It’s not uncommon for a business, non-profit organization, or an association to maintain or generate multiple websites. We typically see this during an extended organizational formation phase, when offshoot ventures and product developments could take your company into multiple directions, or during business mergers and acquisitions. But, at some point, there’s a need for determining whether merging two or more websites into a single solution is the right way to go.
Pros and Cons of Merging Websites
You’re the digital marketing manager of an organization that developed two somewhat similar brands. Both focus on separate aspects of the ideal customer persona. It becomes apparent that unifying both brands under one heading could be a better option. What are the pros and cons of going this route?
- Site management. Having one site to manage versus multiple websites gives you the chance to focus resources. It affects the content development, marketing opportunities, advertising campaigns, and social media engagement you might start. Putting this together for multiple sites is labor-intensive and might be redundant. And, it would cost more money than it should.
- Platform (Content Management System, CMS) choice. Working with one CMS platform, rather than having multiple sites using several platforms, makes site management more effective. Considering that today’s organizations will handle content management mostly in-house, it’s more cost-effective to work on a singular platform. At the same time, it makes the audience’s online experience seamless. Unless there are intentional discrepancies in the customer’s online experience, it’s a bad idea to cobble together several sites that give a brand a different feel.
- Unified Content strategy. Your organization only needs one content strategy to support the voice, tone, and content governance of the site. Making this decision saves money, time, and guarantees brand congruence across multiple content options. Besides that, when your organization narrows its focus, it can benefit from a pinpointed content strategy.
- One website for adding and managing content. WordPress, with the latest version of Gutenberg or Drupal 9, are powerful open source content management systems that support a consolidation of multiple sites into one. It looks professional, is a favorite of organizations across a wide range of fields, and supports multi-national as well as single-state browsing experiences.
- Traffic increase and digital marketing campaigns. You can now focus all your marketing strategies to send traffic to one website URL/domain rather than multiple ones. From email newsletters to your social media campaigns, landing pages and unique sections can be set up on one website instantly. With one website to drive web traffic to, your organization increases its domain authority. This single step allows it to leverage brand awareness. Also, don’t forget that the consumer begins to view your organization as a thought leader in the niche, which is of tremendous importance when securing market share.
- Organic searches. An organic web search result matches the consumer’s intent with the content of a website. Therefore, if one brand site matches the search intent of several entities, and another site that of others, merging the two means that the new site must focus on both search intents. It gets a little tricky when the search phrases are too closely related and customizing SEO for them would lead to duplicate content but ideally, when the consolidation is done accurately, the new website will achieve a stronger SEO ranking and domain authority.
So far, we have examined the pros of consolidating multiple websites into one. However, there are also times when doing so is not effective. In the case of non-profit organizations, there are typically highly-defined site requirements due to legal constraints. A case in point is the main website, the foundation site that is funded by a patron, and a legal entity site. Merging these would be unsuitable and contrary to the functioning of the organization.
Of course, keeping websites separate doesn’t have to be a disadvantage. For example, your organization can link the sites to one another, which gives their link authority a significant boost. Besides that, having the different sites might hold a unique appeal to online visitors that could be difficult to replicate under just one domain.
Do I need to consolidate? Because every business is unique, we suggest discussing your website consolidation requirements with one of our subject experts in the field of web consolidation and content migration. Reach out.
You can also read “how to consolidate two or more websites into one” to learn how to get started. Not sure what why Content Strategy is important, please read our insights on what is Content Strategy and Why it is important.