It is quite common for many website owners to consider splitting an existing website into various smaller sites, which are often called as Micro-sites. However, the advantages and disadvantages of such a decision are numerous and careful thought is required before making any decision. Besides, before making any decision a great deal of market research needs to be carried out because what you would like to primarily avoid is losing your existing market share and start from scratch.
The most important questions to make are:
- What the benefits the split would be?
- How would the split affect your the main site?
If there answers to those questions are not positive enough then you shouldn’t get into more details as clearly it wouldn’t worth the effort.
Typical Reasons To Split
- Your services are strongly associated to your brand name and for some reason that doesn’t work.
- You want to expand into new markets that couldn’t be adequately accommodated by your existing web site.
Main Advantages of Micro-sites
Keyword rich domains names that will definitely give a great advantage to your new site or business.
Link building activities will mainly be targeting the homepage, rather than deeper pages. Optimising the homepage is always more powerful than optimising for deeper pages and results can be harvested quickly.
Conversion rates will hopefully increase as the micro-site will give the impression of a specialist web site.
Can be more flexible and getting things to work faster as there will be less bureaucracy and people involved (e.g. less legal and PR department delays).
Cost of micro-sites’ development e.g. web-design, CMS development
Link building will start from scratch so you need to consider how long it will take until you find your business in the first page of Google’s SERPs.
Separate social media campaigns e.g. different facebook and Twitter accounts, different blogs etc.
With every new micro-site you are diminishing the content of your main site. How critical would that be and what consequences would that have?
After you think carefully of the advantages and disadvantage you need to work out as precisely as possible the effort in terms of money and time. What if you just invest that money in your existing website by paying for a more efficient SEO campaign and go for a fresh website re-design?
Subdomain or New Domain?
This is a classic dilemma if the idea of creating micro-sites eventually qualifies. In general, because subdomains are treated as different sites it would be a better idea going for a completely new domain. Also, it is not easy to rank for a site and a subdomain equally well at the same time so this is also something to consider.