Advantages and Disadvantage of Multiple Domains for Business Websites 

Everyone has their own areas of expertise, and there will always be others who are savvier than you when it comes to a certain subject. There are plenty of people who possess a lot of business savvy, but when it comes positioning their business in the digital space, they are quick to admit that’s not their forte. They delegate that part of their operations to someone who does have the needed know how, and they’re much better off for it. Making the right decisions in that sphere is more important than ever these days though, as so many businesses have a lot riding on their online presence.

Choosing a domain is part of that, but it’s not as difficult a choice as choosing whether or not you’ll have more than one of them. Here at 4GoodHosting we’re like any Canadian web hosting provider in that domains are very much our specialty, and one thing we know is that business owners often come to a point where they need to decide if they’ll be using multiple domains for more than one website for their business. There are advantages to that, and disadvantages too so what we’ll do with our entry this week is compare them and hopefully put your more in the know if you need to make a similar decision for yourself.

Securing & Supplementation

Many times, this is done because there is a need to pointing or redirecting multiple domain names to one or two websites only. In this situation the additional domains are serving to secure business name or supplementing type-in traffic. Additional domains here may be good if you have a product or service that appeals to different audiences. Having one for each target audience makes it possible to customize the messaging, sales materials, and other marketing strategies that will be more conducive to obtaining certain type of potential customers.

On the other side of that, multiple domains can be detrimental to page rankings. Many still park multiple domains as aliases for their main website, but that is less and less common these days and for good reason. One thing we can tell you with authority is that SEO is done on a single domain name and incorporates many things such as site popularity, the volume of content on the site and what type it is, keywords in meta and title fields, and paying for spots in search engine databases.

Protecting your website name or business brand is usually the primary aim when someone chooses to go with multiple domains. Best practice here is to register similar, complementary domains closely related to your site name, along with making sure you do it before anyone else has the same chance to. Generally speaking, multiple domain names don’t bring much of an advantage to website rankings, but they are effective for safe keeping of your brand recognition and reputation.

Look Long Term

The long-term outlook needs to be on building strong authority sites and if your website serves a simple purpose then using multiple pages on the same site will likely be adequate. But it is unavoidable that this will mean more work for you or your webmaster, with each site needing unique content, regular updates, and SEO optimization and ongoing monitoring. And of course, this will also mean more expense, along with economies of scale for hosting and other services that need to be weighed against the value added to the goals for the sites.

Another point is to make sure your marketing messages are consistent across all platforms, and that includes however many domains and websites you are operating.

Advantages of Multiple Domains

  • Good fit for single businesses with diverse audiences – separate sites makes it possible to tailor content as well as approach an individual group
  • Showcasing specialization for a niche website – better for supporting the development of deep, topic-specific content, which makes your site a more valuable resource and one that is more likely to be linked to (which is a big plus for SEO)
  • High turnover – good for any type of business or venture where name changes are common. Multiple domain names can be helpful to leverage an established identity or geographic presence.
  • Better for multiple countries & multiple language – more than one domain lets have separate sites for different geographic locations, and you also have the opportunity to tailor content and images to match social and cultural norms in these locations, Matching the different sites to local preferences and habits can also make the URL easier to find, which is a huge plus when it is an e-commerce website of any kind.

Disadvantages of Multiple Domains

  • Ranking – having multiple sites can at times see the sites penalized for having identical or duplicate, and this can be true even when the content is published in different languages. Scattered back links to your sites or being subject to bad links redirecting to phishing sites are ongoing possibilities when you have multiple domains
  • Difficulty Locating – the tendency is for people to look up a company by name. When one has multiple domain names it can become difficult for a prospective customer to find what they need.
  • Authority loss – In situations where domain names need to be changed, there can be a loss of authority based on the perception of some people
  • Expense – The more domains and sites you have, the more time and money that is required for them
  • Identity dilution – having branded products split off on different sites may undermine the power and market influence of a company
  • Merging difficulties – should you decide to move back to a single domain and website, migration of resources from the other ones to it can be expensive.

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