by Nadia Saar

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As a small business owner, you want to own as many spots at the top of Google’s searches as possible. To accomplish this, you’ve set up three or more websites in hopes that you will take the top three advantage. But as you search for your business online you are nowhere to be found. What gives? Google has changed the game to help your customers achieve better search results. Multiple websites cause a world of confusion, but also come with the penalty of poor ranking. Why you ask?

Don’t have the time and effort to maintain multiple websites

Being a small business owner, your time is valuable. You want to spend that time running your business not updating a website or working on website design. That means your multiple websites don’t get updated as often. One website may say you’re running a special from last month. While another one of your websites says it’s running a special the following month.

Aside from inaccurate or old information, what about your website designs? Are your websites mobile friendly? When was the last time you gave your website a good look and made usability changes?

These questions are important as they affect your SEO campaign. Google wants to rank websites that are easy to use by consumers and that contain valid information.

Regardless of the amount of SEO work put into the website, inaccurate information, or the lack of time spent to ensure the website is modern and up to Google standards will cost you rankings.

Duplicate content is harmful to SEO

Have you ever searched the web only to come across several websites with the exact same information? Which website do you use? From an SEO standpoint, duplicate content may seem like a great idea to get you ranking and keep your websites up to date. BUT the problem is it creates a poor user experience.

Google has adjusted its algorithm to ensure that consumers are able to search without the hassle of deciphering which website represents the business they are looking for.

What does this mean for you?

The duplicate content websites will be ranked lower to avoid causing heartache for the searcher. Your SEO campaign will not be able to recover until the duplicate content issues are resolved.

Why compete against yourself for business?

It’s important to have a strong presence online to attract business.  But, you’re competing against yourself for online traffic or splitting your traffic if you have multiple websites.

Also, in the eyes of Google, you’re the same company with two websites with the same business information ie. telephone, address, and email. Maybe the content is different or you’ve had enough time to maintain the different websites, but there are a couple of important elements you need to rank on Google.

Google my Business is essential to any SEO campaign and requires a company to claim the listing and optimize it. This legitimizes your business. It allows Google and consumers to review your business and services, thereby enhancing your SEO campaign. The catch is that only one website can be linked to a Google listing page.

The creation of multiple listings with the same business address, phone number and services runs the risk of being flagged as a duplicate and merged with the original Google listing.

What does this mean for you? Only one of your websites is going to reap the benefit of a Google listing to boost SEO and rankings, and the other will simply be dragging you down.

Creates customer confusion

There is nothing more frustrating than seeing two websites for one company. Which website has the correct information? Are these the same website or same company?

If 89% of consumers look for services and goods online it’s important that they trust your business and what you are putting out on the web.

By having multiple websites, it’s difficult for a consumer to decide what is correct information and what is not. It’s even more difficult for Google to decipher which information to rank. As a result, your multiple websites get penalized. All of your hard work to select the best key terms and content for those sites goes down the drain as rankings plummet.

What’s your plan?

Aside from the issues mentioned above, what is your plan for your multiple websites? Meaning, how are you going to market and ensure the success of all of your websites?

A marketing plan is important to ensure the success of your overall SEO campaign. Without it, you’re throwing a Hail Mary pass into the in-zone reminiscent of Aaron Rodgers in last year’s playoffs against the Cardinals.

SEO requires that you keep your content fresh, but also your key terms and locations in order to continue being successful.

Optimization is an investment that requires consistent updates and attention to detail. With multiple websites, you’ll spend more time trying to keep them afloat rather than reap the benefits of a well- tailored campaign.

To get the best possible outcome for your business stick to one well-rounded, nicely designed website. It’s easier to maintain, and your potential clients will thank you. Not to mention, your SEO campaign will see a lot more success.

Need help creating a strong web presence for your business? Let’s chat!

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