Search Engine Optimization

Multiple Websites vs. One Central Hub – What’s Right for Multiple Location Businesses?

A fairly common question that many business owners with multiple locations have is whether they should create one giant website to house all their info or create smaller, individuals sites for each…

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one site or multiple ones

A fairly common question that many business owners with multiple locations have is whether they should create one giant website to house all their info or create smaller, individuals sites for each location.

Today we’ll be breaking down the benefits of each of these options to help point you in the right direction.

Reasons to Consider One Central Hub

A Consistent User Experience

When you create multiple websites, you run into the risk of also creating different user experiences within each website. Brand consistency plays a huge role in your overall brand image. Therefore, inconsistent brand websites can lead to a tarnished brand image. When you have one website, not only do you avoid this potential issue, but you also give the user everything they need in a single location. So, they don’t have to hop around different sites to learn about each location.

Better Domain Authority For New Locations

Imagine you’re adding a location or service to your business. Launching that new location or service as a part of an existing domain will allow that new addition to your business to have authority and backlinks already. Both of these factors are huge when it comes to SEO and getting in front of your audience on Google. On the opposite side, creating a new domain for this additional arm of your business means it will take awhile for it to start ranking on Google.

GEO-Specific Experiences Can Be Utilized

You can make it easy for your website users to still find the right location using city or state-specific sections within a big site. For example, if you have offices in Minneapolis and Chicago, you can create separate sections for each. Your URLs for those sections would look like “YourBusinessName.com/Minneapolis” and “YourBusinessName.com/Chicago.” This way, you can still rank for those individual locations.

A Concerted SEO Effort is Better Than a Divided One

When you can focus all of your keyword research, backlinking, content writing and optimization efforts on one domain as opposed to multiple different ones, you’re more likely to find success. You’ll be able to avoid dividing your digital marketing teams’ talents and can instead focus on getting your one main site performing.

Reasons to Use Multiple Websites

Keep Your Campaigns Separate

It’s not always right to pool all of your locations into one domain. If you want to keep your locations or services completely separate, then having multiple location-based domains may make sense. Let’s use Hook Agency as an example. Let’s say we opened up another branch in L.A., but instead of doing digital marketing, we only offered branding and creative services. Because we didn’t want potential clients coming to our site and being confused about what services we offer, we went ahead and created a whole new website for our L.A. branch.

A confusing website experience is just as bad as one that is lacking in consistency. So, if your secondary locations or services are distinct enough from the original, then multiple sites may be the way to go.

Which is Best? One Domain or Multiple Ones?

As you can see, the answer—many digital marketing questions—is “it depends.” That being said, I’d slightly lean towards creating existing sections on a single domain. This, of course, is with the expectation that your different locations offer extremely similar services.

For example, we work with roofers and contractors who operate in various cities. But, instead of creating all sorts of new domains for each individual city or region, we just built out robust landing pages or separate sections for each city within a single domain. The biggest benefit of this—as mentioned earlier, but it’s important, so I want to bring it up again—is that those sections all benefit from utilizing existing backlinks and authority.

Again, there are exceptions to when you wouldn’t want to do it this way, but for the most part, you’ll see businesses going with a single domain.

Do you have an opinion on which is best? Which do you think is most effective? Let me know in the comments!

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