Whatever you do, do not open my bedroom closet door! I should have a “Beware” sign as a warning that what you will find lurking inside is not pretty. Shoes scattered about, summer clothes mixed in with winter clothes, “fat jeans” everywhere and dirty laundry on the floor. It’s a mess! I couldn’t navigate efficiently through that closet no matter how hard I tried. Perhaps this is the reason for my disheveled appearance lately. Note to self: Get organized!
Lucky for my clients, I do a better job of organizing websites than I do my own closet. As your business expands, it is important to keep your website following a logical plan. I have walked many companies through the process of getting organized. To achieve or keep high search engine rankings, the search engines demand it. Likewise, to help increase your conversion, assisting your searchers to navigate quickly and efficiently to the page they desire is always a plus.
Let’s briefly explore the pros and cons of each of the following organizational options:
A. The Subdomain: Subdomains are looked at as a new domain – they do not benefit from the Page Rank, link popularity or age of the root domain. Therefore, in a lot of respects you are starting from scratch. Link popularity has to now be focused on BOTH the subdomain and the root domain. But there are many benefits to the subdomain – for one, you are adding a keyword right into the domain … for example, our company site is mannixmarketing.com. So, if we were going to create a subdomain, it would make sense to deliberately use a keyword (ex: seo.mannixmarketing.com). Of course you can do that with a folder system as well (mannixmarketing.com/seo), but having a keyword right in your domain name is a bonus. Another bonus of the subdomain is that you can submit to directories without being rejected for your page being attached to the URL. As I mentioned earlier, subdomains are seen as independent, folders are not. Similarly, Google will allow multiple placements in their SERP’s because once again, subdomains are considered an individual site. This is an argument for both subdomains and multiple URL’s.
B. The folder system: The folder system is one of my favorite ways to organize a website. With the folder system, you are adding content directly onto your main domain which is a big plus. I have a client who recently expanded her business into several states. Since all her keywords phrases included the state, we created folders with state names (ex: domain/nj and domain/Delaware). Subsequently, all the new content for each state went right into the new folder and the site is perfectly organized. We also color coded the pages to make it very clear to the visitors where they are. The pages in your folders will eventually take on the Page Rank and link popularity of your main domain. This is a large benefit because you can continue to concentrate your efforts on one cause. The largest obstacle that I have noticed is that directories do not look at your folder as separate from your main domain and they will only accept one URL.
C. Multiple domains: One particular client that I have owns a company that produces hundreds of products, each that fall into one of about 10 categories. After careful consideration, we decided that the plan of action would be to develop category specific websites, each on their own individual domain. These mini sites enabled us to concentrate intensely on relevant keywords. His main site encompassed each category, and his mini sites encompassed one specific category. Because he had a main site that was doing particularly well in the search engines, he did not mind that the “time factor” penalty would affect his new domains. With the ability to be patient, these mini sites eventually worked out extremely well for him. On some SERP’s, he clearly dominates with 4-6 positions all from the same company.
I hope this gives you a little insight to the different options for organizing and their benefits. If you’ve learned only one thing, it would be that you do need to make your website the best that it can be. Don’t let this season pass you by without cleaning out your online closet.
Happy Organizing! Oh, and Merry Christmas!
For more details, please contact one of the qualified internet marketing specialists at Mannix Marketing.