Should Your Biz Maintain Multiple Websites or Just One?

Does business growth have you considering a new website as part of a new product line rollout?  Did your company recently acquire another company and subsequently a new website to manage?  We see these scenarios fairly often at TKG and questions we often hear are, “Should we start a new website?”  and sometimes, “Should we combine our websites?”  To answer these questions we have a few questions of our own.

  1. Will opening a new website generate additional sales or leads for the business?
  2. Does your company have several strong and distinct brands/products/services with unique audiences?
  3. Does your company have the resources to support and maintain additional websites?

Let’s take a closer look at each question:

Will opening a new website generate additional sales or leads?

This question can be applied to almost any business decision. Whether you’re considering advertising on a billboard, hiring an additional salesperson or starting a new website, don’t spend the time and money if it’s not going to help grow your business. Will the sales outweigh the costs? How long do you expect it to take for your new website to start generating enough leads or sales to produce a positive ROI greater than the setup and management costs?

Does your company have several strong and distinct brands/products/services with unique audiences?

Successful larger companies, especially established ones, change and adapt business models over time to meet shifts in the marketplace. The result could be acquiring a new company or changing from a product-focused model to a services-focused model. If the acquired company has a fiercely loyal customer base, there’s probably value in maintaining a separate website for the public even if all the backend operations have changed. Especially in the B-to-C space where consumers have certain expectations about the brand, mixing it with other brands can dilute brand equity.

When categorizing your audiences you will find that some groups may have similar expectations of a website while others are quite different. For example, one audience may be interested in making a one-time product purchase with a lengthy buying cycle while another audience may be exclusively interested in annual service contracts. Both of these audiences could be served through one website but if developing two separate sites provides a cleaner experience that generates more recurring revenue for the services department, then two sites should be considered.

Does your company have the resources to support and maintain additional websites?

Properly maintaining a website is a lot of work. If you have a small marketing department that can barely keep up with the website you currently manage, opening up a second site is not a good business decision unless you’re willing to bring in outside help. The result will be two poorly managed sites that will send the wrong message to your visitors when they see broken links and rarely updated news portals. On the other hand, if your team has the capacity to grow and is willing to invest additional time and money to ensure the new website won’t get neglected, then creating an additional website could be an excellent business decision.

So what’s the right answer for your business?

As a general rule, we tend to recommend expanding your existing website rather than opening up new websites with new domains with each change to your business. Let’s face it, most marketing departments don’t have the bandwidth and capacity to double their time spent working on web projects.

Instead, having one (or a few) exceptionally well-run websites provides a more concentrated location for adding content. As we’ve mentioned many times on this blog, sites with strong content strategies are less likely to be affected by the ever-changing Google algorithm. Rather than spreading your content across many sites, why not focus it into a singular site with lots of depth and a strong user experience? Launching a brand new website has advantages, but before you take the plunge, spend some time reviewing your current website and make sure it is scalable and getting the attention it deserves.

Certified in both Google AdWords and Analytics, Jon has a passion for all things web and shares that experience here on the blog. You’ll find him frequently talking e-commerce, digital strategy, pay-per-click, and more.

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