in Business

Five reasons why you should have more than one web site

One of the things that we come across when we build web sites for customers is their desire to appear in search results — at the top. The root goal is to increase the number of prospects and being at the top does make a difference.

Frequently we’ll let a client know that there are a few things that affect search engine rankings.

  1. Well written content and the more the better
  2. Descriptive links from your homepage to your content using the phrases you are targeting
  3. Lots of inbound links

Number three is what stuns most people. The idea of creating a lot of inbound links is impossible. Yet it holds the key that keeps them from online success.

And it really is.

In my humble opinion, if you want to be a success online you have a far better chance if you create those inbound links yourself and the only thing that is preventing you from creating a plethora of online sites is your time and money. With the expertise to do that yourself (as a web developer) what is holding you back?

The more inbound links your site has the more importance Google will place upon your site. So if you have ten inbound links as opposed to just one, Google can see that and it affects your Google Page Rank.

Over the past few years I have been working steadily to create a network of sites. It’s paying off in more ways than I could have ever thought possible.

Being the expert in a field is easier than it used to be. Before the Internet came along if you wanted to be a subject matter expert you would have had to write articles and get them published in trade journals and magazines. To have credibility you would need to write books. And that’s only the beginning.

Today, it is so much easier. You can create web sites and write content on them every single day about your subject. With great design and good writing you can be an authority on a subject. Books and articles in print do help, however with just the web you can make a reputation.

Here are 5 reasons you should have more than one web site:

  1. If you link all of your sites together your Google Page Rank will likely increase
  2. The more sites you make the more opportunity you create to set yourself up as an expert in a field (because each site is focused on a particular topic)
  3. You will end up with more control over your rankings in search engines and less at the whim of Google
  4. Domain names and hosting are inexpensive
  5. It makes launching new web sites a breeze because you can immediately drive traffic to them

Me? I am working on my 12th site right now.

How does this apply to you? Let us imagine for a minute that you run an architectural firm in Phoenix. Let’s presume that you have a web site now but you don’t get any real leads through it. Why would having multiple web sites help and what would these sites be about?

Here’s what Tornado would recommend: Create one main site for the company that discusses everything your firm does. This is the master site. From there, look at sub specialties. Does your company have experience designing schools? Sports complexes? Gymnasiums? Whatever you have a specialty in, create a site around that topic.

Once you’ve created at least one more specialty site you can often use it as a template to build others. Using the same design and code you can drop in new photos, new content, and a slightly different number of pages. Once you put it online you can link to it from all of your other sites and immediately create traffic to it.

There really isn’t any limit to the number of sites you can make. I have no intention of stopping at 12 sites. Imagine the power of 24 sites! If they were all linked together the number of page views would be amazing.

13 Comments

  1. Very good points. Link building is the most worthwhile (but difficult) task when it comes to bringing in traffic to new sites. But when you have multiple sites yourself, you can easily manage the quality (and targeting) of those links.

    Good post 🙂

  2. Okay, I shudder at the thought. You have suddenly doubled (at the minimum) your content management/maintenance. You have diluted your brand, although I will acknowledge that you refer to a master site. God forbid you have localized/translated content anywhere out there.

    From a usability standpoint, if you’re cross-linking all of these sites you’re going to impact the experience once the user arrives.

    I applaud the DYI effort here, but I’m missing something. I wouldn’t apply this strategy to client sites.

  3. If you keep all websites at the same host this is something google will take notice of and because of that lower the importance of the links from the other sites (since they can see that its (likly) the same person owning them all).

  4. Is there more to this than the SEO benefit? I’m still undecided about how much I want to invest in that element of web design, and a dozen domains certainly exceeds my mental SEO budget, unless there are other reasons (that can’t be accomplished with subdomains, like the specialty-site concept).

  5. Steve – I’d say that the main benefit to me besides SEO efforts has been that I’m an expert in a variety of fields and it’s allowed me to connect with people. Then they want to do business with me. In a number of ways I don’t know where my sites will be in 5 years. I’m sure though that I’ll be a lot farther along than if I hadn’t started these sites.

    A good example is my ArizonaCoffee.com site. I started that and just kept posting. It has taken me about a year to get to this point (site is one year old next month). For the first 9-10 months the site had an ugly layout, nothing fancy, but it drew a crowd.

    You just have to start. But at the same time, you have to be passionate about the topics you plan to write about. That’s the trick. Coffee for me is a lot of fun. So I did it and it works great. Another site of mine is Ketchup Week and that site hasn’t hit its peak yet. My hope is that it will towards the end of this year once I put it through a Tornado redesign.

  6. Another idea I have is to create a national company out of thin air. It would be so easy to do. I’ve tossed the idea of creating a national real estate firm or maybe even an insurance company (something that I can use generic imagery on). You could create it in a few days including the design and copywriting. If you had a dozen sites you could link it up and start getting some leads through it. It would be quite funny really.

    I could also do this locally, for example, create a number of design firms out of thin air and create great sites for them. That could get messy though, that’s why I haven’t done it.

  7. engines will sometimes detect duplicate content, so be careful making duplicates. Not a bad idea to build multiple sites though. They become ugly over time but traffic will keep coming in. Just dont try to build them all at once 😉

  8. I linked several domainnames to my main site, in holland they cost around 1 euro for a country domain. You set the dns to the main and voila.

    If you think about it, some populairnames get hits from people who just try out the domainname. Sometimes it can get you an extra 50 visitors. Not bad 😛

    And then there’s always people who have domainnames so that when you mistype existing names you get on their site. I’m not sure how many google has but alot 🙂 gooogle gogle etc

  9. Having 10 sites or so will not have a significant impact on Google’s PageRank. Besides, they can easily figure out a common owner and decrease the value of links. Worth yet, a larger network will be slapped with a title of “link farm” (it’s not like you’re the first to come up with such idea) and at this point you’re doing more worse than good.

    Bottom SEO line is that you need quality links from related content and to get such, you’d need to start spreading your own content thin out. Bad.

    The correct reasoning should have been to group related content under their own domains, as to have a number of strong, niche oriented sites. Good. 🙂

  10. I appreciate your argument, but I feel like you take it into a circle. In effect, you argue against my idea and then basically support it in your final sentence.

  11. Sorry Chris, I mean to say that it is a good idea, but the reason of farming links for yourself is not it 😉 You know… this whole “doing the right thing for the wrong reasons” type of deal.

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