This is a question a client recently asked me – hence I thought it may prove a subject worth a quick blog. The client in question was pondering fragmenting their website into several microsites dedicated to each of their specialist areas. Our advice was not to do this and here are a few of the reasons:
Firstly it is not the best decision for SEO purposes. The creation of several microsites can appear spammy to search engines and therefore not help your organic rankings. You are better off investing in your main website which will have a greater domain heritage and therefore trust from search engines. If your website is structured well and the SEO work is carried out correctly you will find it is the relevant pages within your website that appear in search engine queries and therefore the users will be taken directly to relevant content.
Taking this approach means you will apply all of your attention on just one website. From an admin and cost perspective this is beneficial. You are more likely to make a huge success of one site than several. In most cases microsites will be neglected with time or forgotten entirely. Having a plethora of microsites will also mean plenty of domains to renew and multiple development fees as and when you wish to improve the sites. So focus on the overall health of just one site and you will be more likely to save money and succeed in your overall online marketing objectives.
Employing an army of microsites also runs the risk of fragmenting your brand. They will each start to have their own identities and therefore muddy the water on your overall brand communication. Concentrating on one site will safeguard your brand and provide your audience with a clean communication.
I am sure in certain cases there is good reason to create a microsite but my overall opinion is to create one powerful well marshalled website.
And if you don’t believe me then take a look at this quick video from Google’s Matt Cutts to see his thoughts: