We’ve talked before about SEO strategies for small businesses – and there are many. What they all boil down to is increasing visibility in search engines, making it easier for potential customers to find your business online.
But what happens if you have a business that serves several functions? Or what if your business operates in multiple markets? How do you build an SEO strategy for different audiences when those audiences might be searching for very different things?
In cases like this, having an SEO strategy for multiple domains can help you dominate search results. It’s a tactic used by many big businesses: Coca-Cola owns a whopping 3,029 domains, and while you might not be able to achieve quite the same footprint, a multiple domain SEO strategy can be beneficial even as a small business owner.
What is a multiple domain SEO strategy?
Simply put, it’s SEO for multiple website domains all related to your core business.
But what exactly is a domain? Here are some examples for a hypothetical business, Jenny’s Clothing:
- https://jennysclothing.com.au – main AU website domain
- https://blog.jennysclothing.com – blog subdomain within the main website
- https://jennysclothing.co.uk – separate UK domain
- https://jennystailoring.com.au – separate domain and website for a side business
You can have one primary domain or multiple domains for a single website, whether it is a subdomain for a content hub like a blog or geographically specific; for example, when a business has both a .uk and a .au site. You or your developer can create these subdomains by logging into your cPanel dashboard.
Having subdomains also means that businesses can easily edit the backend of one subdomain and leave another. This makes it easier for a company to maintain their sites if they offer different inventory across different countries and markets. A multiple domain SEO strategy treats every domain individually, so each one is optimised for a specific audience.
For example, let’s say Jenny’s Clothing wants to attract more visitors to their website to browse a sale on pants. In this scenario, Australian customers might search for ‘pants sale’, while UK customers might search for ‘trousers sale’.
Having a multiple domain SEO strategy ensures both the .com.au and .co.uk domains for Jenny’s Clothing are optimised for the terms their local audiences are using. Based on user behaviour studies, customers trust URLs that are specific to their market, as they believe they are more credible and will provide information unique to their region.
Similarly, customers who need tailoring services would be using different searches than those looking to buy clothing, so it would make sense to have unique SEO strategies for jennysclothing.com.au and jennystailoring.com.au.
Should you use a multiple domain SEO strategy?
This all depends on your business. A multiple domain SEO strategy definitely isn’t for everyone, and in many cases, trying to manage SEO for several domains won’t be feasible for a small business owner.
Additionally, if you have multiple domains but they’re not unique or don’t serve specific audiences, it can lead to what’s known as ‘cannibalisation’ – which is where your domains are essentially competing with each other to rank for the same keywords.
That said, in the right circumstances, a multiple domain SEO strategy can help you own more search engine ‘real estate’ – meaning your business (or businesses) will be more likely to rank for a richer variety of keywords searched for by a wider audience.
An e-commerce site for example, may want to have a subdomain in order to differentiate between currencies and provide a unique customer experience based on their region.
So, when might it be appropriate to use a multiple domain SEO strategy?
- If you own more than one unique business
- If you have offshoots to your main business, such as a restaurant that also does corporate catering
- If you have distinct customer bases, such as B2B and B2C customers
- If you’re looking to boost your rankings for a subdomain, such as a blog or careers page
But remember, if you have a subdomain for a blog, don’t forget to link to the blog in your primary navigation bar or in the footer of your site so users can easily navigate through to the articles. If you don’t include links from your primary domain, the only way users will be able to find the subdomain is through searching on Google.
Whether you have multiple domains or just one, SEO is an important part of your online marketing strategy. SEO helps you reach more customers with a comprehensive approach. From creating backlinks to content, find out more about how we can help.