For a variety of reasons, small and large businesses will often use more than one website or have several domain names registered. As a Knustford web design agency, we have inherited website projects in the past where we have found businesses have gone out and purchased every domain they can think of through misguidance. Inside our blog, we will take a look at some of the key advantages and disadvantages of this approach and what impact it can have on your SEO efforts.
Whether you are a small or large organisation, let’s start by taking at look at genuine reasons why several websites could be useful along with looking at the disadvantages for this approach.
REASONS WHY MY BUSINESS SHOULD HAVE MORE THAN ONE WEBSITE
TARGET DIFFERENT COUNTRIES
For example you may see a larger organisation with the domain example.ge (German) or example.br (Brazil). Although content may be identical, search engines will treat each of these as separate domains with separate authority as you have used the correct protocols to instruct search engines that each URL is targeting countries instead of trying to spam search engine rankings.
TARGET KEYWORD DOMAINS
Due to recent algorithm updates, search engines have put extra emphasis in making it difficult for one particular domain to dominate the first page with several mentions.
As an SEO strategy, some businesses have looked to get round this by capitalising on rankings by purchasing domains related to particular keywords, so for example if we wanted to focus on the keyword Knutsford Web Design – we could look at purchasing knutsfordwebdesign.co.uk then look to forward this to our main domain.
In theory, the reasons behind this approach means you could possibly multiply your chances of appearing on the first page under different domains and to prevent competitors owning those domains.
DIFFERENT SERVICES, DIFFERENT WEBSITES
In some cases, larger businesses have valid business reasons for wanting to create several domains. As a Knutsford Web Agency, we wouldn’t necessarily ever need to create a sub-domain but let’s take a business such as CO-OP as an example, if you search Google you can see they offer CO-OP Food, CO-OP Banking and CO-OP Insurance – All of which are completely different services to the other.
From a customer’s point of view, segmenting services and information into separate websites plays a huge role for larger organisations. This presents the customer with instant access to the information they need without needing to navigate one large website and allows the brand to present their own marketing opportunity to target those particular services.
REASONS WHY MY BUSINESS SHOULDN’T HAVE MORE THAN ONE WEBSITE
If you take away one thing from this blog, you will see time consuming is the biggest disadvantage of hosting and managing several domains. On top of duplicate content, poor user experience and battling with yourself for search engine ranking positions, you have to remember that whatever you decided to do with one website, you have to implement it across every website.
With SSL certificates, optimising site speed and mobile friendliness all key components in delivering the best possible experience, you have to make sure all these points have been finalised across all websites and that’s not even mentioning when in a few years’ time when you decided you want a website redesign, instead of designing one, you will have to pay to redesign them all!
Delivering great content is essential to search ranking activity. However, it’s very likely that any secondary or microsites will generate watered down versions, if not the exact same content if the products, services and messages are identical.
If you find are you repeating the same content across several websites, not only should you start to question the purpose of having a separate website but all the good from your original content will become irrelevant and could put SEO rankings in danger if search engines penalise you.
YOU CREATE COMPETITION FOR YOURSELF
Now, I know you are probably thinking I mentioned domains and websites are good for search rankings but you have to also consider the other side of the coin when adopting this approach. In examples where you are targeting a niche keyword which has little to no traffic, you could end up fighting with yourself to rank at the top if all your websites target the same keywords. Without a definitive formula to follow, you could easily find one of your secondary or microsites outrank your main website for certain keywords!
POOR USER EXPERIENCE
Overtime, websites can start to become a little clustered and outdated which usually triggers business owners into thinking they need a new website domain to push fresh, new ideas. However, this often means visitors are left jumping between multiple websites which leads to confusion, negative user experience and frustration if the call to action isn’t clear and will likely mean users will not return to your website.
Through website management, you are best contacting your Knutsford web agency and asking to get your website decluttered so you can focus your efforts on making sure the sales funnel is crystal clear to visitors, so they have everything they need and have no reason to leave your website.
SHOULD MY BUSINESS HAVE MORE THAN ONE WEBSITE?
The honest answer is it comes down to individual business circumstances.
Regardless of being a small or large business, sometimes having more than one website domain is for the users best interest instead of trying to get a jump on search engine rankings. If you have more than one domain and are unsure, why not contact your local Knutsford Web Design agency for a professional, honest and completely free assessment.