If you wish to sell products from different industries you’re better off creating multiple sites to do the job. Few people will trust a clothing website to sell auto insurance! When going after different markets, it makes good business sense to create a new site for each industry you are targeting. When using this strategy, be sure to follow a couple of simple guidelines:
Target a Unique Audience: You want to be sure that each site is targeting a substantially unique audience or customer base. If you own a site selling house plans, don’t go build five new sites with each one selling a different version of the same thing: garageplans.com, houseplans.com, customhomeplans.com, colonialhomeplans.com, etc.
This tactic is often used by those trying to dominate the top results of the search engines, edging out all their competitors. It is also considered a severe form of spam by the search engines. Each site that you set up must have a unique purpose with virtually no crossover with your other sites. Some examples of uniquely targeted sites are: houseplans.com, landscapingplans.com, homeofficeplans.com.
Somebody looking to convert a room into a home office is not necessarily going to be crossing over with someone looking to build an entire house. On the other hand, someone building a house might also be looking for landscaping plans, but that is essentially an entirely different area of design altogether. Each of these potential websites can be built to be substantially unique and target seekers of different needs.
Use Unique Content: Each site that you build needs to contain substantially different content. In our examples of acceptable unique sites above you want to make sure that you don’t use similar content from one site to the next. You also should avoid using the same design template as well as the same business name and contact information on each site.
When I first started a blog for my business I had incorporated it into my main business website. About a year later I decided to roll it off into another completely new site hoping to garner some broader exposure. I could have easily kept the Pole Position brand for the blog but instead decided to create an entirely new name, look and feel for this new site.
On the other hand, I also created a small web directory where I kept the Pole Position branding, but chose a different name: PolePositionDirectory.com.
In each case, each of these sites serves an entirely different purpose with unique content. Even though someone can easily determine that all three sites are related to some degree, they are each unique entities going after different audiences looking for different things.
This post is part of a continuing series on the topic of:
Designing a Money-Making Website
Search for all posts on Designing a Money-Making Web Site, including this and the following sub-topics:
Building a Professional Website that Achieves Your Goals
Avoiding Common Web Design and Marketing Mistakes