E-Marketing in Minneapolis David Vinge, eMarketing Dashboard : SEO Tip - Separate Web Sites for Different Parts Of A Business?

Monday, January 25, 2010

SEO Tip - Separate Web Sites for Different Parts Of A Business?

Would it be better to create a separate website for each part of a business, ie: networking, membership, boutique, or would it be better to build everything new under the same Web site?

There's just no one answer for every situation. It depends on your objective and target audience.

For reputation management you want multiple Web sites appearing in search engines to push the "bad stuff" off the first page of results. This can be accomplished by using different sub-domains for each section of a site, or with separate domains for a corporate site, brand marketing site(s), store site and/or blog. Add various social media sites including Twitter and Facebook and throw in some directory profiles including Wikipedia and the first page is filled with "good stuff".
For e-commerce purposes you should try to dominate the top three results. Again a separate corporate site, brand site and store site properly optimized can push your competitors and/or affiliates further down the results list.

If you have distinctively different audiences for products under the same brand then you need different sites for usability purposes. The look and feel of a consumer focused site may need to be different from the commercially targeted site and also from the investor site.

For globalization and localization you should consider using different country code top-level domains (ccTLD). If research finds that your customers prefer to buy local or if your product line is very different by country then distinctly different sites are warranted. If a searcher specifies "Pages in Mexico" then the ccTLD is the best way for the search engine to filter the results. Of course you can always use Webmaster Tools to tell Google that your dot com sub-directory is country specific but the results don’t look local to your customer.

So determine…
  1. your objective
  2. your target audience(s)
  3. tactics that will move each target audience toward your objective
You may find that one site is enough, or not.

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