If you have multiple websites for the same business, or more than one site that performs a similar function, you may have thought about merging your websites before. There are several reasons why you might want to take this step, from making things simpler for you, to SEO considerations. In this article, we’ll be looking at the pros and cons that come when you merge websites, to help you make the decision of whether to merge or keep them separate. But what do we mean when we talk about merging websites? Essentially, it’s getting rid of one or more of your sites, and consolidating them into one main website. So, what are the pros and cons of doing this?
The pros that come when you merge websites
There are quite a few positives about merging your sites! Let’s take a look at some of them here:
SEO can improve when you merge your websites
Did you know that having a bigger website can be better for your search engine optimisation? And, when you merge two or more sites together, you will probably have more content to be added to the site you’re keeping, making it bigger. There are a few reasons why having a bigger site is better for SEO. But essentially, having more pages means that you have more chances for keywords to be picked up by search engines and pushed out to their users in search engine results.
Do you really need more than one site?
If you merge your sites and find that actually, you don’t have much additional content to add to the remaining one, you need to ask if you really needed more than one in the first place? If the content was mostly the same, you will probably have been doing yourself an SEO disservice. This is because the sites with similar content will have been competing against each other, making it harder for any one of them to rank in search engine results well.
When you merge websites, you consolidate your brand image
Many people believe that they need more than one website because their business provides multiple distinct services. Each of these services may have a different target audience. So, it makes sense to separate them, right? Well, this works well for lots of business. However, have you thought about how bringing them under one roof could actually work well? Some of your customers for one arm of the business might be interested in other products or services that you offer, too, but they may never have found out about them if they were on separate sites.
You can still keep distinct brand images
If you do have more than one area to your business, the chances are that each will have a different feel. This difference can be slight, or they may look completely different. However they are positioned, there is still scope to keep separate identities on one site. For example, you can have different landing pages for each distinct product or service. These can have their own identities that make it clear they are separate services, while still retaining elements that make it clear they’re from the same overall brand.
It can be easier to navigate for your customers
One of the biggest arguments for merging your sites is that it makes the whole customer experience simpler, smoother, and easier to use. Having more than one site can get confusing quickly if you’re a customer. They may not know what they can find on each site. And, if they don’t even know that more than one site exists, they can miss our on some of your key offerings. This isn’t good for your business or your customers! When you merge websites, you often make things easier for everyone involved.
Less SEO work to do
When you have multiple domains, you will need to do SEO work on all of them if you want them to be optimised to their best. But, when you merge your sites, you’ll only have one domain that requires the work. You can concentrate your SEO efforts all in one place, and not have to keep up with multiple strategies on various sites
Merge websites and save costs!
When you merge your sites, you will save on the associated costs that come with a website, such as hosting and maintenance. While these costs may seem minimal, they can soon add up if you are consolidating more than one site. You’ll also save some time that you would normally spend on the admin that comes with each site.
What are the cons that arise when you merge websites?
While there are plenty of pros for merging your sites, there are some cons that are associated with it as well. Let’s take a closer look at a few of them here:
If you have an excellent SEO strategy, multiple websites may work better for you
If you have a great SEO strategy across all of your sites, it’s likely that each one of them will be ranking well for specific and separate search terms. In this case, consolidating your sites may not actually have a positive effect. This is also the case if you have multiple websites ranking well for the same search terms. If this is happening to you, you’ll be pushing your competitors down the rankings, meaning more search traffic for you, and less for them!
Demonstrate your expertise with niche sites
If you have more than one offering, having separate sites for all of them can make you appear as a more authoritative expert. Sometimes, having multiple areas on one site can make you appear as someone who offers breadth but not depth. Whether this is the right choice for you depends on your specific business and offerings, and how different or unrelated they really are.
Backlinks are a consideration when it comes to merging sites
Backlinks should be a part of any decent SEO strategy. A backlink is when another website on the internet links back to a page on your site. This could be a part of a guest post on their blog, for example. If you are merging your sites, you’ll need to think about any existing backlinks you have for the sites you’re getting rid of. If you want them to remain intact and help boost your SEO strategy, you will have to contact the owners of the sites where the links are placed and ask them to update them to reflect your consolidated website. Backlink exchanges are another thing to consider, which is when you place someone else’s link on your site in exchange for a backlink on theirs. If you’re merging sites, you may need to ensure that you move these links over too, to ensure that the backlink exchange is still intact. All of this can take a considerable amount of time, and some website owners may not be willing to change your link. So, this is something that you need to bear in mind.
You won’t need to carry out the technical work that comes with merging websites
Simply put, if you don’t merge your websites, you don’t need to carry out a website merge! This can take up your time and effort or can come with associated costs if you pay a professional service to do it for you. Carrying our a site merge is not a quick project, so you need to be prepared for this and the time that it takes! Sometimes, this is time or expense that some businesses can’t accommodate, so it may not be the right time or indeed the right decision for you at the moment.
Be prepared for a short-term drop in traffic
Often, when you merge websites, there is a short term drop in traffic to the site. This is usually true of any major change to a website. Your traffic should recover after a short amount of time (usually a few weeks), but it’s important to know that it is likely to happen so that you’re not in for an unpleasant surprise!
How would a website merge affect your business?
Finally, it is vital to consider how merging your websites may affect your team and wider business. If you have a large team who each work on separate sites, how will they feel about having them merged into one? Will the different teams be able to work well together? While this may only be a consideration for larger sites and teams, it’s still something to bear in mind, as with any big business decision.
So, what is the right decision? Should you merge websites or keep them separate? There are clear pros and cons for both of these options. It really depends on your individual business and sites. If you have more than one site that offers similar things, then merging them may work well for you. On the other hand, if your sites are vastly different, the argument for keeping them separate may be stronger. In short, it’s up to you and your individual circumstances! Many businesses do just fine with having multiple sites. Merging websites can take time and effort, which some people don’t think is worth the outcome. But for others, it is the best solution! Weigh up each of the pros and cons against your business to come up with the best solution.
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