A website is one of the best ways to increase your company’s visibility and connect with new leads. With that in mind, some business owners create multiple sites to increase their chances of breaking through to audiences.
But having multiple websites comes with both pros and cons.
- Having many business websites can create challenges like extra time and money spent, brand confusion, and more.
- Some of the perks of multiple business websites are that they can help you operate globally and allow for separate marketing and sales funnels.
- It is easier to maintain one website unless you have a specific reason to split up your brand.
What Are the Impacts of Having Multiple Websites?
Every business and audience is different, so it’s impossible to predict how having multiple websites could impact your performance. Here are a few common factors to consider when deciding.
More investment of time and money
The main reason to think carefully before starting multiple websites for the same business is that you spend significant time and money on each one. In most cases, those resources would be more effective if fully invested in a single site.
Multiple websites might sound like it streamlines your workflow since you could write copy and content once and reuse it on each domain. However, Google and other major search engines penalize websites for duplicate content, so reusing the exact text and images hurts each of your sites.
You must invest in unique content for each site to optimize your visibility in search engines. That could include overpaying for extra writers, pay-per-click (PPC) ads, site crawls, and other services.
On top of that, you’ll likely pay for multiple domain names, hosting arrangements, and even e-commerce themes. It usually makes more sense to devote your time, money, and energy to a single website instead of managing more than one.
Multiple websites create brand confusion
If you’re using multiple websites to reach internet users, it’s difficult to avoid at least some people visiting more than one of your sites. This could lead to confusion or even make them doubt your credibility.
Since all your websites lead to the same business, each one should be unique and yet identical in certain ways. It’s easier for your audience if you put the same address or contact information on multiple sites.
Also, it’s difficult to develop coherent branding while connecting your brand to multiple websites. For example, you need to create separate social media profiles for each website or have a single profile promoting simultaneously.
It’s hard to track leads to multiple websites
Tracking leads through the sales cycle is critical for any business, but that becomes much more complex when you’re working through multiple websites. Instead of a single unified digital presence, you’ll need to monitor visitors across several domains.
Working with a single site streamlines tracking and attribution, making staying on top of your sales funnel easier. Again, the drawbacks usually countered the advantages of creating multiple sites.
Why Should You Consider Multiple Websites?
Typically, creators find focusing on a single website more effective instead of spreading resources across multiple sites. Still, there are a few reasons why small business owners often consider creating multiple sites to serve their audiences more effectively.
How to operate in various countries
Multiple websites can work well when a business operates in many countries. Instead of running a single website, these brands often use a separate domain to cater to consumers in each region.
eBay, for example, is available through www.ebay.com to users in the U.S. Meanwhile, visitors to the auction site in other countries might use www.ebay.fr, www.ebay.de, www.ebay.es, or another international equivalent. This allows them to build each site specifically for the corresponding market.
Create separate marketing and sales funnels
Complications with lead generation and tracking are common reasons to avoid creating multiple business websites. In some cases, however, splitting different aspects of the same underlying business into multiple sites may be more logical.
Set up many sites for your business if you sell products in different categories or offer varying products or services for different customers, such as a small business or enterprise solution. Condense your brand into a single site unless there are substantial benefits to splitting your website up.
easyJet, for example, connects visitors with different accommodations through the easyJet, easyHotel, and easyCar websites. Even though the domains are different, the branding and color scheme makes it easy for users to tell they are working with the same business.
EasyJet’s niches come with different audiences and target keywords, so there’s a good reason to separate them. Trying to offer flights, hotels, and rental cars from within the same interface would be needlessly confusing while making it more difficult for easyJet to tailor its digital outreach strategies to different types of searches.
While creating one website for an entire brand sometimes makes sense, situations like these often call for multiple sites. Nordstrom Rack is another good example — even though both Nordstrom and Nordstrom Rack sell clothes, the products and target audiences are different enough to set up a separate website for each one.
How to handle multiple physical storefronts
You might consider creating several websites when your brand operates multiple physical storefronts. It might be a good idea to set up a separate website for each one so visitors can find the information that corresponds to their local store.
Most businesses opt for a centralized website that offers information about all locations. This is better for domain authority and allows visitors to learn about alternative locations they may not have known about. We only recommend this strategy for a few edge cases — for example, if you have storefronts in different countries or each location sells highly different products.
Is It Worth Having Multiple Sites?
Creating multiple websites can be tempting, and it isn’t always a bad idea. Maintaining several websites is the norm for brands like eBay and Amazon that sell to global audiences.
However, most businesses have neither the international reach nor the separate sales funnels necessary to sustain multiple websites. Unless you have a specific reason to split up your brand, we strongly recommend building your digital presence around a single website.
FAQs About Creating Multiple Business Websites
Can I have multiple websites under one domain?
One domain can be mapped to only one website at a time, yet you can point varying domains to the same website. If you buy a domain name, you can add any number of subdomains and direct them to different websites.
What are the benefits of having multiple websites?
Some perks of having many websites are a global presence, greater flexibility with products/services, appearance in more Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs), and better segmentation (and market share).
What are the disadvantages of websites in business?
If your website is unavailable or constantly crashing, that is a severe disadvantage to a business. You might miss potential sales and affect your search engine ranking.