You’ve probably come across the terms “microsite” and “landing page” a lot, especially if you’ve spent any time considering how to expand your web presence. In the world of marketing, both microsites and landing pages are used for service campaigns and individual product campaigns. The real issue arises when people begin to confuse the two. Though they have a few similarities, microsite vs landing page serve different functions.


To help you make a decision about which is better for your business, we’ve decided to discuss the difference between microsites vs landing pages.

Microsite vs Landing page: Defining the Microsite

What is a Microsite?

Trying to define a microsite is like trying to define a landing page. Everyone has an idea of what it is, but everyone describes it a little bit differently.

Descriptions can range from one line, like this from Contently’s Melissa Lafsky:

“A microsite is a branded content site that lives outside of the company homepage and/or brand URL.”

They can also be whole paragraphs, like this one from Top Rank’s Nicolette Beard:

“For our purposes, microsites refer to a site that is associated with an organization, but is on a separate domain or subdomain and has its own navigation, design and content… It is generally a one- to the three-page site but is not mutually exclusive of a company’s main website. It may be around a specific event or marketing campaign, but a microsite exists to cater to a very specific context, or to very specific ads or keywords where it makes sense to tailor your information to that specific user experience and need.”


From these descriptions, we can gather a few things about microsites:

It sounds like a marketing tactic that we already know, doesn’t it?

Microsite vs Landing Page: Defining the landing page

What is a Landing Page?

A landing page is a hyper-focused page explicitly designed to get users to take action, whether it’s downloading, signing up, purchasing, or some other call-to-action. It’s not attached to the navigation of your website, nor does it have connections that could drive your prospects off the page.


Pros and Cons of Microsites vs Landing Pages

Pros and Cons of Landing Pages

Since landing pages can be hosted on their parent site’s same domain, they are relatively fast and simple to build and are usually appropriate for any budget. There are many ways to build a landing page, but using a plugin is probably the most common and simplest way to do it.

In addition, a landing page’s conversion rate is higher compared to that of a normal web page. That being said, there are some shortcomings with landing pages. They can’t function as an alternative to an actual website as they only cater to a small audience interested in a particular deal.

They often provide only a small amount of knowledge, which may not be appropriate for many users, about a certain product or service.



You can easily recognize and track when visitors perform required actions on your landing page when the information is sent to your analytics tool.


Pros and Cons of Microsites

In cases where you want to advertise a new product or service that should draw a target audience that differs from the main webpage, microsites come in handy.

Certainly, a part of their appeal is their short form. What’s also nice about them is that they are descriptive enough to get the viewer to click and familiarize themselves with the product on any additional pages. In addition to all that, microsites will help to carry more organic traffic to your website.

Compared to landing pages, some of the drawbacks of microsites are that they can be very expensive to manage. This is because, in order to make one, you have to buy extra domain names. In addition, they take more time and effort, in general, to set up.




Microsite vs Landing Page: What’s the Difference?


While both landing pages and microsites can have a positive effect on your brand and your marketing initiatives, it’s important to note that they are both intended for different purposes.

A landing page can help you get conversions, but it’s not going to do much for the credibility of your company, and it’s unlikely to give you a detailed insight into your audience.

A microsite, on the other hand, will provide a lot of useful data and give you new ways to reach your clients, but it probably won’t give you as many conversions as a highly oriented landing page might.

Most companies find that they don’t have to decide whether to use a microsite vs a landing page when they develop their online presence. Instead, they would use a combination of different assets to build a larger and more extensive campaign for their company. You could have both the microsites and landing pages in your toolkit that you use for various techniques during the year.

What Does a Good Microsite Look Like?


Spotify’s Year in Music is an extremely well-produced microsite that serves a very specific purpose and does it extremely stylishly.

microsite vs. landing page tip6.webp

Celebrating the music that has carried us through the year, the interactive microsite is personalized for each user, based on their listening habits.

What does that mean, exactly? Well, the tool makes it easy for you to construct a customized recap that includes information such as your first song played, top artists by season, and how much time you spent listening to all of it. The experience is exclusive to the user, making it enjoyable for them to share and compare their synopsis with friends.

And when it comes to sharing, the microsite makes it so simple. Any stat that the site pulls for you can be posted on social media with a handy button at the bottom right of the page.

What Does a Good Landing Page Look Like?

Muck Rack

microsite vs. landing page tip7.webp

The landing page layout has it all. It is visually attractive and engaging, provides scannable yet descriptive headers on Muck Rack’s services, and uses comments from industry professionals as social proof. Plus, it’s intuitive and easy to access the website.

The cool part of this landing page is that it will cater to all Muck Rack audiences. The top of the page is divided into two, featuring their two respective services side by side. Once a visitor moves his or her mouse over either the “find journalists” or the “build free portfolio” CTAs, a very simple form appears—and this is critical so as not to distract the user from the task at hand.

Choosing Either Microsite vs Landing Page

Despite certain similarities, the functions of a microsite vs landing page are fundamentally distinct. Which is best for your business will depend on what you’re using them for. Below is a landing page vs microsite comparison table that might help you:


How to Turn a Long Landing Page Into a Microsite

Paid Search landing pages, particularly if you use sticky anchor navigation to scroll people up and down to various page parts, can get very long, which is totally fine. There are occasions, however, when having a tiny multi-page site, referred to as a microsite (or mini-site), can provide considerable benefits.

This is not a debate about your website: we’re still talking about building dedicated marketing campaign-specific interactions (which is strictly organic traffic).

If the landing page is a single page with six sections, the microsite will have a homepage and 5 or 6 child pages, each with persistent global navigation to connect the pages.

They are both “landing experiences,” just differently architected. We have found that many landing experiences in higher education are four-page microsites. For any new product campaign, especially those powered by TV advertising, the pharmaceutical industry tends to build microsites.

To create a microsite or a landing page for your next marketing campaign, contact us today!


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About The Author

Waseem Bashir

Waseem Bashir

Founder & CEO of Apexure, Waseem worked in London’s Financial Industry. He has worked on trading floors in BNP Paribas and Trafigura, developing complex business systems. Waseem loves working with Startups and combines data and design to create improved User Experiences.

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