So we need to talk.
This is really awkward, but people have been saying that you don't know the difference between a splash page, a landing page and a microsite.
It's OK. Really. It's more common than you'd think. Allow me to explain.
A splash page is an introductory screen to a website. You know when you open Microsoft Word and you see that loading screen before the app loads? That's called a Splash Screen. See the similarities?
Most commonly, splash pages contain full-frame graphics and branding, a brief welcome statement and an "enter" link.
Oh come on now, stop crying. I'm not upset with you. Seriously.
Ok, where were we?
I should mention that Splash Pages were a thing in the aughts. You don't see many of them these days - why place a roadblock between your customer and the content they are looking for? If you want a Splash Page, you'd better have a damn good reason.
A landing page is a lead generation tool. Commonly, they are used with online advertising efforts and live within a larger site. Landing pages feature very specific information on a product or service and a clear call to action form.
In many cases, landing pages have little to no navigation. Studies show that removing the navigation from Middle of Funnel pages often increases conversions. For Top of Funnel pages, it is less helpful, but maybe that's something you should A/B test!
See, this isn't too hard, is it?
A microsite is a website to promote a specific product, service or campaign with a unique story to tell. Microsites often have supporting documents, multiple pages, and ecommerce. In most cases they exist in addition to a company's main site. For example, we have a microsite for our UX Lab. As you can see, it promotes a single service. It is very specific and very direct. You can imagine that if we buried this in our main site it could easily get watered down with other messaging.
Now, the term microsite does not necessarily mean "small" or "cheap" website. While they sometimes consist of only a page or two, they can often be many pages. Disney's new movie Tomorrowland has a beautiful website. They took promoting it online a step further with an amazing interactive microsite with tons of custom video content that tells the visitor the entire backstory behind the movie.
Look, I really hope this clears things up. I think you get it now. I'm not going to tell anyone we had this conversation - it won't even be a thing. Please just ask next time though, ok? I'm not here to judge you, I just want to help.
So remember: A splash page is an entrance to your main site, a landing page is a conversion page for an ad campaign, and a microsite is a site to promote a specific product, service or campaign. And if you're just building a small website for your company, it’s just a small website. And that's OK too!
Lizzie Thornton is a Content Marketing Specialist at thunder::tech. When she's not writing strategic content or crafting brand messaging, she spends her time watching true crime documentaries and saying "hi" to every dog she meets.
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