One of the challenges business owners face in the process of setting up their business website is deciding whether they need only one website or multiple websites. Using just one domain for your business has its advantages likewise using multiple domains. However, as a business owner, you have to choose between the domain strategy types and build your online presence with it.
A Single Domain – One Website
As the name suggests, it’s like having a single online office where you can capitalize on and use your resources to develop. It is easier for your clients/consumers to locate and interact with. It can, however, be challenging if your business involves independent niches because then your website will be confusing. The website will confuse your brand/identity such that potential clients/consumers may not be able to tell what your business is really about.
For instance, if you’re into producing house paints, selling plumbing materials and you also run a car rental business, having one website for the three separate businesses will be a bad idea.
Multiple Domains – Multiple Websites
In this case, you create two or more websites to represent different aspects of a single business, separate niches, different countries, etc. There are several factors that make business owners choose this.
Most multinational companies use multiple domains because it allows them to localize their branding for each country. They use different countries’ top-level domain (ccTLD) and cater to each country’s unique needs by assimilating each country’s culture. Coca-Cola does this, each website has its own unique brand that blends well with the people of the country. Besides branding, one of the advantages of using ccTLDs to create multiple websites is that it helps with SERPs. Google will show the websites according to geo-location, hence, if someone in South Africa enters Coca-Cola in Google search, Google will show coca-cola.com.za.
The second reason why business owners consider using multiple domains is when they prefer to use separate websites for their different niches or aspects of their businesses. Amazon for one has different websites for its separate niches, the online store has a different website, Amazon web service (AWS) has a different website. It also has different domains for different aspects such as Amazon.jobs.
Language is another reason companies use multiple websites.
Running Multiple Websites Is Tasking
Using multiple websites for your business will require more commitment and more money. You have to do multiple sites maintenance, do SEO for each website, get SSL certifications for each site, and fill each site with unique content. You can’t choose to duplicate content, Google will detect this and it will appear as if you’re trying to get your sites to rank high on SERPs using the same keywords. Lastly, you will need to build unique brand identities, although they may be similar, for each site.
Well, it’s not exactly a problem to have multiple domains for your business, multinationals like Coca-Cola and Microsoft run multiple websites successfully. Being a relatively small business doesn’t have to limit you if you think that your business needs more than one domain then, by all means, create multiple websites.
However, it is advisable that you start with one website to save resources, develop separate sections that your client/customers can navigate. When you become bigger and can manage the expansion then you can split up the sections into separate websites.
If your reason for preferring multiple domains is language, set up a silo structure instead. Make use of ahref lang tags to separate each language versions of your website. With proper silo folders for each language and setting up alternate links, you won’t need to create multiple websites.
When you sectionalize your website by using silo folder structure all the generated backlinks will point to the root domain. To put this more clearly, let’s say you have a section on your website for women sportswear amongst many other sections; when the section is back-linked by another site, the link will point back to the main website.
Expansion doesn’t necessarily require switching to multiple websites. They may be few but there are multinationals using one domain – Nike, Apple, and Samsung use one website for all their products and services. If you already have multiple domains and no longer want to manage them, you can ask your IT department or a hosting agency to help you merge them into one website using redirect 301.