This isn’t one of those questions that always has a simple yes or no answer. It’ll often depend on your business and the purpose of the different websites. In this post, we look at a few of the advantages and some disadvantages to having multiple company websites for online marketing.
Reasons Not to Have More than One Website
For most businesses, one website is the right answer. Consider the information below before you take on multiple websites.
- Expense. You will have to pay to have the websites built, hosted, maintained and promoted. If your digital marketing budget is already strained, having two or more sites will only further stretch your budget.
- NAP confusion. Search engines use NAP (Name, Address, Phone Number) data for various reasons and when there are multiple websites with the same NAP information, this can confuse search engines and cause them to stop ranking all sites.
- Diluting traffic. Search engines tend to give more prominence to websites that have more traffic. Sites with more volume are deemed to have more valuable information because more people go there and spend time on them, therefore they rank higher.
- Duplicate content. Google will penalize your site or sites if they have duplicate content. Multiple sites often contain duplicate content either because of inexperience, lack of funds or laziness.
- Client confusion. The last thing you want to do is confuse your target audience. You want them to trust you, like you and buy from you. If you have multiple websites, what message are you sending to your potential customers?
When Multiple Websites are OK
Although there are strong arguments against having more than one website, there are times when multiple websites may benefit your company. The main reason to have multiple sites is when you have two very different audiences. Let’s take a business that serves both individuals and other businesses. One example might be a roofing company. Commercial roofing and residential roofing are very different services. Different products and techniques are used. Because of this, your company might want separate websites to speak to two very different customer audiences.
Another reason might be to target specific keywords that you may be able to better rank on a site that focuses on one of your many offerings. Using the roofing company example works here as well. Many residential roofing companies also sell and install windows. A website that focuses on roofing but mentions the other services offered will help if a customer happens onto your roofing site but is also looking for windows. Having a separate site for windows can benefit contractor lead generation if you’re focusing on a specific brand (especially if it is a well-known brand) and want to promote that brand of windows and not mention other services. Because the site will focus on windows and have more window-based content, it will be more likely to rank higher for window-related keywords.
For most small businesses, multiple websites are not going to be a benefit in the long run. If you are a new business, focus on one quality website and get it ranking before considering a second site. If you are considering a second or third site, make sure you have the budget in place and a strong reason for that second site before you start working on it.