Businesses (both large and small) often have multiple offerings. These may be related or completely distinct depending on the nature of the products and services offered. For example, a content producer may also offer standalone design services since design and layout skills are required as part of content production.
While business offerings might all fall under one roof in the real world, the online business world is a bit more flexible and adaptable. It may be that you stand to gain a significant advantage by considering how to structure and present the online version of your business in order to maximise revenue, visibility, authority and exposure.
You generally have three distinct options:
- Put everything onto one domain
- Split different offerings into sub-domains
- Split distinct offerings into different domains
If your business only has a single offering, or a small number of closely related products and services then it makes sense to only consider one or both of the first two options. However, when you have a number of different services that are distinct, then it is time to consider buying additional domains.
A good rule of thumb that you can use to decide when it is best to add a new domain to your business is:
Use separate domains when an individual business offering will benefit from targeted and highly relevant content and marketing.By splitting distinct business offerings into distinct domains, you give yourself the ability to perform effective, long term, sustained Internet marketing on distinct domains and niches. Instead of one site having a mish-mash of content, you end up with several distinct sites that all rank highly in their given niche.
The net effect of splitting your real world business into multiple domains is that you can more effectively market each offering online. Each domain can have its own highly targeted SEO content produced and added to the site, giving each product or service its own focused stream of traffic. The conversion rate can then be increased for each offering because traffic is focused and not spread across any number of different potential services (as it would be if everything was kept on one site).
That’s not to say that you can’t relate the offerings to each other across domains. There’s nothing stopping you giving each domain exactly the same look and feel. This gives the different business offerings a unified and coherent brand. You might go so far as to link each product or service to each other one via their menus so that visitors can easily access each offering.
Be warned though; there are also disadvantages to splitting up your offerings. For example, customers wanting to purchase a range of services might find themselves inconvenienced by having to navigate across different sites.
As a result, you need to weigh up the SEO and marketing advantages against the usability and administrative overheads.
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