Archive for June, 2007

One Website or Two

If you have two professions, should you have two websites (one for each), or one website for both?

I came across this question recently, and here is my answer:

The best approach depends on several factors:

  1. Will visitors see the two professions as complementing the other?
  2. Will is the subject material synergistic from a search engine optimization point of view?
  3. Is the material required for one profession complete, where as the other is a work in progress, or can both professions be fleshed out right away?

From a search engine point of view, there is a lot to be said for having one big site rather than several small ones, all other things being equal. A site that is growing rather than static also drives traffic, especially if the site is properly promoted.

Pages are certainly ranked on an individual basis, and this has a lot to do with how they are linked together. Google doesn’t care about the two professions, it analyses subject matter - which is an important but subtle difference. Music talking about spiritual talking about health talking about councillor - with “therapy” as the bridge - that could work. Music talking about a hard life of drinking, smoking and fighting may also complement a health-councillor’s website, if you think about it.

If material is ready to go on one site, and the other is a work in progress, two separate (but linked) sites would make sense - to begin with. Eventually, it may make sense to merge them - providing the subject material complements.

As for the visitors, will the be confused by the two professions, or see them as working together? Different visitors may have different opinions, but in the end it is a judgement call.

In the end, it really depends on how similar the ideas behind the professions are. If they seem to fit naturally, do one website. If it is an uncomfortable fit, do two.