One site or many sites for most Google Traffic?

The when a client has many keywords that they wish to target there are several different ways of solving this problem can be approached namely:-

  1. Build a large website with content addressing all the keywords. Provide incentives for other sites to link to it and to link to the inner pages that hold the content not just the main homepage by ensuring the site is an authority for all information that it covers.
  2. Is similar to plan only that the content in the website is split up into subdomains with the sub domain name matching some common sorting categories such as a location e.g. Newcastle.mydomainname.com.
  3. Instead of having one main site containing all the content build multiple satellite sites with their own domain names. Ensure the content of these satellite sites is very targeted and try and attract links from other websites which indicate your satellite site is an authority on this very narrow topic.

At different times we have used each of these strategies. Which one is best? There is not a simple answer to this some other mitigating factors are:-

  1. Does the client wished to go to the trouble a bit and expense of managing multiple mini sites?
  2. Are the particular keywords that people are looking for very location specific in Google and does Google favour local sites small amounts of targeted content over websites trying to appear local in many areas?
  3. Is the Webmaster interested in leasing or selling the web assets down the track?

The in most cases we go for a large website and make it as good as possible to ensure it attracts quality links. Over time such a website will grow in rankings in many keywords. The problem with having a group of subdomains or satellite sites targeting specific regions is that generally speaking such solutions have far higher content creation costs. Whereas a large site will have one about us page 1 home page etc etc etc even if it covers 20 areas…. If instead you make 20 websites to cover these 20 areas each will need its own unique content to not only these general information pages but also for the specific technical pages.  It’s a large expense if the client is not willing to invest in such a solution and get this content written properly there is no point in attempting to implement it.
Not only is the extra content problem but a natural link building program needs to be applied to multiple sites instead of just one site so the cost of SEO is much higher.

What does Google say.  Well… Google says have one site… as having multiple sites might confuse it.  I am not sold on this and Google seems to reward(as at today) sites that provide local services, that have an entire site focused on describing their localness… not just their services.

As a result we are going to experiment with  a combination approach to this problem, with an “A  + C” solution.

  1. Main site “targetlocksmiths.net.au” will be targeting Blacktown locksmiths and nearby suburbs.
  2. In addition to this main site, we are building 5 satellite sites targeting different regions, such as Cabramatta eg “Target Locksmiths Cabramatta”. These sites will be content rich, and detail the specific local service provided by this business… and of course it would be possible to then sell this site to support a seperate, local business.

We expect to see results from this is program within 3 months .

4 weeks later?
Target Locksmith Cabramatta now on page 1 of Google for “Locksmith Cabramatta”.

This week?
New sites launched, for Target Locksmith St Marys, Target Locksmiths Liverpool
L
ets see how long before they are on page 1

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