A common local SEO question is: Should I create a separate domain for each of my business locations?
For example, if I have a Joe’s Sandwiches location on Addison and another on Cermak, should I create the joessandwicesaddison.com and joessandwicescermak.com?
NO. Multiple separate websites are a killer for SEO.
Multiple domains are bad for customers.
A multiple-domain strategy is confusing for customer experience. Let’s use Rosati’s Pizza as an example.
Not only is Rosati’s competing against themselves in search, they have also created an extremely confusing situation for customers. If I want to order Rosati’s Pizza, should I go to rosatispizza.com or myrosatis.com? What if I live near Batavia, IL? Should I go to rosatispizza.com or rosatisbataviaonline.com?
Rosatis is effectively competing with themselves in search. A better strategy is to create one page on your website for each location and help customers filter their way to the right page with a location finder.
You are creating two (or more) weak websites instead of one strong website.
In the SEO world, links are authority. Links back to your website from external sites give your domain more “authority” which helps your website rank higher in search results. When you have multiple domains, you are splitting up your potential links among multiple websites.
The result is that you create multiple weaker websites instead of one strong website. By combining websites, and those sites’ respective backlinks, you can create a much stronger site that has a better chance of succeeding in searches.
Multiple websites do not provide sufficient link value.
We all know that links from other websites are important to SEO. However, many misinterpret this to mean that all links are valuable.
This leads to ideas like “If I make three websites for my business and they all link to each other, that will be good for my website because of the extra links, right?”
Wrong. Every time a new website is created, it is like a newborn baby: no connections, no authority. A link from the new website is essentially worthless to your site compared to the damage you are causing to your site by splitting up its potential authority.
“Just say no” to multiple websites.
You should not create more than one website for your business. Multiple domains:
- Do not provide much link value
- Dilute your authority and ability to rank
- Are confusing to customers
Keeping all of your content in one site using a good folder structure and subdomains where needed will make your domain stronger and more competitive in search.
Ryan Johnson is an award-winning SEO expert, digital marketer, content strategist, speaker and writer. As a writer for many industry blogs including Search Engine Watch, SEMRush Blog, and Marketing Profs, he aims to take the mystery out of digital marketing and make the concepts easy for any business to understand and implement.more posts by Ryan →