In the past, there were a lot more reasons to have more than one website. Individual websites on different C-Class IPs led to search engines ranking your business more than once on search engine results pages.
An example; We built 50 websites for a client in 2006. The domain names were the same, except for the state we included. Each was on a different C-Class IP. All 50 dominated the search term we targeted.
Don't try this at home. It won't work today. Google and other search engines have done a lot to make sure of that. Those sites still do okay, but they don't dominate the results anymore. And different C-Class IPs don't fool anyone, including the search engines.
There was always a better reason for building more than one website.
Microsites are useful for specific campaigns or promotions. Let's use an Auto Parts business for this example.
You likely have and should have one website that has everything you sell. But suppose you want to push GM parts.
You can promote your current pages that have GM products and even build landing pages that only talk about GM parts through social media, email marketing and PPC.
An alternative to that is to build another smaller website that is all about GM parts. It can be optimized and more focused on just attracting people looking for GM parts.
It isn't on a separate C-Class. It's not hidden as to who owns it or what larger website it is connected to. It's like having a subsidiary.
However, it is there to use when you promote GM parts with an email campaign, social media campaign or PPC campaign. And it has a good chance of ranking well for search terms that your larger website may not be doing so well in.
Some people are Ford fanatics, some are GM, some are Chrysler, etc. The GM fanatics may even be more inclined to buy from a site that is all about the cars they like.
To break it down even further, you could choose to build a site all about parts for a particular GM model or do it totally different and build a site for specific types of parts that are most commonly sought after.
You could build a site about bumpers, windshields, carburetors, etc.
Another example is with something like Shopify. The blogging platform there isn't as easy to use or as effective as using Wordpress. There are other concerns in regards to SEO and even social that have been written about here on LinkedIn.
Shopify is a great tool for getting traffic and processing sales. But, if you had another website that was not hosted within Shopify, maybe even a simple Wordpress site, you can attract customers that would not have found you in Shopify. Through your blog and social as well as the search engines.
When they click to order something, it processes it through Shopify as normal, so no real need to set up a separate shopping cart.
What about the cost?
Microsites are meant to be small. You don't need a new ordering system or shopping cart. When someone clicks at a certain point, they end up at your main website.
That can be at the point of purchase or even just more details about the specific item they want. remember, you need to be very open about the website being associated with your main website.
So, many of the pages you would think you need in your Microsite already exist on your main website and do not need to be duplicated in any way.
Microsites can be very inexpensive to build. You only need product pages for the specific products you are promoting. You can even just use one page for each category that leads the user to your main website once they've chosen what they are looking for.
Anyway, all comments are welcome. Some absolutely disagree with building multiple website and they have their reasons. I've found them effective, so wanted to share this technique as an alternative.
Can you think of other reasons to have more than one website?
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