How These 4 Things Will Change The Way You Approach Multi-domain Strategies for SEO
Search Engine Optimization is referred to as an activity that tries to enhance a website’s search engine rankings. Simply put, your domain has the potential to rank in Google as well as other pages connected to them. SEO is a long-term approach, so you shouldn’t hope to see any immediate results here. You have to be patient as well as persistent with it, while continuously striving towards the latest multi-domain strategies and updates associated.
Multi-Domain SEO Strategy
If you want to build a robust digital brand presence, you must have a website. It serves as the digital storefront where likely customers can view what you have to offer. There are some cases where it might be required to have multiple websites for your company, and this is precisely where multiple domain strategy comes into the picture.
Multiple domain strategy is a viable alternative for companies with diverse products and services. It typically suits businesses that have built a solid reputation across a large geographical area or have multiple brands under which their products and services appeal to varied audiences.
This SEO process is not recommended for companies who have just started with SEO implementation. Under this, each website requires updates, SEO attention, and unique content. Extra staff would be needed to support each of these tasks. Consistency across all platforms is also to be maintained.
While you must continue creating internal links (hyperlinks) with your other sites,at the same time add relevant texts with keywords and multiple images – Alt text (alternative text).
Moreover, if your firm intends to sell services to more than one city, it is better to create geo-specific sites targeting specific audiences of those particular regions.
If you have multiple brands and want to rank each of the brands separately then split off each of these brands into its microsite. By this, it would be relatively easy to focus on domain names and keywords to promote the website.
When the website will focus on different products with each of its own microsite, the customers and search engines, both will not get confused while trying to determine what your site is about and the products/services you have to offer.
If you’re using a multi-domain strategy, you should make your website rich with 100% unique content (without duplicating any content) to avoid search engine penalties.
In this post, we will explain different multi-domain options in terms of SEO, complexity and resources for you to have a better understanding on the same:
Why is a Multi-Domain Strategy Important?
It’s not easy to make a one -dimensional approach for businesses, especially the ones in the lookout for expansion. And the more diverse the products/services a company offers, the harder it can be to serve varied audiences and provide content suited to all relevant niches and sales funnel stages in just one domain.
It can be a test for companies with a corporate structure that involves numerous sub-brands or for firms that have a strong business presence, but want to enter new markets – that would be better served by websites solely dedicated to the unique conditions of these markets.
When organizations expand into new markets, there are many choices open for their online presence. New language versions of the website can be included as subdirectories, subdomains, or country-specific ccTLDs (top-level domains).
Setting up New Online Services
If you are framing a company blog, then you might not want to place it on the root domain, since the target audience, content and form of address could deviate from the organization’s standard identity guidelines. Related multi-domain strategy considerations apply when setting up a community blog for your brand online.
Domination of SERP and Backlink Power
Another purpose of a multi-domain strategy can be obtaining numerous positions in the search results for just one keyword. If one company holds multiple positions, it could indicate that it owns an increased market share for this keyword. This shall eventually bring in more turnover and traffic, and reduce the number of clicks going to the other links in competition.
This is possible with subdomains and especially for setting up microsites that adequately represent the diversity of a company’s offerings.
4 Variants of Multi-Domain SEO Strategy
Discussions often happen on the most suitable ways to integrate new content into websites when talking about multi-domain strategies.
Should the blog, community platform be put on a separate subdomain or would a subdirectory on the main domain be better? Should the establishment of new ccTLDs support expansion into new markets? These questions are bound to appear when planning a multi-domain SEO plan.
Here is an overview with a comparison of the different options available:
1. Develop a New Domain or Brand
A company looking to expand its market or create a new brand can opt for a new domain that requires to be established and supported from the ground up. With this, content authority, and faith develops slowly. Nevertheless, if you already have a strong root domain, then you can take the benefit of network effects, using the more extensive domains to support the smaller “satellite pages”.
Aim for domain names that are easy to remember, short, precise, easy to type and say. This is helpful for word-of-mouth advertising, too, since the visitors will visit your domain directly. Stay away from domain names including numbers or other non-standard characters, unusual spellings, or longer than about 15 characters.
With the search engine’s increasing dependence on accessibility and usability as a ranking factor, the simpler a domain (or URL) is, the better it is for search engines.
Nothing is better than including a keyword that makes it clear what your business does all the while keeping your domain name unique, catchy, and brand-friendly.
Stay away from domain names that are considered “keyword-rich” or “keyword-targeted. Though such kinds of domain names were once regarded as a significant ranking factor, now, with their tendency to relate with low-quality content could make searchers (and search engines) view them with a negative bias.
For a company with a thriving business and a secure website in one country, the opportunity to expand into new markets in other countries could be better utilised by creating separate Country Code Top-Level Domains (ccTLDs)
The benefit of country domains is that regional or national characteristics can be adequately represented. This indicates that topics and forms of address can differ from one country to another. Country-specific domains can also help in establishing more trustworthiness for users, and be hosted in the relevant country.
Another benefit of running multiple country domains is that, should your website be hit by a Google Update or penalty, then this might only affect individual country domains. If you only have one domain and it gets hit, then your whole web presence could suffer.
What is a subdomain?
While your main domain – also known as a primary or a root domain – is the name of your website, a subdomain is a part of your website that you want to identify and distinguish with its own unique identity and content.
A subdomain lets you separate parts of your website that are comprehensive enough to warrant their dedicated hierarchy – without going through the trouble of setting up a new website with a new domain or confusing visitors with a totally different root domain.
Subdomains are necessary if your company operates in diverse international markets, and if you want to set up separate websites targeted towards certain countries and regions.
For instance, if your Australian customers are forced to navigate the same website as your customers in India or America, that’s not going to turn into a great brand experience. A subdomain saves you from the struggle of having to buy a new domain for each country.
Moreover, subdomains are helpful when you want to create a distinct brand experience for users. For example, when firms have different products/services for both consumer and business audiences, and you want to develop various e-commerce sites for both B2C and B2B audiences, a subdomain could be a good option.
Organizations may also use subdomains to set up mobile-focused variations of their main websites. Navigating a web page is very different on a smartphone or tablet from that of a desktop or laptop.
Adaptive development processes ensure that developers consider different screen sizes and factors when creating mobile websites. Designing a separate subdomain allows businesses to give an intuitive user interface for both desktop and mobile site visitors.
How to set up a subdomain?
There are primarily two methods to create a subdomain: CNAME record or an A record.
While the CNAME is a record that fixes to an alternative URL, an A record resolves to an IP address.
Regardless of which approach you choose, the record should be created according to the hosting specifications of your subdomain. If you don’t follow those specifications, you might run the risk of setting up a DNS record that won’t resolve when the hosting account receives requests from it.
With that taken into consideration, it could be a good idea to consult your domain provider to receive all the hosting information you’ll need and remove any guesswork from the equation.
Subdirectories, also known as subfolders, for particular languages or countries, can be added to any domain. However, for this to work efficiently, the website needs to be on a leading domain (.com), and not a local ccTLD.
Benefits of subdirectories:
- SEO implemented on one part of the domain will prove beneficial to all the country folders since it is basically one site.
- Links between countries could be seen as internal links and not the external ones. It will assist your backlink profile as it will be made up predominantly of links from other people’s sites and not primarily from your website.
- No extra domain hosting costs.
- It brings an added ‘inheritance of the authority’ of your original website and does not start from scratch when you go into a new market.
Subdomains vs Subdirectories
Why subdirectories are a more reliable choice for long-term sustainability is its pooling of resources for one root domain. While content can be kept together, SEO and technical resources are also focused on one site – thus enabling one single domain to fulfill its potential and build up authority with Google.
Subdomains are separate from the root domain, which might reduce the efficiency in setup and maintenance. Nonetheless, they still can be a preferred option for online business websites that cover highly diverse content and business markets or where webmasters lack control over the new website segments.
Google has answered to this never-ending battle with a straightforward response stating that it is okay with using either subdomains or subdirectories.
However, it also says that content should ideally be as close within a domain – which points to the subdirectory option. If there are any notable differences in the content, then subdomains could be the preferred option.
Companies are always set for new business opportunities. When it comes to expanding your business’ online presence, it pays to have evaluated the various choices you have at hand and be ready with an approach that represents the most suitable one.