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    5 Replies Latest reply on Mar 13, 2015 12:26 PM by seoservicepro

    Why Would I Ever Need More Than One Website?

    seoservicepro Ranger

      microsites.jpgIn 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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        • Re: Why Would I Ever Need More Than One Website?
          Moderator Cath Guide

          Wow, seoservicepro - microsites!  A concept that many of us have, perhaps, not considered.  It is interesting and definitely worth considering.  I know you wrote that the cost may not be too much but I am wondering how much time for updating would result.  Would you mind discussing this a bit?

           

          I will take your suggestion and read the articles you suggested and become more informed.  I'm still just shaking my head at the concept of microsites - and growing into the possibilities.

           

          Cath

            • Re: Why Would I Ever Need More Than One Website?
              seoservicepro Ranger

              Well, the basic concept has changed over the years. The reason I revisited the approach is because of the volume of content put before people every day.

               

              They are on social media and being presented lots of content with catchy titles that they choose from. If they search they are presented with 10 choices plus the number of paid results. Then they come to your website and are presented with yet a new number of choices.

               

              As much as people love choice, too many of them causes no decision at all in many cases. They may mean to return later because they are overwhelmed right now, but most do not return later. How many bookmarks do you have right now that you meant to go back to but haven't?

               

              If you sell several products or services, or categories, then they have many choices on your site. If your website is built using the power of 3, giving them just 3 choices, you increase the chance for them to go to one of those three. Then each can have 3 more, and 3 more, etc. I'll share a post on that later.

               

              With a Microsite, you are selecting only one service, product or category. The entire focus of the site is about one thing. it should be small, hence the Micro. Home, About Us, Contact Us, ToS, Privacy, Sitemap, and a landing page to start with.

               

              You can create more than one landing page to do testing or to separate campaigns and even add more landing pages later for different campaigns.

               

              The home page is for people who find you. The landing pages are where you actively drive traffic to from social, email marketing and PPC.

               

              Each landing page is to be designed for a singular purpose, whether it's a signup or subscription, selling a specific product or service, etc.

               

              There are no distractions for the user.

               

              Let's say we have a user who goes to your main website looking for a specific thing. They get there and there are all of these other really cool things too. Hey, maybe i'll check that out. And ohhh, look what else they have!. Eventually, it's, Why did I come here?

               

              A microsite covers the thing they were looking for, keeps them focused on the target and makes it easy for them to perform the desired action.

               

              A note about distractions on your website. If you have social media icons at the top of the page, get rid of them, maybe put them in the footer.

               

              You spend money and time to get them to your website. With the social media icons at the top, you are basically saying, Hey! Forget buying something, you could be having fun with us on Facebook instead! The same goes with anything that distracts the user from viewing what brought them there in the first place.

            • Re: Why Would I Ever Need More Than One Website?
              linensman2u Adventurer

              We use a second website for employment applications. Potential employees are able to download our private job applications to attach to there resumes usually supplied via outside sources like Indeed, Craigslist, Employment Commission , etc. We find that most resumes are either poorly written, too generic , or purposely vague. To save us valuable time calling unqualified people for interviews this helps us screen them. Plus on this second website we can fully profile our business to them, Job duties expected, Salary ranges. etc. All without compromise to vital social media statistics  Google, Facebook and other provide as insight tools for us to develop target market plans on our social media advertising sites and or e-commerce site.