When marketing your business on the Internet, sometimes it may be sensible to offer visitors more than one website. But in most cases, having too many websites can be a detriment to your company.
Over the past two years, we have been asked our opinion concerning having more than one website. Should your company have more than one website? Maybe, but owning numerous websites, we found, can cause lots of challenges.
4-8 years ago: the multiple website mentality
There was a trend—especially with larger corporations—to create websites for each brand or for every whim that came out of the marketing department. For example, if a company wanted to market a new product or service, the quick plan was to build a website around it.
“It’s new. It needs its own website.”
The concept seemed solid: let’s create one site that is all about this product or service, and Google will reward us for it. Oh, how times have changed. Today, that just isn’t the case.
Today’s web and business
Google has gotten smarter. The world’s biggest search engine can tell what type of device you are using, not to mention your location, your behaviors, likes and interests as well as the websites that stand the best chance of meeting your needs.
The Internet has changed; so websites need to adapt quickly. Today, your business or organization must have a web presence for everyone. Your audience is on all devices: desktop, tablet and smartphone computers.
Knowing all of this, how are you going to manage a website for each product or service well and manage the information each type of computer user is seeking (e.g. a smartphone user tends to want brief, bullet-point style answers to questions; a desktop user may want to dig deeper into the information, research, etc.)?
In other words, how can you give visitors to your website a great experience so they want to buy from your business?
Answers to the challenges of multiple websites
The following are some reasons why businesses should want fewer websites – perhaps even condense down to one site.
- Mobile-friendliness – It’s important to create a great web experience for all users, especially smartphone and tablet users. This most likely means redeveloping your website in what’s known as ‘responsive design.’ This is costly and time consuming. Imagine doing this for every site you own!
- Lower costs – You can save development costs and management time when multiple websites are trimmed down into one good site. Development is less time and money. Hosting is less. SSLs are less. Costs of labor to make changes, additions and updates are less when resources are conserved. Less is less.
- Easier to manage – I would say one of the greatest expenses of owning a website is the time it takes to add and update pages. And to do it right, you have to dedicate time to manage your website. Otherwise, the site is likely not doing your company much good. Having fewer websites means less time employees will spend logging in, writing and managing text, photos and videos in multiple website admins. It’s much easier to manage all of your company’s content in one location. (Shameless plug alert: You can also save employee time by having us help with writing content, and managing your website – FYI.)
- Search engine credibility – If more content is on one domain, and Google is getting really good at understanding what a business has to offer (not to mention if visitors to a website are finding what they are seeking), doesn’t it make sense that you might be able to leverage the strength of having more content on one domain to your advantage? If that content is consistently being updated in one place (instead of having many websites with some stagnant content – who can manage all that and do it well?), wouldn’t it appear to Google that your company’s website is well-maintained with fresh, relevant content for visitors? If so, we bet Google would reward that.
There IS a solution!
The web is challenging. Our clients are busy, and most have a website (or more) and multiple social media platforms to manage. The challenge is to let go of what you don’t need. Don’t be afraid to ask yourself the hard questions:
- Do we need more than one website?
- Can we have just one good website?
- Where is my audience on social media? (e.g. Are my customers on Facebook and Twitter or are they on LinkedIn?
If you have multiple websites and are loaded down with doing a lot but not doing a lot well, it may be time to find a better way to market your company.
Let’s get together and talk about your customers and your business goals for growth. Let’s put a strategy together for your website and web marketing.