Sometimes I wonder how search engine optimization in itself isn’t yet a college course. Not only is SEO important, it’s getting more and more important each day. It’s such a vast and ever-changing part of the internet experience. To be honest, I sometimes dream about a good SEO ranking as a goal in itself. Not even joking, I just picture my website’s name on the top of the mountain with the boldest heading, inviting subheadings, and the most interesting snippets you can find on the whole internet.
This may sound weird, but I think this fantasy is justified. Good SEO is almost like a Bonsai tree – you work on it for years and years, but a few mistakes can really cost you. And I’m just going to go ahead and say it, good SEO is the best marketing. This seems like a bold statement to make, but studies that were done over the years support the claim.
- 93% of online experiences begin with a search engine
- 75% of people don’t scroll past the first page of Google
- SEO leads have a 14.6 % higher conversion rate
If it’s first on Google, it’s there for a reason. This is why the SEO game is so interesting – the competition is on such a level that SEO should be the first sport of the internet Olympics.
So, how does one get good SEO ranks? First of all, follow through with the basics. For your website to stand a chance you need to give it strong legs to stand on. From my experience the most important things are
- Keyword research and integration
- User experience
Since 2012, Google has been tuning its algorithm to excellence. Its goal is to find the best, most useful content on the web, and pair it with users' searches. Before writing keywords on your page was enough to get you related to those keyword searches. Google’s Quality Score changed all that.
Today, it’s simply not enough to start your blog and hope for quick success by churning out a bunch of mediocre content. Now, achieving top organic search rankings for competitive keywords is a whole different ballgame.
Not only is your content by itself evaluated, but Google also tracks how users evaluate and use it — the bounce and click-through rates. Google really wants its users to be happy because Google wants them to come back. In short, your best bet is to follow the basic steps, and later on, include other strategies. In time you will grow a good reputation and a stronger SEO lead. In this post, I’ll talk about one of those strategies: multiple domain strategy.
If your website is doing well and you start to make extra profit, something you might think about is buying another website.
This is not a very common practice nor is it suggested very often, but some businesses have been doing it for a while now with much success. For example, Neil Patel has websites like CrazyEgg and QuickSprout.
Essentially multiple domain strategy means that two websites are representing one brand, and by targeting one keyword they increase the chances of one of them being clicked.
Keep in mind that this is a long-term strategy. If you want a quick boost in your SEO rankings you might want to think about a quick fix like getting a few new backlinks, or just checking if all your own links are sending your visitors to the right place.
This is why I suggested that your cup should be spilling over — your other domain needs to be as good as your first one, otherwise, it’s just going to hurt your ratings. Also, you can spread your different services or brands on different domains and then link them in one place on each website. I suggest you link them at the footer and use the same footer design for every domain. If you are already using different domains that are going to be designed differently and function in different ways, having one key connection point as a constant is a good move.
But it all depends on what you are aiming for – it could be a branding tactic if you have the need for it.
When to use a multiple domain strategy
One benefit of spreading your services, brand, or products into different domains is that it will make it easier for users to navigate.
Having a domain that is designed and optimized with one purpose in mind will help your customers get what they want without much fuss. This is called meeting the searcher's intent. If a visitor lands on your website and doesn’t see what he is looking for he might go somewhere else. This is why sometimes it’s bad to have an overcrowded website. Visitors leaving your website can increase your bounce rate, which will ultimately give you a lower quality score and thus lower ranking.
Remember, just like pumping your website with keywords isn’t enough, buying Google real estate isn’t enough either. In contrast, having an optimized page with purpose will affect your click-through rate and probably your leads and sales — which is, I think we can all agree, the ultimate goal.
If you are working in a niche that doesn’t have much competition, running a multiple domain strategy reaps many benefits.
Low competition means that you can use different domains with similar keyword phrases. You can split your services into different domains with each one offering unique content. Google is more likely to place two different domains in the results for one keyword phrase than it is to place two URLs from the same domain.
It all depends on how you are working and in which stage of development. I can’t stress this enough — Google really is looking for the best, most popular content. It’s looking for what the users want and doing its best not to be tricked. If your website isn’t ranking in the, let’s say top five, running multiple domains might be a step back. You might lose link authority and it might be a better decision to merge the sites. There is no need to try to save two “sinking ships." In contrast, if “your cup is full and spilling," making another domain might help you cement your website at the top of the mountain.
Link your domains
The last, but very important, point is to link your sites to each other! You should have an easy-to-find meeting point on your website that your users can navigate from. One of your options is to use 301 redirects to shuffle around your existing audience and maintain link juice.
If you have a WordPress-based website you can use the 301 Redirects plugin to redirect visitors from one domain to the other or between them. Maybe you will have a domain you consider your “main” and another one you will be sending your traffic from. And even if you do, this might and probably will change as time goes by. This plugin can redirect your visitors temporarily or permanently, depending on what you need. Maybe you want more action on your “not–so-main” site every now and then, or maybe you have a contest or content that expires. That is a great way to use temporary redirections.
The 301 Redirects allow you to make both 301 redirects (permanent redirections) and 302 redirects (temporary).It is very simple, intuitive, and easy to use. It will help you keep track and organize all your redirects and you can even export bulk redirects and apply them on other sites.
With businesses popping up every day it's getting harder to grab even a bit of online presence. Google is evolving at a staggering speed, and good SEO is a must in 2020. Almost every niche is filled with competition and to make it you’ll need to use all the strategies available.
The multiple domain strategy will help build your online presence, and if it’s the right time to implement just follow this guide. The rest is about doing good work, creating good content, and striving to be the best.