We are sometimes asked about the relative merit of having multiple websites rather than one website for a business. Have you ever wondered whether you might be better off with 3 separate websites rather than 1 website?
Do you have the time and money for multiple sites?
If you have the time, money and diversity of products, services or locations that make a business appear as multiple businesses then read on but if the process of building one website seems overwhelming then get started and review your success and strategy in coming years.
Do you have distinctly different services and customer groups?
For most small businesses the main case for having more than one website is when there are distinctly different segments of a business which don’t tend to overlap customers or locations. For example the Huxley Hill group of websites which focus on quite different services.
Do you service multiple key cities?
The other reasonable case for multiple sites is when there is a strong emphasis on the local city name in the popular search terms and so you might want to rank for a few cities combined with your primary keyword like Newcastle signs, Lake Macquarie signs and Maitland signs. This lets you use visuals and wording that will make the people from that city feel more like you are locally based rather than a national brand which could be an advantage.
If you focus primarily on one city area for one service then stick with that, eg. wedding hire Newcastle [service + city].
Other reasons for building multiple sites
- Event websites, eg Wallsend Town + Krank It Expo + Winter Carnivale
- Customer support site separate from promotional site, eg jezweb.info + jezweb.com.au
- Product sales or launch websites
- Future plans to sell one of the websites or business divisions
- Testing two different websites for a paid ad campaign
- Creating a separate website to support an offline marketing campaign
Building and maintaining multiple websites
In the past you might have been able to have a pretty slim website with not much original content and still get it to rank well in Google but that doesn’t work as well as it once did so the benefits of linking between those sites is reduced.
Most businesses don’t have the resources to build and maintain lots of websites. In fact many businesses struggle to allocate the time and funds to maintain one website properly.
For each website you build, if you want it to rank well you may need to add new pages, images, and other media over time and gradually improve your website if you want it to be appreciated by Google. This means creating unique content, acquiring links to the homepage of the site and inner pages. Plus the maintenance and service fees like hosting, support and domain renewals are all increased with each website.
One website per service per office location is best. Avoid confusing Google by creating multiple websites for the same service at the same business location. Google preferences strong brand identity and cohesive customer experience.
Build one site and do it well
SEO experts and industry leaders recommend that you:
create one website and focus your energy and resources on making that site great by publishing new content regularly and building quality links over time
Create in depth pages on your website for each service
Building a brilliantly detailed website with informative pages full of images, videos, text, quotes and other media is going to give you a better result than a cluster of flimsy have baked websites where you try and make a website for each service. A single brand identity site will be far more valuable to you than a bunch of thin sites that never get updated.
Create a page with great content for each product or service you offer, for each location or area that you serve, and update it regularly with new information, photos and videos. Plus you can be blogging about the questions your customers ask you and creating very specific topic ‘pages’ on your blog that you wouldn’t necessarily expect people to navigate to from your homepage.
Pick the strategy that is right for your business
Each business has its own priorities, resources and plans for the future. Pick a website strategy that suits your intentions and capacity then forge ahead by making that website fantastically detailed and informative.