If you want to establish a strong online brand presence, you need to have a website. It serves as the digital storefront where potential customers can view what you have to offer. There are some instances where it might make the most sense for you to have multiple websites for your company, using a multiple domain strategy, rather than going with a single domain website.
A common question for many business owners is, “Should I create multiple smaller sites or a larger single website?” Because no two businesses are the same, there are a couple of things to keep in mind.
Advantages of A Single Domain Strategy
Most online businesses take this route when they want to develop a solid model for the company.
Quicker to start and easier to maintain
When you concentrate your effort on building a single site, you’ll usually get better results than spreading it across multiple sites. A single site minimizes lead time and boosts your earning potential.
Having a single website will also save you time in the start-up phase. When you host more than one site, you put more stress on your time creating and managing multiple websites. This time could be better used building your business.
Easier to cross-sell
A single domain strategy allows you to offer distinct complementary products to your clients. This means you can provide a variety of related products or services in one website and likely make it easier for customers or clients to make a larger purchase. Offering your products or services across multiple websites can make it more challenging for the website visitor to fully understand what all you have to offer.
A website can cost thousands of dollars to set up and maintain. With a single domain strategy, you can limit both fixed and variable costs. Also, the website plugins will cost less if you’re buying them for just one domain than what it would for multiple domains.
Finally, it will cost less to optimize a single site than it would to optimize multiple websites. When a website attracts links from third parties, it ranks better in search engines like Google, Yahoo and Bing. It’s better to work on building one high quality website than many low quality websites. If the site is not attracting backlinks from other websites, you can create internal related content to boost your site’s ranking.
So, should companies use a single domain strategy in their business model? Generally speaking, yes, they should. Most companies opt for a single domain business approach even with a large pool of resources.
Advantages of A Multiple Domain Strategy
This is a viable option for corporations with diverse products and services. It suits businesses that have built a solid reputation. If you run an online business, you can have a product with more than one domain.
This is especially true if the products and services appeal to a different audience. More interestingly, you can customize the sales materials and messaging to hook specific customers.
Here are the benefits of a multiple domain strategy.
When it comes to marketing, there is no one-size-fits-all. Each group has its own set of needs and expectations. And when the diversity of messages is required, you can tailor the content.
For instance, if you run a company that provides academic resources, you may have different product lines. A separate site for each target market (high-school teachers and college professors) could help in the search engine rankings. As you rank better in search engines, you will get more qualified traffic, which will lead to more sales and revenue.
Shows areas of specialization
Niche websites can be more appealing than large generic sites. They allow for specialization and complement information on other sites. From a marketing standpoint, niche websites can support specific products and services. For example, if you’re a sign shop, you may have one website and domain dedicated to vehicle wraps. Then another for way-finding signage. This would show your specialization in the areas that matter most to you. And at the same time, you will most likely rank better in Google for your various specializations.
While you can offer a city-specific experience, it’s easier to address your customers with a separate domain. If you’re doing business in different countries, you may want to have different sites for each of the locations. Apart from that, you can match local preferences and habits.
Disadvantages of A Multiple Domain Strategy
If your multiple domain strategy is to exploit keyword-rich domain names in an attempt to snag the top spots on Google, then you should think twice about this strategy.
The truth is that while this strategy once worked very well, you don’t need a keyword-rich domain name in order to rank these days. Quite often it can hurt you more than help you. It makes much more sense to have a single brand domain and optimize the inner pages rather than producing several thin sites.
Also, in a multiple domain strategy, each site will require updates, unique content and SEO attention. This means a lot more work. You have to be prepared to hire extra staff for support with each of these tasks. You must also maintain consistency across all platforms.
A multi-domain strategy typically suits businesses that have built a solid reputation across a large geographical area or have multiple brands under their umbrella. There is a lot more work involved when it comes to managing multiple websites. If your business intends to sell goods/services to more than one city you would need to create a group of geo-specific sites.
If you have multiple brands, then you would need to rank each of the brands separately. Make sure you split off each of the services into its own site. That way, it’s easy to focus on keywords and domain names to promote the site. When the website focuses on different products, the customers will not get confused when comparing them. It will also not confuse the search engines when they are trying to determine what your site is about and the products and services you have to offer.
If you’re using a multi-domain strategy, you should improve internal linking. Make sure you develop content-rich sites to prevent search engine penalties.
Deciding on A Single vs Multiple Domain Strategy
Before you decide on the best strategy, you should ask yourself a few questions:
How will the domain(s) affect SEO?
With a single domain, Google will see your website as having more authority. The idea is to have a powerful, authoritative domain instead of multiple low quality websites.
When Google rates your content as high-quality, you’ll get a higher ranking. Publishing content frequently also helps your SEO. This is the main reason why companies choose to have a single domain. You should ensure your brand is trustworthy and consistent. This will help you reap greater SEO benefits than smaller websites.
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How important is your brand?
A single domain will help your brand if it’s leveraged across a number of individual locations which you serve. This means that potential customers can consider alternative locations. It’s better to have a page of your website dedicated to each of your branches or each of the locations that you serve rather than create a new website for each individual branch.
If each location has a unique brand that doesn’t depend on the corporate brand, or if the locations are in different countries and you need to have websites in different languages then that’s when you might want to consider multiple domain names.
However, you have to back it up with your branding strategy. Whichever route you take, you should get recognizable domains which are easy for people to remember.
How old and authoritative is your domain?
If you have a domain that has age and a lot of backlinks pointing to it, you may want to keep it. You’ll be ahead of the game when you have a domain that ranks well on search engines.
Domains don’t become authoritative overnight. You have to invest time and money.
If you’re trying to rank for a specific keyword, you may be wondering how to improve SEO. No matter the size of the business, a single domain strategy is almost always the best approach.
If you go for a multi-domain approach, you need deep pockets to cover the cost of developing and maintaining each of the websites. While it’s quite natural to end up with multi-domain names, they don’t bring much of an advantage when it comes to ranking like a single domain strategy.
With that said, every business is different, and the strategy you use should be based on your individual needs. It is up to you to determine which makes the most sense for your business.
We hope you find this blog post helpful. And, if you need help with your website, SEO or other aspects of digital marketing, let us know by scrolling down and connecting with us through the contact form.