One of the most common mistakes my clients make is building too many websites. This fractures their web presence and harms their traffic. Luckily, judging whether you need another website isn’t difficult; you just have to ask the right question.
Why People Build Unnecessary Websites
- You’re a non-profit organization advocating healthcare for children. Supported by a new grant, you’re launching an exciting project researching the availability of healthcare in your state. You’re hoping this new project will generate a lot of buzz. You get a logo for the project, new marketing materials, and sparkling new website.
- You’re a business consultant who helps clients invest in their future and plan for growth. You have a brochure website that advertises you and your services, but now you’ve got the blogging itch. Wanting a simple way to start blogging, you create a Blogger account and write articles about planning and finance there. You link to it from your brochure site.
When you’re starting something new, it’s easy to get excited or impatient. But in both of these cases, creating a new website was the wrong move.
The Question to Ask Before Creating Another Website
Do you want the same people to visit both of your sites? As long as your answer is “yes,” expand your current website rather than building a new one.
Your website is a cluster of content that is linked closely together. Content is king on the web, so every page of content on your site gives you an additional opportunity to bring in traffic from external sources – especially if it’s a brand new project or a blog article. Once someone is on your website, they’ll get a glimpse of what other content you have available. If that content is for someone like them, they might click through and read it. Because of this process, two great pieces of content that both bring in traffic will receive even more traffic if they are linked together.
If you distribute your content on multiple websites, you are weakening the bonds that hold your content together. As a result, your visitors are less likely to go from one content offering to another, and your traffic will suffer.
When You Need Multiple Websites
Let’s say you’re a photographer, and you’ve got a website for your photography business. But now you’re getting into landscaping, and you’ve decided you’d like to start offering landscaping services. Should you expand your current photographer website to include landscaping? No.
The group of people looking for a photographer is separate from those who need landscaping. Sure, some people might need both a photographer and a landscaper, but that’s by coincidence. Photography and landscaping aren’t related. If you put these services on one website, potential clients for either business will have to navigate through content they aren’t interested in to get to the services they need. After comparing your website to your competitor’s, they’re likely to choose the competitor.
That’s why if you have multiple unrelated causes, careers, or businesses, you’ll want multiple websites to represent them.
Ask yourself “would my websites serve the same people?” and you’ll always make the right choice.