general context.” It didn’t matter how the user arrived there, everyone experiences the same, consistent information architecture (IA). That’s a plus when you want to use a web site as a central point of reference.

    But when people are responding to very specific ads, on very specific keywords, you know MUCH MORE about their context — and can therefore tailor the presentation to those circumstances. In doing so, you shouldn’t have to worry about where that context fits in your site’s master IA. It’s in an orbit just outside of the site.

    People do this because, generally speaking, that approach converts much better. And often there is an easy way to link people back into the core web site, once they’ve had the benefit of that context-specific interaction.