Can I Improve My SEO by Owning Multiple Websites?
Buying multiple properties might be great for Monopoly, but not so much in terms of websites.
Website owners that want to dominate search results for most of their target keywords are often under the assumption that the more websites or domains they purchase to target those keywords, the higher chance they’ll have of locking in the most clients or customers.
This may sound smart in theory, but technically speaking, it doesn’t really work at all.
Just because you’ve bought more online real estate doesn’t help your search engine optimization (SEO), and it doesn’t really guarantee that you’ll be the go-to website for any more of your target keywords than you would be if you had one website.
On this page, we’ll talk about the basics of SEO and why multiple websites don’t really improve your campaign.
If you’d like to learn more about SEO before reading on, you can speak to one of our specialists by calling 888-601-5359.
Before we talk about why having multiple websites doesn’t really improve your SEO, let’s talk about the basics of SEO.
SEO is a digital marketing technique that is used to help improve your website. These improvements will help your website rank higher in search results, and therefore, result in more website traffic and more paying customers.
The techniques used to make SEO a success range from content creation to creating an extensive backlink profile, ensuring great site navigation, and more.
So when we talk about improving your SEO on this page, we’re essentially talking about improving your rankings in search engines to ensure that you’re getting the most website traffic as possible.
Can multiple websites help SEO?
In short, it’s much better to have a single website with all your information. This makes for a single web design, a single SEO campaign, and a single check to your agency at the end of the month. That being said, there are certain situations where you may need multiple sites.
You have a brand within a brand
If you have a brand within your brand, multiple websites could be helpful.
Instead of confusing users by having your sub-brand located on your original website, you could make an entirely new site for just the sub-brand.
For example, if you own a clothing store, but also have a sub brand of baby clothes, it may be helpful to have another website that targets just baby clothes.
However, if you want to do so, you’ll have to have an SEO budget for two websites instead of one.
You want more niche results in Google
Following the example above, if you rank for both your clothing line and your baby clothes line, you’ll get more of Google’s real estate because you’ll rank for two searcher intents — adult clothing and baby clothing.
In this case, having two websites could potentially help your SEO, but only if you have the wallet to support two different SEO campaigns on two different websites.
4 reasons people think multiple websites will improve their SEO
Let’s put ourselves in the mindset of people who think having multiple websites will help their SEO. Here’s their thought process:
1. Buy domains until there's none left to buy
“My company sells organic snacks. If I buy all the domains relating to organic snacks, there will be none left for any other organic snack companies to buy. This means I’ll essentially own all the real estate for these keywords, and I’ll be the only organic snack company that anyone ever clicks on in Google.”
When you buy “all” the domains for your industry, you’ll never actually be buying “all” the domains. To put it in perspective, in 2016, there were a reported 22 million new domain registrations — that’s on top of the 334.6 million existing domains. It’s nearly impossible to buy every single domain that relates to your industry — unless you want to go seriously broke.
This means that even if you try to buy a ton of domains in your industry, it won’t really do any good because there are always more domains to be bought.
2. More websites, more keywords
“The more websites I have, the more keywords I can target.”
The idea that the more websites you have, the more keywords you can target is definitely one to forget. There is no limit to how many keywords you target on one website, which means you don’t need more than one website to target all the keywords for which you want to rank.
3. More keywords, more rankings
“The more keywords I have, the more terms I’ll rank for.”
There is some truth behind this notion. It is true that the more keywords you target, the more opportunities you’ll have to rank in Google.
However, just because you target a ton of keywords, doesn’t mean that you’ll rank well for all of them in Google. If you target them correctly, you can most definitely rank for them in Google, but you won’t have a ton of keyword real-estate just because you choose to include them on your website.
4. Just copy and paste
“It won’t be any extra work to own these other websites, because I can just copy and paste all of my content from one site to the next.”
When you copy content from one site to the next, this is known as duplicate content, and it actually hurts your SEO efforts rather than helping it. That being said, having more than one website is a lot of work because each website has to be separately maintained. Not to mention, it won’t be cheap either.
A single SEO campaign can cost anywhere from $750 to $2,500 a month, so if you want each of your purchased domains to be successful, you’ll likely want to have an SEO campaign for each. That’s not including content creation, or other marketing efforts, so having more than one domain will be rough on the wallet — especially when you can accomplish all the same things with one website.
Other issues with multiple websites and SEO
Having multiple websites won’t necessarily help your SEO campaign, and in fact, there are some sticky situations to be aware of when you have multiple websites.
1. Duplicate content
We’ve mentioned duplicate content earlier, but it’s worth digging into some more.
Like its title denotes, duplicate content is when you have exactly the same content (or close to) on two or more pages on the Internet, and there are a few different problems with this.
First, and most obvious is the issue of copying content from other websites. Just like you weren’t allowed to plagiarize in high school, you’re not allowed to plagiarize on your website either — even if you’re stealing content from one of your websites.
Google’s algorithm can’t tell that you’re stealing content from another one of your websites, so it essentially immediately looks like stolen content.
The second issue with duplicate content is that Google doesn’t know what page to rank. Even if both websites are yours, duplicate content makes it hard for Google to choose a site to rank in search results. Since it’s nearly identical, Google questions which page is more relevant and which will be more beneficial to readers.
The quick fix – Google doesn’t rank either. That means you’ve just lost a ranking for a specific keyword that you’ve targeted with content on two of your websites. Your website could also be penalized by Google for duplicate content which greatly affects your ability to show up in search results at all.
This means that when you have two websites for the same company, you’ll have to have double the content output for the same keywords. You’ll need two different sets of content for each of your service pages, your product pages, and any other page that targets a specific keyword.
2. Branding, location, and contact confusion
Another sticky issue with having multiple websites is confusion between branding, location, and contact information.
For example, let’s say you own a store that offers boutique-style women’s clothing, called “The Women’s Boutique.” One of your domains is boutique4u.com, and your second domain is womensboutique.com, but to stick with your brand, both sites welcome you with a homepage donning your storefront’s name.
Here’s just a few of the issues that could arise with multiple websites for the same company:
- What website do you put on your business cards?
- What website do you put in your email newsletters?
- Does each website give the same phone number?
- Does each website give the same physical address?
- What website do you give on review sites like Yelp?
- Does each website have a different brand vibe? Are they designed the same?
Your customers will be left wondering what website is your real website, what website gives the correct info, whether one is a knock-off, and other worthwhile questions that could negatively impact your company.
Users don’t want to have to investigate a company before they purchase from them, so save them the trouble and combine all your information on one website.
The benefits of great SEO on a single website
After going over the myths behind why having multiple websites is good for your SEO campaign, it’s important to understand how SEO can work wonders on a single site.
If your company wants to climb to the top of search results, increase traffic to your website, and increase conversions and revenue, SEO is the way to go.
However, if you want your SEO campaign to work, it’s best to do it on one single website.
The number of keywords you rank for on a single website is limitless, and you can do so by writing beneficial and informative content that targets your most valuable keywords.
Having one website also allows you to create a branded design that works for your company. Instead of having a fancy vibe on one website, and a grunge vibe on another, find a design that works for your business and consolidate your ideas onto one.
One website also allows you to reference the same piece of online real estate on all your contact points — whether it be email, business cards, or social media.
The final benefit of having a single website is that you can focus your SEO efforts all in one place. Instead of doubling your work to perform SEO on two websites to ensure that they have different content, new images, and are both spoken for on social media or email, simply focus all your SEO energy on one website.
We promise the results will be worth it.
Are you looking to consolodate multiple websites?
If we’ve convinced you that you’re not benefiting your company by having multiple websites, we can help you with the next steps.
Not only can we help you consolidate your multiple websites into one, but we can also start an SEO campaign that will help your new, single website to rank highly in search results for the keywords that mean the most to your business.
We’ll keep your branding on point and ensure that your content is beneficial and informative, and we’ll definitely ensure that there is no duplicate content.
We can’t wait to hear from you!
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Bill Craig WebFX President
Ready to start your Internet marketing and design campaigns? Call 888.449.3239 or contact us online today to learn more about how WebFX can help with your SEO challenges.