Does Microsite Hosting Differ From Regular Web Hosting?

As the world becomes increasingly digital, it seems like we all default to our computers, phones, or tablets for information about anything and everything. And while it would be cool to have a website that has all of the information anyone could ever need to know about your company on, it would be an overwhelming experience that would wreak havoc on your engagement numbers. 

That’s where a microsite comes in, making it possible for you to expand your reach and share information with the right people without overhauling your website. Plus, hosting a microsite can be just as easy as hosting a traditional webpage, if not easier. In this article, we’ll describe the differences between microsite hosting and traditional web hosting. 

What’s the difference between a microsite and a website?

From a user perspective, microsites may not seem all that different from a website. However, the two are used strategically in different ways. Knowing the core differences between the two will help you make the right decision about which to use for content sharing and creation. 

First, microsites and websites vary in scope. Websites work more like fishing nets, while microsites are more like fishing poles. Both are looking to catch a bite, but one involves a more specific target. 

Because a website is looking to cast a wide net, it typically includes plenty of subpages and information that offer a base-level introduction to the most fundamental needs of any given stakeholder. This might include things like an about subpage, your inventory, a breakdown of your services, contact information, and testimonials.

A microsite, on the other hand, has a targeted audience with a plan of specific actions or experiences it wants that audience to experience. The information here may be narrowed to a specific purpose and it may feature less of the extra “fluff” the main website might have. The goal is to keep users highly engaged by helping them get to the point quickly. 

From a back-end perspective, though, they tend to run the same way. 

Is microsite hosting different from web hosting?

It all depends on your domain and provider

Depending on how you want to do it, there may be additional steps for hosting your microsite. This starts with how you want to set up its domain and the provider you’re using to host it.

If your microsite is a subdomain of an existing website that you own, you can generally avoid setting up additional web hosting for it. Most providers will include this in the price of your primary domain. 

Using a subdomain of an existing website makes sense in a lot of microsite use cases, especially if you want to keep the content as a focused offshoot of your website. This is a great strategy for things like sales pitches, recruitment, or learning and development initiatives. It keeps your microsite closely tied to your main webpage, and makes remembering the URL more intuitive for users. 

However, if you want your microsite to be an immersive content experience, highly customized proposal, or temporary campaign, you may want a unique domain. In this case, you may need to pay additional hosting fees or find a new domain provider. This can be a challenge for some, especially those who want to leverage the use of microsites on a continued basis. 

Shopping for a domain provider can be as difficult as shopping for the perfect pair of jeans. They all may seem vaguely alike, but the fit is just always slightly different. Plus, the difference in prices can be shocking. 

Getting around fees may lead you to use a free domain hosting service, though it’s important to know that these services are often free because they make up for lost costs with ads and promoted content, which may distract from the immersive experience you are looking to create. 

The best option for these purposes, especially if you’re looking to make the most value out of continued microsite strategies, is to use a microsite builder that allows you to create an unlimited number of microsites. It involves virtually no risk, no ads, and allows you to be as creative or consistent in your microsite content as you like. Plus, there’s no coding involved. 

Microsite hosting is very similar to regular web hosting

Microsite hosting is as simple as typical web hosting. It involves all of the same mechanical aspects of a traditional website but may vary in the design process and content creation. 

Before you begin creating or looking into hosting your microsite, map out what you want the site to accomplish and who will be using it. This will help you make decisions about your URL, design, and content. Ask yourself:

  • Who will be using the microsite, and what for? 
  • Will it serve the purpose of my microsite well if it is closely connected to my main webpage, or should this be a unique experience for users? 
  • Is there a specific theme, brand, slogan, or concept I want to reflect in the URL?

Like traditional website hosting, you’ll begin the process by registering a domain. According to Google’s general guidelines for web development, the best practice is to stick with something simple. Your URL should: 

  • Be descriptive and simple
  • Use specific keywords connected to the content
  • Be easy to read, without long number chains or unreadable letter combinations
  • Stick to hyphens rather than underscores, as they’re easier to see in a URL box

There are plenty of domain registrars to choose from. When choosing one, find one with reasonable costs, weighing in domain extensions. You’ll also want them to be reliable and transparent with their policies. Also, look at what additional services they offer. This legwork will save you some headaches later.

With a domain ready to go, you can start building your microsite according to your goals. Like traditional webpages, microsites require some maintenance depending on what they are being used for. Temporary microsites should be removed when the initiative they are attached to is over, and information on your microsite should be kept current if you plan on leaving it up for longer. 

Figuring out a good hosting provider

The easiest way to create your microsite is by using the same hosting provider as your primary website. This will streamline the process of being consistent with your brand guidelines and keeping the two web pages closely linked. 

If microsites are a communication tool you see yourself using frequently, finding a hosting provider that can meet your ongoing needs is worthwhile 

The right hosting providers should make the process simple and offer robust services. Look for a service provider that is reliable and has consistent uptime. Some budget options may be tempting, but they may also cost you frequent downtime.

You should assume that at some point you’ll run into some problems. Being prepared means picking a hosting provider with customer service options that are easily accessible. Again, skimping out here may cost you in the long run, especially if you don’t have a dedicated web development team. 

Oftentimes, people begin services without realizing that certain features need to be specifically sought out, or they risk setting their projects back. Here are some features to keep an eye out for:

  • Unlimited storage for content
  • A good bandwidth  
  • Security features
  • Analytics tools 

Finally, make sure your hosting provider makes maintaining your microsite easy and user-friendly. Look for testimonials and reviews whenever possible, as these will give you the best picture of who is using the hosting service for different reasons. 

Microsite platforms can offer hosting services

Consulting fees or hiring new staff to create microsites can significantly add to a project budget. So, if you’re looking for a more “DIY friendly” approach, a microsite platform may be the way to go. Many of the microsite builders out there also offer hosting services.

These services offer a one-stop shop for hosting, design, analytics, and security. Like web hosting providers, though, these services are not all the same. 

Choosing the right one should incorporate all of the necessary pieces for robust microsite development: unlimited storage, advanced security features, customer support, and guaranteed performance. Your microsite builder should also be easy to use from a development standpoint, too. 

If you want to give everyone on your team access to collaborating on a microsite, opting for an intuitive platform is the best way to go. Look for services that offer sleek drag-and-drop design platforms, easy-to-read analytics, and premade templates. 

Zoomforth will host your microsite for you as part of our package

Many microsite builders offer hosting as an additional feature. However, this additional feature comes with additional costs, too. What if there was a microsite builder that offered to host as a default, too? There is, and its name is Zoomforth!

Microsite hosting is easier than ever with Zoomforth. It makes it possible for you to create as many microsites as you’d like in one spot, with easy-to-use features. Plus, if you ever run into a problem, our team is here to help 24/7. There are also plenty of microsite resources to use for self-learners. 

Interested in hosting your microsites with us? Try out a demo with Zoomforth today!

Ask Yourself These 5 Questions Before Creating a Microsite

Looking to create a content experience that elevates your communication and marketing strategies but you aren’t sure where to start? A microsite could be the answer! Creating a microsite is the perfect way to create highly specialized, immersive content that helps you target a niche audience. 

Microsites are becoming the new trend for companies, so there isn’t a lot to go on when it comes to microsite strategy. Zoomforth is the expert in this domain (pun intended), and these five guiding questions will help you start designing a microsite in no time.  

5 questions to ask when creating your microsite

What is the purpose of your microsite?

The first thing you have to figure out is why you’re creating a microsite in the first place. Understanding this is the core of all decision-making you’ll make going forward. Think of it as planning backward. By starting with the action items or results you want to see from your users, you can fine-tune the content experience you are creating on your microsite. 

While all microsites should strive to be highly engaging and information-rich, the way you deliver those experiences will vary depending on your goals. It will affect the branding content you choose to incorporate into your design and help you determine which CTA’s are most effective. 

There are plenty of use cases for a microsite, but here are a few ideas.

Create compelling sales proposals that highlight your products and services. A microsite puts your proposal center of its design, immediately moving users to access key information. The proposal uses space and contrast to make information easy to navigate. All CTAs are simple but directive, helping users move from one part of the proposal to the next.

An onboarding microsite strikes the right balance between information-rich and welcoming. Featuring a welcome video instantly gives new hires something to interact with. An easy-to-navigate and clearly labeled top menu directs users to the information they need to find. Keeping information on one page makes it easy for employees to find information no matter where their eyes, or fingers, wander. 

How about a learning and development initiative? Offering growth opportunities to your staff can feel overwhelming, but information overload is easily avoided with a microsite. It corrals informational videos in one spot and uses brightly colored buttons to help direct users to the content they need. Less relevant information, like testimonials and course reviews, is left at the bottom of the page to keep attention focused on what matters most. 

Who is the target audience for your microsite?

One of the greatest advantages of using a microsite is the ability to create highly targeted material. Microsites offer a unique opportunity to create immersive web experiences that cater to a single audience. Though you may be targeting the same behavior for a range of audiences, some delivery methods will work better for certain audiences than others. 

Age can impact aesthetic preferences, tone, and linked features. While you should generally strive to cast a wide net, if you know your microsites audience is largely one age demographic over another, being intentional about what elements of design you include doesn’t hurt! Here are some tips for designers who want to keep age in mind

  • Facebook is the more popular linked social media platform for older users, while Instagram and Twitter cater to younger demographics.
  • Video-based content is popular across all age groups.
  • Niche language and jargon might keep specialized audiences engaged, but it can isolate others if you are looking to create a more general, user-friendly microsite. 

Understanding your audience’s role can help pinpoint interests, as different stakeholders may value certain features over others. IT staff may appreciate more cut-and-dry graphics and statistics, while a buying team may seek out testimonials and value propositions. If your microsite is for a general team, keep the commonly sought information at the focus with clearly linked subpages that are easily accessible.

Knowing whether your microsite is for experts or beginners is the perfect way to tailor the experience you create on your microsite. Incorporating information-rich learning material that is relevant to users is the difference between providing what’s needed to move someone to action and not. Use videos, infographics, or incorporate polls to keep users of all levels of expertise engaged. 

What key analytics would you like to evaluate?

You’ll need to identify specific metrics to gauge how successful your microsite ends up being. That’s why it’s important to figure out the analytics you’d like to evaluate as key performance indicators of the microsite’s success. Plus, you can keep these analytics in mind when you start designing.

In part, this goes back to identifying the purpose of creating your microsite. Analytics are data points that tell you about what action your target audience is taking while on your microsite. An action-oriented goal that seeks to increase sales or gather information will need different analytic measures than a microsite that strives to be an immersive content experience. 

Luckily, the right microsite builder returns micro and macro level analytics so that you have insight into: 

  • Who is accessing your microsite and when
  • What content was most engaged with, and how long users engaged with it
  • What documents were downloaded
  • Who the microsite was shared with

What kinds of content would be relevant for the microsite?

Narrowing your content is the best way to keep content focused and user-specific. It’s best to have a wealth of content to pull from when designing your microsite, but you’re only going to use the content that achieves your goals.

Start with core content. The information or experiences that users will be most interested in should be the focus of your microsite. From there, identifying potential gaps in understanding, experience, or expertise will help you determine what supplemental information and content are necessary. Organizing this content in a way that is navigable but still accessible is essential to making it useful. 

One helpful way to identify what content fits in where is to consider a visual hierarchy. This approach revolves around the idea that not all content is read or engaged with equitably. Users may read, skim, or ignore the information presented to them, so prioritizing which information is most deserving of each action can help you determine how to structure content or repackage it to be more consumable. 

There are user design principles that specifically address people’s behavior while reading. These behaviors are broken down into reading patterns that serve different purposes and address different reader goals:

  • The “Z Pattern” is optimal for minimal content and scannability. It typically targets a specific CTA. 
  • “Layer-Cake Pattern” uses structured and predictable formatting so that users can easily skim headings for relevant information.
  • If you have dedicated readers who are looking for dense, information-rich content, the “Commitment Pattern” may be for you! 

How will you host your microsite? 

Unlike traditional landing pages, a microsite serves as a highly specialized and targeted webpage. With that in mind, making it accessible to your target audience is crucial in ensuring you see a return on your invested time and careful planning. 

You may choose to host your microsite on the same domain as your company’s main website or opt for a specialized domain through a microsite platform. Creating a specialized domain clues your user in on what they can expect from their experience.  

Questions to ask after you roll out your microsite

What content worked and what flopped?

Microsites are incredibly malleable, and robust analytics allow you to make the most of the different features and content you choose to include. Conducting a careful audit of analytics after your microsite launches allows you to eliminate the guesswork involved in improving or revisiting content. 

Plus, meaningful and easy-to-use analytic tools allow anyone on your team to make sense of the information they have. That way, improvement is a collaborative effort that everyone gets to participate in, whether they identify as “web experts” or not. 

What do you want to keep?

Microsites are notoriously used for immersive content experiences. While the purpose they serve may be to create content that temporarily bumps engagement or recognition, you may be surprised by the numbers they return! 

Embracing strategies, branding, or content that works with your permanent marketing strategies is just one of the added benefits of creating targeted microsites. Be sure to determine if your microsite content has facilitated a connection with untapped markets, as you may deem it worthwhile to build on similar content! 

Your questions can be answered at Zoomforth

Emmert Wolf once said, “an artist is only as good as his tools.” This saying holds especially true when it comes to microsite design! Using the right platform to help you roll out well-crafted microsites makes all the difference. 

Zoomforth’s intuitive drag-and-drop design platform makes it possible for anyone to build a microsite, coder or not. Plus, advanced and easy-to-use analytic features show you the return on your investment without the guesswork. Our experts are available 24/7 to help you make the most of our features and our website is chock full of resources for the self-directed learners on your team. 

Ready to see what building a microsite with a leading microsite building platform is like? Sign up for a demo today

Microsite vs. Website: What’s the Difference?

Your company needs a website. A website is the heart and soul of your business, offering your general audience everything they need to know about your company. However, you may have heard the advantages of having a microsite. It’s become a recent trend for businesses to craft content experiences for their users in a fresh way.

A microsite is not a website, though. The two are distinct, and they should not be used interchangeably. If you’re new to microsites and are confused about the difference between the two, read on! We’ll discuss the differences between the two and what specific advantages a microsite offers.

Differences between microsites and websites

Microsites and websites share a lot of common features. On a technical level, they work the same way. Both microsites and websites operate through specific domains that move users from one webpage to another. 

Ideally, both should be regularly maintained and updated, though microsites may require less of this depending on what they are being used for or if they are temporary. 

There are some key differences between the two, though. Websites and microsites have different purposes and attributes that make them better suited for different things.

Websites are your primary online presence

A website generally serves as your business’s primary source of information. It’s the one-stop shop a user visits when searching for general information regarding a business or brand. Your company’s website is permanent and frequently visited, and the domain is specific to your organization’s name or brand, making it easier for users to remember and find.

The main website establishes a general relationship with your user. They should be able to find information that would be useful for anyone, including details about products and services, your organization’s history, and contact information. Think of your main web page as the “first date” your user has with your web presence: it should keep things simple and light, offering a general idea about who you are. 

A microsite, on the other hand, is more like the fourth date. 

Your microsite is an extension of your web presence. It’s targeted, loaded with CTA’s, and highlights lesser known or more specific aspects of your business. They’re generally created with a hyper-specific purpose in mind, so the content on a microsite is less general than on your main webpage. They may also forego some of the more general subpages featured on the main landing page.

Microsites are geared toward a specific audience

Because your website serves as a catch-all, it’ll be geared towards a larger audience. While you may have a specific market in mind, the content should be accessible for a wide reach to help you expand your audience. That means that copy should generally avoid being jargon-heavy and media may appeal to a broad collection of users. 

While the main webpage can establish a relationship with users, its generality may keep them at arm’s length. If you’re looking to appeal to hyper-specific parts of your market, microsites allow you to extend your web presence with content that is created just for them. 

A narrower audience is the perfect opportunity to tailor information and content, which serves to benefit everyone involved. It makes information that is relevant far more accessible, which can significantly impact engagement, not to mention profits. 

A survey of four million respondents found that challenges in accessing needed content could cost businesses as much as $21.3 billion. Creating content for the right audiences with information that is easily accessible is a critical part of building strong marketing strategies. That’s where microsites shine.

Microsites are smaller and can be temporary

Because of their importance, websites are meant to be a permanent footprint of your business. The amount of work and design that goes into developing the main webpage can also be extensive. 

You want to keep your website as robust as possible so that it serves a range of purposes for those visiting and seeking information. Branding, content, and outreach strategies may be more consistent with your existing campaigns to create a continuous experience for your users. 

Microsites, as the name suggests, are smaller. As we’ve said, they hyper-focus on specific content for a specific audience. This means that loads of information-rich content is condensed down to a few subpages at most. This is a lot less to keep track of, making it easy to maintain and update.

Because of the ease of managing a microsite, it’s simple to fully revamp content depending on how things are working. A microsite can be as temporary as you want it to be, especially if it’s attached to a short-term campaign or seasonal event. This doesn’t mean you need to throw everything away, though. You can handpick the content that worked best and repurpose it for your website.

Advantages of a microsite not offered by a website

Excellent targeting opportunities

Targeted content is a highly effective way to engage your audience and reach new market segments. Research suggests that well-targeted content increases a consumer’s likelihood to take action and can even change your audience’s perception of your brand. 

Targeted marketing campaigns can be risky and expensive. Though these campaigns do generate analytics, they can be difficult to adjust and change after they’ve been implemented. This shouldn’t discourage you from leveraging the potential of targeted marketing or communication strategies, though. 

Microsites are a cost-effective and flexible opportunity for you to make the most of targeted content. 

With the right microsite builder, creating a targeted content experience is easy to do. If you pick the right tool, you won’t even need to involve a web design “expert.” At Zoomforth, we believe that everyone should have the capability to design robust microsites. Best of all, there’s no pressure to get it perfectly right on the first go because microsites are easy to edit and rework so that you always see a return on what you invest. 

Creating a tailored content experience is not as difficult as it seems from a design standpoint, either. It just takes a little bit of planning and consideration of the audience you are hoping to reach. 

Start by thinking of the general audience that you are reaching. Depending on what your microsite is being used for, this may already be a very focused group of people (for example, a procurement team). Even though you’d like maximum engagement, consider those who may be interacting with your microsite at a surface level. 

This could be a sector of the market you are hoping to expand into, team members with specific concerns, or users who are least likely to move through all of your CTA’s. Here are some helpful questions to ask yourself as you break down your target audience:

  • What are some of the key demographics that will affect the way a user engages with your microsite? Age? Gender? Income? Level of education? 
  • What role or responsibilities does this target hold? What is their main concern and what content is most relevant to them? 
  • Which action items are most important for this person to move towards? 
  • What niche interests or values does my target audience become involved with?

Some, of course, are more relevant for specific tactics than others. A narrow audience creates a narrowed focus, which means you can roll out the most technical, targeted, and punchy content geared towards generating action. 

Less risk for experimentation

Looking for the opportunity to try new marketing strategies or use an updated sales approach? 

Microsites are the perfect place to experiment with your web content and communication tactics. Because these web pages are extensions of your existing web pages, there is less need to remain consistent with existing branding

Unlike websites, microsites have targeted, temporary purposes. The content featured here may not be relevant to everyone or permanently available. Creating web content for these purposes can be challenging on the main webpage because it can involve a lot of time building and breaking down what already exists on your website. 

Microsites are more forgiving. They typically have a temporary nature and there’s less content to sift through and adjust. This makes it easy to roll out content and information-rich experiences to your audience without totally straying from an established approach. If something doesn’t work, it’s easy to adjust it or scrap it and start again.

Easier to gauge the user journey

A website has lots of different content, and it can be difficult to monitor the user’s journey through your website past a surface level. Websites primarily focus on SEO so they can be the first thing a searcher sees. While the main page also offers analytics features, the nature of a microsite makes it possible for you to have access to valuable, granular-level data.

Understanding what, how, and when users engage with different content allows you to make the most out of what you create and pivot when engagement is low. Leveraging analytics is a core part of any targeted marketing strategy. Long gone are the days of depending on agencies to report back analytics, especially when using Zoomforth. 

Zoomforth’s advanced analytics not only offer the micro and macro level data you need to know, but it also keeps you in the loop about user engagement in real time. Understanding the efficacy of your targeted communication strategies has never been easier and less involved.  

Why choose microsite vs. website? Use a microsite platform like Zoomforth

You need to have a website, no question. A website is the heart of your company online. If you pick the right platform, though, you don’t need to choose. You can start implementing microsites and expand your marketing efforts more and more.

Zoomforth allows you to leverage the craft, features, and robust experience of the main webpage on a microsite. Coupling content-rich experiences with targeted information will allow you to develop a unique extension of your brand’s web presence. 

There’s no need to worry about the complication of web development, either. The drag-and-drop design platform is easy enough for any on your team to use, with no coding required! 

Make the most of your strategic web presence with Zoomforth

7 Microsite Best Practices to Make Yours More Effective

Odds are, you’re looking for a way to level up your communication strategies or create an immersive content experience. By a stroke of luck (or at the hand of recommendations, case studies, and trending business practices) you’ve come to discover the potential of microsites. 

Everything you’ve heard is true! Microsites are the perfect way to create niche, information-rich websites for targeted users. They’re easy to create and deploy with just a little bit of planning and some creativity. Here are some practices you can put into action to start seeing a return on your investment in no time. 

Microsite best practices for your next project

Focus your microsite objective

A microsite can be a powerful tool to leverage. 

With the right focus, it can help you target certain communication needs and return specific analytics to help you direct future communication strategies. With that in mind, keeping your microsite as concentrated as possible can help you make the most of your next project. 

The easiest way to accomplish this is by beginning with a narrowed objective.

Before you get into the weeds of creation, start by asking yourself some guiding questions to help you understand what direction each element should take. 

  • What is the purpose of this microsite? 
  • What action should it move my users to? 
  • What pain point or gap in communication does it seek to address? 
  • Who is my target user, and what do they want to see?

Once these questions are answered, you can begin to consider what content, interactive elements, and calls to action (CTAs) you want to be the focus of your microsite. This hits a combination of making your microsite more user-friendly and making the most of what your analytics has to offer.

Your objective affects every step down in your microsite design. Therefore, it’s something that should be carefully considered by your team before any other action is taken. 

Create a custom digital content experience

Once you’ve decided what you want your microsite to do, you can map out how you want to do it. This is where creating a pool of robust content comes into play.

Content is key here, especially when it comes to creating a memorable and productive user experience. Because your objective is narrowed, your content should be, too. Consider the information that you want your users to walk away with. This should be the focal point of your microsite. 

When it comes to crafting microsites with content that packs a punch, less is indeed more. Other information or experiences may stem from the focus of what is being shared, but try to keep things on a need-to-include basis. This focuses user attention where it needs to be, helps you with design, and makes the site more navigation friendly. 

With that in mind, microsites also offer flexibility in ways of presenting content, which is a fresh way to keep folks engaged—it certainly beats an email that won’t be read!

Think about how you can make content more digestible for users by using images, graphs, videos, or audio recordings when appropriate. Zoomforth makes it super simple to include these elements with a drag-and-drop facility and media library with unlimited storage. 

Craft your design around your content

Now that you have the meat and bones of your microsite, it’s time to put it all together. Microsite design is a tad different than general website design. Because they’re hyper-focused and target a rich user experience, your design strategy will revolve around a niche experience. 

It should maximize engagement with content while keeping users’ needs in mind. Unlike other webpages, your microsite visitors are seeking out specific information, so your design should revolve around the content they’ll most engage with. Some basic principles will help you design a microsite with content and users in mind. 

First, make your design simple. Avoid extraneous elements and overly complicated layouts. This can be distracting to users or make sites more difficult to navigate. This means making use of white space and readable fonts. 

Second, make your design clear. Use intuitive layouts and easy-to-see navigation tools to help direct users from one part of your site to another. This also means making use of reading patterns to make content easier to read.

Third, make your design consistent. Use design elements or principles that users are familiar with. This means things like keeping your subpages on the left or top of the screen, positioning your search bar in the top right corner, and putting contact information at the bottom of the page.

Last, make your design structured. Use a clear hierarchy of information as you design your microsite, making what is most important immediately visible and arranging the remaining information from there. 

Designing your microsite doesn’t have to be an arduous, technical process. If you’re worried about how to get started, here’s some inspiration

Appeal to visitors through the senses

You know the old saying “don’t judge a book by its cover?” That might apply when you’re scrolling through a dating app, but it doesn’t apply here. 

Microsites should be useful, but also aesthetically pleasing. Plus, unlike other delivery methods, you don’t have to sacrifice style in favor of utility. A beautifully designed microsite enhances user experiences and impacts their behavior! 

Research proves what we probably already know: aesthetics can have a significant impact on our preferences. We naturally correlate good design with high-value products. 

There are a couple of ways that you can capitalize on aesthetics to create the perfect microsite. Use color, space, multimedia (audio and visual), size, and font to help you create a captivating content experience. 

Some pillars to focus on as you piece together different aesthetic elements include: 

  • Ensuring elements on your microsite belong together and harmonize
  • Using space intentionally to cut the clutter and break information up
  • Balancing elements together to create symmetry
  • Emphasizing content by juxtaposing its style against other visual elements 

Ensure universal accessibility

A microsite is only useful if it’s accessible. Accessibility is vital for web design because:

  • One in four adults in the United States has a disability.
  • Nearly 5% of the population has a serious vision impairment.
  • 10% of the population has a cognitive disability.
  • The deaf or hard of hearing community makes up 6% of our population. 

It’s incredibly important that microsites are designed with everyone in mind. Being mindful about how users of all abilities can access information isn’t just equitable: it’s ultimately good business practice. Losing out on segments of a valuable market can be easily avoided by practicing universal design. 

Use legible fonts with adjustable sizing and boldface. Use alt tags with images for visually impaired users using screen readers. Also, use descriptive anchors and button text so screen readers can lead users to your CTAs. Be mindful of color use; the most common colorblindness is red/green, so avoid layering elements of those colors on top of each other. Transcribe videos and create options to engage with content by watching, reading, or listening. 

Breakdown those data analytics

Make the most of what analytics have to offer by understanding your user’s experience in depth. 

You should have a set of analytics that represent your key performance indicators (KPIs). When analytics are geared towards microsite elements that target specific goals, you can fine-tune your approach. Granular level data analytics on a focused microsite pinpoints specific features and content, so that you can pivot when you need to. 

This is the best way for you to gain an understanding of your users’ sessions, including engagement time and click-through rate. It points you to parts of your microsite that are least engaging so that you can continue to improve your microsite. It allows you to ensure ROI and keeps your user’s experience current with their needs and interests.

Check through a quality assurance checklist

Ensure that your microsites are up to your standards by creating and using a quality assurance checklist. 

It can help everyone on your team feel confident that they are producing microsites that are well crafted, even if they aren’t web developers by trade (who knows, you may have some hidden talent!). 

Zoomforth has created a quality assurance checklist you can use as you develop the perfect microsite. We’ve covered everything on there, but here are some important tips to keep in mind as you polish your microsite: 

  • Make sure all links, buttons, and CTAs work properly by clicking through them 
  • In case you may be using your microsite as a template or adding more content to it later, try to design with scalability in mind. Use tiles that are easy to reformat for more text and pad your design with extra space for additions. 
  • Ensure that your microsite includes all of your most current branding efforts, including links to social media pages. 

Zoomforth makes it easy for you to see what your microsite will look like to your user with the preview feature. Remember to test out your microsite across different devices and browsers to reach your target audience regardless of how they choose to view your content. 

Also, teamwork makes the dream work! Get a fresh set of eyes to click through your project and get some feedback. 

Zoomforth will help you toward your journey of microsite best practices

Creating a microsite doesn’t have to be difficult. This is why it’s important to have the right microsite platform at your side. Zoomforth has your back!

With Zoomforth, you don’t need an extensive coding background to design and implement a microsite. We make it easy for you to bring your next project to life with customizable templates, an easy-to-use drag-and-drop design platform, and robust analytics. If you ever want an expert’s opinion, our team is happy to weigh in 24-7. 

Want to learn more? Check out our extensive library of microsite resources and sign up for a demo

The 6 Strategic Business Benefits of a Microsite

As businesses try to keep up with an increasingly digital world, the benefits of microsites are becoming more and more clear. A microsite is an independent webpage that serves a specific purpose. Unlike general or main webpages, microsites typically strategically target a specific audience, moving them toward action. 

They can be powerful tools that help businesses achieve robust sets of goals and elevate their communication and marketing strategies. Here are six ways that companies leverage the power of microsites in their business practices. 

6 benefits of a microsite for your business

Provide a dynamic, focused experience for visitors

When it comes to user design, it can be tricky to tread the line between “too much” and “too little.” The convenience of a web-based experience can be masked by too much content or eradicated by too little content. 

Knowing how to target the right balance for your users can be tricky with traditional web pages. Between general information and broad overviews found on your main webpage, a user with a mission may get lost in the information that is useful for someone but not necessarily for them. 

Microsites allow you to create a concise, experience-based site for users. That means that users spend less time figuring out how to access the information they need—or worse, sifting through a bunch of information they don’t need—and more time being directed toward your call to action.

The transition from “awareness” to “action” is key to strengthening your marketing funnel and is made narrower with a clearly defined, action-paved path. A microsite’s ability to easily lead users to the information they need by cutting out irrelevant information or landing pages creates more opportunities for curated calls to action (CTAs). 

Optimize your enterprise communications

“This meeting could have been an email.”  Being on the giving and receiving end of this last year’s workplace catchphrase is equally painful. As the employee who sat through the meeting, you feel your time has been wasted. As the meeting facilitator, you know that it couldn’t have been an email. Why? Because if it were an email, no one would read it. 

Ultimately, dry meetings and emails lead to serious losses in productivity. Moreover, missing out on important communication breeds inefficiency. 

Luckily, microsites aren’t only for external communication. Microsites are the best at keeping communication efficient, and this can be used for internal communication, too. They can streamline communication by giving everyone easy access to information they need when they need it. Unlike presentations or video calls, they allow you to make the most of highly interactive elements like videos, quizzes, or audio. 

The best part? Microsite analytics give you feedback about whether your deliverable was effective or not. You know who is accessing the site, when they do it, and what information they’re interacting with. It makes it easy for leaders to address gaps in communication and keep teams accountable. 

Appeal to an untapped target audience

Expanding communication efforts and brand awareness can feel like risking time, effort, and resources. This is especially true if you’re targeting an audience that’s removed from your typical target market. 

Traditional marketing strategies leave little room for flexibility in branding and delivery, which makes it that much harder to appeal to a new customer segment. However, microsites allow you to expand your base without investing serious resources into campaign efforts that are inconsistent with your branding. 

Curating highly engaging, content-based marketing allows you to develop niche user experiences for new marketing segments, closing gaps between specific user interests and your brand. Plus, there’s no need to change campaign strategies that work for your more traditional base. 

Using microsites to generate interest with these new segments also allows you to capitalize on user data and analytics so that you know which strategies work. 

Here are some examples of ways you can use microsites to appeal to new markets:

  • Create value-based microsites that showcase your commitment to social responsibility. Patagonia’s microsite links its target audience with different environmental activist organizations. 
  • Personalized and informative user experiences like the Creative Types quiz by Adobe aren’t just fun content experiences: they also lead users to action and product recommendations
  • Information-rich experiences are made engaging with games, like the EveryLastDrop microsite 

Streamline your company’s primary website

Your company’s primary website is an important tool. In many cases, it’ll be a prospective customer’s first introduction to your product or service. 

Too much clutter on your primary website can lead to a loss in engagement. As it is,  the average user spends less than fifteen seconds on a website. Any opportunities you have to make information quickly accessible to the right people should be leveraged so that you can maximize user engagement and focus on creating opportunities for action. 

Keeping web pages consistent and available to the right audiences allows you to capitalize on the right resources and communication strategies. Some pages that might serve as better microsites include: 

  • Employee resources portals
  • Temporary or seasonal promotional websites or marketing materials
  • Communication about expanded partnerships 
  • Information about updated policies and procedures 

Free up your marketing budget

Creating a microsite is a cost-effective way to create immersive content experiences that you can use for any purpose. To free up your budget, try out a microsite builder like Zoomforth.

Microsite platforms can host your microsite for you, and the best ones offer enterprise security to lock away company and user data. They’re also intuitive, meaning you don’t need any coding knowledge to create your microsite. That means there’s no need for external consultants, excessive marketing budgets, or settling for low-quality marketing material.

Also, if you’re unhappy with how your first draft turned out, a microsite is easy to edit and update. It allows you to be flexible in your messaging strategies, experiment with branding, and roll out temporary campaigns without needing to get rid of what you already have. 

Practice growth-driven design with rapid implementation

Unlike other approaches to campaign and communication material, a microsite can be rolled out and implemented as quickly as it is created with opportunities to edit, revamp, and expand as you see fit. This approach is referred to as growth-drive design. It’s a powerful way for you to use real-time analytics to fine-tune the user experience you are crafting on your microsite. 

It begins by developing an understanding of your target audience’s goals and needs. 

As your users engage with the initial launch of your microsite (shameless plug, Zoomforth notifies you about this in real-time), your team can use granular-level analytics to determine the next best steps including: 

  • Planning follow-up communications or landing pages
  • Expanding CTAs
  • Incorporating more interactive web elements 

It’s an approach designed to target maximum ROI so that you and your target user can make the most out of the experience. 

Enjoy the benefits of a microsite with a good microsite builder

Start off with a branded template

Creating a microsite of your own can be as simple as choosing one you like from a lineup of templates. Zoomforth makes it easy for you to pick the right design for your specific needs with curated templates. They’re easy to customize with your branding, color scheme, and typeface. We even get you started with your own branded template based on your guidelines!

The intuitive drag-and-drop design platform allows anyone on your team to create microsites that are filled with engaging media content and text. We can help you from start to finish so that you can hit the ground running on your campaign.

Cut down on infrastructure and implementation costs

Investing in a comprehensive microsite platform frees up the time, labor, and expenses associated with an in-house development team (and probably saves your IT department a world of headaches). 

It cuts out the hassle of fiddling with code and ensures that all of the small steps in the development process run smoothly. That includes things like analytics and administrative permissions, which can result in serious problems if not addressed properly. 

Give yourself the time to focus on content and follow up while we handle the technical stuff. 

Enjoy robust analytics and security features

Looking for a way to know how your content is landing? 

Granular-level analytics reporting offers insight into which elements of your microsite work and which don’t. It helps time follow-up communication and lends insight about potential gaps in user experiences so that you can continue to improve. All of the data from your microsite is comprehensively shared, and you’re even notified when users start accessing the content in real-time. 

If privacy is a concern, Zoomforth also offers enterprise-level security features, like: 

  • Secure cloud hosting
  • Data encryption at rest/in transit
  • GDPR and CCPA compliance
  • Secure site access controls 

Start reaping the benefits of a microsite with Zoomforth

Ready to streamline communication and make the most of what the internet has to offer? Start making microsites! Your business can have a fresh marketing strategy in no time. To get started, you have to be equipped with the right microsite builder. Zoomforth has you covered!If you’re new to microsites, our team of experts is here to help you navigate our easy-to-use platform 24/7. Start with a Zoomforth demo to see how microsites can help you capitalize on new communication strategies.

How to Create a Microsite: A Step-By-Step Guide

A microsite is a webpage or group of web pages that have a singular purpose for a specific audience. Creating a microsite is the perfect way for you to elevate communication strategies and create rich content experiences. Many companies are using microsites to innovate their digital marketing and communication.

You might be wondering how to conceptualize one for your own company. These information-rich and engaging sites may seem highly sophisticated, but they’re simple to create and deploy with the right tools. Here are some ways you can use to get started. 

A step-by-step guide on how to create your microsite

Figure out your microsite’s objective

Before you sit down and begin creating your microsite, carefully consider its purpose.

Understanding the broad and specific goals you’d like to achieve through creating your microsite will make planning content and features easier. A microsite can be as specific and action-oriented as you want it to be, and the best way to make the most out of what it has to offer is by considering its objectives. 

Start with a general idea of what you want your microsite to do. A fantastic way to figure out your microsite objective is to consider SMART goals. SMART goals move abstract ideas about an overall objective into more specific action items that you can implement in your microsite.

Ask yourself these questions in your planning phase:

  • Specific: What specific outcome are you hoping to achieve through your microsite? Making your objective as specific as possible keeps it from being too broad to evaluate.
  • Measurable: What metrics can you use to help you determine if your microsite is effectively designed? Knowing the most valuable metrics beforehand makes it easier to pinpoint after launch.
  • Achievable: Can this goal be achieved with the strategy and features you are using? Coordinating with your team and figuring out what’s possible for your company will save a lot of stress later on.
  • Relevant: What content is most relevant to your goal? Knowing which pieces of content will play the largest roles helps plan navigation and site construction.
  • Time-based: What is the time frame you are working with? Mapping out when each phase will take place and how long the microsite will be active will make it easier to divide up responsibilities.

Find a microsite builder with all the features you need

The right microsite building platform will help you meet all of your objectives. 

It should be a simple, easy-to-use platform that anyone on your team can use to edit or contribute to your microsites. Try to avoid overly complicated solutions that require a sophisticated understanding of web development. Instead, focus on simple, necessary features like: 

  • Widgets (search bars, forms, sidebars)
  • Interactive content (chatbots, newsfeeds, maps)
  • Media (photos, videos, animations)

Including these elements will flesh out your microsite and keep users engaged with content, but it shouldn’t be a laborious process to integrate these features into your website. Instead, opt for a platform that’s intuitive and beginner friendly. This way, your microsite can be a collaborative, interdepartmental project.

Ease-of-use is also important when it comes to analytics. 

Meeting objectives can only happen when you understand successes and failures. A microsite builder should feature options for you to understand on a detailed level which parts of your microsite pack the most punch and which fall flat. It allows your team to address those gaps either by adjusting features or by tailoring targeted follow-up communication.

Create a memorable domain name

A small but very important factor when it comes to website design is URLs and domain names. Your domain introduces a user to your microsite, much like a title.

A carefully thought out domain name is the difference between a microsite that’s easily accessible with the potential to boost SEO and one that fails to perform to the highest level. 

In general, a good practice is to keep URLs simple and concise. Separate keywords in URLs with hyphens to help search engines recognize key phrases. Hyphens are more user-friendly than underscores because they’re easier to read and type. Also, keep capitalization to a minimum and make it as intuitive as possible 

The right URL will make your microsite far more accessible, shareable, and targetable by search engines. 

Be careful about your SEO strategy

Using a series of microsites solely to promote SEO growth is ill-advised. 

A microsite is meant to create a webspace for a specific, goal-oriented purpose. This includes digital communication and creating opportunities to create immersive web experiences. They may be seen as having good SEO potential because they’re targeted, engaging, and link back to your main website in a purposeful way. Plus, more websites mean more chances for high search rankings, right?

Ultimately, microsites can hurt your SEO if used improperly. Hollow and repetitive microsites can have an inverse effect on SEO. Microsites that are used to host thin content and use similar domain names may be treated as low-quality redirect sites by search engines. The algorithms that decide rankings will clump them up with other similar websites, including your main site.

More websites connected to your domain means less traffic to your company website. It’s better to focus SEO efforts on your website and use microsites for more niche purposes.

Create engaging content based on your objective

A microsite is an opportunity to create content experiences for users. 

You can craft these experiences with a robust microsite that is information-rich and has varied opportunities for engagement. Because the objectives and audiences of microsites are so targetted, you can curate specific, experience-based content that targets your objectives. 

Seven factors can impact user experiences, which can ultimately affect their likelihood to take action or continue to engage with your content.

  • Usefulness: How does content help solve a problem or address a need? 
  • Usability: Is it easy for users to accomplish what they need? 
  • Findability: Is important information and content easy to find? 
  • Credibility: Can users trust your microsite and its content? 
  • Desirability: Does your microsite leverage aesthetics and branding to keep users interested?
  • Accessibility: Is your microsite usable by everyone? Are there options for users to change their experiences and make content more accessible?
  • Value: Does your microsite highlight the advantages and usefulness of your products and services? 

Depending on the objectives of your microsite, some of these principles may be more important than others. However, all hold value when you consider creating an impactful content experience. 

Keeping these principles in mind as you design your microsite can help you tailor an experience that moves users toward your actionable end goal.

Design your microsite for excellence

Design can seriously impact user experience and the efficacy of your microsite. 

It determines a user’s experience which impacts their overall engagement and ability to navigate the microsite. Believe it or not, users judge design and content in as little as 30 seconds. Though we may not judge books by their covers, we certainly judge websites based on what we see. 

Using color, font, and mixed media can help you create an engaging design, and intuitive site construction keeps users around to engage with information on a deeper level. These strategies are far simpler than they seem, but if this is your first time, you can always use a premade template.

Set up marketing and analytics tools

Knowing who is reaching your microsite, when they are reaching it, and what they are engaging with can help you make the most of your digital space. 

It allows you to determine which content is most relevant to users and where there are gaps in engagement. This offers leverage when it comes to follow-up communication and additional content creation because you have a firm analytic base on which to build your strategy. Microsite analytics make it simple to win more business.

Launch your microsite and see what’s working

Now that everything is figured out, you’re ready to launch your home away from your homepage! Track its progress and see what’s working. Luckily, microsites can be as temporary as you’d like. If your microsite proves valuable, you can decide what you’d like to incorporate into your main website.

Create the perfect microsite easily with Zoomforth

To start creating your own microsites, you’ll need to choose the right microsite builder to get the most out of your next project. Zoomforth is a microsite platform trusted by enterprises to design and host their microsites, including three of the Big Four accounting firms!

Zoomforth allows you to leverage all the capabilities of a microsite builder and couple them with additional features to create more engaging user experiences. The Zoomforth Academy can help you make the most out of:

  • Advanced security features, including SAML and SSO options
  • Intuitive drag-and-drop design 
  • Granluar-level analytics
  • Effortless mobile integration and formatting 

Ready to see what we have to offer? Request a demo to see how we can help you elevate your next web-based experience. 

The Best Microsite Builder Has These 3 Essential Features

Microsites are powerful tools that pack a punch. From paperless options for deliverables to secure web sharing, a microsite allows you to leverage web tools to meet a range of needs. 

Creating a microsite that has the potential to do all of these things is made simple with the right microsite builder. Not sure what to look for? Here are three features you should keep an eye out for. 

The best features to look for in a microsite builder

An intuitive editing platform

Creating and editing your microsite should be simple. 

The right microsite builder cuts out the complication of coding and uploading tools that are hard to navigate. These barriers may discourage some from hopping on board with digital communication strategies, making it difficult to establish a consistent delivery method across your team. 

An effective microsite builder features simple development tools that make it possible for anyone on your team to create and share a microsite. 

Zoomforth makes microsite development easy with an intuitive drag-and-drop platform that doesn’t require any coding. It’s user-friendly enough for anyone to use and develop a robust, seamless microsite. 

It features a simple-to-use site editor that makes editing a transparent process, so there’s no need to go through several iterations of site editing before publishing. What you see is what you get when it comes to text editing, image cropping, and adjusting margins. 

Premade templates can be reworked in the theme editor to use your custom branding and style presets. Zoomforth even creates your first template for you using your brand guidelines!

Other ways you can customize your content include: 

  • Dragging and dropping content from your media library
  • Adding widget features like social media icons, forms, and search bars
  • Interactive content features such as maps, chatbots, and newsfeeds

Clear performance analytics

Knowing how your microsite is performing allows you to make the most of its features. According to Harvard Business Review, ineffective messaging and a lack of pre-sales resources are some of the top reasons businesses don’t close sales. Analytics cut the guesswork out of the early stages of communication and allow you to capitalize on the time and resources you need to stand out from the crowd. 

Your microsite builder should return both high-level and granular site and user data. Strong analytics features allow businesses to identify gaps in asset strategy. These insights are highly valuable when it comes to understanding what pieces of communication are most valuable to different targets. 

Robust analytics should allow you to see information like: 

  • Who is accessing your microsite 
  • When they access your microsite
  • What they most engaged with, downloaded, or shared
  • Engagement time with different site elements 

If your microsite is going to be used to create innovative business-to-business communications, then you’ll also want a microsite builder that notifies you about user engagement in real-time. Receiving notifications about stakeholder engagement with shared proposals and marketing material allows you to strategically execute a well-timed follow-up strategy.

Timing isn’t the only thing you can leverage, either. Granular-level site data also gives you insight on what information to include in your follow-up communications since you know exactly which key material was engaged with and what may have been missed. 

Extensive security features

Cyber security is a growing concern across industries. The convenience of online communication leaves us prone to the risk of cyber attacks, so much so that 20% of companies had at least one hacked email account in 2021

So much uncertainty and risk put businesses on the line for loss in several ways, including: 

  • Being financially responsible for damages in the form of compromised personal information
  • Lost business due to poor security practices 
  • Competitor insight through leaked information, leading to lost revenue 

Like many catastrophes, the likelihood of it happening to you may seem distant until it’s not. 

The right microsite builder should give the option to do more than just password protects your microsite. It should offer a range of security measures that keep your enterprise information safe and the data of your visitors safe as well.

Zoomforth features many security measures, including:

  • Password protection

Create a password-protected site that requires users to have access to a privately shared link and password

  • Multifactor authentication

Require approved users to enter one-time codes sent to their mobile device before accessing shared material

  • Email Authentication

Limit access with email-based log-ins. 

  • Security Assertion Mark-up Language (SAML) and Single Sign-On (SSO)

Integrate your microsite with your company’s internet system for streamlined access. 

At Zoomforth, we believe that your information is your own. That’s why our business is run on a zero-trust corporate network, which means that we don’t gain access to your content as your run on Zoomforth’s network.

Other great features offered by a microsite builder

A variety of microsite templates

Not sure how to begin designing your microsite? That’s why a microsite builder must offer you templates that you can use to get started. There are many design considerations you’ll need to evaluate, and having a good template can cut down the time it takes to make those decisions.

Zoomforth offers a range of templates you can use to get started. Here are a few templates that you can use to create innovative communication material:

Drag and drop editing makes it easy to customize templates as much as you’d like so that they are a reflection of your brand’s unique values and aesthetics. It helps keep everything consistent, from HR material to client proposals, a clean microsite elevates enterprise communication. 

Plus, there’s no need for coding in widgets or figuring out the right HTML code for font manipulation—anyone and everyone can make the most out of digital communication with the right microsite builder. 

Automated mobile layouts

A lot happens while we’re away from our desks. Handheld devices make it possible for us to access anything anywhere at any time. That means that mobile access to digital content is no longer the exception, but rather the expectation. A microsite builder that allows you to easily adapt to the dominance of smartphone use means that you can make the most out of your digitally shared content. 

Zoomforth automatically ensures that your microsite is mobile-friendly and allows you to enhance a mobile user’s experience with the mobile content prioritization tool. Plus, you can preview your content on a mobile layout before it’s shared. 

It eliminates the extra step of refitting your content for different mobile devices so that you can keep everyone up to speed, whether they’re using a phone or a laptop. 

A responsive customer support team

If you’re new to creating microsites, you’ll need support. We’ve all been on customer service lines for hours just to make a simple fix. Your microsite builder should have an award-winning customer service team that takes your experience seriously.

While Zoomforth’s platform is user-friendly enough for anyone to use, we’re committed to offering support whenever it’s needed. All of our users have access to the Zoomforth Academy, a series of videos and articles that will make you an expert in our platform’s features in no time. It’ll walk you through everything you need to know whether it’s design or analytics. 

Still have lingering questions? Our team has curated a collection of staff-written articles about microsite design and implementation that get into the nitty-gritty details you may still have questions about. Our microsite experts are here to help you with questions about design, security, and site analytics so that you get the most out of your microsite.

Get everything out of your microsite builder with Zoomforth

Microsites are powerful digital tools that can be leveraged to address a range of needs, but not all microsite builders are the same. 

Make the most out of what your microsite has to offer with an easy-to-use, feature-rich platform like Zoomforth

Zoomforth makes microsite creation simple, and enhanced security and analytics features allow you and your target audience to make the most out of purposefully designed landing pages. 

There’s no need to hire web developers, ask your marketing or sales team to code, or struggle with clunky platforms. Ready to see how Zoomforth can help you make the most out of a microsite? Try a demo with us today

The 5 Major Principles of Microsite Design

You may be interested in creating a microsite for your business. A microsite has several different use cases, and they can be used to extend your web presence even further beyond your company website.

Designing your microsite offers many considerations. Because a microsite is geared towards a specific audience, the content included is much more focused. Also, a great advantage of a microsite is that they’re more intuitive to navigate than your company’s website, so the design should accomplish this.

Even though the content is more targeted than other web pages, your microsite should follow some similar tenants of design. Luckily, some common design practices can help you understand what it means to have effective microsite design.

5 important elements of microsite design

Clear website purpose

As you begin to create your microsite, start by determining what the main goal of the microsite is. The purpose of your microsite should be at the center of its design. For example, if your microsite is meant to be a training portal, the design should be simple to read and engaging to look at.

You can figure out your microsite’s purpose by asking yourself some of these questions:

  • Who will be visiting this microsite?
  • What will they need to accomplish?
  • What kinds of content would be valuable to them?
  • Why would they need to visit this microsite rather than a landing page?

Having a clear grasp of your microsite’s purpose first will inform the rest of the decisions you make for your microsite’s design.

Visual hierarchy

You can manipulate different elements like font, spacing, and color to help users make sense of information. These strategies help lead your readers’ eyes to where they need to be. There are three key elements that help create a visual hierarchy on a microsite. 

Use color and contrast to emphasize important content. The power of color comes in manipulating saturation, shade, and contrast against the background. It’s important to note that subtlety is key, as too much of anything dull its impact. Using color and contrast sparingly—a palette of 2-4 colors—allows you to pack a stronger punch when you want something to stand out. 

Size matters, especially when it comes to cluing users in on what’s important. Scale is a useful tool to play with for both graphic elements and typography. To avoid overwhelming users and losing out on the impact of scale, stick to a handful of size standards and make them consistent. For example, your small, medium, and large fonts should be consistent in size and weight.

Structure plays an important role in well-crafted design. On a visual level, proximity can clue users in on where to look for related information. Grouping together similar information and links make a site feel efficient, intentional, and clean. You can do this with borders, backgrounds, or strategic spacing. For example, give main features plenty of space away from other distracting elements. 

Consistent theme and style

Microsites are an opportunity to experiment with branding. However, your microsite is still an extension of your web presence. Microsite design should be fairly consistent with the theme and style of your (or your client’s) branding. Striking that balance between consistency and innovation is imperative to good microsite design. 

It’s important to look at your brand’s visual guidelines. From there, you can figure out what you want to keep consistent and what you’d like to change. An important note is that if you have multiple microsites, they should all be consistent with each other. This creates an expectation from the audience, especially if they navigate between different microsites.

Consistency makes your microsite more user-friendly, while inconsistency attracts attention. Leverage consistency as you construct your microsite to ensure that it is harmonious with your goals, including the voice, typeface, and format.

Logical navigation

Navigation is one of the most important elements of web design. According to Nielsen Norman Group, website engagement follows a curve. Users typically scan a webpage and make an initial decision to remain within the first 10 seconds of their visit. Their rate of engagement typically flattens after thirty seconds of interaction.

Because microsites have a narrow focus, it should be easy for users to find the information they’re looking for. This means incorporating intuitive site navigation.

You can start thinking about your navigation by considering tried and true structures. For example, if you’re creating a microsite for a sales proposal, you might use a hierarchical model to put the most important information at the top. If you’re creating an onboarding portal, a sequential model to guide them step-by-step.

Most people are familiar with typical website construction even without knowing it. There are also reading patterns that they’re familiar with. A common reading pattern is the F-pattern, where readers go line-by-line, left to right. Another common pattern in web design is the Z-pattern, where readers go to each new element diagonally.

There are also some other common patterns in web elements:

  • A search bar on the top right of the screen
  • Social media links at the top or bottom of a site
  • Home pages and logos on the top left of the screen

By ensuring your microsite defaults to these patterns, you’re making it easier for your users to engage with your content without interruption.

Interactive elements

Microsites provide an opportunity to use interactive elements like virtual maps, videos, polls, or links to keep users engaged. This is also a great opportunity to push CTAs.

However, avoid throwing in interactive elements that don’t serve a purpose. They can lead to clutter and make microsites overwhelming. A good way to think about whether or not an interactive element is useful is to circle back to the purpose of your microsite.

Think about these elements as a funnel that moves your users closer toward the end goal you have in mind. It might start with a link to case studies. Your case studies might be image-rich or feature short videos with client testimonials. Below these visual elements, consider including buttons to move users to your services page, on which you might feature the opportunity to have a live chat with an agent for a quote.

Try to keep the funnel in mind when you are considering which interactive elements to use and where you want to place them. 

Other important considerations for microsite design

Keep an eye on user engagement 

Designing a well-crafted microsite may not happen in one sitting, and that’s okay! It’s good practice to check in on interaction so that you can pinpoint gaps in your design. By analyzing user engagement, you can see what worked well and what didn’t. Then, you can update your microsite based on those insights!

Zoomforth makes it easy for you to see exactly which parts of your microsite are being visited and which are not. Instead of sorting through code or clunky web developing platforms, Zoomforth allows you to easily edit your microsites after publishing as needed.

Make it easy for users to access microsites even when they’re away from their desks

Mobile web users make up 10% more of the market than desktop users, though most businesses realize the importance of focusing their user experience on both kinds of devices. Creating a user-friendly experience that works across platforms is a default in web development, so keep this in mind as you map out the experience you want users to have on your microsite. 

Not sure how to change the layout so it’s suitable for computers and mobile devices? Zoomforth automates that process for you! Our built-in features allow you to create content that looks well-designed on any device so that you don’t have to worry about it. 

Start designing your next microsite with Zoomforth

Now that you know the principles of microsite design, you might be excited to incorporate them yourself. While designing a well-crafted microsite may feel out of reach, Zoomforth allows you to do so with ease!

Our drag-and-drop facility allows you to put in all the elements you want: text, images, videos, links, and more. We offer a media library with unlimited storage, so you never need to worry about experimenting with different content. Our customer success team can also help you create a well-designed microsite that attracts your niche audience.

Start your next project off knowing that your hard work will result in a clean, user-friendly site that is consistent with your branding and site objectives. Request a demo today!

8 Microsite Examples To Help You Build Your Brand

A robust web presence is no longer an exceptional quality for most brands; engaging and information-rich digital content has become a standard across most industries. Typically, your company’s website is the most foundational starting point, but there are other avenues to extend your reach. You may consider creating a microsite!

A microsite is a miniature website for targeted audiences that features information-rich content. These highly specialized content experiences are tailored to achieve more specific goals than a general webpage. A microsite can be more successful in providing valuable, focused information to its audience.

If you feel like you’re hitting a plateau when it comes to content creation, microsites might lead you to your next project. They serve a host of purposes and can be as creative or immersive as you want them to be. They truly are only limited to the scope of your needs or imagination. 

Not sure where to start? Here are some examples to inspire your next microsite!

8 microsite examples to inspire your next project

Create a sales one-pager

Long gone are the days of slide decks! If you’re looking for a way to elevate sales pitches, look no further. By creating a microsite for your marketing one-pager, you can make your pitch stand out as both useful and engaging!

A microsite allows you to get all of the same information across to potential clients and partners in a more digestible way. You can narrow the focus to key pieces of information that you want to highlight. Importantly, by making use of an interactive interface for your one-pager, you give your audience control.

Here are some examples of what you can include in your one-pager microsite: 

  • Highlight your product features and services front-and-center
  • Include customer testimonials to add credibility to your pitch
  • Leverage the power of statistics with easily consumable charts and graphs
  • Tailor your one-pager specifically to your potential client or partner

Whether your client is on their phone, computer, or tablet, they’ll have easy access to product and service information. A microsite sales proposal beats looking through text-heavy emails or printed deliverables because it’s fashioned for the modern age. Communicating your message will be much easier when you have a content experience to pair with it. 

Create an interactive sales proposal

If you can create a sales pitch with a microsite, why not house your full business proposal on an interactive microsite of its own? 

A business proposal is your first date with opportunities that lie ahead. That being said, creating and delivering one can be nerve-wracking, and it’s made even more worrying when the industry standard for a proposal is a lengthy document with a full table of contents.

With a microsite, you can create the perfect proposal that has all of the information your prospective customer  will need in a medium that’s much more engaging. Along with necessary information, you can tailor content based on what you anticipate your audience will want to hear, making you better prepared. Plus, microsites are easy to update, meaning you can add more as discussions continue.

Here are some examples of what you can include in your business proposal microsite:

  • Your executive summary
  • Your business credentials
  • Deliverables, milestones, and case studies
  • Links to pertinent presentations 
  • Engaging layout and visuals

With a microsite, you can offer something more information-rich than a slideshow, more engaging than a bound hardcopy, and more accessible than a recorded virtual meeting. Impress your potential clients with an interactive experience and stand out from the crowd!

Create a site for your next big event

Is your company hosting an upcoming conference? Is it sponsoring a fundraising event for a charity? It can be difficult to get the news out about an event that isn’t just an email newsletter. Plus, it may be difficult to consolidate information about the event. You should consider creating a microsite for all event-related content!

Through the microsite, you can market the event as precisely as you need to. While providing the necessary details about the event, you can also check the pulse of interaction with event content. Customizable security preferences make it easy for you to keep the event as private or public as you’d like. 

Here are some examples of what to include in your event microsite:

  • An overview of the event’s purpose
  • Key speakers and figures attending
  • A schedule of the programs
  • Details on the location and venue
  • A registration portal

Create an interactive experience for your marketing campaign

As marketing evolves, more and more businesses are experimenting with the value of combining inbound and outbound marketing strategies. Leveraging the power of these strategies in conjunction with one another creates authentic, robust relationships between brands and consumers. A microsite is a low-effort way to capitalize on the power of both marketing strategies. 

If you’ve spent any time looking through creative ways to use microsites, you’ve likely heard about how companies have used them to make their new campaigns immersive and engaging. The nice thing about a microsite is that you can experiment with it, as it’s separate from your company website and main branding.

You can create highly immersive web experiences for users to become exposed to product and service information while interacting with brand content. This might include using games, customization tools, or leveraging consumer data. 

Here are some examples of immersive experiences created through microsites: 

Create a career portal for open positions in your company

Leveraging microsites isn’t just for marketing purposes—a microsite can also drive recruitment efforts! If you’re looking to get the attention of a young, tech-based workforce, having a microsite career portal is an easy way to embrace digital employment strategies. With a microsite, you can create customized postings and applications.

Having your own career portal is a great way to identify candidates who are specifically interested in your company. A microsite gives them all the information they need about your company and detailed descriptions of available jobs. Microsites are also very easy to update. If you fill a position, you can simply modify your microsite to remove that position. 

Here are some examples of what you can include in your career portal microsite: 

  • Available positions in your company
  • Compensation and benefit information
  • Available growth opportunities
  • Mission statement and workplace values
  • Past partnerships and awards

Create a friendly welcome page for a new hire

When you have a new hire, an online welcome page is a fantastic way to make them feel welcomed and appreciated; plus, it might cut out the time (and awkwardness) of icebreaker introductions. A microsite is perfectly suited for this!

A welcome page for your new hire allows them to dip their toes into your workplace at their own pace. You can roll welcome messages into information-rich pages by including information about onboarding dates, team contact information, and log-in credentials. 

Here are some examples of what you can include in your welcome page microsite:

  • A personalized greeting and welcome message
  • Important company and position information
  • Introductions from different members of the team
  • Helpful resources for them to get started

Making new hires feel welcomed and valued reduces turnover rates, which can go a long way in establishing a consistent workplace culture and staying productive. Taking the time to craft a welcome page microsite shows that you value them as a new addition to your team!

Create a personalized onboarding portal for your employees

After creating a welcome page for your new hire, why not create a microsite as a personalized onboarding portal for them?

Catching your new employees up on all of the important information they need to know about your organization can be an overwhelming task for everyone involved. Information overload and an inability to revisit shared information can make onboarding feel pointless. 

Creating a microsite that houses important onboarding information helps sidestep some of the most common challenges organizations face during onboarding. A microsite creates the opportunity for learning employees and new hires to always have access to information they need without having to run through several chains of communication. 

Here are some examples of what you can include in an onboarding portal microsite:

  • Workplace values and policies
  • Tutorials on standards operation procedures
  • Videos on your company’s impacts
  • Chain of command and employee directory
  • Interactive quizzes and games to gauge learning

Content can be focused on processes, policies, and other pertinent onboarding information. Your microsite can serve as your knowledge management system that is easily accessed and updated.

Create an interactive learning portal for employee training

Looking to update standard operating procedures, policies, or marketing strategies? Skip the long-winded email—or worse yet, the meeting that could have been an email—and try a microsite instead!

A microsite with engaging material like videos, quizzes, and discussion boards allows your employees to review new information as often as they need, working through it on their own time. 

It’s a robust solution that allows you to tackle getting your remote and in-office employees up-to-speed without sacrificing efficiency, time, and manpower. These websites are easy to update, too. That means that you don’t have to roll out entirely new training every time minor details change—you can simply update the webpage’s information. 

A microsite allows you to share all of this information through an encrypted site, making it just as secure as a traditional learning management system.

Inspired to create your own microsites? Get started with Zoomforth

If you’re looking for a way to make the most out of your web presence, microsites are just the tool you’ve been looking for. Have these microsite examples sparked some creativity? Luckily for you, most of the examples above come directly from Zoomforth’s Inspiration Gallery!

Zoomforth provides a platform to create your own microsites that offer valuable enterprise communication in this digital age. Zoomforth is easy-to-use, with no coding required! Using our platform, you can design your microsite, fill it with information-rich content, and publish it easily. Zoomforth also provides valuable performance data to ensure your microsite is the best it can be.

Looking to see how you can make the most out of your microsite? Request a demo and our team can help you make the most out of your web presence. 

Ready to go digital? Discover how Zoomforth can help you.