Following on from my last article on how Google ranks your website. I’ve been chatting with some SEO colleague in Auzzie and the UK. We were discussing the latest, most innovative trends that drive more online search traffic.
Certainly having a good, well optimised website that Google loves, along with equally optimised AdWords campaigns were critical. The right keywords, structure and strategies in place. However there’s a growing trend amongst the SEO fraternity to set up multiple websites for single companies – Not just a handful of company websites around particular products or services, but dozens of websites!
Why do this?
Exact Search Phrase Match
This comes from Googles inherent desire to find an exact match in the search phrase people use. An exact match in a website title, URL and/or page articles. For example, if you’re searching for plumbers in Auckland, then a website that will always be on page one would have the domain name www.aucklandplumber.co.nz or a variation of this
As it happens, this quite plain website does show up high on page one and it also has a high domain authority too, meaning some good on-site and off-site SEO work has been done at some stage.
It’s a good bet this guy gets a lot of enquiries. Googles Adwords tool tells us that around 4,500 search queries per month on this exact term! (Click on chart, right). I note North Shore Plumber, (a very simple, low cost WordPress site) is doing well too. Another good domain name is Plumber in Auckland. However because the coding, content and SEO work on this site is lousy, it’s being ignored by Google – Proving that the domain name is but one factor in being found formula. Note this later site actually ‘looks’ better than the North Shore Plumber site, but I suspect gets almost no traffic.
Personal Branding Has a Place, But…
However what if you named your website joesplumbing.co.nz since you want to push your company name and branding, not what people were actually searching for in their area.
I’m not against having strong personal branding, but the Joe’s plumbing website would likely have to spend more time and money to get to page one than aucklandplumbers, assuming all other SEO factors being equal. With online marketing and being found, it’s often the little things that can make a big difference. Again, another good reason to run many websites for the one company. One with a brand focus, and ten others with a search phrase focus.
So, what’s a good strategy for any business when building their online presence? Look for a popular search term in your sector and register a domain name for each. Making it area-specific is always a good idea is the traffic number and figures off Google warrant it.
And building multiple websites (perhaps dozens) need not be costly these days with technologies like WordPress available. Sure, the first site may cost a few thousand, but variations on this site using other domains may only be a few hundred dollars each to establish.
p.s. And Don’t Just Copy
Copywriters must be employed to make the essential text changes for each website that covers the various suburbs or areas. If you don’t Google will see it as duplicate content and penalise you, meaning you’ll never get to page one.
However with expert planning and care, a single small business using this simple strategy could take over the online space in their market niche or local area. It’s certainly worked amazingly well for those few that have tried it.
It’s Good Math, not just Good Marketing
Actually, all this is largely a mathematical exercise. We can find out which phrases are popular and the traffic estimates, since Google tells us. From here we know what a good CTR (clickthrough rate) is for both organic and AdWords, (2-5%) and with good website copy and offer, then estimate the number of sales leads and conversions we should have each month (being approx 5% of the click-throughs). All these sorts of things are monitored and used in the world’s leading ecommerce sites, so the methodology is well proven.
we need to be more analytically-focused and less brand-focused.
This means in the plumbing sector, if there is around 20,000 Auckland search enquiries per month, with at least 400 qualified leads arriving at the website and around 5% of these resulting in a sale, being 20-40 conversions. Most of these are New clients too, which makes it even better. .
Now, how many leads and sales did the old yellow pages provide most small businesses? Almost none….
Tragically, few companies are doing the Math around their websites. Most only measure visitors each month with no consistent strategy in place to discuss or improve things. We all need to be more analytically-focused and less brand-focused. We need to understand the hidden numbers around click-throughs, conversions and bounce rates. It’s what the industry leaders do every day….